Monday, April 11, 2016

J is for JUSTIFIABLY EQUAL TO HOLMES?

For this year's challenge, my theme is The Fun in Writing. Each of my 26 posts for April is aimed at
illustrating fun parts of an author's day. A writer doesn't only write.
Creating a story or an essay requires research, revision, editing, and lots and lots of coffee and chocolate.



J is for JUSTIFIABLY EQUAL TO HOLMES?

 
Could my title for today's post be more cryptic? (I'll explain below.) Matching posts to alphabet letters sometime feels like trying to strike a Kama Sutra pose, lots of angling.

The Beekeeper's Apprentice is the 33rd book on my list of 71 books to read by October, 2016. Setting goals is another of those fun activities that writers enjoy.
 
During the writing process, my goal's outline looks something like this:
1. Write 2k words per day
2. Do not edit while writing
3. When falling short on words, reset goal to catch up tomorrow 

My latest reading goal, on the other hand, is much more fun. By setting the goal  to read 71 books in 12 months, I've given myself permission to spend a lot of time reading for enjoyment. The second part of this goal, to "write a review" for each book, helps me to keep writing without running out of ideas.

You won't experience writer's block if you have
several different writing projects in the works.
 
When you're at a loss for words with the novel, skip over to the book review project or the next blog post; or write a poem.



The title of this post refers to Mary Russell, a character in The Beekeeper's Apprentice. The author created Russell with the brain power and deductive reasoning of Sherlock Holmes. I believe the novel proves that Russell is justifiably equal to Holmes. Have you read the book? If so, would you more likely give a negative or an affirmative answer to the "J" question?

 

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King
(my review for Goodreads)

Laurie R. King is scheduled to be Toastmaster at the 2017 Left Coast Crime Conference: Honolulu Havoc. During a discussion about the conference and the author, a library assistant at Makiki Community Library in Honolulu recommended The Beekeeper’s Apprentice to me. I was hooked by the “Editor’s Preface” in which King sets an inviting stage. 

The Preface gives the reader an opportunity to transition from the preconceived idea of reading the author’s story to the delightful idea of immersing ones’ self in an early 20th century memoir. I was eager to suspend disbelief and enjoy the tale as experienced by narrator and co-protagonist, Mary Russell, during her formative years. That those formative years were spent under the tutelage of none other than the inimitable Mr. Sherlock Holmes only emphasizes the sheer pleasure presented to the reader. 

The opening sentence of the synopsis explains the book’s title:
“In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees
when a young woman literally stumbles into him on the Sussex Downs.” 
 

The book’s contents are labeled Books One, Two, Three, and Four. The stories cover several years of Mary’s early life and describe her interaction with Mr. Holmes. They collaborate on several cases, including a through-line investigation, after he discovers and is impressed with the intellect of the fifteen-year-old “gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned girl.” 

The feistiness of this young lady, along with her eccentric thoughts, mode of dress, and sympathetic history, endeared Mary Russell to me from the first chapter. The author’s ability to incite reaction from the reader with succinct emotional description and colorful passages had me laughing, frowning, and cringing in turns.
 
In my opinion, reading such a well-written book as The Beekeeper’s Apprentice is a better learning experience for a writer than participating in a creative writing course. And more fun!

 

8 comments:

  1. Good advice on having multiple projects on the go. I have not read The Bookkeeper's Apprentice. I shall add it to my list. Good luck in the rest of the challenge!

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  2. "Matching posts to alphabet letters sometime feels like trying to strike a Kama Sutra pose, lots of angling." Made me laugh! I love Victorian literature - Conan Doyle, Dickens and Wilkie Collins to mention a few. Sherlock Holmes is a wonderful character. I've never read The Beekeeper's Apprentice but it sounds fascinating. I recently saw the film Mr Holmes in which Sherlock's beekeeping played a vital part.
    I have another blog here: That's Purrfect

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    1. Interesting to hear that beekeeping played a vital part in the film. Thanks for sharing. Now I want to see the movie. I'll also check out That's Purrfect

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  3. It was a pleasure visiting your blog buddy and i loved your tips :)

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  4. 71 books in 12 months? Oh my goodness, you are one ambitious lady!
    And this book sounds wonderful too!
    I wholeheartedly agree with your statement: "You won't experience writer's block if you have several different writing projects in the works."
    I have so many different projects, that if one isn't working at the moment, I just switch to another. (And sometimes one just pulls me in and forces me, screaming out 'Work on ME'.)
    Trisha Faye www.embracinglifetribe.wordpress.com

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  5. I liked your tips. Wow, you've taken 71 books in one year. I've taken only 20 books in 12 months and out of which I've completed 12 books.

    Nice review. i'll definitely give the book a try.Visiting from A to Z Challenge.

    Cheers,
    Arpita

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