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

October Interviews

10/07 M.E. Browning, Shadow Ridge

10/14 Alexia Gordon

10/21 Adam Meyer

10/28 Barbara Ross, Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door

October Guest Bloggers

10/03 Kathleen Kalb

10/17 S. Lee Manning

10/31 Sharon Dean

WWK Weekend Bloggers

10/10 Jennifer J. Chow

10/24 Kait Carson


For The Love Of Lobster Tales by Shari Randall is now available to download free for a limited time. Go to Black Cat Mysteries at: https://bcmystery.com/ to get your free copy! Thanks for the freebie, Shari.

Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Slow Down, Woman! by Carla Damron

March third, three days before my birthday, is a day that will live in infamy.

Our odd little literary festival, “Deckle Edge”, took place that day, and I assisted with vendors and helped with three different sessions. I looked forward to the evening reception because I would introduce the WONDERFUL, nationally-renown poet Nikky Finney before she received the Southern Truth Award. Nikky and I went to the same high school school in Sumter, SC, so I think of her as my more accomplished, brilliant, literary sister.

I went home between events to freshen up after my long day. I was kind of pushed for time, so I hurriedly splashed water on my face, blindly reached for a towel and … TRIPPED OVER a drawer I’d stupidly left open.


I hit the floor, my face colliding with the side of the tub.  (In case you didn’t know it, BATHROOMS ARE DANGEROUS PLACES).

The first thing I noticed was the bleeding from my nose. I yelled for my husband. He grabbed towels and tried to stop the flow—it wasn’t horrible, but it wouldn’t stop. “I can’t introduce Nikky until I get this bleeding stopped,” I thought.

The next thing I noticed was pain. Rather intense pain, radiating between my eyebrows and down my nose. “I hope the bruise doesn’t form until after the reception.” Odd that I was worried about my appearance at that point, isn’t it? 

“I think we need to get you checked out,” the ever-logical spouse said.  A google search found a single Doc-in-the-Box that was open on Saturday evening.  The awful realization seeped in: I wasn’t going to the reception. I wouldn’t get to even SEE Nikky, much less introduce her.

When I called the festival organizer to let her know, the tears came. I wasn’t sure exactly why I was crying—disappointment? Pain? Fear that maybe I’d really hurt myself? She was wonderfully sympathetic and found someone to take my place.

Once we arrived at the medical clinic and filled our paperwork, they took us back right away, which might have had something to do with the blood dripping everywhere. A kind doctor ordered X-rays, and within ten minutes I was back in the exam room getting the cut on my nose glued shut.

“The good news is your nose is straight,” the doctor said. “The bad news is, you broke it. Three little breaks all in a row. I don’t think you need surgery, but I’m sending you to an ENT to be sure.”

By the time I got home, I looked like an assault victim. The pain intensified, and the doc didn’t want me to have meds that would knock me out, for fear I’d roll over and misalign the nose.  I took anti-inflammatories, kept ice on my face, and wondered what the result of this mishap would be.

I missed a few days of work, which was not convenient given we were in the middle of manic planning for our three-day mega-conference held later in the month. Working on a computer only worsened my headache, as did reading, driving, and thinking. When I visited the ENT, she inserted what felt like a twelve-foot probe up my nose to make sure bone fragments hadn’t gone anywhere they weren’t supposed to. That felt as awesome as it sounds.

“I don’t think you’ll need surgery. And the headaches will get better when the swelling inside goes down. Keep icing it and take it easy. In three or four weeks and you’ll be better.”

“Say what?” I replied. Three to four weeks? That would never do. I had a million items on my conference planning to-do list and a month-long headache simply couldn’t be an option. Neither did I relish the idea of looking like a raccoon in front of 500 social work colleagues.

Here’s the thing—I didn’t really have an option. While I often delude myself that I have some control over my life, we all know that random forces can alter our course in a blink. I did what the doctor advised: iced my face and took things easy. When I worked, I limited my time on the computer. (I also found that enlarging fonts made it less painful). I treated the racoon markings with arnica.
I resumed most of my life, including choir and church (where my priest greeted me with “Hey, there, Rocky!”), but carved out more time for rest, especially when the headache demanded it. I asked for help and wonderful social work volunteers stepped up. All the million little details that only I could do were handled by very competent colleagues.

By the time the conference began, I still had bruises, but could hide them under fifteen layers of makeup. The headaches gradually subsided. I won’t say the conference went off without a hitch, because we always have hitches, but mostly folks had a great time.  We did a “Candidates for Governor” forum that made the evening news, and my face appeared on screen with no sign of racoon markings.

I’ve mostly healed now, except I don’t want ANYONE touching my nose. (Remember this next time you see me, because if you touch my shnoz, I will deck you).  

What’s my takeaway from this adventure?

1) I am not irreplaceable, no matter what my ego tells me.

2) As I get older (and certainly no less clumsy), I must be more mindful of what I’m doing to reduce my risk for falls. Bathroom drawers stay closed. Rails are held when I descend stairs. I watch where I’m going.

3) I am not Gumby. I don’t bounce. My bones can break. Bathtubs do not make a soft-landing spot.          
4) As bad as it was, I had a guardian angel looking out for me. As the doctors told me, this kind of fall can be fatal, yet I didn’t even need extended medical treatment.

5) I don't need to rush through life. I can, and must, slow down to be mindful of my safety. 

Will I use this experience in my writing? You betcha! Expect some character in my writing future to break a nose—and I’ll go into graphic detail about it. You will marvel at how authentic my descriptions will be.

Have you broken a bone in your adult years? What was it like?


Jim Jackson said...

Carla – having seen you in the earlier stages of recovery, I can confirm the raccoon look is not your best. I’m so glad everything is now better. I haven’t (knocking wood, throwing salt over my shoulder, etc.) broken any bones as an adult. My protagonist, Seamus McCree has had his nose broken a couple of time and he accidentally broke his son’s nose, so . . . they know your pain, but at least you don't have the crooked nose Seamus sports.

Kait said...

Oh, Carla! How awful. Glad you are recovered and you handled it so well. The discomfort must have been intense! At what point does "discomfort" become out and out pain? Doctors never seem to define that. Could be when the "discomfort" is theirs.

Except for the odd toe, no broken bones for me--thankfully. Hope it stays that way - softly knocking wood.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Carla, good to know that you're healing well. No broken bones for me (knock on wood), though the other evening I tripped over one of the dogs and landed flat on my face. New house rule: never walk through a dark room without turning on a light.

Julie Tollefson said...

Carla! I'm so glad you're healing! A couple of years ago, I fell down the carpeted stairs in my home. One minute I was standing, the next I was lying at the bottom wondering what the heck. I didn't break anything, thankfully, but I do hold onto the railing now.

carla said...

See??? Accidents can happen in a blink! I've always been klutzy but this was the worst. Margaret, dogs don't mean to try to kill us but they do! Julie, glad you had carpet on the stairs!

Shari Randall said...

Carla, ugh! How awful! I have to say that you have healed beautifully - maybe we should keep your doc's number on speed dial.
Knocking on wood madly here - mainly I'm just good at spraining ankles and falling down stairs (at least three times) and two weeks ago I tripped on a throw rug and flew (I use that term deliberately - I was airborne) across the kitchen. My knee still isn't right. Worst part was prying my hand out from under a door - don't know how it even got in there. Needless to say, that throw rug has been thrown OUT!

carla said...

SHARI!! Throw rugs should be thrown. I used arnica on the bruises-- highly recommend it.

Gloria Alden said...

Carla, what an awful experience. The only bone I ever broke when I fell down the stairs as a toddler and broke a leg. I have no idea which leg it was, either. I have taken falls numerous times over the years and injured a knee when I jumped over a low fence and hit a boulder with one knee, but it didn't break or need surgery. I had osteoporosis and now osteopenia which is a little better, which makes me vulnerable to breaking bones especially at my age. I'll be 80 in August, and I do trip sometimes. I use two old broom walking sticks when I walk in the woods now. My kids worry about me all the time, and my daughters are always warning me about throw rugs, too.

Warren Bull said...

Ow! At least as a writer, you can use every disaster. I know I do.

Grace Topping said...

Falls can do so much harm. My 90-year-old mother was driving and doing volunteer work in November. After a fall, she's never been the same and in now in a nursing home. It has taught me to be so careful, especially going up and down stairs. I hope you are fully recovered.

carla said...

Being careful is key. This has been a good experience in that it drove that point home. I had the same danger drawer open this morning and KICKED it shut!

KM Rockwood said...

Ouch, Carla! I can only imagine! And at such an inconvenient time, too. Not that there are really any convenient ones for this kind of happening.

My hands & fingers seem to have taken the brunt of my injuries. I fell down the concrete basement stairs headfirst, but got my hands out to catch my fall. Some broken fingers, some really spectacular bruises, sprained wrist, etc, but at least I didn't hit my head.

The worst time, though, was when I got my right hand caught in conveyor belt as I was working in a fiberglass manufacturing facility. I can thank all the goddesses out there keeping an eye on me that it was only two days after an inspection from MI OSHA (Michigan Occupational Safety and Health) who required an emergency stop all along the line before they were permitted to operate it again. The inspector told us that if someone's hand got caught in the conveyor and the line wasn't stopped, it would rip out the arm at the shoulder and the person would bleed to death before any emergency crews could get there.
So at least I was able to pull the emergency stop & the damage was limited to my hand.

I was working midnight to eight, and this was about 6 AM. The doctor at the hospital emergency room wanted to amputate my thumb & two fingers. Once again, the goddesses (or someone) were watching out for me. An emergency room nurse pointed out that there was a hand clinic in Kalamazoo that opened at 9. If the doctor stopped the bleeding and wrapped the hand, they would take me as soon as they got there. They did that, and I was transported to the clinic to wait for them to arrived.

I did end up with one finger shorter than it used to be, and distinctly limited use of my right hand, which makes typing interesting, but I still have a thumb an ten fingers.