Monday, June 27, 2011

Blog Design Thoughts?

Blog Design Thoughts anyone?


I'm afraid to ask - what do you think of the new Blog face?

Do you like it? Dislike it?

Have suggestions on how to make it better? Easier?

Can you navigate?

Is it too busy? Not busy enough?

Please - tell me what you think!

And I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone that visits and comments and e-mails and hangs out and lets me hang out at your Blog. You guys are so cool.

YOU make this fun!!

Thank you.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Baker Street Saturday - Six Dinner Guests

Au and Target had asked me what six dinner guests I would invite and I did a Post of real people (alive or dead) on Monday which you can read here.

Today, I'm doing a Sherlock Holmes edition:

1.) Number One spot goes to Sherlock Holmes - Jeremy Brett's version. He would be, by far, the most off-the-wall dinner guest I can think of. Will he come to dinner dressed as a vampire? Will he dart his eyes at each of my other guests and give that half smile? Will he insult anyone or solve any crimes that need solving? Will he eat?

2.) Doctor John Watson - Edward Hardwicke's rendition. His tone and choice of words would be a comfort throughout this strange dinner. (It would undoubtedly be strange.)

3.) Sherlock Holmes - Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal. He would be a bit rude (at least come across as so) I'm sure, he'd probably eat nothing and he'd be texting the whole time. (Solving those cases Jeremy Brett's Holmes' wouldn't know about since he'd be at a distinct disadvantage at his lack of technology.)

4.) Doctor John Watson - Martin Freeman's version. He'd kick his Holmes under the table and mutter at him to behave. This'll work for about seven seconds. Then he'd send a quick text to his Mycroft and have him disable his Sherlock's phone. Plus, he's bound to write this up on his Blog and maybe we could become Blogging Buddies!!

5.) Mrs. Hudson - Una Stubbs' version because this poor woman will need all the love, respect and appreciation she can get before the full weight of taking on Sherlock as a tenant sinks in. Plus I will somehow have to ask her, as delicately as possible, what exactly her husband did in Florida...

6.) Sherlock Holmes - the real one. The one from the books. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original coupled with my imagination; my interpretation of his words and descriptions through Dr. Watson. I would love to see this original Holmes who'd have the Jennifer Oberth twist. Of course he probably wouldn't eat either.

And I'm a rather picky eater, as friends and family can attest. No gluten, totally vegan and I'd probably not be very hungry anyhow so while the Watsons would be soothing and devouring the meal, trying to keep their Holmes' as socially acceptable as possible, the Holmes' and I would be talking and not eating.

Why can I picture Mrs. Hudson sending scowling looks at all the Holmes' and unconsciously picking up the dishes at the end of the uneaten meal?

What an awesome dinner this would be!

I just hope the Moriartys don't find out about it. Or any of the Colonel Morans. I wouldn't want my house blown up or food poisoned or shots of airguns careening through my windows.

I still say current John Watson and I could be Blogging Buddies.

(P.S. I'm ready to scrap this whole Post because I looked up how to properly pluralize the name 'Holmes' and came up with no consensus. Is is 'Holmeses'? 'Holmes'? 'Holmes''? Where's my editor when I need her! I told you I needed an editor even for my Blog Posts!)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Peter Falk was Awesome!!

Peter Falk has passed away.

I LOVE him! Remember Columbo?

He was so much fun as Columbo. Always talking about his wife, taking care of his dog and catching killers like William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick McGoohan and Robert Vaughn, just to name a few.

I got a book - years ago - about the making of Columbo and found out the famous, "One more thing" line came about when the writers forgot to add a key line of questioning and were too tired (i.e. - lazy) to rewrite the scene so they had the Lt. pop back in with a line that would become synonymous with rumpled raincoats and supposedly absent-minded police lieutenants.

Speaking of rumpled raincoats, the book also said Peter Falk had picked out the raincoat and wore it and it drove the sound guys nuts!

One year for Halloween I dressed up as Columbo. I pulled my hair into a ponytail, got a rumbled rain coat and a plastic cigar and made gestures and said, "One more thing..." all day as I collected candy.

I haven't seen Columbo in far too long (TV doesn't play it anymore!) but I remember them. It reminds me of a piece of my childhood - somewhere in the beginning of my love of mysteries. Peter Falk was the man who knew whodunit - he had to figure out howdunit or howtocatchem.

I enjoyed his performances as a kid, a teen and an adult and I hope he derived satisfaction from the joy and laughter he produced in audiences from all his acting roles.

He will be missed.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blog Revamp

Hello all,

I'm redesigning the Blog, have no idea how to do so and - therefore - please bear with me as I play around and get it the way I want it.

Either I truly have no idea what I'm doing or Blogger has no option to play around without it saving it publicly. You'd think they'd allow you to redesign your Blog without changing anything live until you tell it to.
Oh well...bear with me!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Misc. Monday - The Six People I'd Invite To Dinner

Au and Target has asked me what six people I would invite to dinner.

Finally, here is my answer:

Real People (dead or alive)

1.) My other grandfather - the one I never got to meet

I'd ask him so many questions and clarify a few points that my family (they are becoming crazier as I get older) disagree on.

2.) Hermann Oberth - the Father of Space Travel

The nerd in me (not to mention the genealogist) has so many questions for him!

3.) George Washington

"Seriously," I'd ask, "is this what you envisioned?" (Sorry, George, I've ruined your appetite. But look at this dollar bill. Pretty cool, huh? Huh?)

4.) Princess Diana - a true royal

I'd love to show her what she's done. How her children are turning out. The influence she's had over the future of Britian - her future king married a commoner which hasn't happened in 350 years. You could never convince me that's anything other than her direct and frank way of progressive thinking. And of Princess Diana just being Princess Diana.

5.) Elliot Ness

This guy was so cool. He came up with so many things and he was so honest and had so much integrity, he was known as 'untouchable' because he couldn't be bought. This is a man I would be honored to share a meal with. And while I wouldn't want any gruesome details, I'd be on the edge of my seat with his stories. He must have been so creative and wily and I bet he had style.

6.) Tom Baker

Evidently I met him when I was a baby but my parents have no pictures to prove this. Aside from getting lost in his booming, commanding voice, boy would I love to chat with this talented actor that contributed so much to my childhood.

Okay - there are so many more people I'd love to have dinner with - I should do this as a weekly thing!!!

I will say this -

Come back on Saturday when I shall answer this question again and include fictional people! (Saturdays are 'Baker Street Saturdays' on this Blog so you don't have to be the Great Detective himself to guess who'll fill my table...)

So, what six people (alive or dead) would you invite to dinner?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Baker Street Saturday - BBC Schedule Disappoints Fans

I'm confused by the report of Sherlock making Doctor Who's season run shorter.
First I hear Sherlock is making Doctor Who's season run shorter and then I hear Sherlock isn't making Doctor Who run shorter but Doctor Who's season run is shorter.


Steven Moffat is the creative driving force behind Doctor Who and Sherlock. Some are saying he can't do both - but isn't that why we hire people? Why we delegate? You don't have to do both! But actually, you CAN do both. Our ancestors did - and by ancestors, I mean people from ten years ago.

There are, what, fourteen episodes a year of Doctor Who and three episodes a year of Sherlock.

That's seventeen episodes a year total.


Do we remember the days when seasons used to be twenty-two episodes?

Do we remember the TV show by the name of 24? If Sherlock was Jack Bauer he'd either talk even faster (they'd have to slow the film like they did for Bruce Lee which would defeat the purpose) or he'd fail miserably and the world would be blown up because three episodes is nothing. Since when is three episodes a season?

I used to think being an actor was similar to being a teacher, schedule-wise. Both jobs offer the summer off. Teachers do summer school if they feel like it (or need the money); actors do movies.

And now we have an awesome TV show (my favorite) and it's three episodes a year.

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 60 Sherlock Holmes stories.

If they dramatized every story in Doyle's Canon:

- With the old TV schedule, our show could get that done in three years with a few slots left over for original stories.

- With the new TV schedule, our wonderful cast would be in their 50's. It'd be like Stargate which was only ten years but we watched them age. But they didn't jump in age every three episodes!


I hope they don't stop making Sherlock or hand over the reins to someone who doesn't have the same vision as Moffat.

So now there's going to be seven episodes a year of Doctor Who and three of Sherlock.

We're down to ten episodes a year between two shows.

Does anyone else find this a little ridiculous? If these were any other characters I wouldn't even remember who they are. Unfortunately I like them. The Doctor and Sherlock Holmes are two timeless, awesome characters that'll live on forever, possibly. And yet, we have to suffer in wait. (Patience is not a Jennifer Oberth strong suit.)

They're coming out with more novels in Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes than TV episodes - which is awesome!!!!! So that is cool.

I can't keep up with the unending pool of Sherlock Holmes books out there.

Also on the BBC America Blog, in lighter news (literally), they've posted a list of Ravishing Redheads and Benedict Cumberbatch tops them all!

I thought he was blonde...

1.) What do you think about the state of television scheduling in general nowadays? (Not the quality of programs, just the actual scheduling.)

2.) What British redheads do you adore?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Misc.

1.) I had intened to write up my take of the Sisters In Crime Chicagoland Chapter Meeting that took place on Saturday but it will have to wait. I'm feeling rather tired and cough-y today and only have the Post half-written.

2.) As an author, I feel that my Blog Posts must be as perfect as possible (writing-wise) and any deviation from proper grammar or heaven forbid, typos, is simply unacceptable. I swear if it wasn't so time-consuming I'd hire my editor to go over my entries before I post them! She'd think me nuttier than I really am. Although I attribute this particular nuttiness to my perfectionism which is bad for me but good for you. I hope I provide a high-quality Blog and even higher caliber of short story - short stories and novels to come. Yes. Maybe not so good for you if you liked Married To Murder and are awaiting further adventures. Perfectionism is keeping them from the public.

3.) By the way, how has no one told me that David Hewlett and Benedict Cumberbatch are in the same movie?!!!!?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

100 Fictional Places I Want To Visit - The Diogenes Club

I'm coming up with a list of 100 Fictional Places I Want To Visit.
(Why, you ask? Because I can, I answer.)

1.) The Diogenes Club in London.

First of all, it’s in London so that’s reason #1.

Second, I think it’d be cool to be with people you can’t interact with.

The Diogenes Club was co-founded by Mycroft Holmes and we learn about it in Sherlock Holmes and The Greek Interpreter.

What exactly is the Diogenes Club?

Sherlock Holmes explains:

There are many men in London, you know, who, some from shyness, some from misanthropy, have no wish for the company of their fellows. Yet they are not averse to comfortable chairs and the latest periodicals. It is for the convenience of these that the Diogenes Club was started, and it now contains the most unsociable and unclubable men in town. No member is permitted to take the least notice of any other one. Save in the Stranger's Room, no talking is, under any circumstances, allowed, and three offences, if brought to the notice of the committee, render the talker liable to expulsion. My brother was one of the founders, and I have myself found it a very soothing atmosphere.

Now, while I admit I wouldn’t normally be attracted (much less found in) a club where one cannot speak, I do think it’d be relaxing and recharging to be around people but not have to intermingle.

There are some days I want to be alone yet want that energy of my fellow human beings.

This Club would fill that need perfectly.

I’m sure I wouldn’t be a frequent member. (I’m not exactly known for being quiet.)

They do have the Stranger’s Room in which you can conduct business with your fellow human beings. But if I spent all my time in there, I might as well belong to a different club.

I’d probably end up reading the night away in the Stranger’s Room – in case someone wandered in and I started talking to them I’d be safe from expulsion. But then again, I might as well go sit in the Library.

Oh! The Metra Train just implemented their Quiet Cars – one car per train on all lines during rush hour as of June 6.

Metra Online: “The rules are simple: No cell phone calls. If passengers must answer their phones, they should make it brief or move to the vestibule or another car. Conversations are discouraged; if they must be held they should be short and in subdued voices. All electronic devices must be muted, and headphones should not be loud enough for anyone else to hear.

On Monday, our Conductor made an announcement that we were not in a quiet car, he had mistakenly told passengers this was one. I had been talking the last five minutes and was oblivious to the fact we even had a Quiet Car.

He said it’s the second car from the locomotive, then said, no, the third. Then he said something about there being no Quiet Cars on trains with less than six cars and amended that to five. I looked it up and Metra Online says two. I’m so lost - already.

AND just to make matters worse, it looks like the Quiet Car is going to be two from the back which is where I always meet my party (to talk about the workday) because we have to get off at our stop on that car. So that’s totally not fair!

I just know I’m going to miss the sign (`cause I’ll be talking), end up on the Quiet Car and embarrass the heck out of myself.

It’s only a matter of time before I get kicked out of the Quiet Car, mark my words.

Wait, did I just list my first fictional place to visit - a place where people are not allowed to speak - and then compare it to the new and REAL place of the Metra Quiet Car saying I’ll never go (on purpose, anyhow)?

Yup, I surely did. I surely, surely did...

Now I want to hear what you think of the Diogenes Club and the Metra Quiet Car?

And - what fictional place would you visit?

(And don't say the Holodeck because that's like, 'What would you wish for?' and you say, 'Unlimited wishes!'
Yeah, we'd all say that.
To quote, Sherlock Holmes, "BO-RING!!!!)

Monday, June 6, 2011

'Doctor Who': New 'Who' Season 6

See, I already have a problem and I'm in the title of the Blog Post.

I've avoided Blogging about Doctor Who for two reasons:

1.) I loathe spoilers and don't want some wisenheimer commenting them.

2.) I am a fan of Doctor Who, not so much this new Who. Hence my problem with the title – this is not Season 6. It's like Season 32.

Okay, so that said, let's delve into my problems with this episode.

First of all, I'm not saying the title because it's supposedly a spoiler which I heard so avoided reading it. Then it was everywhere. It was even texted to my phone so I knew the title backwards and forwards before it aired.

Then of course, I thought, oh, good. This particularly dragged out storyline will be wrapped up.

No such luck. I think it was a fake spoiler to make you think one thing when it had to do with another.

The cool thing is the title was pretty good for the content of the episode. Clever.

Since this new Who started, I wanted to see the rest of the Tardis. As I was so disappointed with the new control room, I thought maybe we could get back to cool if the characters ever ventured into the rest of the humongous ship.

No such luck until this episode. And then I was disappointed all over again. The old Tardis, from the real series, was so dang cool and unique. I'd love to see that updated to 2011 special effects technology.

But alas, they decided, for some inexplicable reason, to make the rest of the ship look like every other sci-fi show's spaceship.

Rory and Amy might as well have been running through Battlestar Gallactica (the original, don't even get me started on the new one that I couldn't take more than two minutes of. Why call these things by their original title if you're going to make them so different they don't resemble their namesake? Call it something else!)

So we went from this supercool alien time and space traveler who was funny, charming, timeless, knowledgeable, just arrogant enough to be put in his place and truly unique – to – cool, whiny alien who's lonely despite the fact he's surrounded by friends, who travels in time and space, is insurmountably sad, charming, funny, seems to know less than he did when he was a few hundred years younger and kisses people.

He's not mysterious or unique and the show isn't safe anymore. Hence, they'll kill people off all the time. In fact, they started 'Season Six' by killing the Doctor and then Rory and Amy.

Oh yeah, Rory. What is that guy's problem? He's been killed more times in a year than Daniel Jackson in, what 8 years?

I swear the next time they kill him off, (next week presumably), I'm going to shout, "Oh my god, they killed Rory!"

But, before Steven Moffat is offended (too offended?), I will say I do tune in each week.

More out of loyalty for this show that used to be my favorite.

It was my favorite show for about 27 years. But after too much sadness and whiny (there is no crying in Doctor Who) and convoluted storylines and the addition of the most awesome show ever made, I have switched that top spot.

My favorite show is now Sherlock. Yes, after 27 faithful years, Doctor Who has been bumped out of favorite show status after I watched one and a half episodes (which is exactly half of its total) of Sherlock.

So I'm not picking on Steven Moffat's writing (too much) since he writes for Sherlock. And his Twitters are great and he despises spoilers almost as much as I do and his profile picture is AWESOME!

(See, as an author, I'd hate for a bad review. But I'd also like to think if someone messed up my stories and character after decades, a true fan wouldn't like it if it strayed too far from the original intent. See, I’m not saying his writing is messed up - if this was the same show but under a different name, well, I wouldn’t watch it but it would be great for what it was. Typical current sci-fi. How can you take something awesome and ahead of its time and make it like everything else out there???? Oh, Mr. Moffat, I say this with a shared love of the show.)

And thank God Matt Smith's Doctor is more funny than sad. Tennant was awesome but come on, if I want sad I'll switch to the Lifetime channel.

So what do you guys think – NO SPOILERS please. They spoil. Hence the name.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Of Treasure & Plans

I never really knew how superstitious I was until I came across the Agra Treasure for sale.

If you will recall, the Agra Treasure is from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and The Sign Of Four.

 The Sherlock Holmes Society of London is selling the Agra Treasure in the form of a brooch made to order and individually finished with jewels mentioned in The Sign Of Four.

That is a collectible totally up my alley and yet, I will never buy it.

It's cool.

It's from London.

It's unique.

And it's cursed.

In fact, it is so cursed that one when character loses it, Watson's life takes a turn for the better!

That's pretty darn cursed in my book. (And Doyle's, evidently.)

So I must pass on this really cool piece of physical fictional history.

Maybe I'll put my bid in for those pesky Bruce-Partington Plans...