I joined a Sherlock Holmes club — the Phoenix Sherlockians: The Transfixed Correspondence group — and went to the first meeting. It’s been years since I was involved with this kind of group. The last time I did this I was in my late 30’s-early 40’s and the club was The NonCanonical Calabashes. That group was serious about the canon but not as bookish. They had several meetings for which we had to dress in period costumes and speak as if we were one of the characters in a particular Sherlock Holmes story. For years I saved a hat that I wore to one of the meetings. Unfortunately, the club disbanded and I lost track of the members.
For this meeting the story was The Boscombe Valley Mystery which I read twice. There was a quiz that I thought I must have gotten a 100% on and later realized that I had missed 2 of the 10 questions. Fortunately, that was a private embarrassment. The group is a scion of the larger international Sherlockians and quite an impressive group. I was in awe of their knowledge of Sherlockiana. Now I have my work cut out for me. I have to become familiar with the differences between the portrayals of Sherlock Holmes from the 1930’s straight through Benedict Cumberbatch. Apparently, Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett are favorites of this particular group of which I became a member. Also, I need to become more knowledgeable about the canon so that I can speak to how many times Paget illustrated the canon with Sherlock wearing a deerstalker, or how many times Watson discussed his wife, and so on and so on. Whoa! I have a lot to do before the next meeting.
On another note: Are you folks getting your gift list together? My daughter and I have been discussing this and realized that due to moving from the third floor to the fourth floor in our building, we threw out most of our old wrapping paper. That’s another line on my list of what to do with my time. We have to buy wrapping paper, ribbon, and stickers. Why this takes me so much time, I can’t explain. It’s probably because I want it all to look pretty regardless of the fact that the paper and sticker will get enthusiastically ripped by the person who receives the gift. Anyway, it’s the pile of gifts we make all wrapped and the idea of what the particular recipient will say when the gift is opened that makes the effort all worthwhile.
Meanwhile, I’m still working on the first draft of my cozy mystery. I had to laugh at myself. Somewhere in the draft I changed a couple of characters’ names and now have to go back and redo their names. Silly! Thank goodness for Control F. It must have been tedious to find all of one’s mistakes before computers. I’m in a writing group for this draft. It’s from Sisters in Crime and an international group. Each morning at 8:00 a.m. (for west coasters) people from all over the world join on Zoom to write as much as we can in 25 minute stints. It’s a breathless endeavor to get your head (and fingers) wrapped around your story and just go! I’m enjoying this a great deal. I plotted out my book on index cards that I store in an empty Edelweiss chocolate candy box. As soon as I open the box the leftover smell of chocolate assails me and puts me in a good mood. I’ll know if I’m almost finished with my book by the end of the month. I hope so. I already have an idea for a second book with three or four of the same characters.
Thanksgiving is coming. What are you doing, cooking, watching on television while dinner smells waft through your house? We usually watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and then the Christmas episode of Brokenwood on Acorn. Diana has already tried out a recipe for pumpkin spice syrup to put in coffee or hot chocolate. It’s very yummy. We share recipes on November 27th at our Cozy Mystery Book meeting.
Also, don’t forget to visit our Contest page and write your version of a first chapter of a cozy mystery book!