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

August Interview Schedule
8/7 Rhys Bowen Love and Death Among the Cheetahs
8/14 Heather Gilbert Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass
8/21 Lynn Chandler Willis Tell Me No Secrets
8/28 Cynthia Kuhn The Subject of Malice
8/31 Bernard Schaffer An Unsettled Grave

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 8/3 M. S. Spencer, 8/10 Zaida Alfaro

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 8/24 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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!

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 Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.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.


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

I Should Try Yoga by Carla Damron

I should try yoga.

This guidance has been given to me by just about every friend I have. It comes more frequently now that I’m having some health issues that are exacerbated by stress. Nothing major, just annoying stuff, for which I was given two commands by two different doctors:
  •           Stop all caffeine
  •      Reduce my stress.

They seemed to have very little insight into how item one would make item two virtually impossible.  I went through the caffeine detox, done gradually over several weeks.  Several long, trying weeks. Do I find my caffeine-free life to be wonderful? Nope. Have I gotten over the cravings? Nope. (There is no twelve-step program for recovering addicts like me. I know, I’ve looked.)

Has it helped my health situation? I’m afraid so. A little.

So then it was time to tackle number two. The timing couldn’t have been worse; I was in the middle of prepping for a massive conference. My little two part-time people agency hosts 500 social workers, 50 presenters, and 4 keynotes over three days, and getting ready for this gathering is a nightmare. Still, I follow medical orders.

The yoga idea kept getting repeated by concerned friends. (I think they are friends.)  I found a class at my gym but it didn’t fit my schedule, so I looked on-line. Googling “yoga for beginners”, “yoga for seniors”, “gentle yoga,” and “yoga for overstressed idiots” yielded numerous results. (Not the last one, though.)  I decided to try several of these instructional videos, unrolling my yoga mat, donning my workout clothes, and watching with great care to make sure I was getting each posture right.

It worked great! For about three minutes. The sweet, calming music. The gentle yoga voice of each and every gazelle-shaped yoga instructor. The careful, slow transition from one position to the next---It should have been something I could do! Let me walk you through my reactions.

Okay. I’m taking a deep, cleansing breath. Lifting my arms. Still lifted. Still breathing. Slow, deep breaths, she says again.  How long are we just gonna stand here here breathing like this? Dear God, this is boring. COME ON, Gazelle!!! Quit with the quiet talk and move on! CAN’T we do something else? Finally, a different stretch. Uh oh. She wants more breathing. She goes on and on about it. Do people REALLY NEED to be reminded to breathe? What kind of idiots do yoga?

I fast forwarded through the breathing. Then most of the stretching. Then I turned on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Yoga did NOT reduce my stress. Yoga made me want to punch someone. Namely a skinny, sweet-voiced yoga instructor.

Now, some of you out there are yoga people, and I know what you’re thinking. I should try a live class, right? And you know what? You’re right. I’ll try one. The question is, will I need to be medicated before entering the yoga studio?
Then again, I’ve heard goat yoga is a thing. That might be just what the doctor ordered!

What do you do to manage stress? Any tips for caffeine cravings?


Margaret Turkevich said...

Stress: a tough gym workout or hard, physical labor in the yard.

Caffeine: I add lots of hot milk to my dark roast coffee. And I only drink three mugs a day, though I give myself a hot cocoa boost in the afternoon. I'd rather drink water than herbal tea.

Jim Jackson said...

Yoga starts with the mind – and therein lies the problem. Being forced to do something rarely works. You need to embrace the concept or skip it. As for caffeine, after a certain time (sources vary from two days to up to a month) it’s a mental addiction, not a physical addiction. When I quit caffeinated sodas it took me about a month to stop missing them. It helps if you like something else to drink.

Kait said...

On really stressful days I can hardly wait to slip into running shoes and get out the door. No matter the weather, and living in Florida means no snow or ice to contend with, if it's been a bad day - I'm gone. The other thing that helps is an app called Headspace. It's a guided meditation and they have a nice free trial. I'm still not great at meditating, although I have bought the paid program, I rarely use it which could explain the not great part.

Can't help you at all with the caffeine withdrawal. If I haven't had my fix within two hours of waking, I'm in migraine territory. I think they would need to put me in a medically induced coma if I ever needed to give it up.

Kaye George said...

If you don't like yoga, maybe try boxing--with a boxing thingie that hangs from the ceiling at a gym. Not boxing with people. I've thought of trying that myself. Or kick boxing with the bag thingie.

I'm sure there's a good reason for you to be caffeine free. I was doing way too much and having all sorts of health problems, quite a few years ago. I cut it all out, then added it in gradually to see how much I could tolerate. I can do 3 servings a day (2 are green tea, so they hardly count), then my heart starts going wonky again. So I just do 3. Then decaf. If you NEED to be completely caff-free, then ignore this paragraph.

Warren Bull said...

A brisk uphill walk helps and in Portland everywhere you want to go is uphill from where you are.

KM Rockwood said...

Try a professional massage, if you can relax enough to enjoy it. A bit pricey, but well worth it. Every two weeks, or even once a month, can make a big difference.

I had a young aunt whose older, wealthy husband was a yoga fan. She used to take a valium before their joint yoga classes. I'm not sure that's a particularly advisable solution.

Gloria Alden said...

I very rarely have stress. I think just following my daily routine of caring for my barn animals and walking over to my son's house to feed our peacocks helps. Also, I'm a reader and reading the daily newspaper and books helps me not worry about anything else. Also I listen to the radio and in the evening and sometimes in the afternoon, I put a CD on and dance to the music with my collie Maggie staring at me wondering what I'm doing. Also maybe living alone except for my Maggie means I don't have to worry about anything else.

Grace Topping said...

I reduce stress by taking s walk while listening to a humorous audiobook. It gets my mind off the things that are stressing me out. Humor really is the best medicine.

carla said...

sorry I'm late replying! Been traveling today. I like your ideas about stress. Gloria I don't have barn animals but our five critters are good stress relievers. I do like a funny audio book too, Grace. KM, a massage is HEAVEN. And I'm due for one. Warren were you at the AWP conference?
I'll try yoga again. A live version. With or without goats.