Random Thursday: superglue, Wonderland, and a plea for help

This week, someone put superglue in the light switch slot and the toilet paper dispenser locks in the men’s room at one of our library branches.

Admit it—you just smiled or snickered a little.  Everyone I’ve talked with has had the same involuntary reaction.

It’s an act of vandalism and disrespect, and taxpayer money is going to be wasted replacing the locks and paying for the extra electricity until a city employee can pick the glue out of the switch.  We’re lucky the joyful jackass didn’t think to put any on the seats or the stall doors.

But I snickered, too.

Because the combination of bathrooms and superglue, for whatever deep, psychological reason, is comedy gold.


Just to carry the typewriter theme as far as I possibly can, it’s true that the last company that still made manual typewriters ceased production around April.

The article in The Atlantic is here.

Let us observe a period of silence.  If your mind drifts to eight-tracks, VHS tapes, floppy disks of all sizes, vinyl records, and cassette tapes, that’s all right.

If you have to ask what any of those things are, get thee to a dictionary, young whippersnapper—and you can look that up, too.


I’m proud to announce that I’ve redeemed myself from my failure to solve Jeff Somer’s Final Evolution puzzle and found a new favorite Time Suck.

John McDonald over at Making Light—where I lurk in silence because I’m clearly not in their league—offered three mini-puzzle games that are also chapters of a story set in a noirish, nightmarish, urban Wonderland:

Alice is Dead 1     Alice is Dead 2     Alice is Dead 3

Warning:  these are not for kids.  The humor is dark,  there’s some graphic violence, and the mental instability (of the characters, not the player, thank you very much) appears to be growing as one goes further down the Rabbit Hole.

I did mention that it’s noir, right?

The games themselves are fun and just frustrating enough—and the little ‘voice’ that narrates, offers, advice,and tells you not to annoy the spider, is both wry and Zork-like.

I budgeted twenty minutes for the first one last night as a pre-writing activity, and just made it.  I tried the second this morning, but need a little more time . . .


. . ._ _ _. . .

My husband rarely reads my blog, so I’m going to risk asking for your help in the comments:

His birthday is this Monday and I don’t have a clue what the kids can give him.  They’re making him cards, but they want to give him something he can unwrap.  My MIL and I went halvsies on his new laptop a few months ago for a very early gift, so I was thinking a carrying case or lapdesk or something.

My kids think this is boring and have suggested a few things that I’m sure he’d love, but none of them are possible or probable—though I cannot deny that the man  is worth a new car, the woman he married has a tighter budget.

The man himself shrugs when I ask him, as has been his tradition for the 22 years I’ve known him, so that’s no help.  At all.

We’re going shopping Saturday.

Any and all ideas are welcome!


Pigeon Update:  one scene revised so I could proceed to the two scenes completely and sent to First Reader on Tuesday (I think—it was either really late or very early).

Thirty days to go.  If I think of it as a Nanowrimo schedule, it doesn’t seem half as scary—or scary for different reasons.



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.