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!


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?


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 S. Hamilton 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/Paige Sleuth, Mystery Author said...

This is so true. Thank you for the reminder.

Annette said...

My pleasure, Marla. Thanks for stopping by!

Liz Milliron said...

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


Annette said...

Absolutely, Mary.

Coco Ihle said...

Two days ago the sky became a rare puffy black and rain was imminent when all of a sudden a double rainbow appeared so brightly it took my breath away. I rushed to take a photo of it and sent it to all my friends. What was surprising to me was all the replies I got.
Thank you for your reminder to notice such things!

Annette said...

My pleasure, Coco!