An Autumnal Mystery

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The mystery in question is this: why, when my adult children ask me what I’m up to, and I tell them, “I’m cutting off the heads of small animals,” (albeit, plastic animals, but they did not know that) why are they not disquieted by that? In fact, the eldest child responded with, “Mom, I think you need to start another book.” Cheeky kid. (Okay, in all fairness, my internet search history could get me arrested for crimes I never committed. I write MYSTERY, after all.)

Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy!

It all began with a game of CLUE. I’ve always loved games with colorful boards. Rather, I love architecture, building, design, and my favorite games as a child were Clue (because of the beautifully colored boards, the rooms, the floor patterns, etc., and LIFE, with its 3-D bridges, hills, houses, and cars. It was less about the game, more about driving little cars over hills and bumps, collecting little peg babies, and a husband. So I thought, hmmm, I used to love dollhouses as a child. Of course, I had neither the skill nor the follow-through to create anything of beauty, but I’m older and have a bit more patience and I’m between books. So why not create a 3-D Clue board?

I found my gameboard surface, an old oak table top. It’s divided into rooms and hallways and square tile spaces in keeping with the original game, and my plan was to work on and complete one room per week. HA!

So although I have the walls for a study papered, bits of study-like furniture built, and miniature books for shelves that went kind of wonky, I diverted with the thought, “Oh, what if I cut the heads off of little plastic animals, paint them, glue on some tufts of sheep’s wool, and make some cute little trophy heads for the wall? I know what you’re thinking. Anyone who’s ever played a game of CLUE or grew up watching The Beverly Hillbillies knows that the trophy heads go in the Billiard Room, not the Study!

“It was done in the Billiard Room, by Mrs. Partridge, using a pair of tweezers and super glue!”

On the other hand, maybe my kid is right, and I need to just start the next book… Hmmmm….

Cozy Southern Mystery: What’s Behind Curtain Number 3?

In the vein of blogging and stretching the topic to encompass that which I write (Southern Gothic Cozy Mysteries) and setting a weekly goal toward completing my pandemic project of converting my garden variety (pun intended) shed into a writing studio, I’m back again this Friday with the near-completion of the fourth side of the Word Crone Cottage.

This wall consists of all shelving – unattractive, plywood and 2X4, potting shed grade shelving. It was tough to make it look fancy, so I painted it, divided it into three compartments with extra shelves, partitions, and some gnarly porch posts I had on hand. (Doesn’t everyone have gnarly wooden posts just laying around?) Their purpose in all this is to just cover the crap behind it with curtains made from drop cloths.

So, what is behind curtain number three? I’m a compartmentalist. (Is it a word? It is now.) Curtain number one hides everything related to the business of writing – a printer, tax documents, books on grammar and story structure. Curtain number two houses all things artsy. In addition to writing, I whip out the odd illustration. (More on that in another blog post. It’s all storytelling.) And curtain number three houses the recording studio. (Very dark, so it doesn’t photograph well, thus all the closed curtains. (Maybe I’ll share an audio short story in the future. I should write down these blog post ideas.)

I loved the ceiling solution of covering the insulation with a dropcloth. Unfortunately, Scout has decided that it and the wood slabs that are currently stored in the rafters are there for her own enjoyment. Her new favorite napping spot is either on the wood slabs (that’s fine) or in the drop cloth ceiling covers. (Not fine.)

Next week I’ll share the last bit of renovation – the loft over this wall of shelves, (thus the reason for the theater ladder.) Woo hoo. I’m really looking forward to wrapping up my pandemic project, but is anything ever truly finished? Well, we can hope to see an end to the pandemic someday.  I’ll have some painted accent pieces to share along the way, but I’m already planning the next project, so please join me on Fridays… and in the meantime, enjoy this little “before” view of the next project.

Until then, make some art, read some books!

Sofie.

Cozy Southern Mysteries and an Angel on My Shoulder

This Friday, I’m continuing the tour around the edges of the Word Crone Cottage. Every week, I tackle another corner of my writing office, a pandemic project that is now ¾ done, thanks to the self-imposed Friday blog deadlines.

Everything here was thrifted or gifted and this week, I tackled the massive walnut armoire that was neglected, a catchall for tools and arts and crafts projects. It came into my care through my daughter, who received it from a friend. When she came home from college, the armoire was “stored” in what was, at the time, a storage shed… and it suffered for the lack of climate control. Today, it’s far happier serving as a bookshelf in the shed turned office.

Are you familiar with the story, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? I styled the shelf, which meant moving books, which led to sorting/donating/curating those books, which led to moving my table desk from another corner, which led to the realization that I have a lot of angels looking over my shoulder.

Tomorrow will be the first day of writing with my entourage of angels peering over my shoulder. I’m re-working a cozy southern mystery. It’s part of a series that is receiving a pretty extensive overhaul. Yes, there is some mischief in the fictional town of Poropotank, but hopefully, the angels are working to keep everyone accountable – fictional characters as well as myself. A-chapter-a-day keeps the wolves at bay.

Join me again next Friday when I’ll be sorting out the “recording studio.” Okay, okay, at present, it’s little more than a corner wrapped in insulating batting. Someone asked about the banjo in the corner in a previously revealed corner. Yes, I play, not all that well, but what I lack in skill, I make up for with heart. ❤ Click here for a little snippet.

I hope you’re enjoying the journey as much as I am. In the meantime, make some art. Read a book.