Random Thursday

This morning, at the breakfast table:

 Sunny (standing up on her chair):  I’m done.  Get me down.

Daddy:  You have to have more than one piece of melon for breakfast.

Sunny (leaning on him to put her cheek to his):  But I want to sit with you.

DaddyIf you sit with me, will you eat your breakfast?

Sunny:  (already in Daddy’s lap): Uh-huh.

Daddy: Okay, have a bite of toast.

Sunny (burying her face in Daddy’s shirt and hugging him like a four-legged python):  Nooooo!

Daddy:  You said you’d—

Sunny (muffled):  You’re the best daddy in the whole world.

Me:  You’re a born grifter, kid.

Daddy (trying to pry small hands from his shirt so he can turn her around):  She’s a born gripper.

Tomato, tomahto . . .


 Another time suck, courtesy of the gang over at SBTB:

The McCord Museum in Montreal, which I must visit someday with the kids, has a fantastic website that includes some brilliant online games. They’ve even devised a game that lets players accumulate points while improving the museum’s search engine by adding tags to items in the collections!

So far, my favorite is the Victorian game,* which has you dealing with four different venues as a male or female, selecting outfits and answering questions about proper manners.  It’s fascinating.

Be careful when you visit the ladies room on the train, by the way – that older lady has a temper.


Opportunities in professional and peer feedback!

Suzie Townsend of  Fine Print and Joanna Stampfel-Volpe of Nancy Coffey are now offering first page critiques, à la Janet Reid’s QueryShark.  They’re calling it First Page Shooter.

Directions on how to submit the first 250 words of your work are available here.

Not all submissions will be critiqued, but professional criticism of other people’s work can be incredibly helpful, so even if you don’t wish to participate, you might want to check the feature out anyway.


Just found out one of my favorite mystery authors, Laurie R. King, is going to Bouchercon!

She’s the author of the excellent Kate Martinelli series as well as many single novels, but my heart belongs to her Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes novels.

When Mary Russell is fifteen, she literally stumbles over a reclusive beekeeper, one Sherlock Holmes, in the English countryside.  Both are lonely, damaged, and brilliant, and they forge a strong bond of friendship that the most insidious of villains—or Sherlock’s infamous moods—can’t break.

This version of Sherlock Holmes is set after the classic stories.  The premise is that John Watson showed his journals to Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote the cases down—though never to Holmes’ satisfaction.  It’s mentioned that Doyle aged the “characters” for the sake of believability, which neatly explains why Sherlock is not yet in his dotage in 1915, when he meets Mary.  This also allows for subtle cameos by Lord Peter Whimsy and a few other Wonders of the Literary World—and why not?

Another example of Ms. King’s meta-brilliance:  One of the Russell-Holmes books, Locked Rooms, takes place in California and is almost entirely Mary’s story, as it involves a mystery in her own family.  Holmes is off-page for an extended period of time, without much explanation to the reader.

However, if that reader were to pick up the Kate Martinelli book, The Art of Detection, they would find Kate trying to solve a murder connected to a newly discovered Sherlock Holmes story.   Most experts seem convinced that the story is a fake—Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would never have set a  Holmes story  in California or written a first-person account of how Sherlock spent his time while his ‘partner’ was involved in her own case.

How’s that for an inside joke?


*There’s also a Roaring ‘Twenties role-playing game, but I’ve discovered that the Canadian ‘twenties were slightly different from the ones I learned about in my Ohio public school.