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

June Interviews

6/3 Gretchen Archer, Double Trouble
6/10 Kaye George, Deadly Sweet Tooth
6/17 Annette Dashofy, Til Death
6/24 Adam Meyer

Saturday Guest Bloggers

6/6 Mary Keliikoa
6/13 William Ade
6/20 Liz Milliron

WWK Bloggers:

6/27 Kait Carson
6/30 WWK Writers--What We're Reading Now


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!

WWK is proud of our four Agatha nominees. Kaye George for Best Short Story--not her first time to be nominated, Connie Berry and Grace Topping for Best First Mystery Novel, and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination! All are winners but without Agatha Teapots. Onto 20121!

Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Kaye George's second novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Deadly Sweet Tooth, was released on June 2. Look for the interview here on June 10.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.

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!


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 S. Hamilton 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.

Liz Milliron 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 :)