Friday, February 25, 2022

Lagniappe: The Monument

 A new fairy tale for Lagniappe:

“You should have a monument,” said his grand wazir, Yezdigerd. 

“A monument? I like the idea, Yez. But what sort of monument?” 

     “A statue carved out of a mountainside!” 
     “Too unrefined.” 
     “A palace built in the clouds, constructed of angels’ wings!” 
     “Too ethereal.” 
     “A pyramid greater than the pyramids at Giza!” 
     “Unoriginal.” 
      Yezdigerd subsided. “I’m sorry, my lord. They were only suggestions. I’m not an artist.” 
      “Yes, Yezdigerd!” cried Yildiz. “That’s what I need! An artist!” 

Reading Club


 Full disclosure:

She's my sister. 
But do you realize how hard it is to get relatives to read your work?

Reading Club



Snowed in? 
Have I got a good book for you.

 

Edward Albee

 “Read the great stuff, but read the stuff that isn't so great, too. Great stuff is very discouraging. If you read only Beckett and Chekhov, you'll go away and only deliver telegrams for Western Union.”

― Edward Albee

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Midwest Book Review: the Dutch Painter

 From MBR:

A welcome addition to the growing library of Sherlock Holmes stories, "The Strange Case of the Dutch Painter" by Timothy Miller does full justice to the exploits of that master detective which was originally created by Sir Conan Doyle. A 'must read' selection for all dedicated mystery buffs, as well as the legions of Sherlock Holmes fans, and also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), this paperback edition of "The Strange Case of the Dutch Painter" from Seventh Street Books is an especially and unreservedly recommended for all community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Aaron Sorkin

 

"I like dialogue. It sounds like music. What the words sound like are as important to me as what the words mean."

-- Aaron Sorkin

Monday, February 14, 2022

I'm not insane!

Have saber, will travel.
I mean, I had this figured out long before any German scientists.

"The story of van Gogh's madness was part of a coverup, the authors say, by none other than van Gogh's friend and fellow artist Paul Gauguin."

For the full article, 
check out NPR 


Scion Society hazing

 The admissions test was brutal.
First they blindfolded me. Then:

(Actually I just had to give my name)
1) They asked me whether the train from Paddington at 8.30 would get me to Devon by noon.

2) They asked me to discern five different types of tobacco ash by smell alone.

3) They asked me to recite "The Great Rat of Sumatra" word for word.

4) They asked the middle name of Watson's fifth wife.

5) They asked me in which story Holmes first mentions "the little grey cells."

6) They told me to put on a deerstalker cap backwards.

7) They swore me to secrecy.

But I passed! I'm now a member of the Crew of the Lone Star Barque Society (based in Dallas). I can put a swagger in my step.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Claude Levi-Strauss

 

"Language is a form of human reason, which has its internal logic of which man knows nothing."



Contraband

 Psst! I just got my copy of Maus

It literally came in a plain brown wrapper. Keep it on the downlow, willya? They're coming down hard on readers, and I've already got Beloved and Ulysses against me.

Friday, February 11, 2022

You say goodbye, and I say hello.

 

Which one are you?
As an artist, which are you?

Lennon or McCartney?

The raw or the cooked?

I mean, there are those artists who want to dig into themselves, confess themselves, use themselves as their source material. And then there are artists who hide behind their art, who use their art to please, to put on a hundred different masks. I think it's true no matter what medium you work in: writing, acting, painting, etc.

Of course art by it's very nature is a kind of hiding; even if it is a revelation, it's always at one remove. One can always deny it if questioned by Pilate. Yet it is also an invitation to follow the clues, no matter how tortuous or obscure, to the soul. So there's a dialectic involved.

I adore Lennon, but I'm definitely a McCartney, hiding behind the mask of Dr. John Watson. (Not that an artist can't occasionally break the mold: McCartney's Yesterday or Lennon's For the Benefit of Mr. Kite.)

Reflections on Reflections

 There comes a time in every draft of a novel when things start to click together, to reflect each other. For instance, did you know that King Tut photographer Harry Burton preferred sunlight for his pictures? Which meant he had to use a complicated setup of mirrors and reflectors to bring the sun INTO the tomb. (I didn't know this, and had to rewrite that whole section.)



But then I realized that must have been the exact method used by Geoffrey Hodson, 50 pages earlier, to create the illusion of dancing fairies!

Research always shows you the way.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Memorabilia

 I'm not really one for memorabilia, but I figure I owe these guys something.

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Benedict Cumberbatch

I like Benedict Cumberbatch. I like Sherlock. How could I not? But the truth is, I have no news about either subject. I have no special insights into either phenomenon. I have no whimsical tales to relate. I'm simply pandering, hoping that a picture of this dashing young man will garner my blog more followers. Hey, it's worth a try.

Thanks, Benny.

 

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

The Strange Cases of Strange Cases

 Of course, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was the inspiration for the title of my first (and therefore my second) novel. I should perhaps have done my research further. It turns out there are a lot of "Strange Case" titles out there, and I am now chained to them for all eternity, like Marley's ghost with his cashboxes. And some of the titles are a wee bit...well...


HUGO SPROUTS AND THE STRANGE CASE OF THE BEANS
THE STRANGE CASE OF THE RICKETY COSSACK: AND OTHER CAUTIONARY TALES FROM HUMAN EVOLUTION
THE RABBIT REPORT: THE STRANGE CASE OF THE MISSING GINGER
THE STRANGE CASE OF THE SPOTTED MICE & OTHER CLASSIC ESSAYS ON SCIENCE


These are just some of my new bunkmates. But my favorite, hands down, is this title:


I haven't read the book, and I never will, because it couldn't possibly live up to its title. Perhaps you've read it and enjoyed it. Let me know. It's definitely a brother from another mother. Now excuse me, I have to get back to work on The Strange Case of the Pharaoh's Heart.









Where to start with Agatha?

 If you've always wanted to read the Queen of Crime, but didn't know where to start? Here's an excerpt from an excellent primer:


The shocker

If you’re looking for an ending that shook contemporary readers and is still capable of jolting the unsuspecting reader today, then settle down with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. The eponymous victim is a neighbour of Poirot’s and his sudden, violent demise brings the detective out of retirement.
                                               --Janice Hallett


For the entire article, check out The Guardian.


Art Spiegelman



 Samuel Beckett once said, "Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness."

...On the other hand, he SAID it.”
                  ― 
Art Spiegelman

Monday, February 07, 2022

Book burning

 Face it: if you read books, you read banned books. If you ban books, you don't read books.

This is really a war between readers and non-readers.

One Happy Customer



Bringing a smile to all ages. That's my mission.


 

Lermolieff has his say

 From an interview with "Ivan Lermolieff, Holmes's confederate in The Strange Case of the Dutch Painter:

What is something you want people to know about you?

My name is not Ivan Lermolieff. That’s only a nom de guerre hung on me by Vernet—or can I say Sherlock Holmes? My real name is—oh, perhaps I should stick with Lermolieff. Which is actually an anagram of my mentor’s name. More or less.


For the complete piece, visit Karen's Killer Book Bench--

As I was saying...


 Any age is the right age to introduce them to the Great Detective. Especially members of the Red-headed League.

Sunday, February 06, 2022

On the other hand...

 

It's good to know that it's a relaxing read for all ages.

Hmm...


I love pictures of readers with my books. However, there are some endorsements I'd rather not claim.

 

Saturday, February 05, 2022

Remember your first book?

 Check out First Book and give them their first book.

Over half of America's low-income children are growing up in homes without books.

That's millions. Millions of children live in a book desert - no books to spark imagination. No books to strengthen their critical thinking skills. No books to connect with the outside world.


First Book changes all of that.

Friday, February 04, 2022

John Crowley

 

“Learning to decipher words had only added to the pleasures of holding spines and turning pages, measuring the journey to the end with a thumb-riffle, poring over frontispieces. Books! Opening with a crackle of old glue, releasing perfume; closing with a solid thump.”

--John Crowley

Lagniappe: From Poem to Screen

 “Who’s on line two? Bob Frost?” 


    “Bobby, how’s it hanging, baby? How’s Vermont? Sap still rising?” “Oh, mending walls, eh? Make sure you get a good contractor. This guy Sophie got on the guest house, he’s a goneph. I swear, I’m pouring money down a rat hole.
 "So what have you got for me, baby? A new poem? Pitch me! Two ears, no waiting.” “Stopping in the Woods on a Snowy Evening? Great title. Says it all. Three teen-age couples, cabin in the woods, axe-murderer, chop, chop, chop, big box office, I can smell the money, these kids can’ get enough of the crap!

For the rest check out Lagniappe

Historical fiction or conspiracy theory?

 



Vincent van Gogh did not commit suicide.

He was murdered.

And I can prove it.


How? By fudging the facts. Creating doubt. Promulgating conspiracy theories.
Historical fiction writers do it every day.

Let’s face it, we’re deep in conspiracy theories these days, and more and more people are latching on to conspiracies to explain the world around them. Conspiracy theories are a growth industry. Unless the market is being manipulated by the Russians, or lizard people, which would explain a lot.

For the entire article, visit Lesa's Book Critiques

Interview: Historical Novel Society

A review/ interview with the Historical Novel Society:


"Timothy Miller’s second ‘Strange Case’ novel features a witty amalgamation of Sherlockian investigation with historical oddities. The Strange Case of the Dutch Painter (Seventh Street Books, February 2022) revolves around the suicide of Vincent Van Gogh, and throws up some intriguing perspectives on the era, the painter, and the power of art."

For the entire piece, visit the Historical Novel Society

Thursday, February 03, 2022

A Master of Disguise

 My thoughts on why Sherlock Holmes lives a life of disguises:

"But where does his fascination with disguise come from? His need to erase himself?

Does Sherlock Holmes hate Sherlock Holmes, and if so, why?
For the answer, or at least a conjecture, I think we have to delve into Holmes’s past, and we have little enough to go on there. We know that his father was a country squire, settled in his ways, yet he chose a French woman, from a family of prominent painters, as his wife. It’s an odd match."


For the full article, visit Crime Thriller Hound

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Holmes's artistic ancestry/Crimereads

 Now out, my  speculations on the Vernets in Crimereads.


"Nevertheless, at the time the Vernets were a wildly popular tribe of painters, three
generations, connected by marriage to a whole host of other successful French artists. And since there were three generations, Claude, Carl, and Horace, there is some ambiguity as to exactly which Vernet is meant. Since Horace and Carl both feature (in paintings) the aquiline nose and piercing eyes that Holmes also boasts, that doesn’t clear up the question."
Read the whole piece at Crime Reads:

Historical Novel Society review of the Dutch Painter

 From the Historical Novel Society:

"While the book contains deft Holmesian plotting and a plethora of historical tidbits, the real draw for me is the extraordinary voice of Miller’s narrator: hilariously pompous, erudite, and evocative. The
sheer riot of his descriptions captivates and invites readers to linger over the sentences rather than rush headlong through the story."

For the entire review, check out the Historical Novel Sociey:

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Interview with Nerds that Geek/The Dutch Painter

 
NTG: Do you think Sherlock Holmes would have good taste in art? Why / why not?
 

Timothy Miller: Watson claimed that he had dreadful taste in art, but then Watson was something of a Philistine himself. But I think Holmes would have been more apt to analyze art, to try to derive clues from it rather than simply enjoy it. I think he would have been more comfortable with abstract art, Kandinsky, for instance, which would have allowed his mind. to release its grip, the same way that improvisation on the violin did.

                 For the full interview on The Strange Case of the Dutch Painter, visit Nerds That Geek.

Launch Day!