Monday, June 27, 2016

Beyond Watson Stories

This post is not a "celebration" post (although a few weeks ago I did celebrate the publication of Beyond Watson.) In the coming weeks, though, in addition to Friday celebrations, I'm going to be posting about the other stories in this great collection.

With much pleasure, I'm working my way through them. I'm purposely going slowly, as I want to appreciate each story for itself. So far I've read three, and each is a gem:

Geri Shear's "Mrs. Hudson's Lodger" tells how Mrs. Hudson and Sherlock Holmes met. You'd be surprised. One of my favorite painters, the English landscapist William Turner (or J. M. W. Turner, more formally) is involved. The characterizations of Mrs. Hudson and Sherlock Holmes are excellent. The story, charming and completely engrossing, flows beautifully.

Marcia Wilson's "The Mortal Condition," takes place during a stake-out on a cold winter night. In this atmospheric tale, a reader sees Sherlock Holmes through the eyes of Lestrade, the inspector who is so often overshadowed by Holmes. Lestrade turns out to be a deeply philosophical and sympathetic character whose observations cast new light on The Great Detective and his partner, Watson. By the time I finished the story, Wilson's setting was so real that I felt I had actually been there and experienced the cold and damp, the ominous shadows.

Richard Paolinelli's "A Lesson in Mercy" is a brilliant reminiscence by none other than Sir Winston Churchill. (I love it when historical figures are pulled into a Sherlock Holmes story!) The famous prime minister shares an incident that he considers "the darkest time in my career." What that event was, you'll just have to read the story to find out. But the characters are engaging, and we get young Churchill's view of both Holmes and Watson.

Now I'm starting Derrick Belanger's "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Sherlock Holmes." (Belanger as in Belanger Books.) With typical modesty and support of the other authors, Belanger put his story last in the anthology. Reading the collection, I started at the beginning, and was working my way down. But then my husband read "Yes, Virginia . . ." and his reactions were such that I simply had to skip ahead and read it now. I'll be sharing that and other stories next time.

Meanwhile, you can order Beyond Watson at:


How about you? Do you have any story collections to recommend? Do you like the idea of seeing Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson through new eyes?

Friday, June 24, 2016

Celebrating Good Reads and New Projects

Hi, there, I haven't been very active on this blog since my eye surgery, but the eye is healing, and it's time to celebrate again.

But first, this Celebrate the Small Things blog hop is co-hosted by Lexa Cain at: Lexa Cain,  L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge , and Tonja Drecker @ Tidbits Blog. You can go to any of these sites to add your name to the links, if you want to participate. I recommend it, because it's always fun to see positive news that others are celebrating, and to share your own as well. 

So, what am I celebrating? 
1. I'm starting a new project--one I can't talk about yet, but it will keep me busy all through the month of July and possibly August. 

2. Meanwhile, during my "recuperation" period, I've been reading lots of good books, and "filling the well."

3. And, three new beta readers read through my latest mystery rewrite and, apart from a few small tweaks, thought it was good. I'm letting it "rest" for now, while I mull over the comments, but August I plan to go through it with those tweaks and then send it out. 

How about you? Do you have any projects you can't talk about yet? Have you read some good books lately? (Names, please. These days I do a lot of my reading based on recommendations.) Do you give your manuscripts time to rest between rewrites?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Surgery Went Well

So it all went well. My surgeon is satisfied with how it looks in pre-op visits. For a few days I won't be on the computer. (Typing this with the operative eye closed, so I'm skipping the picture and links for now. But celebrating for sure.) Luckily, I can read print books and take walks. (Another thing to celebrate. Otherwise I'd be a little stir crazy.)

Have a great week and hope to be more chatty soon.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Glaucoma Surgery Coming Up

I haven't taken part lately in this blog hop because, as you all know, I was totally immersed in a re-write, which, I am happy to say is finished--for now: I sent it off to three beta readers who have never laid eyes on it, don't know the story, plot, characters. Based on how it strikes them, I'm either finished and it's ready to send out, or it still may need some tweaking. So I'll be a little more active on this blog than I have been in recent weeks.

But today I'm celebrating the fact that Monday morning, early, I'm having combined glaucoma/cataract surgery. In a moment I'll tell you why I'm choosing that to celebrate, even though it his hardly a "small thing." But first: This Celebrate the Small Things blog hop is co-hosted by Lexa Cain at: Lexa Cain,  L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge , and Tonja Drecker @ Tidbits Blog. You can go to any of these sites to add your name to the links, if you want to participate. I recommend it, because it's always fun to see positive news that others are celebrating, and to share your own as well. 

Okay, why celebrate the surgery? I'm certainly not glad to have glaucoma! But I'm celebrating the fact that they know what to do about it. Fifty years ago--even less--I could have expected to slowly go blind. I have a good surgeon who inspires my confidence, and a wonderful husband who can take care of me while my eye is healing. What that means is he'll be doing major housework, cooking, and gardening. I won't be bed-ridden, but I'm not supposed to bend over, lift anything heavier than 15 pounds, drive, or do any strenuous exercise for 6 to 8 weeks. I also can't fly in planes for about 3 months. Anything that increases pressure in the eyes.

But I can work on the computer, read and write, both online and print, in just a day or two after the surgery. I can also watch television--although I don't really do a lot of that--and take walks, which I love to do. 

I do, however, want to take this opportunity to give everyone a heads up about glaucoma. People over 50 are at risk. If someone in your family has it, you are at risk. African Americans and Hispanic people are at risk. AND YOU CAN LIVE IN IGNORANT BLISS, NOT KNOWING YOU HAVE IT, until it does some damage. And while treatment can halt or prevent its further progress, it cannot cure the damage already done. I have already lost some of my peripheral vision--above, not at the sides or below. (So it doesn't affect my driving.) 

So, I would like to urge anyone reading this to go have your eyes checked for it. Thoroughly checked. The sooner you discover it, the easier it is to treat, and if the damage isn't done, it can mostly be treated with eyedrops and surgery avoided. 

Despite the serious message, I hope you all have a great week-end. Meanwhile, please go next door to read my post on a wonderful festival in Galicia, where we spent our vacation.