If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keenan Powell 2/6, Hemlock Needle
A. R. Kennedy 2/13, Saving Ferris
V. M. Burns 2/27, The Puppy Who Knew Too Much
Saturday Guest Bloggers: 2/2 Marilyn Meredith, 2/9 Chloe Sunstone
WWK Satuday Bloggers: 2/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 2/23 Kait Carson
Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:
We are especially proud of two WWK bloggers:
Congratulations to Shari Randall for her nomination for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interviewabout the book here. Yay, Shari!
The Malice Domestic conference participants have nominated Annette Dashofy for an Agatha Award for her Zoe Chambers mystery Cry Wolf, published in 2018 by Henery Press. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Annette about Cry Wolf here. Will four nominations be the charm?
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: http://a.co/d/jdSBKdM
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.
Shari Randall's third Lobster Shack Mystery, Drawn and Buttered, was published February 26, 2019. Available for sale.
Friday, February 15, 2019
Thursday, February 14, 2019
KEEPING A JOURNAL
Keeping a journal is more than writing down simple things like what happens that day although that's pretty much what I do. It's not exactly like practicing cursive as a young student or writing spelling words ten times. It's more like musicians singing or playing the scales or simple songs to limber up. Keeping a journal not only chronicles your life, but it limbers up your writing skills the way jogging slowly before running limbers your muscles. At least that's my opinion.
I started journaling when I was fourteen. I used a three-ring binder and wrote pages and pages on notebook paper. When I grew up and had teenagers of my own, I was going to remember what it was like to be a teenager. Or so I thought. I kept it up until I graduated, got a job, met my future husband and got too busy. That ended my journaling until my sister-in-law, Joanne, gave me a journal for Christmas in 1981. The inscription read: To Gloria, to gather your thoughts, your prayers, and your memories. I misplaced it and diddn't find it until March 1982. I was in my second semester of college, and my first entry detailed winning the Virginia Perryman Award for freshmen writers. I not only won $60.00 - quite a bit at that time - but also was recognized at an Award Ceremony at Kent State in April.
From that entry I'd like to say I continued a daily journal, but I didn't. I wrote one entry several days later, skipped a year, added a few more entries then skipped three years until after I graduated from college and had been teaching for a while. I didn't start keeping a steady daily journal until the spring of 1989, and I've faithfully written almost every day since that time.
My journals are not filled with beautiful prose nor are there fanciful flights of poetic thoughts. They're mostly prosaic entries listing what I did that day or the day before. Sometimes I write about feelings or ideas I have, but it's not anything future historians would be interested in. It's good I have no illusions about becoming a famous writer someday.
However, when I've gone back to the beginning journals as I did for this blog, I'm reading things I'd forgotten. I regret that I didn't keep a journal when my children were growing up. Fortunately, I wrote letters to my three sisters when they were away at college. My sister Elaine saved the ones I sent her and put them in a scrapbook for me later. She made a beautiful quilted cover for it and gave it to me one Christmas. It was one of my favorite gifts because I read things about my children that I'd forgotten. I didn't remember until I read the letter that my youngest daughter, Mary, had trouble differentiating between frogs and toads and called them froads.
In my journals, I also write on the inside covers every book I've read, the author, and a line or two of my opinion of the book. I also keep a gardening journal during gardening season. The is even more prosaic than my regular journal.
My journals may all end up in a dumpster someday, but then again maybe not. Maybe my children and grandchildren someday will be interested in them. Probably not, but sometimes I like going back to older ones like the one in which I detailed my battle with a skunk. And as for that 3-ring binder journal I kept as a teenager? It go wet when our basement flooded long before my kids were teenagers. Maybe that's why I wasn't the perfect mother a teenager could wish for, or maybe it was because I had four teenagers at one time. Boggles the imagination, doesn't it?
Have you ever tried keeping a journal? Have you used your journals as research for your novels?
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Steve Liskow with Ernie, who provides advice on chases,
fights and other matters on which cats are experts.
only one of four siblings with no children, and she wants to be a mother. They’ve bought a house. They’re both learning to cook better. Beth is working on her second novel after publishing dozens of short stories under her own name.
|Link to Back Door Man on Amazon:|
Monday, February 11, 2019
We’ve all had moments when the writing won’t flow. The ideas won’t come. We’re stuck. It’s
not writer’s block exactly, but more a feeling of spinning wheels on a muddy road. With a bit of
traction, you can get back and get writing.
How to get that traction and jumpstart your writing? Here are a few tips and tricks.
Stay In Bed – This is my most self-serving and embarrassing tip. But there is nothing like
lying in bed, hovering in that relaxed and fertile state between sleep and waking, for gathering ideas. When I was on deadline with my third book, Drawn and Buttered, I kept my laptop next to my bed, typing late into the night and starting up again upon waking, with no interruptions except sleep.
If you use this tip, you get points if you have someone bring you breakfast in bed.
Take a Walk - Walking briskly is probably the healthiest way to spur a mind relaxed and focused
on plotting. Fresh air, exercise, and possibly catching the neighbors doing plot worthy things
always helps my writing.
remember everything she taught us, but I do remember one surprisingly effective trick. When
we were stuck, Sister Arlene had us write the word “Idea” on a piece of scrap paper, over and
over. Perhaps she was also trying to get us to improve our “chicken scratch” handwriting, but
neuroscience has backed up this approach. Here are two articles that explain how handwriting
sparks more and more complex connections within the brain than keyboarding. Here and Here
sweeping, knitting – frees the mind to wander. Plus you could end up with a really nice
Act It Out – I’ve discovered that stuck feeling happens for a reason – it’s my subconscious telling
me that I’ve gotten off track, that a plot point or bit of dialogue doesn’t work. So I’ll read the
dialogue out loud and mirror my characters’ actions. This helps me figure out what doesn’t
work and makes my kids laugh.
white unscented candle I call my focus candle. I light it and breathe, watching the flame
waver. I’m more ADD than a five year old on birthday cake and Coke but I’ve found this to be a
very effective way to quiet my mind and transition from a busy day to writing mode.
What do you do when you feel stuck? Share your tips and tricks in the comments - because I could sure use them!
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Saturday, February 9, 2019
Friday, February 8, 2019
Thursday, February 7, 2019
IMPORTANT LIFE EVENTS
The most important life event happened with my birth as it does with all of us. I was named Gloria because my mother admired movie stars with that name, but I like to think my dad went along with the name because he was religious and thought of his first born child as a glory to God. At least I believed that and in my egocentric way every Christmas when the refrain of Christmas Carols resounds with my name, I like to think the whole church is singing my glory. Of course, I know that's not true.
Of course there were birthday celebrations that weren't elaborate in my family. I was the oldest of six children and so no one got a lot of gifts for their birthday.. Mom fixed whatever the birthday child wanted for dinner. There weren't a lot of gifts, but I remember getting a green parakeet I named Petey because I wanted one. Today I receive birthday cards and once in awhile a gift, but not so much anymore. My sister-in-law takes me to dinner along with my sisters for my birthday.
And then there were the graduation events. My high school graduation had a beautiful cake and a few relatives coming with cards and money. Certainly nothing like the high school graduation events pu on today. When I graduated from college later in life, my parents, husband and siblings took me to dinner and my kids put on a party for me with a lot of close friends and family coming. I can't remember anything when I got my Master's degree, but we probably went out for dinner.
A wedding is always an important event. I had the white gown that was borrowed from an aunt, flowers, cake, reception in a small hall and food prepared by an aunt and uncle. Another uncle took snapshots with his camera. My father-in-law paid for a band that played mostly polkas. The weeding was preceded by a shower at an aunt's home, a modest home so the guest list was small. Of course there were cards and gifts for the wedding.(3 electric skillets) and many best wishes.
In a little over three years our children started coming. Believe me that was a life changing event when I had four children in less than five years. Of course, I'd always wanted children so I enjoyed having them even though my husband was working two jobs so I didn't have any help there. However, I did enjoy raising them and they turned out well. While raising them I became a Cub Scout leader and later for a lot of years a Girl Scout leader.
However there is almost always something that causes sorrow. When my oldest son, John, was seventeen he developed cancer and died in my arms. This was the son who wrote poetry, drew pictures, played the piano and was so good at so many things with a good sense of humor. He was also a reader like I am.
Six months after he died I went to college for the first time to become an elementary teacher. More than one professor over the years before I graduated thought I should plan on becoming a professor or at least a high school teacher, but I knew younger children are who I wanted to teach. I'd wanted to teach fourth or fifth grade but ended up getting hired to be a third grade teacher and found it was a wonderful grade to teach. I had as much fun teaching them as they had fun whether it was catching insects for a science class or something else. I had so many parents at parent teacher conferences who told me they wished they'd had a teacher like me when they went to school.
Teaching third grade was both rewarding and fun, too. When I'd been teaching for fifteen years I won the Portage County elementary teacher of the year award. It was the first speech I'd ever made. Also, I was a little embarrassed because there were a lot of good teachers in my elementary school, too.
When I eventually retired my son and two daughters had a celebration for me in a banquet room at a restaurant and invited others, too. I told those who were invited the only thing I wanted was a stone. I'm a gardener and like my father before me who always brought home rocks and stones from our vacation camping trips, I did, too. My sister-in-law went to the house where my parents had lived before they died and asked the new owners if she could have one of the stones around a garden in the back that my dad had built and lined with the stones he'd brought home. They allowed her to get one.
After I retired I started writing books, short stories and poetry. Originally I wrote under a different name, but then switched to my own name. I took writing classes both online and locally. I'd worked on the writing for at least twelve years. I had managed to get some critique partners fortunately. Two of them I still have. One lives in England and one of these years I'm going to go visit her. The other lives in Cincinnati, I also had one who belonged to my writers group, but she gave up after awhile because she wasn't doing so well on her own writing at that time although she's doing well now. Also, she worked full time and didn't have enough time to edit, too.
When I started selling some of my books, I decided to have a book launch at a room I reserved at the church I belong, too. I wasn't sure how many would come and I had it on a Sunday afternoon after the last mass of the day ended. I had prepared food and my daughter and daughter-in-law helped out with punch and setting up the ten tables we had with table clothes. My son showed up with a bouquet of flowers including two blue roses. He had his little four year old granddaughter with him, too.
Since that time I wrote eight more in the Catherine Jewell series and am working on book ten now. I also wrote a middle-grade book "The Sherlock Holmes Detective Book" that adults seem to enjoy as much as kids do. I'm planning on writing more middle-grade books, too. Actually I've already started one that is a fictitious historical book of a young boy who was left behind in Hiram Ohio, the town where I taught school.
No I never got a publisher, but quite a few years ago someone on Writers Who Kill started self-publishing her books and then I heard of others who were doing it too, so that's what I started doing. No, I can't win awards self publishing, but I'm okay with that. I still have a following who like my books. Someone at Mass last Sunday had bought my first book at a craft show at my church and wanted the next two books in my series and gave me money for them. I don't make a lot of money selling my books, but at least twice a year I get money from Amazon, and I have a teacher retirement income which is not large but enough for me to live on. I have money in savings and I'm not extravagant with what money I have.
Also, my church has a craft show every December about three weeks before Christmas and I sell my books there. This past December, I sold over $200.00 that day.
Have you ever thought of self-publishing?