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











October Interview Schedule: 10/3 Ellen Byron, 10/10 Cynthia Kuhn, 10/17 Jacqueline Seewald, 10/24 G. A. McKevett, 10/31 Alan Orloff

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 10/6 Mary Reed, 10/13 J.J. Hensley,
WWK Satuday Bloggers: 10/20 Margaret S. Hamilton, 10/27 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:


Grace Topping signed a three-book contract with Henery Press for her Laura Bishop Home Staging series. Congratulations, Grace!

KM Rockwood's new short story, "Map to Oblivion," has been included the anthology Shhhh...Murder! edited by Andrew MacRae and published by Darkhouse Books. It was released on Sept. 12.

Warren Bull also has a story in Shhh...Murder! Look for "Elsinore Noir," Warren's short story, in this anthology.

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.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Selective Deafness

by Annette Dashofy

This morning, as I so often do, I stood on my front porch before the sun had cleared the horizon and listened to the pre-dawn melodies of the birds. For a moment, I almost grabbed my phone, intending to make a short video, recording the chirps, tweets, and whistles. But then I paused and thought about what I’d actually capture in that recording.

Trucks, cars, maybe even a plane overhead on approach to Pittsburgh International Airport.

I live in the country, surrounded by acres of woods and pasture. It’s a mile to the nearest village which basically consists of a Post Office, a hot dog stand, and a pizza shop. I have to drive a half hour to get anywhere really worth going. But sitting on the front porch of my log cabin isn’t as quiet and tranquil as you might think, because I live on a main truck route between two cities. Figure in the gas drilling industry, which is huge around here, and the location of the airport, and noise is a constant.

However, I rarely hear it.

I’ve lived on this property my entire life. Traffic is a way of life. The sound of it never stopped my folks from sitting and relaxing on their porch in the evening. And it doesn’t stop me from listening to the birds at dawn.

I’m not sure if it’s so much that I’ve become selectively deaf to it, or that I’ve made a choice to hear the songs over the rumble. I’ve chosen to focus on the beauty of nature over the mechanical beasts that strive to drown it out.

Which led me to think beyond the sounds outside my door.

So often the noise of everyday life becomes overwhelming. Demands on our time. Family, jobs, appointments, health issues… All the stuff we have to do leaves no space in our day for the stuff we want to do. Lunch with a friend? Sorry, I can’t make it today. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week. An afternoon at the museum? Oops. I would, but I have a meeting with the accountant and I’m not ready. Maybe next month.

I want to find some time to write, but I have to fix supper, clean the house, work overtime.

Maybe next year.

I’m here to tell you, all that have-to stuff will still be there. Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. The stuff never goes away. Just like the truck traffic and planes don’t fall silent (and when they do, the silence is deafening, but that’s a topic for another day).

You must make a choice to drown out the noise of the mundane and hear the beauty of the birdsongs. To eke out time for friends, for fun, and yes, for writing.

Stop to smell the roses.

Stop to hear the birds.

Stop to enjoy living your life.

Is there something you’ve been wanting to do but keep putting off?



15 comments:

Gretchen Archer said...

A great reminder, Annette. Thank you!

Annette said...

You're welcome, Gretchen. I need the reminder from time to time too.

Jim Jackson said...

It’s surprising how well we can tune out “white noise” to capture sounds otherwise covered up. Many bird-watching locations are located near highways, but when I am concentrating on the avian calls, I forget cars are whizzing by on the interstate. Sometimes the trucks win.

KM Rockwood said...

When I was a kid, we lived under the flight patterns to Kennedy Airport in New York. It was second nature to pause all conversation--and lessons in school--while the plane flew overhead. Every few minutes.

You're right--that's a great comparison to the constant "noise" in our lives. We have to tune out the distractions to make room for what we really want to do.

Annette said...

Exactly, Jim.

Margaret Turkevich said...

I do slow down and savor the moment. It's the time of year when I monitor my favorite plantings of daylilies, daisies, and coneflowers. I'll head out on a cloudy morning to take close-up photos. My favorites are the sunflowers, grown as a crop at a local historic farm. I love walking along the edge of the field.

When I celebrated a recent birthday, I had lengthy phone calls with all three kids. That (and chocolate ganache cake) were the highlights of my day.

Annette said...

So true, KM. When you live with the noise, you learn to compensate. I have to constantly remind myself to do it with life too, especially with the world in the state it's in right now.

Annette said...

Wonderful, Margaret! And a belated happy birthday. Chocolate ganache cake! I'm jealous.

Gloria Alden said...

Annette, I live in the country, too, on a small farm. I have woods to the south of me and back beyond a large open area my son keeps mowed by my pond. I have two ponies in a pasture and when summer comes I stake them out on that open area behind my barn where the grass is greener.

In my township there is a post office, a general store, a gas station, a fire station, and several churches. A new Dollar General moved in about half a mile away. Trucks? Traffic? I have lots of that because I live on a state highway, however I love listening to the birds in the morning while still lying in bed, and later when I go outside. I tend to not listen to the traffic, but love listening to the birds, and like looking at my flowers that are now starting to bloom as well as the peonies and roses now coming out. I have a small goldfish pond near the patio behind my house and I enjoy hearing the water gurgling from the pump.

I grew up next to my grandparent's farm and the country life is for me. Even walking in my woods with my beautiful collie there is so much to observe there. Once I heard a baby crying and turned around to see a tiny fawn awkwardly running with Maggie trotting along behind it. She must have come across it and nosed it a little until it got up. Maggie would never hurt anything she's so sweet and gently. I waited until the fawn was a little further away to call her back.

Warren Bull said...

A timely reminder for all of us.

Annette said...

Thanks, Warren.

Sounds absolutely lovely, Gloria!

Marla Bradeen said...

This is so true. Thank you for the reminder.

Annette said...

My pleasure, Marla. Thanks for stopping by!

Mary Sutton said...

So true. The stuff will always be there. You have to make the decision to take time for yourself.

Mary/Liz

Annette said...

Absolutely, Mary.