Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Of Thee I Sing

Burma Vita company ran a contest every year, offering a cash prize to people who wrote a verse for their little roadside signs.  Here’s a winner:

To shaving brush
I need
Not cling
I will not hush
Of thee I sing
Burma Shave

The City of Leicester has announced the dates for the ceremonial disposition of the bones of King Richard III.  The week-long event begins March 22, 2015, and concludes on the 27th.  Tanya, Becky and I plan to be there for part of it, staying the nights of March 24 and 25 (I already made hotel reservations, which turned out to be a good idea, as I got one of the last two rooms), then we’ll go back to London to catch a twelve-day “coach” (bus) tour of the country, hitting many famous stops (Bath, Stonehenge, Chester, York, etc.).  I would like very much to collect enough information on this tour to write a Betsy Devonshire mystery set there (I already have kind of an idea), but it will take considerable effort to convince my editor – she doesn’t like stories that take Betsy out of Excelsior.  I completely understand, but . . .

I was golfing last Thursday and on the last hole saw a big turtle making his/her casual way across the fairway.  So of course I went for a closer look.  It was a snapping turtle, probably weighing twenty or twenty-five pounds, with duckweed drying on its shell (the course there runs between two ponds).  It paused when it saw me coming and when I offered it a look at my driver, slammed it with its head, mouth open.  I was surprised at the force of its blow.  Then I went back to the tee and it continued on its way, neither of us much wiser for the encounter.  Well, except now I definitely will not go wading in any of the ponds on that course looking for a lost ball.

I sent a revised synopsis of Ebenezer’s Christmas Yarn to my agent, but haven’t heard back.  So I emailed her and find she’s on vacation till the 18th.  And I have queried my editor about getting back to work on Darned If You Do – but she hasn’t gotten back to me yet, either.  So I’ll just keep hammering away at both works until I hear from them.


Linda O. Johnston said...

Sounds like a wonderful potential trip to England, Monica. I'm an Anglophile, especially since the ancestors of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels came from England! And that sounds like quite a memorable experience with that snapping turtle.

Betty Hechtman said...

Your trip sounds great. I think it is hard to get answers in August. My agent is on vacation, too.

HelenC said...

Is there any way you could maybe have Betsy do a trip to England prior to the main plot of the book - a bit like you had Doris go to Thailand before the main plot of Thai dye starts? I really,really love the travel bits in your books!

Anonymous said...

Is there any way you could have the snapping turtle encounter happen to Betsy?

Monica Ferris said...

As I was coming up the elevator from my first lesson in lawn bowling (it's fun!), it struck me that if I want to try a really, really difficult mystery, I could have Betsy and some members of the Monday Bunch come home from a tour of England during which there were a series of murders and she could be trying to solve it back here.

I think it would be more likely that Godwin and Rafael might encounter the snapper on the golf course. That would be fun, especially if the turtle puts a dent in Godwin's good new driver.