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


June Interviews













6/3 Gretchen Archer, Double Trouble
6/10 Kaye George, Deadly Sweet Tooth
6/17 Annette Dashofy, Til Death
6/24 Adam Meyer


Saturday Guest Bloggers

6/6 Mary Keliikoa
6/13 William Ade
6/20 Liz Milliron


WWK Bloggers:

6/27 Kait Carson
6/30 WWK Writers--What We're Reading Now

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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!


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, and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination! All are winners but without Agatha Teapots. Onto 20121!


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."


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


Kaye George's second novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Deadly Sweet Tooth, was released on June 2. Look for the interview here on June 10.


Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


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!

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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Pivot by Annette Dashofy


I’ve written before about “plans” and making God laugh. You would think I’d just stop making them.

Seriously though, as writers, we’re not just artists or craftsmen, we’re business owners. Entrepreneurs. We can’t go blindly into the world. We must have a business and marketing plan.

Granted, when things went off the rails in March, my writing and business plan, like so many others’, did as well. However, I gradually found my creative voice and started writing again. And I dusted off my business plan, made a bunch of adjustments, and refocused. June is filled with the online class I’m teaching and the release of my next book. That hasn’t changed. But each month afterward, I started scheduling the tasks needed to accomplish what I intended to publish next and into 2021 and beyond, including a brand-new project.

Then I received some professional advice on the current market and what is and isn’t selling right now. Under the “what isn’t” column sat my brand-new project. Three months ago, it would have been a hot commodity. But reading habits have changed.

Since I value this professional’s opinion, I’ve decided to change directions and put the brand-new project on hold. For now.

I’m pivoting.

This may well be the year of the pivot. Dana Kaye of Kaye Publicity has been using the term since the quarantine began. I’ve been a member of her Your Breakout Book community for quite a while now. Unable to afford to pay a publicist, I instead subscribe to YBB where Dana provides monthly online trainings, access to past webinars, templates, and videos where I and other members learn to be our own marketing experts. Dana has her finger on the pulse of the publicity world and has been keeping us current on the newest trends. Her advice has always been, if something doesn’t work for you, pivot. This holds true now more than ever before.

If you feel like your floundering in the abyss of media, marketing, and promotion, I highly recommend you try Your Breakout Book by signing up here.

But I digress. Pivoting. When all of my in-person book events were canceled, I started doing online Zoom and Crowdcast events and interviews. When the wind shifts, you either change the set of your sails or go under.


When your book contract is canceled, you look at your options and move on, either indie publishing or seeking a new traditional publisher or both.

When the new series you eagerly started writing doesn’t appeal to the agent or editor at this time, you either put it aside for later or you move forward and indie pub it.

Thank goodness we have those options now. And what’s right for one person, isn’t the right fit for another. Set your sail according to your own plan.

I’m not at liberty to share my new plan just yet as there are too many variables and hurdles to overcome. I already feel like I’m getting whiplash from all the pivoting I’ve been doing. I don’t want to send all of you to the chiropractor as well! I will tell you I’m keeping a weather eye out, I’m heeding the storm warnings, but I’m also continuing to move forward, which for me means putting pen to the page and keystrokes to an open Word document.

What types of books are you reading these days? Have your reading tastes pivoted since February? And writers, are you changing what you’re writing or staying the course?

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Secret Book Stashes by E. B. Davis

 
When I read too much of any genre, I must counteract it with another genre. I usually read mystery, but then, every fourth book or so, I have to read chick lit, like Mary Kay Andrews, or romance, like Richard Amooi. Similarly, if I read too much of any mystery subgenre, I switch to another.

When paranormal mystery first became a subgenre, the focus was on the dark side, vampires and shapeshifters, popularized in 2001 by Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series and again in 2010 by Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Although I liked paranormal, I was stymied because the term became synonymous with the darker side of fantasy, vampire and shape-shifter
sex/violence. I started using the term spirit fiction because I liked ghost and angel stories. But that was never an accepted term.

In the past few years, some enlightened publishers have established the subgenre of paranormal cozy mystery, which encompasses most of the ghost, angel, witch, and yes, even vampire stories, those lacking the bloody gristle epitomized in the paranormal mystery subgenre. Thank goodness! I’ve fallen in love with these books, in fact, they comprise most of my TBR pile, but I view them like secret stash of pornography and am thankful that on Kindle no one can see the covers.  
Why the secret? They are fluffy. They’re entertaining. They are fantasy. There may be a heaven and hell, but good is always stronger than evil—without question. They don’t make Oprah’s lists. They aren’t erudite books you’d discuss at a book club. They might win a Lefty, but other than that, few win awards or make the bestseller list. Although there are discussions of social issues, questions of morality, and the searches for justice, the subgenre is not serious literature or fact-based mystery full of legal acumen, medical knowledge, and police procedure. The authors need only use their imagination without having advanced degrees in any academic subject. There are life-threatening suspenseful moments, but a child isn’t missing or a serial killer usually isn’t on the loose. Some would argue this subgenre is a waste of time. To them, I say—go read the NY Times bestsellers.  

Here are some of the subgenres of paranormal cozy mysteries:

In ghost stories, the series starts when the main character discovers her/his newly found talent of being able to communicate to ghosts. A move to a new residence or business building in which the ghost resides, precipitates the main character’s sixth-sense perception. The ghost needs the MC’s help to solve his death and get to the other side. Except for Jana DeLeon’s Ghost -In-Law series in which the MC’s mother-in-law decides to haunt her daughter-in-law because she likes it, and subsequently her desire results in subsequent books. The usual commonality in ghost stories is that ghosts are unreliable.

In angel series, like Mignon Ballard’s Angel series, the spiritual heavy hitters from above lend an angel to help those in need of help or justice.  Mary Stanton’
s Defending Angel series is a bit darker, but we know that the main character, who is a spirit defense lawyer, will prove the true guilty party and exonerate the innocent spirit enabling the journey to heaven.  

Then there are the unique situations—Ellery Adams presents two situations. In the first,
a bookseller has the rare ability to match readers to books, those needed to
help and comfort, while the Book Society tries to solve the problem. In the second, a pie maker helps solve crimes and comforts the pie-eating public with her charmed pies. In Sofie Kelly’s Cat series, her magical cats help the main character solve murders.
 
In the Witch category of cozy paranormal, there are commonalities, which I suppose are part of the rules that readers have come to expect.
The first is the great relocation, which usually involves getting an inheritance from an older relative and/or running from a bad relationship, killing two birds with one stone—a safe harbor even if there are surprises and uncertainties on the way. The second is the main characters have no idea of their witchy powers. Raised as normals (humans), they experience, at first, disbelief, but after (third) meeting their familiars (often black cats) who encourage them to embrace their heritage, they move onto acceptance. And fourth, learning how to be witches, which often is via trial and error with either scary or funny results, but (fifth) they also learn their powers are strong and can give the local coven hierarchy a shakeup. They are
formula books, but then many are, and like most books, it’s the characters and the author’s writing skill that make them good reads.  

I wish I wasn’t so attracted by these books, but I am. They are fantasies in which the main character, like Spiderman or Superman, have an extra talent. The mysteries solved can compete with any other in the mystery genre, but with the added security of knowing the main character can protect herself. But then, because of that extra talent, the adversary can be equally devious.  

Do you have a secret book stash? Are they your go-to books during trouble or when reality just needs to take a backseat?

Friday, May 29, 2020

The Silver Mistress by Peter O’Donnell: A Review by Warren Bull





Image from Goodreads dot com

The Silver Mistress was published in 1973. It is the sixth novel of eleven about the heroine Modesty Blaise. Two short story collections were also published. Like the Phantom, the character started in a comic strip. She first appeared in 1963.  The first novel came from a screenplay and became a best-seller.
I was impressed that the story grabbed my attention and held it throughout the book. The climactic battle is between Modesty and a martial arts phenomenon who had defeated her and her best friend earlier. It was believable and compelling. Before Katniss Everdeen and Emma Peel, Modesty was a sexy and highly competent woman who could more than hold her own.
I was interested enough to seek out earlier books in the series. For a quick and easy read that is well written and engrossing, I recommend The Silver Mistress. I plan to read more in the series.


Thursday, May 28, 2020

A New Pair Of Eyes by Connie Berry



Fortunately, I've always had good eyesight. Now I use readers for anything less than about four feet from my face. But that's not what I'm talking about right now. What I'm talking about is the ability to see my own work objectively. That's where I need a new pair of eyes.


With the manuscript on my third Kate Hamilton mystery due to the publisher on July first, I'm deep into the revision and editing process. The problem is, I'm so familiar with the characters and the plot—even the words on the page—that I can't always see what needs to be fixed. Did I introduce a character without any context for those who haven't read previous books? Is there a plot hole I haven't plugged? Is my timeline off? Where am I missing punctuation or quotation marks? Where are the typos? If I could put my manuscript away for three months and then read it afresh, I'd probably catch some of the errors. Unfortunately I don't have three months.


Our brains are wonderfully complex processors of information. Two tasks they do very efficiently are filling in the blanks and correcting errors. Knowing what we intended, our brains auto-correct the mistakes our eyes see. Here's an example:

Ot deson’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod aepapr.

The reason you can read that sentence pretty easily is because our brains are code-cracking experts. Context is important—as well as the fact that we don't read letter by letter. Most people see whole words, and as long as the first and last letters are there, our brains figure it out. That's also why we may not catch our own errors. Our brains correct them automatically.


Thankfully, there are beta readers!

Beta readers are people who read manuscripts before they are published, pointing out errors and
suggesting improvements. I have three beta readers. Two are members of a critique group formed years ago. One is my dear friend and fellow WWK writer Grace Topping. I'm so grateful for the wise counsel and pertinent comments they give me. They see my work with fresh eyes.

If you're a beta reader, what are some of the things you look for in a manuscript?

If you're a writer, how have beta readers helped you?

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

An Interview with Bernard Schaffer by E. B. Davis


“Is it normal to have to manipulate the people in charge just to get anything done?”

Rein set the packet of papers on the floor behind Carrie’s seat. “To be a detective
means knowing what people want and using it to your advantage. If you read a person
correctly, you learn how to exploit them. It’s only natural.”

Rein leaned back and closed his eyes, resting while he could. “The only
people better at it than us are the maniacs we chase after.”
Bernard Schaffer, Blood Angel, Kindle Loc. 2958


A detective and a manhunter team up against a madman in this “tense, fast, and excellent” series by the veteran cop and author of An Unsettled Grave (Lee Child, bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series).

Fifteen years ago, a deranged young man abducted a teenage girl in a parking lot. He chose her for her innocence. Then he punished her for her beauty. Then he dowsed her with gasoline and tried to purify her with fire. Det. Jacob Rein managed to stop the lunatic before it was too late. But now the girl who survived that horrible ordeal has been found dead of an apparent suicide. Near her body is a letter from “The Master”—a blood-chilling promise to finish what he started.

About to be released from the mental facility, The Master has chosen new objects of his twisted desire—all of whom are dear to Det. Carrie Santero. Carrie reaches out to Jacob, the one man who understands the depths of The Master’s psychosis. He knows that the only way to anticipate The Master’s next move is to enter his delusions, indulge his obsessions, and follow his lead to the very edge of madness.

Bernard Schaffer’s Santero and Rein Thriller series focuses on the crimes of those lost in criminal psychosis. For me, the book was hard to read because of the violence wrought on the victims, but there are fans of this genre who will love this series. Blood Angel is the third in this series released by Kensington Press on May 26.

What I do love about Schaffer’s series are his characterizations of the police detectives featured. Their unique personalities come through during the intense crime scenes they investigate. You will root for them, hoping they save the lives of targeted people, victims of the deranged.

Please welcome Bernard Schaffer back to WWK. Here’s a link to his first WWK interview.                                                                                                   E. B. Davis

Reading your books is enough to make a normal person paranoid. What percentage of the population do your perpetrators comprise?
Thank you so much for having me back. I truly appreciate your site.
I'm not certain of the actual percentage of full-blown serial homicidal maniacs to the general population. I don't know if anyone actually knows that. It's much smaller than what you'd see on television or read about in fictional thrillers. You can't throw a rock without hitting some new kind of serial killer in those.

Waylon and Rein were partners fifteen years ago. They usually disagreed, yet they cover each other’s backs years later. Why would Waylon volunteer to be Rein’s partner when no one else wants to be? Why does Rein treat Waylon harshly? Do they balance each other?
I think anyone who's ever had a quirky friend or tumultuous relationship with someone difficult can understand that sometimes, you're just stuck with certain people. It's especially true in the police world, where you form deep, long-lasting bonds that go beyond friendship. You share things with a partner at work as a detective that no one else will ever understand.

Rein talks about two cases: Anton LaVey and Dean Corll. Are either cases true or did you make them up?
Both Anton LaVey and Dean Corll were real people. LaVey wasn't a case, necessarily. He was the founder of the Church of Satan and would routinely appear on talk shows and scare the bajeezus out of Middle America, but that's about it. Rein's comments in the book that mainstream Satanism is essentially an exercise in satire reflect my opinion of it as well.
Dean Corll is a different matter. He was a serial killer.

I thought all cop cars had disabled overhead lights. Don’t they?

There's no such thing as "all cop cars," unfortunately. They're all different models, brands, years, etc. When it comes to undercover cars, they're just regular cars that sometimes have a radio or rudimentary lighting installed.

Rein’s behavior can be outrageous. When interviewing a hysterical mother, whose child has been abducted, he shakes her. How does he get away with this behavior?
Because in that case, it was necessary. Rein's the kind to get a result now and deal with the consequences later. In that matter, he needed to find an abducted girl and the mother was in a state of hysteria. Obviously, he pays a big price for his behavior throughout the course of his life.

Tucker Pennington is a juvenile who maims and attempts to kill young women. He’s locked into a psychiatric hospital. Who is the female doctor with long black hair and green eyes with cat-eyed glasses? Is she his hallucination?
I think that's best left up to the reader to decide.
Note that when she speaks, there are no quotation marks.

In Blood Angel, psychiatric criminals are released from hospitals due to budget cuts. What do you think of prisoners being released due to the Covid-19 virus?
From what I can tell, they are careful in their selection of who is being released. At least in Pennsylvania, where I live. I can't speak to what's going on in any other parts of the country, but I know here they are taking steps to make sure no one is released who is a threat to the community.

What does “Civil Commitment” mean?
It's explained in the book, as far as what it means to the story. In real life, it's where a person is no longer serving a prison sentence, but they are too mentally ill to release to the general public.

Bubba and Zeke are gun dealers, who you portray as right-wing hicks. Carrie stops by their gun shop to ask directions. Bubba shows her a gun with a laser sight mounted underneath. She shies away from it, but then later produces a weapon very similar to it. Did she go back and buy it? (I would have knowing what she knows!)
Well, it's either that or she stole it, I guess. I'm pretty sure Carrie took a look at what they were up against and decided to go back and get herself some extra firepower. I agree with you. I would have too.

Two years ago, Carrie and a child were abducted. Waylon and Rein saved them, but in the process Waylon’s throat was cut, not enough to kill him, but enough to permanently disable him. How was he treated by his department? Is this typical?
My work is really just fiction. I don't base it on my career in law enforcement. There are no hidden messages about real-life incidents.

Most of the abusers/perpetrators were abused as children. Tucker Pennington is characterized as the son of a wealthy realtor. Was he abused? Parents or priest?
I subscribe to the Hemingway Iceberg Theory. It's what the author doesn't tell you that counts. Once a book is released it goes out into the world and everyone gets to come at it their own way. Some people will see different things in Tucker's backstory, and in their own way, each of them is correct.

How do Dr. Linda Shelley and Rein meet? Why is Rein there? What are their professional differences?
They meet in prison while Rein is serving his prison sentence for events that took place prior to The Thief of All Light.
Why does Linda hold Carrie responsible for what happened to Rein?
I'd hate to put words in Linda's mouth. She isn't shy about letting Carrie know.

Statistically, why is the most likely place for a serial killer to be found is lurking by a Walmart in Florida?
I don't think that's an actual statistic. Just more of a given. Walmarts tend to be associated with certain crimes just because they're usually open twenty-four hours, carry a wide variety of merchandise, and people can park their cars there for extended periods of time. It's probably a matter of convenience.
As far as Florida goes, well, if you had to pick a place for crazy to happen, and there was money on the line, you can't go wrong picking that state.

What were the experiments done on black soldiers at Tuskegee in WWII?
I'm no expert on what occurred there. I have only read the same material everyone else has. Essentially, the American government experimented on unwitting African American citizens for forty years.

Is there such a thing as volunteer police? Is that the situation that just happened in Georgia?
There are multiple agencies who use volunteer police to varying extents. I have no idea what happened in Georgia beyond what appeared on the news. 

Are judges and DAs exempt from law suits but not cops?
In Pennsylvania that's the case. I'm not sure what laws they have in other states.

When deer bucks fight and get their antlers entangled, can they really pop each other’s heads off?
Sure. I think generally it's when one perishes during the fight but they are still stuck together and the other one has to choose between staying there and starving to death or finding a way to escape. There are photographs online if you really want to see. Tread carefully though.

How does particulate matter composed of flour and sugar cause a flash explosion?
I'm not sure about the exact formula and if I was, I wouldn't say. For all I know, I'm wrong about the percentage of serial killers out there and there is some homicidal baker just waiting for that info!

What’s next for Santero and Rein?
Well, Blood Angel is the third in the series and that will be out in hardcover, eBook, and audiobook on 5/31/20. It will come out in paperback in the summer of 2021.
At the moment I'm writing a western series for Berkley. The first one, Face Of A Snake, will be out next year and we have two more after that.
Honestly, Blood Angel may be my final thriller. I had a tremendous editor in Michaela Hamilton, and with her guidance, we created a series where each book improved on the other and was never in danger of repeating anything.
The Santero and Rein series says everything I ever needed to say about police work. It reveals the impact of a life spent dealing with the worst in humanity. It talks about sacrifice and redemption, and in the end, I think it talks about love.
I'm not sure I'll ever feel the need to come back and elaborate on what The Thief of All Light, An Unsettled Grave, and Blood Angel, offer. For now, I'm exploring the old west. After that, who knows? Maybe I'll write a cookbook or medieval poetry or something.




Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Character is Destiny


Creating a story is more than moving through plot points to reach a satisfying conclusion. Readers also want to connect with the developing characters, which is why I believe serial stories maintain such a grip on us.

When I’m involved in a series, I’m scanning mystery magazines and author newsletters looking for upcoming release dates and then penciling them onto my calendar wish list. This behavior isn’t new, and I’m not alone. In 1841, when Charles Dickens published The Old Curiosity Shop as a weekly serial novel, his New York fans stormed the wharf when the steamship bearing the final installment arrived, shouting: “What happened to Nell?” from the dock.

Once a year I re-read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to revisit The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson and I rip through Dorothy L. Sayer’s Lord Peter Wimsey novels. I’m delighted whenever a secondary character pops up with a surprising bit of narrative exposition. Who doesn’t adore hearing an update from Irene Adler or even more dithering banter from the Honorable Freddy Arbuthnot?

If I need a touch of Florida noir, I reach for John D. MacDonald and Travis McGee. Louise Penny and her Chief Inspector Gamache magically transport me to Quebec and The Three Pines community. Edith Maxwell’s Rose Carroll and her Quaker Midwife Mysteries warm me with an historical perspective, and when I crave a hometown dose of rural Pennsylvania I touch base with WWK’s own Annette Dashofy’s Zoe Chambers and Police Chief Pete Adams. These characters are my staunchly reliable fictional friends.

True, plot twists and surprise reveals are fun, but character development can satisfy your soul, especially in these days of Covid-19 social distancing. Online Zoom birthday parties and happy hour congregations are all well and good, but I’ve been missing the personal element, the lunchtime get-togethers with my family and friends. To fill this temporary gap, I’m using my cancelled conference registration fee money to buy more books.

What new series and/or characters can you recommend, and why?

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day by Nancy L. Eady

In honor of my second cousin, Spc. Charles Robert Lamb, who was killed in Iraq on September 5, 2004 and all the other men and women who have died serving the United States.


From Europe to California
The silent crosses stand,
A tribute to Americans' love
Of liberty and man.
Each marker stands for someone who,
Though cognizant of cost,
Stood firm in heat of battle
And suffered Death's cold touch.
The markers also stand for those
Whose graves we cannot find,
Though their sacrifice still binds
Our hearts to love them throughout time.
No honor can I give them,
No balm for the families behind,
That ever can repay them for
Their sacrifice of time
To love and live and laugh and grow
To save this land of mine.
And when we're reunited
In the lands beyond this life,
I pray that we can tell them that this
Country still serves freedom as
A beacon lifted high. 


Enjoy today's holiday, but don't forget to remember the reason for it!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Falling and Getting Up



by Kaye George


I’ve had a few life-altering experiences, as I’m sure most of us have. The most devastating ones have made me feel like the floor has been yanked out from under me. There was no stable place to walk. The earth beneath my feet had opened up and shown me a deep, dark abyss. Nothing was familiar.


That’s what it feels like when I go into depression. When I come out, I realize that there are still colors, and sounds—like birdsong and tree frogs, and bright things—like fireflies, stars, even a moon.


What has often gotten me through depression is the lists I’ve made, at the advice of my therapists. They are lists of what is good in my life.


Okay, so this plague has robbed us, stolen our lives. We are now living in a different historical era than we were a few short months ago. We’re in an unimaginable place. Unfamiliar. Hostile even. For me, I can clearly see that this intruder is out to kill me. I’m in the high-risk age group, and the bad-lung group, plus some mitochondrial stuff that doesn’t help. So I’m on the defensive. Many people don’t have to be so careful, or they think they don’t have to. Some healthy, young people have been fatally stricken, to everyone’s surprise.



Meanwhile, we’re learning to live in this alien landscape. We avoid crowds, or even, my case, most people. We pay attention and make sure everything is clean. We buy or make masks to protect each other (if we’re good people).




And that list? It’s still there. I still have many of the good things I’ve always had.

I have these.

-The love of my family, scattered across the country and even across the globe, into Europe.
-Many phone calls and other communication.
-The warm camaraderie of my writing colleagues online.
-An occupation I love, goals that keep me occupied, even when I can’t do everything I want to.
-Shelter, food, clothing, heat and AC, trash pickup.-Doctors at my beck and call by phone or video, or even face to face if I need to do that.
-The daily newspaper. (I know, that seems trivial, but I love the comics and puzzles.)
-So many books I haven’t yet read.-
-New books coming out all the time.
-My music, which I’ve neglected lately and am going back to in a small way.
-A spectacular yard, with roses and irises now, after a progression for the last couple of months, although those plants are really kicking up my allergies.
-Good neighbors who all keep track of each other.
---NEW: Social distancing walks with my local family, me on one side of the street, them on the other.

I don’t have these any longer:
[drinks out]
-New episodes of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!
-The news, which I used to watch, but no longer can.
-Dinner out with my kids and grandkids, and eating together at our houses.
-The joy of driving my grandkids to lessons and classes.
-Their hugs.

BUT, most of the items in the second list will come back in due time. And that first list is a lot longer.

What do you miss? What do you take joy in now? What are you looking forward to getting back…some day?


Images from Pixabay.com, Morguefile.com; roses are mine—aren’t they gorgeous?


Saturday, May 23, 2020

A Time to Move by Kait Carson

Things at Casa Carson are up in the air. At least those things that aren’t already in boxes. My husband and I had been talking about permanently moving from Florida to our Maine home for a long time. Somehow the time never seemed right. Or something came up. We were all set to go three years ago. Then Irma blew through. Dealing with insurance and repairs took two years. While we were making repairs, we decided to turn the house into the one we always wanted. 


All well and good, except once all the renovations were done, we realized we simply didn’t want to stay in the Sunshine State. Maine was exerting its siren call, and we were more than ready to trade beaches for woods. 

We were deep in planning when COVID-19 threw a major spanner in the works.

Oddly enough, COVID-19 also became the deciding factor. My husband and I realized how uncertain life can be. A simple trip to the grocery store can result in terminal illness. If that happened, we wanted to be in Maine. The time had come. We put the house on the market and made our plans to go.

The current plan is to be in Maine by late July – whether or not our Florida house has sold. We decided not to move in the winter, and that can start in mid-August some years. We wanted to pick our time and acclimate. 



There is one catch. We’ve always sold the incumbent house before the move and then had packers from the moving company do the boxing-up honors. In this time of a pandemic, we can’t count on a fast sale, so we are packing ourselves this time. Okay, my husband is packing. I committed to starting with my books. With the exception of writing craft, autographed series collections, and some books with sentimental attachments, I figured the majority would go into the donate pile. Easy peasy.

Here’s a tip. Never let a writer pack the books. I have rediscovered so many volumes I had forgotten I owned. Naturally, finding a forgotten book means opening it and maybe reading, well just the dust cover. NOT. It means sitting on the floor, starting at page one and promising yourself a fifteen-minute visit with this old friend to decide if it goes in the box or on the donate pile. FAIL. With the exception of the books already on my donate pile, I’ve learned to simply put all the books on my shelves into the boxes. There’s plenty of places in Maine to donate, including the St. Agatha Library funded a few years ago by the Stephen and Tabatha King Foundation.



It’s always best to travel with friends.

How about you. Are you able to read a few pages of books you loved enough to shelve and then put it in the donate pile? What’s your secret?