This past Wednesday (November 29) found me at a really fun talk “The Singular Case of Sherlock Holmes in Minnesota” with author Larry Millett and Curator Tim Johnson. It was a sold out event and they had to move the talk into a larger room – from Elmer L. Andersen Library to Willey Hall. I remember meeting Larry years ago when I worked in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press Library. Unfortunately I was not able to stay for the reception or the book signing.
Here was the blurb on the event: “Sherlock Holmes is not just a character on PBS! He made quite a mark in Minnesota during his career as the world’s foremost detective. Learn how Holmes first came to the state in 1894 and returned for six more adventures. And why the great detective remains very much a presence in Minnesota today via the magnificent Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University of Minnesota Libraries” (https://www.continuum.umn.edu/event/singular-case-sherlock-holmes-minnesota/).
My ‘Where’s Waldo’ moment. (photo from @NEofMN 11/29/2017)
Aho, Melissa. 2016. “The Personal Diary of Mrs. Martha Hudson, Housekeeper to the Famed Detective Sherlock Holmes” in The Norwegian Explorers 2016 Christmas Annual, No. 15: The Miss Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Ray Riethmeier and Phillip Bergem, Editors. Minneapolis, MN: The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota, 45-50.
For the past 15 years The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota (a literary society devoted to all things Sherlock Holmes) has published a Christmas Annual and the theme this year was “The Miss Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.” Its given out at the annual dinner in December, is open to current members, and if you submit a paper you are eligible to receive one of the coveted Sigerson Awards (light hearted awards for best contributions). Here was the original call for submissions:
The Miss Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
“Our theme allows contributors to write/speculate/present ideas about the role women or girls played in the Canon. This could involve a character who calls upon Sherlock Holmes for assistance, female characters encountered during an investigation, or perhaps an inquiry into the life of Mrs. Hudson in her youth. You could explore the attitudes Sherlock Holmes exhibits toward women, or would an investigation into the roving eye of Dr. Watson be more your style? This is a rather broad topic, but we will also consider submissions that fall outside of the theme.”
Suggested Categories for Submissions (2000 word maximum):
1. Article or essay
4. Sherlockian or Doylean review
Tonight was The Norwegian Explorers Annual Dinner 2016 at the The Minneapolis Golf Club. I just joined The Norwegian Explorers a few months ago, so this was my first Annual Dinner and it was very fun. There was a very British dinner of Tossed Salad, Yorkshire Pudding, Fish and Chips, Carrots, Shepherd’s Pie, Pea Salad, and a Berry Trifle. The evening also include the annual meeting and election of officers, presentation of Sigerson Awards (from what I could tell everyone who participation in The Norwegian Explorers 2016 Christmas Annual received one), toasts to some of the women in Holmes life, a Sherlock Holmes Groaner Trivia Quiz, a contest of captions and/or limericks, and canonical carols! The keynote speaker was Park Square Theater’s Sherlock Holmes Steve Hendrickson ‘A Kiss is Just a Kiss, OR the Reichenbach Falls: Irene Adler and the Case of the Intimate Negotiation’ who was very funny and knows his Homles.
Also the The Norwegian Explorers 2016 Christmas Annual “The Miss Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” was handed out and a short story of mine (my very first work of fiction) was included: “The Personal Diary of Mrs. Martha Hudson, Housekeeper to the Famed Detective Sherlock Holmes.” I only learned about the call for stories/articles in September, so I did not have that much time to write it. It’s a bit different and falls under the “pastiche” (an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period) category. The idea of writing fiction has always freaked me out, still does, so this was a good way to start and really, what better way to start than with the world of Sherlock Holmes.
A very fun night and I gave out my first autograph!
I am officially in a comic book (aka graphic novel)! In print!!!
A few years ago I backed a Kickstarter campaign to be in a new Sherlock Holmes and John Watson comic book “Watson and Holmes” created by Brandon Perlow and Paul Mendoza. They re-envision Watson and Holmes as African-Americans living in today’s New York City’s Harlem district. They were unable to get me into Volume 1, so I was added into Volume 2 and the wait was totally worth it. Volume 2, Chapter 4 was written by Lyndsay Faye (plot), Karl Bollers (script), N. Steven Harris (artist), and Jay David Ramos (colors) and I am in a scene with Irene Adler (aka ‘The Woman’) or Irene Adlero as she is called in the comic. To be in the comic book, I had to send in some photos and in some of them I am wearing my favorite airplane necklace. So you can now see me seated in The New Ritz in Harlem at 10:37pm wearing my airplane necklace listening to Irene Adler sing. Awesome!
Watson and Holmes Volumes 1 and 2 are beautifully created comic books/graphic novels and I would say that even if I was not in the them or had backed them as a Kickstarter. As a Sherlock Holmes fan (yes, the Game), I believe that the comic books show that even after 100+ years, Holmes and Watson are still relevant. You can pick up your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Watson-Holmes-Brandon-Easton-ebook/dp/B0195ZRD4Q and here https://www.amazon.com/Watson-Holmes-Brandon-Easton-ebook/dp/B0195ZRD4Q/ref=pd_sim_351_1?ie=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B0195ZRD4Q&pd_rd_r=NAHDWQ6E88RTPK4NYT2F&pd_rd_w=zXYSg&pd_rd_wg=enz2M&psc=1&refRID=NAHDWQ6E88RTPK4NYT2F
I ventured to The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota’s study group today. The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota is a literary society devoted to all things Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I have been interested in joining this Sherlock Holmes literary society for a while and finally joined. Today’s study group centered on “The Adventure of the Yellow Face,” which I would describe as a nice story, but not overly dramatic or exciting. Its also not a story that anyone would be reading 100+ years (it was published in 1893) after publication if it were not a Sherlock Holmes story. Still a fun time and a lively discussion on Holmes.
Take a Selfie with Sherlock! Just one item at a new exhibit that I was able to visit this past Wednesday August 17 at the University of Minnesota’s Anderson Library “The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes,” which tells visitors that “Not everyone is perfect, including the world’s most famous consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes. This exhibition highlights some of Mr. Holmes’ mishaps, described by Dr. Watson and others, through art, artifacts, parodies, pastiches, and other “unofficial” adventures from the Sherlock Holmes Collections” (http://www.continuum.umn.edu/2016/01/the-misadventures-of-sherlock-holmes/).
Today was the EQS (Enhancing Quality Staff) Symposium for the U’s library staff. Yes, the let us out of the libraries once a year. They have all sorts of different talks and activities you can attend and I always signup for fun activities vs. dull ones that relate to work. So this year I attended: “How to Get the Book Published” by Phuoc Tran who autographed her book for me! Next up was “What makes an award winning picture book? What makes a book a Caldecott Winner?” by Lisa Von Drasek, which was hysterically funny. Then after lunch (the same exact foods they fed us last year) I attended “Automotive Wellness Training” by Dan Nelson. Next I was suppose to attend “Bees, Bugs and Other Beasts: Gems of the Natural Resources Library’s Rare Book Collection,” but while waiting to go and visit the library learned that it was about a 15 minute walk, uphill, and there were stairs and that would have been really, really bad as sitting all day on bad chairs has messed up my back, so it was off to a talk on “A Primer for Law Enforcement and Government Officials” which was interesting and scary and the last talk of the day was on “Sherlock Holmes in the 21st Century” by Tim Johnson & Cheryll Fong, which was really good, as the UMN has one of the largest Sherlock Holmes collections in the world. So a fun day.
A few years ago I backed a Kickstarter campaign to be in a new Sherlock Holmes and John Watson comic book created by Brandon Perlow and Paul Mendoza. They were the first to re-envision Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson as African-Americans living in New York City’s famous Harlem district. That campaign came and went and the comic book came out, but they were not able to get me into Volume 1. So I was added to Volume 2 and the wait was definitely worth it, as I was added in Volume 2, Chapter 4 written by Lyndsay Faye (plot), Karl Bollers (script), N. Steven Harris (artist), and Jay David Ramos (colors) AND I am in a scene with Irene Adler (aka The Woman) or Irene Adlero as she is called in the comic. To be in the comic, I had to send the artist a few photos and in a couple of photos I am wearing my favorite airplane necklace and now I am in seated in The New Ritz, in Harlem at 10:37pm wearing my airplane necklace listening to Irene Adler sing. And yes, it does look like I am talking, but as those that know me will agree, I am always talking, so it is totally in character. Both Volume 1 and 2 are fantastic and you can pick up your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Watson-Holmes-Brandon-Easton-ebook/dp/B0195ZRD4Q
The U of MN has had a lot of library exhibits up this year and its finally taken me a while to post them.
The first few photos are from an exhibit on Sherlock Holmes, “The Spirits of Sherlock Holmes.” The U of MN has one of the worlds largest collection of Holmes books and memorabilia. The second exhibit included books and maps all in celebration of the “The Impossible Black Tulip” aka the Matteo Ricci World Map, which is the oldest Chinese map to show the Americas which was printed in 1602. The third exhibit was on women in medicine called “The Changing Face of Medicine.”
Being the Sherlock Holmes fan that I am, I could not pass up getting a copy of ‘Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen.’ It is the book that Holmes wrote when he retired to Sussex. Now with the publication of Laurie R. King’s new Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes book “The Language of Bees,” you could have ordered a copy of the book with a donation of bees to Heifer International. Heifer International is an organization where you donate money to buy bees, llamas, rabbits, etc for people around the globe and they then donate the offspring of the animals given to them to others. So it helps them and helps their neighbors by providing a living, skills and food. Its a wonderful organization which has been around 60+ years, helped 8.5 million people in more than 125 countries.
My copy arrived yesterday and it also came with some honey from the Heifer International farmers. How cool is that! A wickedly cool book for me, plus the honey and a donation of bees which will change the lives of some lucky people. Holmes would approve!