Friday, July 29, 2011

Favorite 10 Sherlockian Characters


So, I have a chance to be online right now, and I am so taking it!  I’ve just recovered from a terrible case of writer’s block which overtook me before I took an enforced break from writing—but a week’s absence from the creative world has left a terrible mark on my thought processes.  I’ve still been having severe difficulty in writing anything.

However, reading an old issue of Writer’s Digest inspired me to do a top 10 list, Sherlockian-themed, of course.  It was my first piece of writing in a week, and it felt bloody marvelous.  So, here we go!


1. Sherlock Holmes!
No duh, right?  ;D

1.5 John Watson, M.D.
‘Cause you just can’t have the one without the other…

2. Inspector G. Lestrade
Small, feisty, sensible, smug, hardworking, willing to admit that he’s wrong… and Colin Jeavons, FTW!

3. Mycroft Holmes
The original, lazy, lovable Big Brother.  (Plus, Mark Gatiss.  Yesss, my preciousss.)

4. Mary Watson
A fairytale-esque heroine who gets neither her castle nor her happy ending.  But she is strong, smart, compassionate, loving… and she does not object to her husband’s gallivanting off with a certain private consulting detective, who appears to admire her in turn.

5. Professor James Moriarty
The very first super-villain, his coldness, cunning, and overall intelligence still outshines the vast majority of villainy.

6. Inspector Tobias Gregson
From “That’s Lestrade’s fault, not mine” to “Ha-ha, that idiot Lestrade!”—he’s just plain adorable when we first meet him in STUD.  Later, however, he’s as serious and dedicated a detective as Sherlock Holmes could wish to work with.

7. Wiggins
The original BSI director whom fans seem determined to keep forever young.  (He was old enough to lead the gang in 1881—he had to have been an adult in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s!)

8. Alec MacDonald
One of the very first Holmesians!  Listen to him at the beginning of VALL—he’s a fanboy!

9. Maud Bellamy
This oft-overlooked character from Casebook is that delightfully attractive combination of beauty and bravery—and just look at the reaction she invokes in Holmes!  (Sherlock/Maud, anyone?  *ducks tomatoes*  Well, it’s not impossible…)

10. Irene Norton
Like her successor Maud, Irene is beautiful, brave, sensible, and smart.  Far from being a criminal or a lady of the night, Irene is much closer to the quintessential American heroine of the time (think of the women of the American West—there’s a definite resemblance).  She’s been knocked down by a royal she once loved, but her never-say-die attitude allows her to find love again and her smarts show her her misstep in revealing the photo’s hiding-place.  And… Sherlock Holmes calls her The Woman.  No lady ever was before and ever has been since so privileged.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Goodbye! So soon! And isn't it a shame~

What can I say?  I've always liked that song.  Now, this is not a permanent goodbye, all right?

But I will be on partial hiatus starting today, with sporadic Internet access. Updates will be irregular and few and far between. This state of affairs will continue until September or, at the latest, October. Terribly sorry, m’dears, but that’s life for you.

Now, meantime, you could make me an extremely happy woman by buying AMM, yes?  *puppy eyes*  Please?

Quick update for Deliver Us from Evil: a prologue and 6 chapters have been drafted for the first book of the series, with over 18,000 words.  Target release date is Winter 2012.  Stay tuned!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sherlock Holmes, America, and Independence

“Then I trust that you at least will honour me with your company,” said Sherlock Holmes. “It is always a joy to meet an American, Mr. Moulton, for I am one of those who believe that the folly of a monarch and the blundering of a minister in far-gone years will not prevent our children from being some day citizens of the same world-wide country under a flag which shall be a quartering of the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes.”
—“The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor”

Halloa, halloa, there, folks!  Today being the United States of America’s 235th birthday, I wanted to blog something about Sherlock Holmes and the U.S. of A.  I was wracking my brains trying to come up with something when suddenly I remembered this little gem of a quote.

A rather… interesting… opinion

…Oh, boy, Holmes, you came up with some interesting stuff, but this one’s a doozy.  And what did he mean by “I am one of those”?  I certainly hope there weren’t other Englishmen of the belief that America would one day rejoin the British Empire!

Seriously, though, how on earth could Holmes possibly have formed that opinion?  By the time of NOBL (October 1888), the United States had been her own country for well over a century!  Did Sherlock seriously believe that the fiercely independent Americans would surrender their liberty once more to a foreign authority over three thousand miles away?  Especially considering that a civil war had been fought in America in his lifetime (his childhood, to be precise) over independence for the southern states!

America is not Scotland.  Scotland was conquered by England, regained its autonomy, then lost it when the monarchies were joined under King James I.  America was born of England, grew up, and left her tyrannical parent.

Not the same at all.

He was also factually wrong.

It was neither the king nor the Prime Minister that the Founding Fathers declared war upon—it was Parliament.  It was the legislative body that was levying taxes and tyrannizing the colonies.  The Americans wanted to be answerable to King George III himself—some of the individual colonial constitutions recognized him alone as their ruler.  They were not going to stand for being controlled by a legislative group that was not recognized in their governmental charters and in which they had no representation.


Sherlock was actually growing up while the American Civil War was being waged three thousand miles away.  If he had indeed been born in 1854, he would have been eleven years old when the North won (though in my own timeline, he was born in ’58 and would thus have been seven).  If he had but been old enough to travel to the South, Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and others would have gladly taught Sherlock a lot about liberty and independence.

Had Holmes ever bothered to study the men who fought for independence, he would have found ample proof that America would never willingly resubmit to a foreign power.  (And England, by 1888, was very foreign to the States—descendants of English colonists were only part of the population, which was also comprised of Germans, Irish and Scotch-Irish, blacks, French and Spanish in the south, and even Chinese in the West.)

Consider Patrick Henry’s immortal words, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

Or Colonel Robert Magaw of the Continental Army: “Actuated by the Most Glorious Cause that mankind ever fought in, I am determined to defend this post to the very last extremity.”

And, clearly, Holmes never watched Mel Gibson’s The Patriot or Gods and Generals (starring Stephen Lang, Jeff Daniels, and Robert Duvall).  More’s the pity!

Did he ever learn?

In the years leading up to World War I, Holmes went undercover for the British government as counter-intelligence.  His guise was the Irish-American Altamont, and he spent over a year in the States just to return to England as a spy for German military intelligence.  Holmes played a dangerous game not only with the Germans but with the Irish as well—his cover was amongst the very people that would secede Ireland from the British Empire in less than twenty years!

As he immersed himself in the role, did Holmes ever truly understand the need for national independence?  He himself had created his own profession and valued individual independence—did he ever come to understand it on a much-larger scale?

We can’t know one way or the other, of course.  But there’s a chance he did.  There’s a chance.

To all my fellow Americans, a blessed Independence Day.  Never forget that our liberty was won at a price, and that liberty cannot be maintained without sacrifice of ourselves to that Most Glorious Cause.

America, America!
God mend thine every flaw!
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!