Monday, December 28, 2009

Revised Reunion

This is a more fleshed out version of Holmes's 1890 reunion with Helen Stoner. I decided that I indeed wanted her to wait to accept his proposal. It's around summertime, after the publication of SIGN in February 1890.

This is the year that Watson moves his practice from Paddington to Kensington, and Holmes thinks that Watson is trying to avoid him. He decides to try to move on by apologizing to Helen for what happened in Chapter 8. Again, the chapter numbers are based on the DIM outline as it stands now.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Huzzah!

It was an excellent movie, and I definitely intend to own this on DVD when it comes out. The way the Guy Ritchie film was advertised as a blockbuster action adventure, I feared that the characters might not get much development, but I was wrong. I was surprised and delighted with how good it was. For me, it was like on the level of Without a Clue, for fun, humor, and style.

More spoilery details below.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Well it's almost here! It's a rare movie that I go out to see on opening day, but I don't think I could stand to wait any longer. I've just got to brave the cold weather tomorrow and be thankful I'm not in the northern regions of this country, where the weather would be much worse.

In the mean time I've been working on my SPEC rewrite again. As I said, I really hated dropping the opening part where Helen sneaks out of Stoke Moran and Roylott bruises her wrist, so I'm going to add that back (in third person) to the beginning. I'll just cut out the stuff about Helen's train ride into London and her arrival at Baker Street, to speed up getting to Holmes knocking Watson up. I haven't finished the conversion of the old Reminiscences text yet, only getting through Helen waking up and deciding to go see Holmes, with a flashback to a discussion with Mrs. Farintosh a month ago.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Houston elects a lesbian mayor

I saw this news late last night and was quite happy. Houston is the largest city so far to elect a gay mayor. This is great news after the crappy year we've had concerning marriage rights and such.

Maybe now Texas will get some respect too. All I ever seem to hear on the blogosphere is how we're a redneck state that should go ahead and secede from the union. All while ignoring the fact that our big cities are blue, and idiots like Rick Perry don't represent us all. Nobody seems to remember that we have had many prominent Democrats in the past such as LBJ, Lloyd Bentsen, Jim Hightower, and Ann Richards. The current governor's race is still a mess, and I've already seen endless TV ads for both Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchinson. It's so annoying. I need to hear and learn more about Bill White, who seems to be the favorite among the Democratic hopefuls.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Prelude published

Okay I finally pulled the trigger and published Prelude as a Partnership as an ebook. I'm still not sure about the title, but couldn't come up with anything better except maybe "Prelude to Love" but I didn't want to definitely state whether Holmes would fall in love with Watson eventually.

Here's the link.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Another story on Feedbooks

I've now published "Watson's Finances" on Feedbooks. This is the non-slash version that doesn't end with them heading off to the nearest bedroom. It's not really hetero either, since neither of them talk about their love lives. This is merely a warm up posting, testing the waters before I publish Prelude in full.

Monday, November 30, 2009

1950s Holmes on Hulu

While browsing Hulu this weekend, I found that they had all 39 episodes of the Sherlock Holmes series starring Ronald Howard and H. Marion Crawford. This is the one I discussed earlier. I recommend it as a fun series and an unusually young portrayal of Holmes. There are also related links from that Hulu page, featuring Basil Rathbone movies, Christopher Lee movies, and a version of "The Speckled Band" starring Douglas Wilmer.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Native Americans on PBS

I don't know if it's intentional or coincidental, but for the past month or so, PBS World has been airing documentaries and other TV specials about Native Americans. This seems significant in light of Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bill Moyers leaving

I've heard that Bill Moyers is leaving PBS after his show ends in April. It'll be the end of an era when he retires. If only there were more people to carry on for him when he goes. We get so much crap infotainment and faux controversy lately that it's depressing. Just this weekend I stumbled across an episode of Moyers's show where he drew a parallel between Obama's decision making process on Afghanistan with the similar process by Johnson about the Vietnam war. Moyers introduced historical audio clips of LBJ on the phone with various Congressmen and advisers over several months.

Some said he should get out of Vietnam because the South Vietnamese government was so unstable and corrupt; also, it would be easy getting into a war, but probably impossible to get out. So LBJ tried to stall several times and keep the US involvement limited, even hoping that the South Vietnamese government would ask them to leave, so they could have a face-saving out. Johnson had inherited this complicated mess from Kennedy, and he did not wish to seem like the US was running scared from spreading Communism (or the threat that the Chinese would get involved). At the same time, there was the impending 1964 election to think of, and Republicans like Barry Goldwater were criticizing him for not openly admitting that there was a war going on, and they wanted LBJ to not seem so wishy-washy about it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Illinois is welcoming

Since it's getting close to Thanksgiving, I feel thankful that the residents of Thomson, Illinois, aren't afraid of accepting the Guantanamo detainees in their prison. They sound quite sane, unlike all the politicians and pundits saying, "not in my state" and how it's oh so dangerous to keep the prisoners here. Bush didn't put them in Guantanamo because our domestic prisons are unsafe; he put them there so he could have them tortured in a place where laws are a big fucking grey area! We already have convicted terrorists in our U.S. prisons!

So I'm proud of Thomson for stepping up, especially since they're in Obama's home state. I'm sad that we're not going to make the deadline for closing Gitmo this year, but what else can I expect after all this refusal to cooperate from Congress and other stupid fearmongerers?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

more SPEC rewrite

I've added to my third person rewrite of SPEC. It's a delicate task balancing the love triangle, and I hate having to let go of details from my Reminiscences story, like how Dr. Roylott gave Helen the bruise on her wrist that morning.

For the most part, Helen is still skeptical and not at all charmed by Holmes yet. She's feeling nervous especially because she's 32, and expects a paternal benefactor based on Mrs. Farintosh's description, but instead she sees only a young man and some ill-defined "associate," whom she will later assume is Holmes's secretary.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Back at last

Hmm, I've neglected the blog for a month now. Sorry. Partly it was that I was fighting with my XP computer again because the DVD burner stopped working at all, right in the middle of me trying to burn the Russian Holmes series. At first I was trying to figure out if it was a problem with the software or the hardware. Anyway, I bought and installed a new drive, and now it's working perfectly.

I haven't stopped writing totally, of course, and you may have noticed some new chapters in my Friends story "The New Kid" on fanfiction.net, but then again, you may not read that fandom. I intend to finish that in probably just two more chapters, but in the meantime I've returned to Sherlock Holmes again. This is the beginning of a third person rewrite of the Speckled Band case, bringing the focus back to Holmes and Watson.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Windows Sucks

Thank you, once again, Microsoft, for proving that your software is crap. I wouldn't trust your new Windows 7 farther than I could throw it. My next computer will most definitely be a Mac.

This week I've had both my Windows computers fail on me. The first was my Windows XP computer which has had a long standing issue with antivirus programs. First was AVG, which every few weeks would fail and need a complete re-install. I switched to Avast, which seems more stable, but lately has developed an "RPC error" that requires me to go into the Control Panel and do a "Repair" function. That's the kind of stupid annoyance that you choose to live with when you have Windows. This week, the computer kept restarting over and over, never letting me get the Control Panel open, nor open up the Manage > Services window. I don't remember what I finally did that stopped the crap long enough for me to totally uninstall Avast, but I did it. Five or so hours wasted.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Addition to the Outline

Boy, my new job has kept me so busy and worn me out with so much overtime that I can't get much done. I was able to make a change to my DIM outline, though. I've inserted a new chapter 22 into the outline, between the previous 21 & 22. (The final chapter is now chapter 23.)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fitzroy and Darwin

Wow. Daily Kos occasionally has such brilliant posts that it makes me all the more sad when they have crappy, repetitive posts about trivial topics like Sarah Palin or Governor Sanford's scandals.

In an extremely thoughtful essay, Devilstower describes the Beagle voyage that led to Darwin's evolution theory, and how his former friend Robert Fitzroy came to be opposed to Darwin's theory. Rather than merely setting up the usual conflict between science and religion, Devilstower talks about gradualism vs. catastrophism. Some ironic history of Georges Cuvier is thrown in too, along with the eventual modifications of evolution theory to include extinction periods and more rapid transitions. It's really wonderful writing, although there's a section about economic catastrophes to make it relevant to today's politics. I find it a little bit awkwardly placed, but overall the essay is insightful and informative.

More Jessamyn West

An insightful quote from Cress Delahanty:

She had more feelings than she knew what to do with, more emotions than her tranquil life permitted her to discharge. She had to invent sorrows and concoct dramas. She would stoop down to rejoice with a daffodil that had pushed a stone aside in its upward thrust, or would loosen a butterfuly from a spider web with wailings that brought her no sympathy from any listener. As if she cared for sympathy! She was capable emotionally of a woman's tragedies and, up to now, she had been unable to overtake any of these. Now, however, she loved and was not loved in return.

A succinct way to sum up the confusion of adolescence, and the melodrama in every momentary crisis. The process of emotional maturation can be painful and overwhelming at times.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Circumstantial homosexuality

Apparently Robert Downey Jr. was at Comic-Con promoting the Holmes movie, probably because it's based on a graphic novel. Wired has an interview with him about it. He clearly does know about the canon Holmes vs. the popular iconography of the deerstalker and meershaum pipe. This is what all us Sherlockians and purists know.

I love how Downey discusses Holmes and Watson's relationship. First he jokes about their "circumstantial homosexuality," then he says:

We kept talking about getting into the spirit of 'What does it mean when two people are so close they almost can't stand each other, but they can't stand on their own without each other?'

It means love of course. Whether you believe it is merely platonic friendship or passionate romance, it is certainly a deep and lasting love.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Re-reading and e-reading

Lately I've been re-reading my favorite book from my adolescence, Jessamyn West's Cress Delahanty. It still speaks to me after all these years, and if anything, I can see more in the book now as an adult. (If you aren't aware, my internet name of Cress is after the title character, a young girl living on a California ranch.) Cress Delahanty comes of age amidst the usual problems with love, school, and her parents. She's also a poet, and prone to introspection and imaginative romanticism. It's so odd how a book written in the 1950s can be so universal and yet so specific too. How could West so pinpoint what I, an Asian girl living in Texas thirty years later, felt as an awkward misfit?

But that's the magic of books, allowing intimate communions of the mind like this. I suppose West must have felt similarly when she grew up. She clearly knows what's in the heart of a lost girl, struggling to define herself.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

TV Holmes movies

As I said, the "Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes" TV special only went up to 1985. Someone needs to do an updated special about films since then. Maybe they're waiting for the Robert Downey Jr. movie to come out.

One place to find more obscure Holmes TV appearances is on this list, in the Doyle section.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Outline of DIM

When I've posted excerpts of DIM here previously, I included chapter numbers based on my outline of the novel. This outline is a numbered listing of the chapters along with canon quotations that I intended to use.

I've recently revised the outline a lot, due to my changes about Helen Stoner and the love triangle. The addition of Holmes and Watson's "strange, brief affair" changes much of the plot, and I've decided that Holmes shall confess some things to Watson, but not to Mycroft. So I'll post the outline here to make the plot clearer, so that you can see it in its proper order.

I originally thought I could make Holmes two years younger than normal, born in 1856. However, because I put Holmes into two different universities, I've used up enough years that I have to put him back in 1854. Most chronologists put Holmes in only one university (Oxford or Cambridge), and make up something else to explain the extra seven years before he meets Watson in 1881--a trip to America, a job as an actor, etc.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes

I found this video on YouTube, in the area where they add commercials. It's an overview on various stage, film, and TV portrayals of Holmes, hosted by Christopher Lee. It only goes up to 1985, and does not really cover Jeremy Brett at all, but I did appreciate the glimpses into obscure Holmes movies that I haven't been able to find on video or DVD. Near the beginning they also have a short clip of Doyle talking about Joseph Bell as his inspiration for Holmes. Hearing his voice really makes him much more immediate than just seeing pictures of him.

Christopher Lee (or his writer) is wrong, though, to say that Irene Adler is the only "person" to best him. Holmes said in FIVE that he had been beaten by three men and one woman. (And some chronologists who date FIVE before SCAN argue that the woman is not Irene, whom he hasn't met yet.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Holmes radio plays

I believe I have found the place to purchase M. J. Elliot's radio adaptations. The stories listed as "The Classic Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" are by M. J. Elliot, while those listed as "The Further Adventures" are original stories by Jim French I believe.

If you check the MP3 download box, then you get a discount of about six dollars, which is quite a deal.

However, the website says that the Holmes and Watson actors are John Patrick Lowrie and Lawrence Albert, so these are not the same as those of the Old Court Radio Theatre Company with Jim Crozier. So I am not sure if I will like them. I'll probably try them out later, while still looking for more versions with Jim Crozier.

The "Case Files" of SPEC

The full title is actually The Case Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Speckled Band. It is a 1997 collection of essays edited by Barbara and Christopher Roden. The Rodens have a whole series of these story-specific Case Files, starting with one about the Musgrave Ritual.

Some of these essays attempt literary criticism, others talk of chronology or try to locate Stoke Moran and the ruined Roylott manor, while others reveal interesting facts about ACD's play adaptation, and list the significant film, TV, and Radio adaptations of SPEC. There are two pieces, by Chris Redmond and Brad Keefauver, which toy with the idea that Holmes has romantic feelings for Helen Stoner.

Sherlockian Chronology

For years I avoided thinking too deeply about chronology in the canon, and was happy that my favorite story, SPEC, was undisputed in its placement in April 1883, but it appears that I must look into this maddening subject at last. I'm afraid that it'll make my head hurt as much as reading The Sign of Three essays did, but as I can't find any existing Sherlockian chronologist whose theories I can agree with, I shall have to come up with my own. (I have not actually read every chronology available, of course, just a few that I could find through Alibris, and I've also referred to the "Just the Facts" database at Sherlock Peoria.)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Obama on Israel

In his Cairo speech, I'm glad that Obama didn't waffle about the Israeli settlements in the West Bank. It's long overdue for the U.S. to stop letting the Israeli government dictate to us. Just because they're our ally and have a right to exist, doesn't mean that we should give them a pass when they violate agreements.

I wish that Obama had said more earlier about Gaza and the humanitarian crisis, though. He carefully kept his mouth shut when he wasn't inaugurated yet, but since then has been mostly focused on domestic issues, so I wondered if he was ever going to call out Israel in strong terms.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Third Person SPEC

I'm beginning to think that I can't keep my Reminiscences chapter all in first person. Helen's point of view keeps me from saying anything about what Holmes and Watson are doing when alone, such as when Holmes wakes him in bed that morning, when they're alone in the Crown Inn (presumably taking a nap without any sleeping attire), when Holmes keeps whispering to him on the lawn and in the room, and when they discuss the case the following morning. It really hampers the slash overtones.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

BBC Radio SPEC

I'd forgotten that Bert Coules does not adapt all of the BBC Radio Holmes series; many stories are dramatised by other staff writers, who do not always make the same radical changes that Coules does. (For example in BLUE, Coules inserts scenes of the plumber John Horner who was falsely accused of stealing the carbuncle, and Holmes and Watson actually go get Horner released from jail in time for Christmas. Holmes also for some reason is in a bad mood throughout the case, and unable to say anything other than "Wait" until Watson invites himself to dinner with Holmes. Can't even say "Happy Christmas" or "I miss you" huh?)

Anyway, SPEC was done by Vincent Mc Inerney, which I only learned with difficulty, as the damn file would not play despite a dozen attempts. It's not often that I get mad at Apple, but fuck iTunes! Or rather some glitch in my iPod that I could not fix even by reformatting it and resyncing all the files on it twice. The SPEC file would play in iTunes just fine, all the way through, and it would appear to load on my iPod at least some of the time, but it would never, ever play on the iPod. Still don't know what's wrong, because the other Adventures that I downloaded (FIVE, TWIS, and BLUE) played just fine in both iTunes and the iPod.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Court upholds Prop 8

Crap! California just doesn't come out with any good news, does it? And after we'd seen so much momentum lately with other states legalizing same sex marriages...

At least they kept the already performed marriages valid, so that we can still refer to Ellen and Portia as wives, and to George Takei's husband. But still, it's crap. No point in rambling on to other expletives.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Radio and TV Holmes

I finally watched all 39 episodes of the Holmes TV show starring Ronald Howard and H. Marion Crawford, and I'm sad to come to the end. I also listened to the radio theatre plays on the Sherlock Holmes Society of London website, and found that two of them were dramatised by Chris Drake instead of M. J. Elliott. I finally managed to finish reading The Sign of Three semiotics book, then gave my poor head a rest with a simple children's book about Holmes and the Irregulars called The Fall of the Amazing Zalindas.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More Radio Adaptations

Remember how I said I like the radio adaptations by Bert Coules, but I don't like Clive Merrison's Holmes? Well, I've found a radio Holmes that I like better, Jim Crozier (I hope I spelled that right) in the Old Court Radio Theatre Company.

updated Understudy sketch

Readers of my old Holmes/Watson website will remember that I had a section entirely of sketches and unfinished stories. One of those items was a sketch called "Understudy" in which an actor impersonates Holmes after the presumed death at Reichenbach. (This was inspired by Sherlockians who claimed that the post-Return Holmes acted too differently from the pre-Return Holmes.)

Well, I recently had occasion to add to the original sketch. I put in a new beginning, fleshed out Holmes as an asexual to add a shade of gray to his actions, and had him apologize to Watson. I also was apparently inspired to include Vaseline in this, as I did in the DIM love scene after REIG.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sherlock Holmes trailer

The trailer for the new Holmes movie is online. My first impression is that it reminds me of two period Johnny Depp movies, From Hell and Sleepy Hollow.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Reminiscences, part three

"Snakes do not drink milk, Mr. Holmes."

Something we've all wanted to say since reading SPEC, right? So I put the words into Helen's mouth at last. The thing is that I'm having more trouble rewriting parts 1 and 2 of "The Reminiscences of Helen Stoner," so I'm posting part 3 first. Odd, I know, but it gives the flavor of why Holmes is awed by Helen Stoner. She's constantly surprising him and throwing him off kilter. This is my version of Helen Stoner, part way between a damsel in distress and a Mary Sue. I will try to tone down the Mary Sue when I finish the full rewrite.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Strange Brief Affair

Earlier, I posted my sketch about Holmes and Watson in REIG. This is an expansion of their fight following REIG, and their initial love scene. I am not sure how explicit I want to be in the novel, so I may edit this back to vagueness.

I also mention Francois le Villard here, assuming that he was one of the policemen who worked with Holmes during the Baron Maupertuis case.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My story on Feedbooks

I just posted a short story on Feedbooks. It's a very old piece that I wrote years ago in college. It's original characters, not fanfic, and I'd say that it's rated about G. Well maybe PG, for the mention of a traumatic car crash in the past.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rohase Piercy's "My Dearest Holmes"

I finished reading Piercy's book, and it was excellent. Had I known that it was this excellent, and so easily ordered from Alibris, I would have got it years ago. But for a long time I just couldn't find it at my local bookstores and figured that it was too much trouble to hunt down something so obscure elsewhere.

This is the book that deserves to be cited by every damn Sherlockian, not Townsend's book! By citing gay porn instead of true slash, they are deliberately giving a skewed view of what Holmes/Watson fans are about. Piercy's book only obliquely references sex at all; instead it is seeped in angst and love and affection and arguments and finally sweetness, as great romance should be.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hiatus fic, with drawing

One of the bits of my novel that I previously posted on my old website was set during the Hiatus, when Holmes is hiding out with Struthers after accidentally faking his death. (To his disappointment, he did not die and managed to recover from his cocaine withdrawal again, and now he's depressed and feels lost.) She suggests that he start drawing, to relieve his obsession about Helen Stoner, and out of guilt Holmes starts imagining again all the things that he thought he deprived Watson of.

I have revised this bit significantly to incorporate Watson and to remove the inappropriate references to Mary Morstan. I also rewrote Struthers's responses so that she is not falling in love with Holmes yet. I prefer to leave the romance until EMPT, after she and Holmes have spent the full three years of the Hiatus travelling together.

Interlude at Stoke Moran

To cleanse my palate, here's a story about Helen and Julia Stoner. It's set on the same day that Watson reads Holmes's "Book of Life" article and learns that he is a consulting detective. I may include this fic as part of the chapter covering STUD, or I may hold it back as a flashback/memory that Helen has after SPEC, because she feels guilty about not believing Julia's suspicions about Dr. Roylott.

I have given Helen a middle name of Enid, because that is her name in Doyle's 1910 Speckled Band play. Also, I should note that I previously made up a backstory where the twins were 12 years old at the time that Roylott beat the native butler to death, and that Julia witnessed it. Helen ran away in fright, the mother (whom I named Fidelia) ran to call for help from the police, some male servants tried to get Roylott to stop, and a maid forcibly tried to drag Julia from the room. Julia refused to go or to have her eyes covered. Instead she fiercely yelled at Dr. Roylott as being a horrible monster, nothing like her real (long-dead) father. Roylott almost came over to beat her too, but returned to the butler because the other servants were trying to take him away. Roylott then savagely bashed his head in. Julia watched in horror, then fainted, and since then her hair grew white in a patch above her right temple. Roylott was convicted and served a long prison sentence in India. But he made excuses to his wife about his inherited temper, and promised that he would never do any harm to her or the girls. Then a dozen years later Roylott was released from prison and the family moved to England, so that Roylott could try to start a practice in London. But Fidelia died in a railway accident in 1875, and Roylott immediately brought the girls to Stoke Moran. They would have been 24 at the time, and eligible for marriage.

More Sherlockian writings

I bought and read the script for Charles Marowitz's 1984 play Sherlock's Last Case, and it was pretty disturbing. I guess it could be called black comedy, though what strikes me the most is the tragic part of it, because I feel so damn sorry for Watson. It's quite put me off making Helen Stoner a redhead, too.

(I have long envied redheads, and have tried to dye my hair that color, but on my black hair it always turned brown, if it showed up at all. I had wished to make the Stoner twins redheads too; Watson only says that Helen's hair is shot with grey, not what color it is naturally.) In the play, Holmes apparently has a weakness for tall, bony redheads, which makes him attracted to Liza Moriarty, who claims to be the daughter of the dead professor. I won't spoil the ending, but let's just say I don't want Helen to remind me of this play. I suppose I shall have to go with some form of brown hair, as blonde hair would not show grey easily. I'll have to decide on a shade of brown that still differentiates Helen from the chestnut locks of Violet Hunter. But anyway...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Watson's lies vs. his errors

Okay, so the reason I was babbling about how Watson lies is to explain how, in my novel DIM, I will fix some problems in the canon that I've already pointed out--Watson's marriage, the nonsense explanation that Holmes gives in EMPT for being gone three years, and other difficult cases like SPEC.

I've tried and tried to make "the speckled band" make sense, and it just doesn't, so I'll have to assume that Watson altered some of the tale, perhaps to keep anyone from imitating Dr. Roylott and succeeding in killing someone; thus he might hide the true name of the snake and omit to mention that the clamped bed actually had tall bedposts for the snake to climb up and down, rather than a freely swinging bell-rope. (I got this idea after watching the Speckled Band movie.) So in effect Watson is giving the public the gist of the mystery, but fictionalizing certain details. That's the revisions that I'll have to make to Helen's "Reminiscences," along with some attempt to show more of Watson, instead of leaving him a silent cipher in that chapter.

Rick Perry is a goober

Jim Hightower sure says it right, in his article on Why is Texas So Psycho?.

And just yesterday I saw something advertised on TV about some debate/discussion being held to mark Obama's first 100 days, moderated by Rick Perry. Moderated by Rick Perry! My God!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Scott Brown on Holmes

This is a cool article on Wired about the Holmes fandom. Very nice, although I wonder what he is referring to when he says that ACD once bought a fanfic for 10 pounds.

That's odd. I added a link to the article on the blog, but it didn't change the title's appearance to be underlined. I'll have to go into the CSS code later.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Watson Lies

One of my difficulties with my novel DIM is deciding how much Watson knows at any point about Holmes's cocaine use and his love for Helen Stoner. Even though Watson is his closest, or even only friend, Holmes is annoyingly secretive. For example, if we accept that the Greek Interpreter story is set in 1888 (because Mycroft implies that Watson has published at least one story, STUD in Dec 1887), then Holmes has waited seven years to tell Watson that he has a brother. And in the second Mycroft story, Sherlock also confesses that he lied about what job Mycroft had. "I did not know you quite so well then." Really, you didn't know Watson enough in 1888? Holmes is such a lying bastard.

However, not many people notice that Watson is secretive too. SIGN is probably set in 1888 as well, and yet Holmes says that he had no idea that Watson had a brother until making his deductions from the pocketwatch. (It's odd that Holmes somehow knows that Watson's father has died some years ago, and yet he does not know of the existence of Watson's brother.) So either Watson withheld this fact due to shame about the brother's alcoholism, or Watson has lifted an anecdote from a much earlier year and inserted it into SIGN. He could very well be lying to us, the readers, even if he's incapable of lying to Holmes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

BBC Radio Holmes, Bert Coules

This weekend I bought a copy of the Bert Coules adaptation of A Study in Scarlet (STUD), which is listed under audiobooks in iTunes, and I listened to it. In general, I like the BBC Radio adaptations, because Watson is treated fairly and sensitively in them, but I don't particularly like Clive Merrison's Holmes--the voice never sounds right to me, and he's apt to loud fits of manic laughter, which may be scripted by Bert Coules I suppose.

The thing about the BBC Radio dramatizations is that they are halfway between canon and pastiche. That is, Bert Coules will try to render the story faithfully, but he'll use artistic license to add or reorder scenes so that they work as a radio play. His version of STUD, for example, intercuts the beginning Holmes and Watson scenes with scenes of Drebber and Stangerson at the Charpentier lodging house, and Coules also condenses the Mormon section of the novel, making it part of Jefferson's Hope confession at the police station. Those were quite effective changes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Twilight at the Falls fic

And now we turn to the second half of chapter 16, telling what happened after Holmes in effect faked his death. He left with Struthers, and has come back. I posted this Twilight fic on my old website, and I have revised it slightly regarding Irene Adler. This will also explain the references to how Helen intervened in SCAN.

FINA and Reichenbach fic

I'm archiving a copy of my old Reichenbach fic, which is chapter 16. It's been posted before on my old website and other places. I've been wanting to revise it for a long time because I wanted some of Holmes's dialogue with Watson to be whispered and accompanied by tender touches, or a kiss of his cheek, but all these things are inappropriate for Struthers to witness. Not that she could hear whispers, given the roar of the Falls, but it's the principle of it. I've decided instead that Holmes and Watson will have their private scene before Reichenbach, while Watson is trying to help Holmes recover from cocaine yet again. So I'll attach that sketch here, which is new.

Reunion with Helen Stoner sketch

Another Helen Stoner sketch, this time playing up the triangle with Watson. It expands somewhat on what I wrote in the Helen Stoner notes earlier. Helen is just a little too insightful for Holmes's comfort.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Bull Pup Problem

Okay, here's a bit of fun about Holmes and Watson, with none of the angst of their later interactions. This whimsical sketch is for the chapter about how they met in STUD. As with my other sketches, it's in present tense and not fully written out.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sherlockian writings and a movie

I've been on a kick lately seeking out Holmes pastiches, Sherlockian books, and even movies. On impulse I picked up the British TV video, Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars starring Jonathan Pryce. I also found Nicholas Meyer's Seven-Per-Cent Solution and bought Christopher Redmond's In Bed With Sherlock Holmes after reading several passages on the Google preview. It's a shame that Redmond dismisses Holmes and Watson as gay in Chapter IX. He'd been doing so well pointing out subtexty moments in SPEC for example, and he called the Three Garridebs wound passage a "love scene," but then he just comes out saying "The bald fact is that the detective and his partner are not portrayed as homosexuals." Sigh. But I guess that's the way of most Sherlockians.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Holmes, Watson, and cocaine fic

Once again Helen Stoner is an excellent conduit to slash. I have decided to let the subtext in DIM become text, and to firmly establish the triangle of Holmes, Watson, and Helen Stoner.

I recently read a slash story that posited the idea that Holmes must have used cocaine during the Baron Maupertuis case in REIG, in order to work fifteen hour days, for five day stretches. Here it is: Katie's "An April's Journey." This is a sketch inspired by that notion, and it's more angsty than my previous hurt/comfort fic called Paris Nights.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Chivalrousness vs. love

So I'm reading Chris Redmond's In Bed with Sherlock Holmes for information on SPEC, and I happily discover that the "Sherlock Holmes in Love" Chapter is not about Irene Adler. (Redmond discusses her and SCAN in earlier chapters.) No, it's about damsel in distress clients, beginning with Mary Sutherland of "A Case of Identity." And then I read this!

Holmes... falls hard for Mary Sutherland.

Redmond makes a big deal about Holmes repeatedly calling her a maiden (as if that wasn't merely his way of describing her naivete and vulnerability). Then he quotes someone named Schweickert who points out that Holmes is so indignant in the story that he attempts to horsewhip the villain. Uh, yeah, but if Holmes loved Mary Sutherland so much, then why the fuck didn't he tell her the truth? Why did he let her continue to pine for Hosmer Angel? No, to me, Holmes pities her but also judges her to be too fragile to handle the truth. A paternal attitude, but a very condescending and sexist one as well.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Helen Stoner in my novel

For what it's worth, my still unfinished novel is called Deeper in Memory, or DIM for short. And this is a sketch/summary of Helen Stoner's plot in it. It's actually all new, never been posted on my old website either. The scenes are heavy on Helen and Irene Adler for right now, but they will eventually be balanced out with Holmes and Watson. The plot is still subject to change, as you can see in parenthetical questions; I also haven't decided whether Mycroft knows about Helen Stoner or not. I will have to put up the "Reminiscences of Miss Helen Stoner" and "Reichenbach" later, after I've revised them sufficiently to update my current thinking on the SPEC snake and other details.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Holmes and Helen Stoner

So anyway, I've been editing the SPEC entry on The Slasher's Annotated Sherlock Holmes lately. I know the story so well that I was able to do a lot just off the top of my head before I went looking for Sherlockian books to cite. I had to resist the urge to put in any theories about Helen Stoner that come from my novel, though.

With Holmes, everything always comes back to SPEC for me. I remember once reading a random Sherlock Holmes story in one of my English classes in school, but it didn't interest me one bit. It was old-fashioned and strange to me. However, when the teacher played for the class a dramatized audio recording of SPEC, I suddenly saw the appeal of Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Thereafter I became interested in the canon and read it along with my sisters, who were also Anglophiles. By college, I even got into online Sherlockian communities like the Hounds of the Internet and began writing fanfic. At the time I was still only writing hetero stories, in all fandoms. That's just the way I was. I remember, as a little girl I was teased by my older sister for always playing out wedding fantasies with Barbie and Ken dolls. As a teenager, my desire to find a female soulmate for Holmes was encouraged by my listening to plaintive love songs like Linda Ronstadt's "Long, Long Time" and Heart's "Alone."

Speckled Band film

Yowsie! I just watched the 1931 "Speckled Band" movie starring Raymond Massey, and it was bloody awesome. I think I may have found a new favorite Holmes actor, at least until I see Robert Downey Jr. in the part.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Holmes and Irene fic

Well, I should start archiving some old fics here as I'd intended. This fic was written under my Miss Roylott persona, during the time that I read the Laurie R. King Mary Russell books. I don't remember now why I stopped reading the Russell books; I think I may have been growing bored with them, and much more interested in slashing Holmes with Watson. Holmes is one of those strange characters that is fascinatingly ambiguous. Depending on my viewpoint at the moment, I can see him as asexual, bisexual, homosexual, or even straight. (In fact the first fanfic I ever wrote about Holmes paired him with an original feminist character of mine, which then grew into pairing him with a reinterpreted Helen Stoner, in my perpetually unfinished novel.)

Anyway this story isn't really based on the Mary Russell books. It's more based on my reading William S. Baring-Gould's "biography" of Holmes. Baring-Gould didn't invent the theory of Holmes having an affair with Irene Adler in Montenegro, but he popularized it, along with many other Sherlockian ideas.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Freaky Namesake, Holmes on the brain

So yesterday I was half paying attention to the TV news when the anchor said that someone had been arrested for the murder of Sherlock Holmes. I was of course shocked when I looked up, and I wondered if it was a mistake or joke, or even me mishearing. But no, apparently some local man is named Sherlock Holmes and he was unfortunately murdered. The anchor made no comment about the unusual name, so I have no idea about the story behind that.

But it's just freaky, you know. Sherlock Holmes has been on my mind lately anyway, due to the upcoming Robert Downey Jr. movie.