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

Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of July!

July 4th Christopher Huang, A Gentleman's Murder

July 11th V. M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder

July 18th Edith Maxwell (Maddie Day), Death Over Easy

July 25th Shari Randall, Against The Claw

Our July Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 7/7--Mary Feliz, 7/14--Annie Hogsett, 7/21--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/28--Kait Carson.

Our special bloggers for the fifth Monday and Tuesday of July--Kaye George and Paula Gail Benson.

Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

What Happened to Getting Along with Others?

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
                  - Dylan Thomas

In the March 14th issue of TIME magazine, Joel Stein, TIME’s humor columnist, wrote that he doesn’t get angry, but then started to question himself thinking that in the political arena, those who expressed the most anger seemed to be getting ahead. So he thought if he wanted to keep his job, he should find a class in anger un-management.  It was an interesting article, and in addition to making me smile at times, he did some research on what makes people angry.

I won’t say I never get angry, but it’s rare, and mostly if I do, I keep it to myself. Harsh words create more anger, and it’s best to ignore those who anger me. I find silence for the most part works better than angry words.

Of course, there have been times when I didn’t stew in silence, like the time my brother Jerry pretended to read from my journal behind a locked screen door. I was sitting on the steps with a neighbor boy I was sort of seeing. Neither of us were old enough to go on a date. Jerry went on and on inventing words I was supposed to have written about how Tom was such a good kisser, etc. etc. etc. All lies, while I was pounding on the door screaming for my mother and Tom was laughing. Yes, I could have punched my brother that day.

Another time was about twenty years ago when I was in a line at K-Mart waiting to check out when I heard a man behind me threatening two young boys. I had noticed the family before, and the boys were speaking quietly barely whispering as the woman and man were shopping. They seemed rather frightened. I had a feeling he was the mother’s boyfriend or a step-father. I turned around and lashed out at him telling him he was a coward. He’d never dare talk to a man like that,, and did it make him feel braver threatening women and children. I don’t remember all I said, but he was furious with me and ranted and raved, and then left the store without buying anything. The guy at checkout asked me if I was a teacher, and I said I was. Afterwards, I worried about my rage because I was afraid he would take it out on the kids and the woman.

So I Googled why people get angry. I only downloaded one article on the “7 Mistaken Assumptions Angry People Often Make.” by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker, licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor.  You can check it out at the following link:

Raging, shouting, name-calling, throwing things and threatening harm is all a big bluff. It’s the human equivalent of animal behavior. From the puffer fish that puffs itself up to twice its size to look more intimidating to the lion on the veldt who shakes his mane and roars, creatures who feel threatened posture and threaten in order to protect themselves and their turf. The display often is enough to get the predator or interloper to back off. If not, the fight – or flight – is on.

The seven mistaken assumptions angry people often make are:

1.      They can’t help it. They have lots of excuses. Women will blame it on their PMS. Women and men will blame it on stress, exhaustion or worries. Never mind others have all these problems, too. Angry people are giving themselves permission to rant because then they are very much in control.
2.      The only way to express anger is to explode. People who rage believe that anger is like the buildup of stream in an overheated steam engine, so it’s okay to blow off the steam in order to be OK, when in fact, raging tends only to produce more of the same.
3.      Frustration is intolerable. Angry people can’t sit with frustration, anxiety or fear. To them, such feelings are a signal they are being challenged. When life doesn’t go their way, when someone doesn’t see things as they do or they make a mistake, they simply can’t tolerate it. To them, it’s better to blow than to be left with those feelings.
4.      It’s more important to win than to be right. Chronically angry people often have the idea that their status is at stake when there is conflict. When questioned, they take it overly personally. If they are losing an argument, they experience a loss of self-esteem. At that moment, they need to assert their authority, even if they are wrong. When it is certain that they are wrong, they will find a way to prove that the other person is more wrong.
5.      “Respect” means that people do things their way. When another driver tailgates, when a partner refuses to go along with some play, when a kid doesn’t jump when told to do something, they feel disrespected. Making a lot of noise and threatening is their way of reasserting their right to “respect” by others.
6.      The way to make things right is to fight. Some angry people have learned this by having grown up with parents who fight. It is their “normal.” They haven’t a clue how to negotiate differences or manage conflict except by escalating.
7.      Other people should understand that they didn’t mean what they did or said when they
      were angry. Angry people feel that anger entitles them to let loose. It’s up to other people
       not to take seriously hurtful things they say or do. After all, they say, they were just angry.

I have abbreviated some of those seven assumptions angry people make. I know many people are upset over the anger that is being expressed this year in this presidential election year. I know I am. I went to Google for images of angry people to include in this blog. There were so many pictures of angry people of all ages, but I only noticed one of the candidates running in that glut of angry people images, and there were at least five images of that one candidate.

I can’t honestly say I never get angry. I get angry when I hear people denigrate others because of their race, religion, nationality or their gender identification. I get upset when I read about children being abused in any way, and it sickens me to hear of animal abuse.  As for ranting that only occurs when my siblings and I get together, then it’s ranting about politics, but never towards each other because we’re all on the same page with that. We may disagree with each other on some things, but not enough to say anything unkind.

Recently in a Belgian hospital, Mason Wells, a 19 year old from Utah, lay badly wounded with his head covered in bandages from the bombing. In an interview, the Mormon missionary calmly described his painful experience and then extended sympathy to fellow suffers. Wells expressed hope that they “feel the love that others have for them and how much we feel for them.” He had every right to express anger, but didn’t. It sort of humbles one, doesn’t it?

No, this is not me!

Dylan Thomas wrote his poem when his father was dying. I personally know what it’s like to be with loved ones as they were dying, but I hope when my time comes, like those of my loved ones, I won’t die angry, but at peace for a life well lived. I’m certainly far from being a saint, but I would like to be remembered as one who rarely was angry, did not look down on others, or said cruel words to hurt anyone.

What makes you angry?

How do you express your anger?


Jim Jackson said...

Equanimity is not my middle name. I’m much better now than I used to be at walking away, but getting to that point has been a long road for me to walk, and I don’t see the final destination yet.

~ Jim

Gloria Alden said...

Jim, I think as we age, we mellow a little more and see that expressing anger only makes things a little worse, at least some of us reach that conclusion, but unfortunately not all.

Warren Bull said...

Anger can be a good thing, alerting us when something is amiss and preparing for the fight or flight when there is serious danger.I try not to respond immediately when I feel anger. With time it's easier to put things in perspective.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, I agree with you. As I mentioned there are some things that anger me, but I tend not to inflame those who are angry any further, especially if it's someone I will have regular contact with.

KB Inglee said...

My husband used to simmer and glare. He was always angry about something. I never took it very seriously, or I would have moved out. When he was in his 40s the doctor put him on blood pressure meds and all the anger went away. Well, most of it.
I get angry when people don't appreciate the things others are doing for them, or take it as their due. I haven't hit anyone yet.

Kait said...

Few things actually get me angry. Unkindness, cruelty to other people, children (who are people but need to be in a special protected category) animals. Vent any of those in front of me, and you might meet the rough side of my tongue. I don't do drama, and I don't like it practiced on me. I'll generally walk away and not engage. When things around me are erupting, I get very calm and deliberate.

As Warren says, anger can be a good thing too, pointing out a problem that needs to be addressed. Anger in that sense can be positive. Rage, never.

KM Rockwood said...

"People, I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along?" -- Rodney King

When I was teaching (special education, specializing in seriously emotionally disturbed high schoolers in an alternative school) not much bothered me, but when someone started making fun of someone else, I would feel anger, and have to work to control it.

Cruelty, especially to children and animals, makes me angry.

Shari Randall said...

Unkindness and cruelty to anyone, especially children or animals….those things set me off, but I am not a fly off the handle person. I think anger takes more out of me than the target of any anger I may feel.

Lourdes Venard said...

This was a great blog post. I usually am not an angry person in life, but there have been a few comments on Facebook regarding politics and the president, some blatantly racist, that have angered me recently. I had to unfollow or unfriend a few people because their posts were upsetting me (and I'd be upset for the rest of the day).

Gloria Alden said...

KB, my ex-husband would throw temper tantrums at times, but was never abusive. I responded much like you, and that was pretty much isgnoring him. It worked. He'd end up apologizing, while I never had to. :-)

umair, I hate all the unsolicited stuff that pops up on my computer, too. So annoying.

KM, I hated when a boy who sat behind me in high school would make fun of the boy who sat in front of me. Back in those days we sat in alphabetical order. Once I even saw him pulling the wings off flies. I never liked that boy, but I think I only said something to him once about
what he was doing, but I don't remember if it was about the boy who sat in front of me or the flies. I have no problems swatting flies, but pulling the wings off them seemed cruel.

Shari, I so agree with you. I tend to be more of a pacifist, which in itself could be a cowards way out, probably. I did march against the Viet Nam War once, though.

Thank you, Lourdes. Those kinds of things anger me, too. I don't go on Facebook very often, but when I see those kinds of things I don't leave a comment, but I never thought of unfriending them. Fortunately, most of my friends - 90% I don't even know :-) - are pretty much on the same page as I am.

Julie Tollefson said...

Great post, Gloria. I don't get angry very quickly, and if I let anger get the best of me, I almost always regret it.

E. B. Davis said...

We've owned a house on Hatteras Island for eight years. Our old neighbor, the only house close to us, sold it. (We will miss her!) We are moving there to live full-time. The new neighbors anger us. They have two huge wind chimes on trees near our property line. Unfortunately, Hatteras is a very windy place. The chimes go off night and day. They sound like "Tubular Bells" from The Exorcist!

Two of our bedrooms and screen porch face that side. We would try to go over and talk with them, but another neighbor, a deputy sheriff, told us the man now has a suspended license because they caught him driving under the influence twice (they've only lived here since the end of February), and they were called out to break up a "domestic," in the deputy's vernacular. I have heard him swearing loudly in his yard. Then, he is also trespassing into Pamlico Sound-front properties so he can windsurf, without regard for others.

We are calling the police to handle the situation about the wind chimes, which are specifically named as a cause of disturbing the peace ordinance, carrying a fine of $400 per offense. (We take our natural sounds very seriously here!) I'm hoping with all the other trouble he's had with the authorities, he comply. The chimes are driving us nuts!

Gloria Alden said...

Julie, I'm with you on this. As I age, I tend to hold my tongue more than when I was younger.

E.B. I really feel for you. You have looked forward for years and years to moving to this dream place of yours and now to have this happen, is outrageous. Hopefully, they'll sell the house and move on. Or maybe, they'll get a divorce and the guy will move out. Maybe his wife isn't quite as bad. I don't blame you for calling the police on them. It sounds like other neighbors might not like this couple, either.

Anonymous said...

I've had plenty of practice hiding my anger. As a police officer, I've had to interview people who had committed heinous crimes and not let my personal feelings intrude on the interaction. I developed a "game face." That said, hiding it doesn't mean that I don't experience it. I tend to have a very long fuse, but once it's gone, well, it's gone. Like Julie, it almost always leads to regret.