Thirty Day Challenge: Day Three

Day Three: A Book I Love

SUCH A HARD QUESTION! Mainly because I love so many books. I’ve recently been jonesing to reread the Harry Potter series.

Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home. ― J.K. Rowling

However I will always have to go back to the first literary character I fell in love with: Sherlock Holmes. (Not a new subject for me, my ‘love’ has been documented a handful of times on my blog, most notably here). My favorite book, however, isn’t by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Although it may not be ‘cannon’ I still love it. A book I keep coming back to time and time again is The Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie R. King (you may recall that I pulled a sentence from the book for yesterday‘s post and have referenced it several times (1 | 2 | 3) in my blog as my favorite book, at least I am consistent in this). I first came across this audiobook when I was in my teens (12-15 and it was on a cassette tape). I was happy, a couple of years later, when I came across the physical book in a book store and thoroughly delighted when, upon reading the book, I realized I had only ever listened to the abridged version. So many more adventures to experience with Russell and Holmes!

TheThe Beekeepers Apprentice Beekeeper’s Apprentice was the only book I took with me when I moved to Rome for the semester. It’s my go to book when I go to venues or have some downtime for some reading (and am not in the middle of a book). As a result there are a handful of ticket stubs and memories from past musicals tucked away. It’s fun to flip to a random stub and start reading from that point. I’ve read it enough that it only takes a paragraph or two for me to remember the back story up to the point that I’m reading. Like I said, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but this book will always be up at the top of list.

Until tomorrow
~ Q

Previous 30 Day Challenge Posts:
Five Ways To Win My Heart | Something I Feel Strongly About

Thirty Day Challenge: Day Two

Day Two: Something I feel strongly about

Hmmm, opinions are dangerous, aren’t they? Especially once they are written down and are forever out there. At the disposal for anyone to use as they see fit, but if we don’t stand for something we’ll fall for anything, no? What do I feel strongly about? I suppose what comes to mind today would be equality. Everyone (no matter their race, gender, relationship status, sexual preference or whatever we try to divide ourselves by) should be given the same opportunity as everyone else, if the so wish it. I know I don’t really have a leg to stand on coming from Iowa where it is fairly homogenous, but maybe that has made me who I am today. As I’ve encountered people who are different than I am (whether they are gay, Hispanic or even male) I’ve always treated them as I would treat a neighbor or colleague. (I would say ‘treat them as anyone else’, but lets face it, if I treat them like family or close friends they may be frightened by my craziness, and I don’t want to scare people.)  I don’t subscribe to this nonsense that people are better than one another purely because they are born a certain way.

You cannot help being a female, and I should be something of a fool were I to discount your talents merely because of their housing’. ― Sherlock Holmes from The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

You can’t change your genes, and really, who cares what alleles you happen to have compared to Bob down the street? I don’t think I will ever be able to understand that line of reasoning, no matter whose shoes I put myself into, it’s just too irrational.

Until tomorrow
~ Q

Previous 30 Day Challenge Posts:
Five Ways to Win My Heart


The high pitch scream of her little sister woke her. Shooting up in bed she smelled fire and knew the drill. Her father called from the downstairs landing that he had Cristy. Without thinking about it she grabbed the photo on her nightstand. Her feet found the slippers that lived by her bed and as she passed the bookshelf she grabbed a book of poems. She ran to the door and from the knob took off the aviator’s scarf before pressing the back of her hand to the door, it was warm. She snatched the bomber jacket and immediately turned around and headed for the window, pulling on the jacket as she went. As she crawled up onto her dresser she flipped open the jewelry mini-chest and pulled out an antique ring box. Smiling she dropped the box into her jacket and was out the window. Crawling onto the roof of the garage she shifted the book and frame into the same hand so she could put the scarf on. With her treasures secure she made her way to the trellis and joined her panicked father. When he saw her carrying stuff towards him he was about to yell, but then he saw what she carried. He also realized despite her foolishness she was safe. He shook his head and pulled her into a rib cracking hug. Quickly her dad flipped up her collar to keep the chill away, then he took Cristy back into his arms. Pulling off the scarf, she wound it around her sister’s neck to keep her warm. Then they heard the sirens and turned to watch the approaching trucks.


Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

I’m going to assume that I’d have a magical ability to just carry everything no matter how awkward it was and grab (in no particular order):

  1. Grandma’s painting
  2. Computer
  3. External hard drive
  4. Bookshelf (and if I can’t take the whole thing since that seems like major cheating then my copy of A Beekeeper’s Apprentice)
  5. Grandma’s jewelry box

These are just gut reactions, hopefully I’m never faced with this dilemma.

I was fifteen when I first met Sherlock Holmes…

fifteen years old with my nose in a book as I walked the Sussex Downs, and nearly stepped on him. I was a particularly clumsy adolescent. That was the year I also broke my foot while playing dodge ball. By adding the dodge ball bit it makes it sound less pathetic then it truly was. It happened in PE and at the time of the break class had been dismissed to change clothes. However that didn’t stop me and my friend. We still had a little bit of fight left in us and were messing around. I was retreating and going to head to the locker room as he hunted me down.

I would like to say the backward duck that turned into a backwards trip that landed me on my butt by the bleachers was planned. It wasn’t and it hurt. Not my backside though, oh no, some how my foot twisted and I was in utter agony. He and I official stopped playing then. Being the clutz I was I didn’t think it was anything major, I’d rolled my ankle before and all I could really tell was that my foot area hurt. When it hurt so bad I didn’t want to put my shoe back on that should have been a bigger clue. I carried it down the hall with me as I limped off to English. My teacher was not overly impressed, but after having me for the entire year she’d learned that ‘random’ is my modus operandi.

I cringed down the pain for the last two periods before heading to the office to ask my dad to drive me home. He came out of the office, took one look at my pained expression and said, “You didn’t have to wait until school was out, I would have taken you home earlier.”

Although I really appreciate the sentiment of that statement it was not welcomed at the time. My foot hurt and I’d just sat through a couple hours of lecture. I was not amused and just hobbled my way out to the car. Now here is the thing you should know about me. I choose the most random times to get stubborn. I believe that day was one of them. My father offered to go get the car and pull it around to the circle drive so I didn’t have to walk to the lot. Very kind, and I should have taken him up on it. However my dad was always the first one to the building, save for the janitor who did beat him in. This meant he always had a phenomenal parking spot and the lot and drive were right next to each other. Rather than wait for the car I dug in my heals and hobbled over the grass to the car myself. Never underestimate the power of stupidity.

After icing it for a few hours that night and the swelling not going down, my parents too thought it was an ankle issue, we finally made a doctor’s appointment the next day. That’s when we learned that I broke the smallest bone in the foot, which also has the added benefit of taking the longest to heal. How that works, I’m not sure, but that was super fun.

That was the summer I broke my right foot. That was also the summer I turned 16. Lucky for me I had a boot cast so I was able to take it off while I took the driving test. Walking to the DMV without it (only about two weeks in on the healing process) was a longer walk then I remembered when I had gone in for my permit. However in the end I did get my license, my foot did heal (although to this day it occasionally twinges), and I was officially cleared of having to wear my boot the day before I had to get on a plane and leave for a national convention. Timing is everything.

The Beekeepers ApprenticeThanks DP for the interesting starter! The opening line was from my favorite book The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, by Laurie R King. That book has been a constant friend of mine (my copy has several tickets tucked into it from where I’d brought it along to keep me from getting bored during intermission or during the game etc), although as previously posted I met Sherlock long before the tender age of fifteen. However I had only had glimpses of retired Sherlock (which is his age in the series by King. After I read the prompt I nearly panicked when I went to my book case (just to make sure I quoted it correctly) and it was missing! Then I found the vertical stack of ten more books and was assured it was on the top of that stack. Crisis averted.

In regards to the quote itself it’s quite fitting for me. ‘…years old with my nose in a book as I walked…and nearly stepped on him…’ later on the paragraph continues ‘…probably would not have noticed the sea until I stepped off one of the chalk cliffs into it.” Books do that to me as well. Which is probably why I like the books so much, I can identify with Russel. My boss still makes fun of me for the time it was practically a monsoon when a couple of us were going out for happy hour. They were going to pick me up and my phone was still on silent from work. This forced my boss to get out of her car and head up to my apartment. She was not amused when I answered the door, finger still holding the place in the book I was reading (A Study in Scarlet as coincidence would have it). However she was/is much more amused whenever she retells the story. It’s now looked on as a ‘Classic Jamie’.

My Love affair with Sherlock Holmes

I have been a fan of the brain child of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle since before I can remember. You may think this to be hyperbole but in my instance it’s true. I clearly remember a time before I was even in school listening to my dad’s tapes. That’s right cassette tapes. My dad, somehow, had gotten his hands on the tapes of the old radio series that played during world war II. (This performance will be transferred by short wave to our men and women over seas is a clear statement that still rings in my head from the tapes. I remember as a child not really understanding what that meant.) As a kid those were the stories I fell asleep listening to, occasionally an episode of Have Gun will Travel or The Saint would slip in, but my favorites were always The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Especially the ones staring Basel Rathbone and Nigel Bruce-which were most of them. Oddly enough, I have yet to actually watch anything with those two in them, because I love the audio version so much…something I may need to alter. I have seen Basil Rathbone in movies (the main one that comes to mind is The Court Jester with Danny Kaye) and thought he was brilliant.

Then when I was in middle school I found an audiobook called The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (also on cassette tape) and was introduced to a new Sherlock. Years later, after thinking perhaps I had made the book up because I couldn’t recall the books name, I refound the book. (One of the best parts of reading the book over the audiobook from the library was that I hadn’t realized it had been abridged. So I had bonus story and cases to read about-BEST SURPRISE EVER!) In quick secession I devoured the series until I finished it and although The Beekeeper’s Apprentice is still my favorite in the series (arguably it is actually my favorite book) I love the dynamic between Russell and Holmes. Even if Holmes isn’t quite the same man that Doyle created he is still his brilliant deductive self. If King would have turned Sherlock into a hopeless romantic or something it would not have worked. She presents the two characters in such a way that even the reader can see that there actions truly are what makes the most logical sense, and in that way I think it honors Doyle’s original character. But as usual I digress.

Recently, it seems, Sherlock has been revived once again, and both in his original home of the late 1800’s and in more modern way in the 2000’s. Where we’re use to him being first. When I found out that there would be a new movie of Sherlock I was quite ecstatic. Perhaps the fact that I had been studying abroad since the August before its release helped. It certainly came as a shock, I get back to the State mid-December and BAM a new Sherlock story. That it came out around Christmas was an added bonus – it could be a family activity. My family, like all families, doesn’t always agree. One thing we do all agree on are the Sherlock stories. It is one thing that the entire family enjoys. So although some of us didn’t see the movie until the following Christmas when it was out on DVD it was quite an enjoyable and a ‘bonding’ experience of sorts. Likewise I can’t remember the last time my mother and I went to a movie together in the theater. I can no longer say that now, as you know she and I went to Mirror, Mirror together. A month before that though, or so, we had gone to the second Sherlock movie, A Game of Shadows. A movie (like the former) that had a great balance between action/serious moments/comedic relief. Very enjoyable.

Now (well last year or so) the BBC has developed a modern series called simply Sherlock, and simply put I think it’s brilliant.  The second series just aired on PBS. The thing I like about this ‘system’ is that it aired in the UK on the BBC back in December. Why the lag between airing in the US and the UK I don’t know but coming full circle is that what I like about this system is that the second season has just been released onto DVD (yesterday, after the final episode in the series aired on Sunday). Guess what my birthday present to myself is this year. The writers of the show create such interesting twists from the originals, they really have made it their own (The Geek Interpreter vs The Greek Interpreter – love it!). Oh, I also love the dynamic between Sherlock and Mycroft. It makes it seems as a more adversarial relationship. Where clearly there is lots of left over baggage from a childhood of growing up far to bright for either of the brother’s own good . Before I had looked at the relationship as more one of mutual respect/acceptance. One where the two brothers, although both brilliant, don’t have scads in common so it’s just easier for the family dynamic to leave each other be, unless seeing each other is logical or necessary. In the Sherlock series they don’t call on one another unless necessary (that’s still the same) but when they do meet there is always an undercurrent of annoyance and arguing between the two. Which may be why Mycroft is always making John be the liaison between the two-which also adds to the comedy.

This has gotten quite lengthy, but I guess something that will always be true of me (if it has endured for the first 25 years of my life surely it will stay for the next 25 and more) is that I love Sherlock. Important that, I suppose? Until next time~Q