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

February Interviews

2/5 Heather Weidner, Glitter, Glam, and Contraband
2/12 Rhys Bowen, Above The Bay of Angels
2/19 Elizabeth Penney, Hems & Homicide
2/26 Annette Dashofy, Under The Radar

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
2/1 Valerie Burns
2/8 Jeannette de Beauvoir
2/15 Kathryn Lane

WWK Bloggers: 2/22 Kait Carson, 1/28 & 1/29 Special Interviews with Agatha Nominees by Paula Gail Benson


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 (wish they weren't having to compete against each other), and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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."

Kaye George's first novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Revenge is Sweet, will be released on March 10th. Look for the interview here on March 11.

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

Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!

KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.

Paula Gail Benson's story "Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest" appears in Love in the Lowcountry an anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers available 11/5 in e-book and print format on Amazon. The anthology includes fourteen stories all based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Kaye George's "Grist for the Mill" was published in A Murder of Crows anthology, edited by Sandra Murphy on October 9th.

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.

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


Monday, August 12, 2019

Travel Wisdom from the Camino de Santiago

By Shari Randall

The Camino de Santiago (the Road of St. James) is a pilgrimage that leads across Europe to the green hills of northwest Spain and Santiago de Compostela, home of a spectacular cathedral that the faithful believe houses the bones of the apostle James. The pilgrimage was popular in the Middle Ages and then slowly declined. In the seventies, the work of a Spanish professor renewed interest in the Camino, and in 2010 the movie, The Way, brought the route even more attention.

My husband and I saw The Way and were fascinated by the Camino’s combination of outdoor beauty, culture, spirituality, and physical challenge. This summer we decided to join the over 200,00 people who walk “The Way,” every year — all seekers, each seeking something different, in the steps of those long ago pilgrims.
The traditional pilgrim travels with everything on his back, a sturdy walking stick in hand, staying the night at bare bones dormitory-style hostels called refugios. But companies have sprung up to serve the needs of modern pilgrims and will shuttle suitcases from one hotel or albergue to the next while the pilgrim carries only the day’s needs in a pack. Full disclosure: we used one such company. I confess: we did the one week “slacker” Camino — or as my husband put it, the “executive” Camino.
The Camino isn’t just one trail. There are many routes to Santiago. We took the one called the Primitivo, the oldest route, and as you’ve guessed from the name, one of the most primitive, the least traveled, with the fewest services along the road. We carried packs with our daily needs: water, a little food, tissues, foot remedies, sunscreen, guidebook, and raingear, just in case.

Having to carry everything shifts your mindset. It’s surprising what you need, what you don’t need, and how what you think you need turns out to be the last thing you need.

Let me explain.

Along with the traditional symbol of the pilgrim, or peregrino, the scallop shell, many on the trail use walking sticks. Very pilgrim-ish. I’d struggled on many steep uphill sections of trail and I thought having a stick would help. However, we were on the primitive path – no stores, heck, we walked for miles seeing no buildings. As we walked, I auditioned a couple of fallen tree limbs, but nothing was strong enough – other pilgrims had had the same idea and had snatched up any sturdy branches.

As we walked into the village of Villamor, we stopped at fountain outside a church. Well, my husband stopped, I collapsed – this was Day Two and we’d walked 26 km on Day One. To my right against the stone wall were three walking sticks, an abandoned package of sponge cake, and a bottle of water. 
I looked around. No other pilgrims were in sight. The church building was closed. The cake didn’t appeal to me. But one of the sticks, a branch bleached white by the sun…
I picked it up. Smooth, the perfect size for my hand. I took a few steps, swinging it. It felt good. It matched my jacket. “Perfect,” I said. “The Camino provides.” We’d heard that along the way. Here was an example!
My husband shook his head as he munched the cake.
New energy surged through me. Now I felt like a real peregrina. As we continued our trek, I focused to coordinate the stick and my stride. Swing stick, plant stick, step, swing stick…
A few kilometers later we climbed the road toward Arzua, a small city. The stick helped, but…I had to think about coordinating the stick and my steps — a lot.
In Arzua, walking past a mix of centuries old churches, cafes, bars, motorcycle shops (two!), my energy shifted to trying not to hit anyone with my stick. Finally, we arrived at our hotel.
I leaned my stick against the brick wall by the front door and stepped back. 
“It might not be here later,” my husband said.
“That’s okay.”
Later, as I washed away the dust of the road, I considered. It would have been great to write about how the Camino provided just what I needed, when I needed it. Instead the Camino provided what I thought I needed and taught me that I didn’t need it after all. 

Probably a better lesson.

Readers, do you have any travel wisdom to share?


Kait said...

Wow, what a fabulous trip, and lesson. Will you be sharing more of your pilgrimage? Hope so.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Kait, I still find myself thinking about the Camino and the people I met there. So much to write about!

Grace Topping said...

Thanks, Shari, for the story about your pilgrimage. I admire you and your husband for your sense of adventure and for making that long trek. Good for you!

Shari Randall said...

Hi Grace, I think the Camino is an adventure for everyone - we saw lots of people of all ages and fitness levels and backgrounds on the trail.

Tina said...

What a lovely piece! What a fantastic journey! Yes, you are definitely a real peregrina!

Shari Randall said...

Hi Tina! I thought of you while walking- I think you'd love the walk.

KM Rockwood said...

Such an inspiring trip!

I hope you have many more such great adventures.