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

July Interview Schedule:
7/3 Jean Stone A Vineyard Summer
7/10 Mark Bergin
7/17 Christin Brecher Murder's No Votive Confidence
7/24 Dianne Freeman A Ladies' Guide to Gossip
7/31 J. C. Kenney A Genuine Fix

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 7/6 V. M. Burns, 7/13 Joe Amiel,

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 7/20 Gloria Alden, 7/27 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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 will be released on June 18th.

Congratulations to Margaret S. Hamilton for being a finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier contest. Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.

Congratulations to Shari Randall for WINNING the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interview about the book here. Yay, Shari!

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.

James M. Jackson extends the Seamus McCree series with the May 25th publication of #6, False Bottom.


Monday, June 18, 2018

Decluttering by Debra H. Goldstein

Twelve years ago, we downsized from a home where four kids, two parents, and a dog slept most nights to a house that has his and hers master bathrooms for the only two people who share the master bedroom. In preparation for our move, we gave away furniture, dishes, clothing, and other junk. We sent each child a box of things they insisted on keeping into adulthood – the naked plastic baby doll with no hair, named Baby, was fun to send to the now mother of two. Although we moved most of my books, boxes of them were donated to a women’s shelter, a school, and the Friends of the Library sale. We felt decluttered.

Flash forward twelve years and I realized how uncomfortably cluttered our house is. Perhaps it is realizing the kids are truly gone except visits and their homes don’t lend themselves to the furniture, china, and silver accumulated over the years as our wedding gifts or when our parents and grandparents passed. Perhaps it is realizing some of the things I took from my mother’s house when she died four years ago have meaning but aren’t really keepsakes (like the sizzle platters one can heat up and serve a steak on). Perhaps it is a desire to simplify and possibly downsize again? 

I’m not doing anything about getting rid of my husband or the things in his closet, but after talking
about my closet for months, I finally took the first steps to declutter it this week. I spent hours going through my clothing. All but three suits I kept after I retired are gone, as are the shells, skirts, and pants I thought I might wear again if I ever lost five to twenty pounds. What was hardest to get rid of was my shoe collection. Books and shoes were always my obsession, but the rebuilding of my foot means my cute, beautiful, stylish shoes will never fit again --- I’m embarrassed to admit how many pairs I packed up to donate. Let us simply say, I kept two pairs of sneakers, one ugly as sin dress shoe purchased after the surgery, and a pair of oxfords that I bought for hiking but that happen to be a brand one can slip an orthotic into. What is still in the closet lacks style, but all are functional.
Emboldened by the five bags of clothing and shoes I took out of my closet (even though it doesn’t look like anything changed), I went through the TBR bookcase I keep in the corner of that same closet. It had been overflowing, but now there is almost an entire empty shelf. Two boxes of books I took home from conferences, before I learned to leave the ones I didn’t care for on the exchange tables, are ready to donate.

I’m not finished decluttering the closet yet, but I’ve made a dent in revising my possessions in a manner similar to how I revise my writing. I revise by reading and rewriting what I previously wrote, which is much like keeping a few things that might fit in the future. Total revision is something I put off as long as possible. Like with my shoes, I hate to give up my darlings, but I know I must pare my words down to only those that serve as the structure for the story or book. It isn’t fun. It’s time consuming and often the end result doesn’t look much different than when I started, but it is. The extraneous clutter is missing.
What’s in your closet you can rid yourself of?


Jim Jackson said...

Nature hates a vacuum and stuff rushes in to fill it. For the first time in my life, I have empty space in (some) bookcases. But I am a New Englander by 1600s-landing rights, and the frugal, “You never know when you might use it,” is a tough nut for me to crack (which is why New England barns have generational extensions).

While I now give away as many books as I buy, other "treasures" remain safe!

KM Rockwood said...

When I look around at the clutter, sometimes I say to myself, "All of this stuff was deliberately acquired, one way or another. What were we thinking?"

Margaret Turkevich said...

Stuff. I've sick of it. The purge is on-going.

Words. Still searching for the right ones, in the right order.

Weeds. Will it ever be cool enough to work outside?

E. B. Davis said...

Like you, I pared down when we moved to our beach house, giving a lot of the old house to my kids. This spring went so fast, like no spring, that I've found little time to get all those chores finished. But I don't need to declutter--that's done. Populating the page is what I'm working on.

Mary Sutton said...

Oh, Debra. I feel you on the shoes. Several years ago I was forced to admit that my years of wearing heels were over and I boxed up all my lovely, but now unwearable, footgear. Sob.

I'm pretty good about culling clothing out of my closet. The Hubby a little less so. Yet no matter what I do, I always seem to have a giant pile of T-shirts. How many T-shirts does a woman need?


Grace Topping said...

What's in my closet? The beautiful suits and wool skirts from my work days that I find hard to give away--some I can fit into others that I can't. Beautiful kilts that I purchased when I lived in England--42 years ago. I know, I know, time to find them another home. But growing up with family members who lived through the depression and learning economy from them, I find it hard to let go of things that are still useable. Perhaps I could have some pleats expanded on the kilts to make them them a couple of sizes bigger. I still keep my old Navy uniforms. What can I say--I'm sentimentally attached to things. But I'm working on it.

Kait said...

Oh, you are my hero! My closet is full of gorgeous clothes that I wore when I worked in an office on a daily basis. Fortunately, I tend toward classics so those that still fit I can wear those that don't fit...well, fond memories! I also have my grandfather's antique platters in there. I no longer have a china cabinet. No room in this house, but I can't bear to part with them and they are safe from the cats. I am pretty good at keeping the rest of my possessions to a dull roar though. So, some points for those too small pencil skirts, please.

Warren Bull said...

I was just rummaging through my closet and thinking about what I don't need. Thinking and toss are not the same.

Shari Randall said...

Oh, boy, another New England Yankee here. Whenever I try to throw something away I hear this refrain "but you might need it someday"!
Being in a military family with many moves under my belt has helped keep the clutter down, but I've got a long way to go.
The shoes are the worst - why is it so hard to get rid of shoes that no longer fit PLUS hurt my feet.... You've inspired me, Debra. I know it will feel great to be able to see my closet floor again.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

T-shirts and shoes have always been like bunny rabbits in my closet :)