A New Sherlock Holmes Collection!, YA Competition, Minimising to 100 Things

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are back!

Sort of. I read the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories for the first time a few years ago and then last month I read Anthony Horowitz's The House of Silk, the first ever Holmes novel approved by the Doyle Estate.

And this week I got to read this:

The Perils of Sherlock Holmes by Loren D. Estleman
"The first single-author collection of Sherlock Holmes stories to appear since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes in 1927, these thrilling stories and essays have been approved by the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle literary estate. "The Serpent's Egg," is revealed here for the very first time.
In this adventurous collection of Sherlock Holmes mysteries, you will find yourself right by the legendary detective's side as he investigates a whole new series of crimes. This entertaining book also includes three previously published essays, "Channeling Holmes", "On the Significance of Boswells", and "Was Sherlock Holmes The Shadow?" that delve deeper into the daring world of Sherlock Holmes and the imaginative mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The book concludes with a list of Sherlock Holmes-oriented publications recommended by the author."
I had a great time reading these stories. The voices are true to the original characters and the adventures are intriguing and exciting. Holmes in the old West with Wyatt Earp! A riddle from Holmes' apiculturist years! And "The Serpent's Egg", which was written as the first chapter in a round-robin Holmes novel. Other authors, including Isaac Asimov, were linked to the project, but unfortunately it was never completed. The chapter ends with a tantalising mystery involving druids.

I thought of my own Druid's Moon right away, and wondered if I could include a worthy Holmes reference.

Now I feel like reading Estleman's Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula, or The Adventure of the Sanguinary Count, as well as the stories written by Doyle's son and John Dickson Carr. And seeing the films, the new ones, which I haven't seen yet!

Ignoring my ever-expanding library for the moment, I found this idea intriguing: cutting back to 100 things. Although I've just read the blog post of a Guy Named Dave, who's hosting the latest 100 Thing Challenge, as featured in Time, and here are the items that are excluded:

Stuff that's shared between you and other family members; non-personal stuff, like dishes, cleaning supplies, etc.; books; and tools. Also, collections count as one item.

That's a relief but even so, 100 things? Counting furniture and mementoes and photograph albums and the bins full of all my drafts, not to mention every article of clothing? I'll have to think about it. First things first, buying more bins to sort out of the library and garage, so that everything looks tidy and there's no more stuff-behind-other-stuff and I can see exactly what we have. When I think of advanced minimalism like this, I'm always glad we live in a triplex and not a house.

Would you be able to declutter that far?

Young Adult Novel Discovery Competition! Hosted by the Serendipity Literary Agency, in collaboration with Sourcebooks and Gotham Writers' Workshop. Submit the title and first 250 words of your story for a chance to win "a one-on-one consultation with one of New York's leading YA literary agents."

Duff McKagan is in the UK apparently, and wrote a blog post the other day on English vocabulary. I liked his take on asking for directions in England:
"Now when you need directions in England, Wales, or Scotland, don't expect to hear anything close to "Just go down two blocks and make a right." No, the directions from a local in, say, Plymouth, England, will take the form of the more poetic (but way less informative) "Carry on down the road, and it's just there." That sounds nicer, but can leave an uninformed outsider like myself cold and lost in the rain."
I've got a mini rant: why is it that the use of vocabulary outside the norm earns you nasty looks? If I'm interested in something (in this it was singing in the round, which I really like to listen to), I like to find out more about it, and if there's a specific vocabulary associated with it (in this case, canon), well, why shouldn't I use it? If the person I'm talking to doesn't understand the word, why don't they just ask what it means or go look it up later, rather than giving me a dirty look and a rude "huh?" Rant over.

I remembered this Sendak book today. I used to reread it all the time when I was a kid:

And updates! This month, my ROW80 goals are my NaNo ones. So far I've been hitting or surpassing the daily NaNo requirement of 1667 words. I really hope I can keep up this momentum.

Are you having a good writing week? What have you read, reread or watched lately?
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