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

October Interviews
10/2 Debra H. Goldstein, Two Bites To Many
10/10 Connie Berry, A Legacy of Murder
10/17 Lida Sideris, Double Murder or Nothing
10/23 Toni L. P. Kelner writing as Leigh Perry, The Skeleton Stuffs A Stocking
10/30 Jennifer David Hesse, Autumn Alibi

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
10/5 Ang Pompano
10/12 Eyes of Texas Anthology Writers
10/19 Neil Plakcy

WWK Bloggers: 10/26 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

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.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology was released on June 18th.

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files.

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

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Bucket Lists

By James M. Jackson

In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar did away with a flawed lunar-based calendar and introduced the Julian calendar, based (as the Egyptians had been doing for a very long time) on a solar year. He didn’t get it quite right, which required the change over 1,600 years later to our current Gregorian calendar. All of which is to say that we should blame Caesar for having to start anew during the days of shortest daylight hours instead of (say) near the vernal equinox.

I didn’t find anything that linked Caesar to the common practice of setting (and mostly ignoring) New Year’s Resolutions. For a time, I tried to be a maverick and set goals commencing on my birthday. That didn’t seem to work any better, and since the IRS insists that I use a calendar-year basis for my personal and business taxes, I’ve reverted to calendar-year based goals. And lists.

I’ve mentioned before that I am a person who keeps lists. Lots of lists, but fewer than there used to be. I still maintain my books read (80 for 2017). It has the practical purpose of answering the question: did I already read this? I also maintain a lifetime bird list, but I’ve discarded the practice of keeping track of the number seen each year, and in each state, and on my property, and . . . I no longer care.

One list I continue to maintain has nothing to do with calendar years; it’s a bucket list. In case you are not familiar with the term, it means a list of things you want to do or experience before you die (or “kick the bucket”).

My bucket list has changed over the years. Some things have come off because I completed them. My trip to Alaska in 2008 completed my objective to visit all 50 states. And in 2014 when we visited Newfoundland/Labrador, I finished off my Canadian providences list. (I still hope to visit all the Canadian territories, and that remains on my bucket list.)

I consider my list as a way to remind me of some of my inspirational goals, but I don’t allow it to exert pressure on me. (You’re past Social Security eligibility age and you still haven’t done that? Shame, Jim!) Over the years, I removed some items from the list because they are no longer possible to do, at least in the way first intended. I had to scratch “Hike the Appalachian Trail” when my shoulders deteriorated to the point it was too painful to carry a heavy pack for a full day, let alone three months.

I’ve flown in a hot air balloon and helicopter, but still want to fly in a glider plane during hawk migration. I’ve been to the Arctic, but not to Antarctica—that is about to be rectified.

We’ve booked passage on a birding tour that will take us to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island, and the Antarctica peninsula. We leave at the end of January and will be gone for three-plus weeks. I can’t wait to experience the remote habitats, see birds I have only visited in zoos, and experience—well, who knows exactly what I’ll experience? That’s why I’m going.

What’s on your bucket list and what do you hope to scratch off this year? (Oh, oh – there’s that calendar year thing raising its head again!)


Art Taylor said...

Hey, Jim -- I make (and generally keep!) New Year's Resolutions, but I've never made a bucket list. I like your approach here, inspirational goals without pressure, and should probably try it myself--since I tend to like having goals like that in mind. Thanks for the post!

Margaret Turkevich said...

I'm still talking my husband into the next trip on my bucket list. Happy birding and safe travels!

I have writing goals and am slowly realizing them.

Tina said...

Making a bucket list, for starters.

Have fun in the most Down of the Down Unders! I will expect to see lots of photos.

Jim Jackson said...

Art -- Have fun with a new list!

Margaret -- good luck on those negotiations. Where are you convincing him he wants to go?

Tina -- I sure hope to have lots of photos, but since I won't have internet most of the time, you'll have to wait for my return.

~ Jim

KM Rockwood said...

What a wonderful trip! Have a great time.

Kait said...

Congratulations on making such a dent in your bucket list. Have a great and safe trip, and hope you score many lifers.

PS - looking forward to the pix.

Gloria Alden said...

Jim, I've kept lists of things to do for years, things like clean the pony stalls, mow the lawn,
take down the Christmas decorations. Write thank you notes to .. etc. Once my youngest sister looked at my long list and said she had to lie down and take a nap after reading it. I've never kept a bucket list. It's not that I don't do a lot of things and go a lot of places, that I know I'd like to see. I've been overseas five or six times. I wanted to go to Illinois to visit Lincoln's museum and talked my sisters into taking a camping trip going that way. When one sister thought we should start backpacking on the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park, I looked forward to it eagerly as we prepared to do it months later when we were out of school for the summer.Both of us were teachers. One of the things I would like to do is go back to Great Britain for the 3rd time so I could visit one of my Guppy critique partners.

I think your latest trip sounds very exciting. I hope you have a wonderful time, and everything goes well.