If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

February Interviews

2/5 Heather Weidner, Glitter, Glam, and Contraband
2/12 Rhys Bowen, Above The Bay of Angels
2/19 Elizabeth Penney, Hems & Homicide
2/26 Annette Dashofy, Under The Radar

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
2/1 Valerie Burns
2/8 Jeannette de Beauvoir
2/15 Kathryn Lane

WWK Bloggers: 2/22 Kait Carson, 1/28 & 1/29 Special Interviews with Agatha Nominees by Paula Gail Benson


WWK is proud of our four Agatha nominees. Kaye George for Best Short Story--not her first time to be nominated, Connie Berry and Grace Topping for Best First Mystery Novel (wish they weren't having to compete against each other), and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Kaye George's first novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Revenge is Sweet, will be released on March 10th. Look for the interview here on March 11.

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, will be released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here on April 29th.

Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!

KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.

Paula Gail Benson's story "Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest" appears in Love in the Lowcountry an anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers available 11/5 in e-book and print format on Amazon. The anthology includes fourteen stories all based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Kaye George's "Grist for the Mill" was published in A Murder of Crows anthology, edited by Sandra Murphy on October 9th.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Of Accidents and Art

The story of this photograph started off with an accident. I was watering the plants on my backyard deck, and I tripped and slopped water on the wooden boards. Suddenly there was a pretty little puddle at my feet. I spill stuff all the time when I'm gardening – dirt, mulch, compost. And since Mother Nature is not known for being overly fastidious, I don't bother cleaning it up.

So the puddle stayed. And it wasn't until I finished my chores and started back inside that I noticed it again. Only this time, it looked very different.

The angle of light was such that the sky overhead reflected in the still water like a mirror. The white clouds, green-gold new oak leaves, and slick black tree limbs were all backgrounded by a sky so clear and blue it looked freshly painted.

But this was no mirror, no flat oval of silvered glass. The water took an organic form, spiky at the edges, like a starburst. It shimmered with liquid grace, following rules of physics to arrange itself there. There was no design of mine in it. There was only this puddle, and the late afternoon sunshine, and the green spring bursting above it.

Soon the sun sank lower, changing the angle of light, and the puddle became a puddle once again. I am writing this post on another brilliant spring day, and I am tempted to try to replicate the effect. But I don't think I can. My intentions would get in the way.

Some artists are spectacularly good at getting out of the way of intention, Jackson Pollack being one of the best. His paintings incorporate fractal patterns typically found only in nature, patterns that at their deepest level cannot be ascertained by the human eye. We see only seemingly random drip and drops, splatters and splashes. And that's what most abstract work painted by humans looks like under the microscope too – a random mess. But Jackson's work, just like Nature's, has an underlying order. Spirals loop together into elegantly mathematical forms, graceful and precise.

I think of this process, the tapping of the underlying order in the chaos, whenever I sit down at the page. We writers are working with limited materials – in English, we have twenty-six letters and a smattering of punctuation marks at our disposal. You'd think we'd run out of interesting new combinations, that perhaps Shakespeare or Morrison or Dickinson would have used up all the really good patterns.

But no. New stories still abound. It's only natural. Our DNA works with only four nucleotides, and look at all the variety there. We writers haven't exhausted our twenty-six building blocks, not by a long shot.

So the next time you end up with a mess, whether wordy or watery, consider the beauty there ripe for the beholding. Perhaps like me, you'll find a rainbow in the ruin.


Jim Jackson said...

Fun picture that you caught, Tina. Not only do we get to write new stories by using the same words in different orders, we also can invent new words. We can read Shakespeare (with a little assistance for ancient meanings); I suspect Will would have some difficulties reading modern stories that rely on cell phones, airplanes and the like.

Julie Tollefson said...

I'm deep into revisions and I needed to hear this today: "So the next time you end up with a mess, whether wordy or watery, consider the beauty there ripe for the beholding. Perhaps like me, you'll find a rainbow in the ruin." I hope you are right. I have quite the wordy mess on my hands right now, and I'm excavating for beauty.

Love the photo and the happy accident that made it possible.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

I'm wading through words searching for the beauty within. What a lovely moment to capture.

Tina said...

They say necessity is the mother of invention, but I think accident may be the father. The hardest thing I do as a writer is fight the urge to clean up every mess I make on the page before it's had a chance to soak in, as it were. I'm happy to hear that other writers have their own wordy messes (although I wonder if Shakespeare ever did).

Paula Gail Benson said...

Tina, I love this photo and love even more the words you've used to describe the situation and what you learned from it. In the words of a song from the musical SOMETHING ROTTEN (about the brothers who came up with the first musical while competing with William Shakespeare for an audience), "it's good sentiment and good advice."

Kait Carson said...

Breathtaking. The post, the photo, the concept.

Warren Bull said...

seriously cool

Tina said...

Thank y'all! It makes me happy that y'all enjoyed this little accident.

Gloria Alden said...

Tina, I loved the pictures and the message in your blog. I often find my inspirations while walking in the woods, especially for poetry. Same walk everyday, but there always seems to be something new to see and marvel at.

Tina said...

And that's exactly what poetry is for -- to capture the sameness that is always new.

Shari Randall said...

I can only marvel at this photo. It's amazing, like a magic portal that lets us peek into another world. I bet some people think you did it with Photoshop.
I'll take your message to heart - lots of messes to ponder on the page today - but I'll let them rest and see what happens.

KM Rockwood said...

We need to be open to what's out there if we really want to see what nature provides for us.

Tina said...

A lot of people have used that word, Shari -- "portal." It does have that feeling, like a glimpse into another reality. And no, no technological tinkering of any kind (I haven't the know-how). I am glad I managed to be open that day.