Homestretch

Mayan Numeral, by Joanna Wiebe, an illustration from Wild and Precious Life

I am almost done copy-editing my book, Birth Mother.  I’ve been doing this task for about half a year. It is amazing how much time it takes to copy-edit 60,000 words.  Of course, as I edit, I keep re-writing parts, too, and that doesn’t make it go any faster. Not that there is any rush, except for my desire to be done with the project and move onto another book.

For I have decided to write a detective story! When we were on holiday in Jamaica this past September, the blonde Brooklynite and I were reading detective stories poolside at the Negril, Jamaica Rockhouse Hotel.  I was poring over the activities of Mma Precious Ramotswe, the first female private investigator in Botswana.   The blonde Brooklynite was reading classic detective fiction.  I had lots of time on my hands, there in that poolside deck chair, between reading bits about Precious from Alexander McCall Smith’s The Full Cupboard of Life, and waiting for Richie the bartender to bring me more lime slushies.  In that plethora of free time I began mentally playing with my theory that almost anyone is capable of crime, given the right circumstances.  Later, I realized that one of my friends would make the perfect model for an interesting and unusual detective. I announced my interest to the blonde Brooklynite who then proceeded to give me for Christmas an array of classic detective fiction in paperback, as well as a nice hard-backed copy of The Classic Era of Crime Fiction, all from her own library. The die was cast.

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