Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Laptops, Sherlock, and Granada, oh my!

MY LAPTOP IS FIXED!!!  I AM IN HEAVEN!!!  ...Readers of A Study in Stardom may recall that my laptop crashed back in late January.  'Tis fixed now, and ALL MY FILES ARE SAAAFE!!!  (Including this one future scene from A Time to Heal that will probably never make it into the story—but it was fantastic to read it again.  I had typed it out that day and not put it on my flashdrive... so when the computer went down, the file went with it.)  All my screenies of Jeremy are there, toooo~!  Hallelujah!

No longer need I work on a desktop that freezes on me completely at random, or that won't let me watch .mp4s or DVDs!  And now I have my lovely laptop keyboard back, with its short, musical keys and spacebar that doesn't get stuck!  (Good thing, though, that I haven't lost my skill with a mousepad, 'cause my regular mouse ain't workin'—which is really not very good at all.)  Just to celebrate, I popped in my Sherlock DVD last night and watched a few minutes—specifically, the Mycroft warehouse scene.  I haven't watched Sherlock in three months because I didn't have the means.  It was great!

And at last, I am getting the Granada series in full!  It may be a little bit before I actually have it, but I will!  *dances for joy*

...I'll try tomorrow to bring y'all up to speed on AMM.  All the stories have been written, but I'm now in post-production.  =D

Saturday, April 23, 2011



Now to start the editing (and may it be swift!).  Upward and Onward!

...And a Happy and Blessed Easter to you all!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Merged …Another Sherlockian novel?

Imagine this: a private detective at the top of her game in New York City.  A mastermind criminal and a long-running vendetta.  A machine that can create rips through time to send a person into the past.  Whoever controls this machine effectively controls the fate of our world.

And it’s been stolen.

Thirty-two-year-old Kathleen Stewart, independent investigative consultant, is on the case.  Her mission: to get the time machine out of Richard Stirling’s hands, or destroy it.

Instead, she finds herself propelled back in time—to London, 1890.

A lone female in a strange city, Kathleen proceeds to Baker Street, where—as an avid Sherlockian who knows that Sherlock Holmes was a real person—she finds the detective and explains her incredible story.  The proof of her sanity is the technology she bears, completely impossible for the time period.

Meanwhile, Rick Stirling is not idle.  He sends himself back to the same year and finds James Moriarty, intent on enlisting the former professor’s help in defeating both Sherlock Holmes and Kathleen Stewart once and for all.

As two very different times merge, the game is on, and the stakes have never been so high.  Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are in for the adventure of their lives.

…Don’t start panicking; Deliver Us From Evil will come first—at least Book One, anyway.  Once the first book is out, I might return to this idea to get it out there before continuing the series, just because this idea has me fascinated, hook, line, and sinker.  (And I’m not the only one—my dad was getting excited about it, too, lol.)

Those of you who have read A Time to Heal probably recognized the two original characters right away: Kathleen and Stirling.  Yes, this is an alternate reality of ATtH, reversing the roles (and making the characters younger)—this time, it’s the people of our time going back to the Victorian Era, rather than vice versa. 

Why is Kathleen going by her maiden name, you ask?  Well, it’s for the very simple reason that she isn’t married.  (I know, Kathleen Duran sounds so iconic, and I hate to lose it, but…)  Thus, the Kathleen that you’ll see in this story will be not only younger, but also a bit edgier.  Not too edgy, though, mind you, because her romanticism, her fangirlism, and her child-at-heart-ness are a big part of what makes her, her.  Without those traits, you really don’t have Kathleen Aubrey Stewart.

I’m really looking forward to doing this, eventually.  I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

AMM and Deliver Us From Evil

I’m not even quite sure what sparked the idea for Deliver Us From Evil.  I was fixing up my hard drive copies of Aragonite's Sword for Defense series to transfer to my PDA (reading fanfic in bed all snuggled up under the covers is just about as decadent as it gets, peeps), and the idea was born sometime during that.  I’ve fallen in love with the FINA/EMPT/Moriarty story arch—what could be more natural than to create an epic around it?

So I opened a new MS Word document and started out the list that became last Friday’s blog post.  In fact, I’m rather iffy about that list; it might turn out to be 6 books rather than 5, with a book between To Take Up the Pen and When Cometh the Dawn—just because the Hiatus storyline might be too big to fit into two books only.  But I guess I’ll figure that out once I have a more definite plot.

And that, I don’t have… yet.  Major brainstorming will come later.  Right now, I’ll just record whatever little ideas trickle in.

I am nearly 80% finished with my AMM prompts table.  Once I’m done writing, polishing, sending it off to my beta reader (the lovely teenelizabeth), doing whatever polishing she recommends (hopefully not much), signing up with Amazon, converting the book to whatever format necessary, and getting it put through the Kindle program…  Did that tire you out?  It tired me out just typing it!

Anyway, once AMM is complete and available for you wonderful, voracious readers… I am taking a breather.  I do think I will have earned it—I mean, how many writers out there fill out a 100 prompts table in four months?!  It takes most people much longer than that—and really, I couldn’t have done it myself had it not been for the motivation of getting it done, out there, and making money.  As an unemployed, as-of-yet-unpublished young adult, the idea of finally making a living for myself is highly attractive.  Let’s see if I can get somewhere to Amanda Hocking’s level.  ^_^

Nah, I don’t expect it.  But wouldn’t it be loverly?

So, back to the topic at hand: breather.  I’m telling you: I can’t wait.  I’ll just sit here and bask in the raving reviews you guys leave me (be it here, on FF.N, or even on LJ or dA, if you link me to it).

…Okay, so I won’t be doing that, per se.  I have a college writing course from the Christian Writers Guild that I’m months behind on.  I got behind last summer and never got caught up—last summer.  And it only got worse.  So, I’m going to see if I can kamikaze and get my… eep, anywhere from 10 to 20 lessons caught up.  Holy cow.  Once that’s done and I’m (please, God?) back on schedule, I’ll take Sherlock Holmes back up again.

That’s not to say I’ll be completely silent.  I’ll probably grace you with the occasional Study in Stardom update, though don’t expect them to be as regular as they once were.  A Time to Heal is, unfortunately, on indefinite hiatus due to complete lack of inspiration—I just might write a far-future tie-in just to try to rekindle my muse’s interest (and I warn you, it’ll be… a little shocking, probably).

Oh yeah, and I might finally finish my Star Wars/Grand Admiral Thrawn fic that’s gotten so much love.  I feel bad about that one—I haven’t updated since I got into the Sherlock Holmes fandom.  In September.  Do the math for yourself.  =(

So, anyway, where does Deliver Us From Evil fit into all this mess?  Well, quite simply, I’ll start on the series once I’m caught up with school.  I’ll be doing TONS of research, but I’ll start writing, anyway.  Maybe I’ll post tidbits up on FF.N as actual fics to keep your guys’ interest, and to snag new victims—I mean, readers.  =D  I think I will.  I’ve really already done so, technically, with “Unraveling the Truth”—a scene from either To Take Up the Pen or the aforementioned possible book between To Take Up the Pen and When the Dawn Cometh.

Where’d the series title come from, anyway?  …Well, y’know, I can’t quite answer that one.  Obviously, it’s from the Lord’s Prayer, but how did it get stuck in my head?  Hmm…  I’d bet anything God put it there.  Seriously, I would!

It does fit, though.  I mean, we’re talking about a hidden war the likes of which you generally don’t see without a lot of fantasy elements.  It’s not fantasy, it’s not urban fantasy, it’s not even sci-fi—it’s good, old adventure/historical (somewhat) fiction.  I would hesitate to call it mystery, because we all know who are the bad guys, and we all know where the bad guys end up.

What we don’t know, however, is what happened in-between the lines, in the background, etcetera.  That’s where I want to dig in and flesh out.  So it’s certainly much more adventure than mystery.

But it’s the story behind the mysteries (well, my own version, but hey).

Allow me to quote Aragonite, from the opening to A Sword for Defense: "And I submit to you-the fiction out there that deals with the allegedly glamorous life Sherlock Holmes led while he was avoiding Moran can be measured in hectacres. But there is not a single piece I can find that deals with those three years for Watson and Scotland Yard."

For me, it was a call to action, and now, not only am I going to be writing fiction that does deal with Watson and Scotland Yard during the Great Hiatus, but I’m also going to be dealing with the events before that!  In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that there is very little pre-FINA, non-parody fiction dealing with Moriarty, period.  There is some, but it doesn’t seem to be much.

Cue inspiration.

Aragonite’s marvelous Sword for Defense series dealt with the Hiatus on a two-front level: Watson and Scotland Yard combating Colonel Moriarty, and Holmes hiding from Colonel Moran.  KCS’s fantastic crossover with Star Trek: The Original Series, However Improbable, dealt with a surviving Professor Moriarty bent on controlling the twenty-third century.  Both stories are absolute epics.


Nobody seems to have done a two-front (Holmes and Scotland Yard) epic dealing with the fight against Moriarty in the several months before FINA.  I want to see Moriarty as a running antagonist, as VALL seems to paint him.  There’s only one story comparable to this that I’ve seen thus far, and it’s Protector of the Gray Fortress’s  wonderfully-chilling, Granada-based AU Centre of the Web.  But even that is an AU of the events of FINA, and not an actual hashing-out of the months before.

Enter yours truly.

I’m rewinding the video to six months before the opening of FINA, and I’m starting the story from there.  November 1890.  Can anybody think of any significance to that setting?  Well, if Watson met Mary in 1888 and married her early the next year, DYIN (assuming that it’s Mary as his wife and not the unnamed second Mrs. Watson) falls exactly upon November 1890.  Culverton Smith.

And, being in that time period, Moriarty is involved.

In fact, included in this epic, in Book One to be exact, will be the whole “torture series”—or “Holmes-captured” arch—from AMM.  We’re going to see that captivity in greater detail—that might actually end up being a huge part of that first book.

What a way to kick off the series, eh?  Torture poor Sherlock.

The second book is currently very sketchy.  It starts with Holmes’s investigation in France and ends with a greatly enhanced version of FINA.  That’s about all I know at this point.

The other day, I was going through my AMM stories and tallying up how many would appear—in some shape or form—in Deliver Us From Evil (DUE—I don’t like DUFE).  Guess how many.  5?  10?  Maybe a dozen?

Erm, no.

Twenty.  TWENTY.

A full fifth of the collection.

And I’m not even finished yet.  There could still be more.  (Thus far, I have multiple introspects from Holmes before and after Reichenbach, and that’s only one category in all this FINA/EMPT glory.  One of the stories is actually another account of what happened at the Falls, and I love that installment to pieces.)

Okay, I’ll stop rambling now (and don’t worry, that BBC SH post is coming—just be patient).

Friday, April 8, 2011

Deliver Us From Evil: a Brand New Future Series

So, I’ve been thinking, and in considering all the FINA and EMPT material that I’ve written and that I have ideas for (see “Future Sherlockian Novels”).  I have enough ideas to write an entire series spanning the time from Winter ’90-’91 to 1894.  Granted, I need a lot more ideas and a lot of research to pull it off, but… man, I can do this.

This may very well be my next project following AMM: Deliver Us From Evil.

1. Amid Winter’s Chill
            When Sherlock Holmes takes up the Victor Savage murder, Culverton Smith decides to incapacitate him permanently, disobeying the orders of his superior.  When Holmes not only survives the disease but also links Smith to a smuggling ring on the East End, the powers that be in the criminal world decide that leaving him free is too dangerous.  Sherlock Holmes is in for his most far-reaching, deadly challenge ever.

2. A Narrow Path
            Upon recovering from captivity, Holmes takes up a case presented by the French government.  While he is away, Watson notes a decided increase in crime, and Scotland Yard takes steps to cast the net around Professor Moriarty’s shadow empire.  But when Holmes returns at last, it is only to whisk the Doctor away on a retreat that will end at a Swiss waterfall.

3. An Irregular Point of View
            Starting in November ’90 and ending in May ’91, the tale of Holmes VS Moriarty as seen from the eyes of the Irregulars, young and old—including Wiggins.

4. To Take Up the Pen
            Moriarty’s empire is fractured but not yet down for the count, Holmes is believed dead but on the run, and Scotland Yard is scrambling to pick up the pieces.  Into this uncertain world, Watson brings the first two dozen short stories of Sherlock Holmes.

5. When Cometh the Dawn
            Late 1893 into Summer 1894: a grieving John Watson takes up the sword to do battle with the not-so-pitiful remnants of Moriarty’s empire in England, and Sherlock Holmes does the same on the Continents.  Even upon Holmes’s “resurrection,” the game is not yet over—a ship called Friesland will play a part in the final offensive against the most powerful criminal empire Scotland Yard has ever known.

…Excited yet?  Guess who is!  (Yes, I know this isn’t the BBC radio show post I mentioned in today’s AMM installment—maybe tomorrow.  I’m so excited about this, I’m literally bouncing.)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Granada & GREE: Deeper Waters in the Climax

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Granada episode.

Months afterwards a curious newspaper cutting reached us from Buda-Pesth. It told how two Englishmen who had been traveling with a woman had met with a tragic end. They had each been stabbed, it seems, and the Hungarian police were of opinion that they had quarreled and had inflicted mortal injuries upon each other. Holmes, however, is, I fancy, of a different way of thinking, and holds to this day that, if one could find the Grecian girl, one might learn how the wrongs of herself and her brother came to be avenged.
—“The Greek Interpreter,” The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Granada takes this ending to GREE and turns it completely on its head.  It was one of the biggest liberties of the Adventures run (seasons 1 & 2)—the only other story changes comparable are the masterminding of Moriarty in REDH and the absence of Mary Watson.  In fact, the ending is really so dark on top of being non-canonical that it’s more in the style of the Memoirs run.

Personally, I always hated it that they turned Sophy Kratides into this coldhearted character who really doesn’t care that her brother has just been murdered by her fiancĂ©e.  I like the canon version much better.  Go sisterly justice!

But I was watching the last ten-ish minutes of the episode the other day (because I do love the Brothers Holmes in the climax), and I later realized something.

The climax is all about siblings.  Paul and Sophy Kratides, Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes.

Granada took a Sherlock Holmes adventure and turned it into a story about siblings.

There’s a sharp contrast drawn between the Kratides and the Holmes siblings.  On one hand, you have the brave, steadfast Paul who dies trying to protect his sister; and the sister herself, who says that she’d (in essence) be Harold Latimer’s slave, even though he murdered Paul.  On the other hand, you have the deliciously devious Mycroft, who acts as backup for Little Brother and Little Brother’s BFF, saving them from a potentially sticky situation; and Sherlock, who lets Big Brother (supposedly) sleep, safely away from the impending crossfire.  (In fact, it’s even entirely possible that the ever-perceptive Sherlock actually knows Mycroft is faking sleep and might go do a little legwork—not too much, of course—of his own.)

One set has a loving brother and an ungrateful sister; the other set is a team that banters/bickers a little but works quite well together.

It always pays to watch Holmes’s face.  Though Watson/Doyle often describes Holmes as cold and inscrutable, Jeremy Brett gives us a lovely glimpse into the mind of the Master via his facial expressions.  (This makes him gold for the avatar-makers, yours truly included.)  And Jeremy’s/Holmes’s face as Sophy claims she would have gone with Latimer despite his murdering her brother says it all.  Up until that point, he’s all cautious reserve, watching her, feeling her out.  But once he hears that damning statement, he literally draws himself up, his eyes flutter closed for a moment, and he settles once more into the man who will stop at nothing to see that justice is done.

Watson’s expression is clear shock at Sophy’s confessions, but it’s Holmes’s in the background that you really need to watch.

As she speaks, Sherlock is probably even thinking about his own brother, and contrasting his own family with this messed-up Grecian one.  No doubt he’s grateful that his own brother would never betray him as Sophy has done Paul, and thinking of how he in turn would never betray Mycroft.

Of course, the squee moment for Mycroft fans (myself included) comes when Mycroft shows up behind Kemp, holding him captive with the villain’s own gun that he nicked in a clever moment of purposely-lost balance.  (Though in a horrible blooper moment, Mycroft calls the little two-shot a revolver rather than a derringer.)  The Brothers Holmes and Watson share smiles with each other—you creeps ain’t got nothin’ on this trio.

Back at a train station, Sherlock makes a jesting remark about his lazy big brother going down a path of crime with him—probably just baiting him for a reaction.  Mycroft huffs that the only path he’s taking is the door to the Diogenes Club, and he’s shutting it behind him.  With that, he moves off—typical Holmes.

Sherlock and Watson are left behind, Watson wondering what will happen to Sophy.  Sherlock’s answer is very bitter: she will be released, since she has committed no crime.  He adds bitingly that there’s not a drop of compassion in her cold heart—ironically, Watson says things to roughly the same degree about Holmes himself throughout the Canon, though the “great heart” line in 3GAR might be seen as a ret-con to that.  But Sherlock’s answer might be seen as very revealing, that he detests cold-heartedness and family betrayal.  Here, he is valuing compassion and familial love as being virtues, indeed.

A few more thoughts before I wrap this up.  First of all, the rescue of Paul and Mr. Melas: in the canon, Paul dies shortly after the cavalry shows up; in the episode, he has been dead for four hours (and via sulfur poisoning rather than the canonical smoke inhalation).  Perhaps this change is a bit more sympathetic to Sherlock, who takes the failure hard—but even if he hadn’t been delayed by Gregson, he would still have gotten there too late.  Small comfort, but this time, there really wasn’t anything Sherlock could do.

Secondly, the action that precipitates the climax: Sherlock, Mycroft, and Watson getting aboard that train at all!  In the Canon, all we know is that the bad guys cleared off before the police could arrive—but in Granada’s take, Sherlock, characteristically, doesn’t settle for being beaten and gives chase.  Ironically, Granada’s version in that sense is probably a bit more faithful to Sherlock Holmes than his own author was!

Third, Sherlock has some really great moments in the train sequence, beginning with his urging Mycroft to hurry up (at which Mycroft retorts, “I’m not built for running, Sherlock!”  Lol, we could deduce that, Big Brother.).  Then there’s Sherlock smoking in the compartment when there’s a no-smoking sign on the window.  Ha-ha, I'm even anti-smoking, and I find that bit funny!  It’s just Sherlock ignoring the rules again as per usual—you have to pity his mom.  (Or envy her—I might actually envy her: life must have been pretty neat, raising Mycroft and Sherlock.)

Next, he throws open the B21 compartment door, and speaks to Sophy in her own language!  Obviously, he’s asking her if he take a seat, but…  Sherlock Holmes actually speaks Greek.  How awesome is that?  He shoots VR into the wall, tells you your life-story from infancy, wears an awesome (if, admittedly, monochromatic) wardrobe, beats up perverts, rides horses, plays a Strad, assumes whatever identity he wants to and does it flawlessly, bounds effortlessly over couches, unbends iron pokers, has perfect diction, possesses a delightfully sardonic wit, is absolutely gorgeous… and he speaks Greek.  (And it took me several minutes to finish that list—Sherlock Holmes: HIS AWESOMENESS—lol.)  Remind me WHY this guy is still single?

…Oh, right.  No woman will put up with him.  Can I volunteer?  I grant you I’m a little young, but I’m certainly legally old enough…

Ahem, anyway, last item, and this is (for me) his Crowning Moment of Awesome.  He draws his revolver and cocks the hammer.  He’s deadly serious, and if push comes to shove, he won’t hesitate to shoot Latimer.  Of course, he doesn’t really have to, turns out, as Latimer, in a stupid move, tries to jump off the train and ends up getting literally ripped off by another passing train.  Pretty dark.  What is perhaps darker still is that Sherlock holds back first Sophy, then Watson, from helping Latimer—though you can see something akin to regret in Sherlock’s eyes after the grisly deed is done.  Could it be that Sherlock didn’t want to risk Latimer getting past them and away after being pulled back into the train?  Or worse, actually wounding or killing one of them in a struggle?  It’s possible.

And at any rate, despite the definite gruesomeness of Latimer’s death, he did deserve it for what he had done to Paul.

So, there you have it, folks: Granada’s “Greek Interpreter.”  A tale of intrigue, cruelty, betrayal, and ultimately, family.  All in all, it’s a good adaptation.  Next time I do a Granada review, I promise it’ll be SCAN—maybe Monday.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Burnout Evaded

I just barely escaped a terrible case of burnout yesterday.  I had the word prompt “drug,” I mapped out a story that had almost nothing to do with cocaine, and I did not want to type it.   I was tired, and somewhat emotionally drained from having poured so much of myself into several intense stories (AMM, of course).  I felt that if I tried to type it out, I’d scream.

I don’t remember how exactly it happened, but after lunch (and a completely fruitless morning), the WWI plot bunny came bouncing in and demanding to be appeased.  It was that defining moment when you just know “this is it.”  This is what you want to write.  There are few sensations, I think, to compare with that.

It was that way for a prompt I had weeks ago—“swim.”  I was trying all day to come up with an idea, and finally, in the evening, it hit.  Poldhu Bay.  If you know your Canon, you know where that appears in the stories.  =)  That idea… was like an epiphany.  In fact, I’m not sure that I’m the One Who came up with it.  ;-)

Anyway, my brief burnout passed, and I managed to complete two stories yesterday and begin a third.  But, man, talk about a scare!  (Although I think my mom was more worried than I was. <3)