Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Yes, At the Mercy of the Mind is 50% complete!  *throws confetti*  I haven't actually reached prompt 50 on the list, but I have filled out fifty of the prompts!

I am so excited!  My dad, I think, was about ready to bounce off the walls!  I think I've completed 40 prompts in just one month!  (If not 40, then nearly that.)  I just might - just might - actually finish the list by Easter!  Let's see if I can!

I'm also thinking of fixing up a trailer for the book for YouTube - I do have a channel there, you know.  RingSaberWardrobe, though don't expect to find any Sherlock Holmes vids in the uploads, sorry.

Btw, I haven't forgotten any of the things I said I was going to blog about - I've just been too busy to do it.  (Money-making takes precedence, you know.  ;D)  One thing to add to that list is a review on a Sherlock Holmes pastiche that I bought (and devoured) last weekend - it's a great novella, and I think it's wonderfully faithful to the Canon.

See you later, peeps - the game's afoot!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Writing Child!Sherlock

A few days ago, I wrote three installments for AMM that glimpsed into Sherlock Holmes’s childhood.  It was a lot of fun—not only to get those glimpses but also to break the stereotypes.

There seems to be a general stereotype for writing children in general, and another stereotype for writing child!Sherlock.  The general stereotype is that all young children must either be brats or angels.  The Sherlockian stereotype is that Sherlock must have had an angsty/abusive/negligent childhood to have turned out the way he did.


Um, NO.

Before anybody gets all defensive, let me explain.  I agree completely that the average child is bratty, and I also believe that it’s due very much to how they’re raised.  We’ve all a tendency to be bratty, but if we know we’re going to get in trouble for it, well… we have a little less inclination for it.  But while a fictional bratty child is, sadly, realistic, a fictional non-bratty child is also realistic.  Not an angel, mind you—no child is that—but sweet, obedient children do exist.

And, though we can all agree that Sherlock could probably be quite the pain in his younger years, I think there’s a fair possibility that he could also be a sweetheart.

As to the stereotype for childhood!fics… I’m almost willing to say that Sherlock having an abusive-or-what-have-you childhood is unrealistic.  It’s certainly not probable, nor is it canonical.  No, he never breathes a word of his parents, but just from the fact that we see his brother and not his parents in the Canon, we can safely deduce that Mr. and Mrs. Holmes are dead.  If so, the introversive Sherlock probably doesn’t like discussing them—even good memories can be painful.

In my personal canon, the Holmes parents are murdered by a fire.  The ensuing case, with a 19-yr-old private consulting detective on the job, is not a pleasant one by any means.  Is it any wonder that he wouldn’t want to talk about his parents?

Sherlock could well have had a happy childhood with loving parents, and still have turned out the way he did merely because he’s so intelligent.  The way we’re raised plays a large part in our personalities, but on the other hand, we make our own choices.  As we grow from childhood to adulthood, we make choices about what we believe, who we are, what we’ll do… and we change.

As I said before, writing these three childhood stories was a lot of fun.  I was a bit apprehensive about how my parents would like them when they read them, but I needn’t have worried!  My dad said that the stories blew him away—talk about something guaranteed to brighten your day!  He loved it that I could write such stories and draw inspiration from my experience as the firstborn in a large family with several brothers.  ;D

My mom’s response was even more memorable: she was reading the stories last night, and I went to bed before she was finished.  Well, a few minutes later, she came into my room—figuring that I’d still be awake, and I was—and told me that she loved the longest of the three, involving Sherlock’s mother.  I was thrilled.  The situation definitely called for a hug.  It was a beautiful way to end my day.

I plan on writing more childhood scenes for At the Mercy of the Mind when I get the inspiration, and I hope you’ll enjoy this much lighter look at the youth of the Great Detective.  The three aforementioned stories won’t be uploaded for a couple of weeks yet to keep with the order of the prompts, but they all should be up by Easter!

Allow me to give you, fair reader, a challenge: write a child!Sherlock fic that’s fluffy, upload it, and link me to it!  The world needs more of such lighthearted stories.

At the Mercy of the Mind status: 35 out of 100 complete.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Finished with the Canon!

I did it!  Last night, I finished reading the Canon!  Woo-hoo!  I started last September, and now I'm finally done!  (Well, except for the back-stories in STUD and VALL, but honestly, are they really required reading if you know what happens?  =D)  Y'know, the very first Holmes mystery I ever read was "The Speckled Band," in 6th-grade literature - and I didn't even like it back then because of the snake!  xDDD  Fortunately, "The Redheaded League" and "The Norwood Builder" salvaged my school-years' opinion of Dr. Watson's memoirs.  =D

I have to say that Casebook really wasn't as fun as the others, but I do like MAZA, THOR, ILLU, and LION.  And, of course, the climax of 3GAR.  ..."Retired Colourman"... now that one felt weird to me.  I can't quite pin it down, but it did.

(Now if we could just go back to that antique store, maybe I could buy that pastiche, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes... *random*)

So anyway, finished at last!  And you know what?  As I was reading the last lines of SHOS, it occurred to me that they could be applied as much to Sherlock Holmes as to Sir Robert, and with that in mind, it's not a bad end to the Canon:

...This strange incident in a career which has now outlived its shadows and promises to end in an honoured old age. 

Now how about:

And now the tales of Mr. Sherlock Holmes draw to a close with the recounting of this strange incident in his long career.  He has outlived the shadows of his enemies, and shall end in an honoured old age.

That's all, folks.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Future Sherlockian Novels… Why Not

My mind is forever coming up with new fanfic ideas.  If I could get a dollar for every idea I ever cooked up—for any fandom—I would be a one wealthy woman.  The neat thing about being a Sherlockian is that you can make money out of your fanfic ideas, granted that either you stay out of Casebook material or that you ask the copyright holder for permission.

As for me, I plan to stay out of The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, much as I’d love to do something Holmes/Maud and make money off of it.  I’m afraid that, until 2023, any such stories will have to be confined to the world of fanfiction, unless I get very, very brave and ask the American copyright holder…

But that is presently neither here nor there.  Let’s talk about the Sherlockian book ideas that I have (and don’t expect me to churn these out like I produce AMM installments—I’m going to be up to my ears in research for… well, all of them).  All of these ideas will be called by their working titles, subject to future change.

Sherlock Holmes and the Great War

Here, we dive into the vastly unexplored potential of the experiences of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson during World War I.  Now, KCS and aragonite could probably do a much better job than I—already have done so, in fact, on FF.N: The Written Front and The Days of Our Years.  I highly recommend them.  But, someday, if I can get the time to research this thoroughly, I want to try my hand at it—I’ve already done so in short stories, and I very much want to collect those ideas into a novel.  Imagine Holmes working with Room 40 and British wartime intelligence.  Imagine Watson in the field hospitals and out on the trenches, perhaps even encountering a future beloved writer, 2nd Lt. John R.R. Tolkien.  Imagine “His Last Bow” being Doyle’s misprint of the true facts of Holmes’s counterintelligence work.  Imagine Holmes going out to the trenches himself to find a missing friend.

The possibilities are endless.  That makes it so wonderfully appealing.  If you want to check out my WWI-era fics online:

A Violin and a Test Tube

Sherlock Holmes’s early years, from birth to Cambridge.  His brotherly spats with Mycroft, the love of his half-French mother, his talent with the violin, his discovery of the world of chemistry, and more…  Sherlock’s childhood is neither abusive nor negligent.  He needs sunlight to grow into the hero championed by his future Boswell.

Hours Yet Till Dawn

A sequel to the above.  Sherlock’s parents die in a fire, and Sherlock knows it was deliberate.  A nineteen-year-old boy quits college to find his parents’ murderer, jump-starting his career as an independent detective.  From his very first murder case to his first case with Scotland Yard to the Jefferson Hope mystery, this novel covers the first four years of Sherlock Holmes’s career as the world’s first private consulting detective.

Collecting the Cases

A collection of previously posted and to-be-uploaded short stories by yours truly, sprucing up the one-shots on FF.N and throwing in others for a mix of angst, hurt/comfort, intensity, and good old humor.

Not a Marrying Man

There was more to Holmes’s relationship with Milverton’s housemaid Agatha than Watson ever published.  The good Doctor was protecting the one woman who ever laid a claim to the heart of the Great Detective.  …What can I say?—my romantic soul must have an outlet somewhere!  But it’s not all roses and sunshine, for in the midst of a whirlwind courtship, Sherlock Holmes stumbles across the distant remains of an empire that fractured when its kingpin died in a Swiss waterfall…

To Take Up the Pen

Watson wrote all two dozen installments of Adventures and Memoirs in the three years he thought his best friend dead.  What was going through his mind as he wrote them?  What was happening in his life as he wrote them?  And what was really going through Holmes’s mind as he read them?

An Irregular Point of View

Wiggins of the Baker Street Irregulars was a young man when “Mr. ‘Olmes” took on Professor Moriarty.  Early 1891 and onward, from the Irregulars’ most dangerous job ever in protecting the Detective and the Doctor to the 221B fire to Wiggins shadowing Holmes and Watson on the Continent.  Probably ending in Sherlock Holmes’s return in April ’94.

Breaking through the Darkness

Thanks ever so much to Mam'zelleCombeferre for pointing out what should have been obvious to me—“This could be an interesting whole story.”  This book takes “14. Blind” from AMM and turns it into a full-fledged novel.  When Sherlock Holmes suffers a bad concussion, the results are devastating.  Will the Great Detective be able to continue in his line of work when his world has been darkened forever?

Upcoming Future Posts…

—A mom’s review of the RDJ film
—A guide to my fanfiction
—Ravings on aragonite’s A Sword for the Defense series
—Some fangirling over Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes (sorry, it had to happen sooner or later :P)

…Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

At the Mercy of the Mind

Sometimes, a great brain can be as much of a curse as a blessing.  And sometimes, great things come from little ideas.  Where do these two concepts unite?

In At the Mercy of the Mind.

It started when I felt the need to do some Holmes angst/torture.  Whilst in this frame of mind, I discovered the LiveJournal community “A Mere Appendix,” the sister community of the probably better-known “Watson’s Woes.”  I was thrilled (morbidly and perversely so, I guess), and copied the prompt tables (which are the same for both C2s).

Just three days later, I uploaded the first installment of a story collection I decided to call At the Mercy of the Mind (AMM)  The title came from the idea that a brilliant mind can sometimes be turned on its owner—over-imagination, vivid nightmares, inability to cope properly with emotions, etc.  I think that these ideas in association with Sherlock Holmes are really more fanon than Canon, but they’re such an entrenched part of fanon and they do make enough sense that I can’t work with his character with thinking of them.

The stories hit it off pretty well, and that got me thinking.  I had already had the idea before of writing a Sherlock Holmes book, set in World War I and dealing with Holmes’s exploits during the time.  However, that’s an idea that needs TONS of research.

Enter AMM, a rather popular collection of stories that I can write usually very quickly and easily.  I figured that I could turn AMM into a book, and people would buy it.  When I announced my intentions in an author’s note on February 25, some of my readers said that they would buy a book version.  And then my dad got involved, and very enthusiastically so.  Fired up with excitement, I actually churned out a record six installments in one day (bear in mind that these are all less than a thousand words each).

It’s decided now that once I’ve completed the book (and I’ll only be posting up half of the stories on FF.N, so that people do have to buy the book to read the rest), I’ll publish it through Amazon’s Kindle program.  Yes, it will be an e-book, and no, you don’t need a Kindle to read it—you can download a PC version of the Kindle software for free from Amazon.

I’m really very excited about this.  I can almost guarantee that the book will be available before summer, and when it is, I hope you’ll get it.  It’s a way for me to jumpstart (I hope) my career as an author, but it’s also a labor of love, all the way.  I’m alternately bouncing in my seat and crying as I work on these stories, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I’m enjoying writing them.

Status: as of 3/7/11, 26 out of 100 complete—just over a FULL QUARTER!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I'm a Believer

Probably every one of us Sherlockians, at some point, has wished that the Great Detective and the good Doctor were real people.  Just a few days ago, I was typing out a post-WWI fic and crying over it and wishing that these two men—of whom I’ve poured out so much of my heart in writing—had been historical rather than fictional figures.

What if they really were?

The same day, I stumbled across an article on, and I think this is something that ALL fans need to read:  It completely blew me away.  It lays out a very convincing case for the reality of Mr. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. James Watson.

I’m a believer now.  How about you?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Halloa, halloa!

Hi, all!  This is Aleine Skyfire from FanFiction.Net, with a brand new blog.  I'll be discussing my Sherlockian fiction here, both to-be-published stories and fanfiction -- inspiration, story ideas, spoilers, background data, and all sorts of bonus feature goodies!  And... well, I'll just be talking about all things Sherlockian!  Some commentary on the Granada series and BBC's Sherlock... some fan speculation...

I foresee a lot of fun ahead!  The game is afoot!

At the Mercy of the Mind status: 23% complete.