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.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Unpacking Boxes and Stories

That sound you heard last week was me weeping. Finally, it was time to say farewell to Musty Manor, my glorious tumbledown seaside rental. It was a bit easier with the ceiling over our bed crumbling, but still, I didn’t know how deeply a person could love a house until I moved into the Manor. Sometimes love isn’t rational.

The good news is we found a house we really like. For now, I’m calling it Eunice’s House after the lady who lived there for close to thirty years. That’s what the neighbors call it, but eventually its real name will reveal itself to me.

Eunice’s House couldn’t be more different than Musty Manor, that charming oceanfront cottage built in the 1920s. Eunice’s house is a midcentury modern open plan ranch. One room flows into the other.  There are lots of windows – that’s similar to Musty Manor -- Oh, that’s right. I’ve moved on. No comparing. Ahem. There’s a nice deck and off the deck is a little tucked away slate patio surrounded by lots of plants. There are fun little accents and many closets in Eunice’s House.

Did I mention the closets? There are thirteen! Eunice liked her closets. I’m starting to think the name of the house will be Thirteen Closets, much in the way British stately homes were named for their attributes, like Twin Poplars or The Chimneys.

Even though it’s not a big house, it may be too much house for me. Well, the kitchen is anyway. The kitchen is huge! Wasted on me, but my gourmet cook daughter is enjoying it. If I’m being honest, all I need in a kitchen is a teapot and one shelf in the fridge for takeout.

For the past week, I’ve lived in a sea of packing boxes – I felt like Ms. Pacman navigating narrow alleys of cartons. The moving company packers were a creative lot, keeping things interesting by mixing and matching rooms and putting a surprise in several boxes. One box of pots and pans came with a bonus pair of black flip flops.

Writing time has been at a premium. Oh, I’ve thought about writing, and especially about deadlines. (Hyperventilates.) But I have to unpack those boxes.

Have you noticed that the term “unpack” has turned up with a new meaning? Among academics one “unpacks” the themes and threads of a novel. The new definition has moved into other fields. On the news the other day, a reporter said “investigators will work to unpack the killer’s motivation.”

So, I thought, as I unpacked dishes, is writing “packing” a story? Putting in all the things – character, theme, action, dialogue, drama, fun – that I want my reader to enjoy? If so, how do I avoid the black flip flop in the box of kitchenware?

I’ll be thinking of this as I unpack.

Do you have a story to share about moving?
For writers, what do you think is most important in packing your story?


Jim Jackson said...

Shari -- I hope your unpacking goes as smoothly as possible. My place up north is called “Wolf’s Echo” named before it was born as I lay in a tent not far from where the house would be built and listened to the wolf pack’s calls echoing around our lake.

~ Jim

Julie Tollefson said...

Years ago, we had a few weeks overlap between when we began moving in to our first house and when we had to be out of our rental. We were sloppy packers then, throwing odds and ends in whatever box. And leaving odds and ends around the rental while we took our sweet time moving out. One day, I went back to the rental for more stuff and found that someone, presumably our landlord, had been there while we were gone and had thrown away a bunch of stuff - including my favorite shoes!

Congratulations on the new house!

Margaret Turkevich said...

The day they moved in, a neighbor told her husband to put all the dish cartons out with the recycling for pickup. She assured him they were empty...but they weren't! The dinner plates for her wedding china were packed on the bottom of each carton. Life lesson learned! I completely unpack each box and flatten each piece of wrapping paper just to make sure.

Like packing for an extended trip, I have a checklist of all the components of a story. Enough of everything, and no more. Including bug spray and sunscreen.

Shari Randall said...

Jim, Wolf's Echo is the coolest name ever!

Shari Randall said...

Julie, I'm torn between laughing and tears. Losing your favorite shoes - that's the worst.

Shari Randall said...

Margaret, that story does make me weep - losing wedding china. I bet that hubby has never lived that down. We do the flattening each piece of wrapping paper also, and still I'm afraid I'll lose something.
The story checklist is a great idea. Maybe that will kickstart some writing mojo for me, since writing has been back-burnered for awhile.

Kait said...

The first house I ever bought was named Palm Cottage. The house in Maine is Moose Manor. Haven't named the current one in Florida.

Packing (and unpacking) is such an adventure--especially when someone else does it for you. I love having the packers in--I hate packing mostly because I will use a huge box for one tiny teapot. What I love is unpacking when someone else does the packing. I always wonder where they found the whatever I just pulled out of the box, where I found the whatever I just pulled out of the box, what I was thinking when I bought it, and if it really is mine! It's like a trip to Discovery land, and it's when I do the most culling.

Enjoy, Shari, you will find some wonderfully cherished possessions and some real thought provokers too!

Shari Randall said...

Kait, your house names are great. Moose Manor!
Unpacking is like that. I keep scratching my head - where did this come from? Did I buy this? What was I thinking?

Gloria Alden said...

Not counting the house I grew up in I've moved six times. One of the moved that I remember most was when we made an offer on a house that had six acres if our current house that my husband had built sold. At our open house, the people whose house we wanted came to it and made an offer. Same realtor and on the day of the move we shared the moving truck with the people whose house we bought that were moving into the house we were leaving. The picture in my mind that I will never get rid of was of my oldest son, John, sitting at the piano in the back of our pickup truck playing the piano as we moved the three or four miles from one house to the other. I was following along in our car.

My next move was sixteen years later after I'd bought an old farm house with acres after my husband had his mid-life crises and left. Only my mother saw anything good about this old house, but I loved it. My son, Joe, gutted the house to put in new wiring, and walls, but when the other house sold, I moved into a house with all the new kitchen cupboards in
boxes in the living room and no kitchen sink yet, either. I got water from the bathroom sink to wash dishes in a dish pan. For a while the house was haunted by the old man who
had bought it the year I was born, but he has moved on.Over the years my son has done much to make it look better and added on a sun room, and two rooms and a bathroom upstairs.I love this house more than any house I've ever had and they'll have to carry me out on a stretcher before I ever leave it.

Sherry Harris said...

As a former military wife (like you, Shari) I have lots of moving horror stories. When we moved from LA to Ohio I found a potted plant in one box and a bag of trash (fortunately not from the kitchen) in another. Good luck with your unpacking and then your novel packing! I think the flip flop is a red herring.

Shari Randall said...

Gloria, you get me! I'm so glad you love your house - your refuge. And that image of your son playing his piano on your move is just plain wonderful.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Sherry! Yep, moving is an adventure. Lucky us, we got to do it a lot!
The packed trash - oh yeah! Thank goodness it wasn't your kitchen trash.
The flip flop is the red herring of course :)

Tonette Joyce said...

I want your house! When we left CO to move to KY, the realtor who bought my townhouse added "walk-in closet" to what he expected me to leave behind!(My brother told me that I should have superglued the door to it shut!). When I moved into the house where I now sit,(23 years later), I have rued not trying to take the big closet! The ones here are really small.

E. B. Davis said...

I hate to tell you this, Shari, but I'll still missing a kitchen box after a year. In that box is a bowl I got from Magic Chef--for which I endured the "at home" party. We moved into our house while more stuff was in two different storage areas--one in Buxton, NC and the other in Herndon, VA. We have cleared out Buxton. The box did not appear. Most of the stuff in Herndon will be going to my son's house. If they end up with my bowl I use to mash potatoes--there could be war! Unless I decide it would seem as if I'm an (pardon the politically incorrect) Indian giver--then I'll shut up like a good mom and mother-in-law should.

E. B. Davis said...

PS--our house at the beach is named (of course) No Douts!

Shari Randall said...

Tonette, drat that real estate agent! I never knew how wonderful it would be to have so many closets. My husband and I have always shared one, and our last one was tiny. This is a whole new world.

Shari Randall said...

EB, sorry about your mashed potatoes bowl. I hope it turns up. It's the little things, right? I have dozens of bowls but there is one big orange one that I use for EVERYTHING. If that didn't show up, there'd be war.
And your house name - PERFECT!

KM Rockwood said...

I'm afraid I'm not particularly good about unpacking. I was even worse back when I was working full time. One rue of thumb was that if the box hadn't been unpacked since the last move, it got tossed unopened. No hunting for treasures we forgot we had & hadn't missed since the move. We lost a few things on one move, but I'm pretty sure they weren't in unopened boxes. My personal opinion is that the resident ghost in the house we were leaving took them as mementos of our stay.

Grace Topping said...

Fun blog. Glad you are finally getting settled.

The delivery people are frequently in so much of a hurry to get away that they grab the packing paper they are to remove and then leave. Unfortunately, they took two of the legs to my friend's dining room table which were still in the wrapping paper.

Shari Randall said...

KM, I wish I'd read your comment before I started unpacking. I'd love to toss some of these boxes!

Grace - did your friend ever get her table legs back??!!