concerning dishes and laundry and half marathons and the like

Sorry about the last two weeks and me being more or less absent in cyberspace and all, but assuming the world doesn’t end today, I’ve written an account for your chortling pleasure.

I’ve been a bachelor for that time as my wife was in Seattle, bonding with our two-year-old granddaughter and doing what she can to help my son and his wife prepare for the new baby sister. (Who is due by C-section tomorrow and whose name will be Nilou, which is Farsi for lotus blossom. And I know right now you’re saying, “Don’t you mean Niloufar?” and I say, “No, just Nilou.”). So it turns out that laundry doesn’t do itself, dishes don’t get cleaned if you don’t do them, groceries run out, dogs need to be walked, floors need to be swept and mopped, and the list goes on, let me tell you! All of that and going to work at my regular schedule.

But I have been getting a lot of writing done. In those two weeks I’ve managed to write six chapters of Finnegans Fogbound. Sure, they’re first draft chapters and all that goes with that, but the groundwork is being laid. I have a total of 15 completed chapters now, and I’m guesstimating about 40,000 words. I’d said before that the story involves a half marathon in a small town, and I’ve just finished writing that bit, calling upon my own experience of running a dozen half marathons and resulting in an immensely richer story than I could have written without it. I think I’m about two-thirds of the way through the story.

My plan for the Finnegan cozy mysteries is for the husband and wife team to stumble into situations that aren’t even crimes* but in which some wrong needs to be righted. For Fogbound an entire city is suffering, and by the end of the novel, the healing has begun. No crime, certainly no murder, but a mystery resolved by some clever thinking and bold action.

At least that’s the plan.

I think I also said before that I started writing this story in part to take a break from the One-Match Fire universe that had consumed my creative ferment for years. I am getting that break, but I can also feel the itch to write another of those stories, which I’m calling “Spring Fever.” You know, when a young man’s fancy . . .


*Conan Doyle once did an analysis of his Sherlock Holmes stories and determined that most did not involve a murder and many didn’t even involve a crime.

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