“The Singular Affair of the Assassin’s Knife” A New Episode of The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

I am going through an old radio kick. A few weeks ago, I wrote an episode of the Jack Benny Program as if it was still on the air today (you can check it out here); now I am doing probably my favorite old-time radio show, The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. (I wrote about my love of the show here and here). Honestly, I’m really happy with how both of these little creative “time capsules” turned out.

It is Monday night on the Mutual Broadcasting System, time for…

The Singular Affair of the Assassin’s Knife

OPENING CREDITS

HARRY BARTELL: Petri Wine Brings you…

MUSIC: Dramatic organ sound!

BARTELL: (Quickly) Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

MUSIC: Organ plays the theme

ACT ONE

BARTELL: Now, let’s visit the good friend of Sherlock Holmes, our own beloved Doctor Watson in his California cottage. Dr. Watson? Hello? Are you in?

WATSON: Oh, come in my boy. Why Mr. Bartell it has been quite a long time since you have visited my home. It is lovely to see you.

BARTELL: It’s good to see you too. How are the puppies?

WATSON:  When you are a man of a certain age, like myself, you need to think of your health. I’ve been doing what the young people are calling “counting their steps.” I decided to take the puppies with me today on one of my longer walks. While I feel great, the puppies are right now fast asleep on my bed.

BARTELL: (Light laugh), Well, I hope you still have the energy to share an adventure of Sherlock Holmes with us tonight. We’ve been waiting for quite a long time for this.

WATSON: Of course, and I am very ready for you. Sit down and make yourself comfortable. That’s it. I named this adventure “The Singular Affair of the Assassin’s Knife” and there are few tales I know that were more dangerous for Holmes and myself.

BARTELL: Assassin’s knife? I would say get to the point, but I wouldn’t recommend that with a knife like that. It certainly sounds exciting.

WATSON: Our story begins in the summer of 1881. It was an unpleasant time to be in London with a heatwave that seemed to be never ending. Most of London, those who could not escape for the coasts or countryside, were hiding in their homes; and it was rare you saw a soul on the streets when the sun was still blazing. I was married at the time and living away from Baker Street and very busy in my medical practice which was starting to actually draw some much-needed financial attention. I was only occasionally seeing my friend, the great detective, but I did take part in his adventure of the Red-Headed League.

BARTELL: I remember that one. That was the mystery with the secret tunnel into the bank vault and you and Sherlock Holmes captured the culprit right at the scene of the crime.

WATSON: Yes, Mr. Bartell, that crime was orchestrated by the wicked Professor Moriarty. Before that escapade, it could be said that Sherlock Holmes was merely a nuisance to Moriarty, but with the loss of that fortune, Moriarty finally saw Holmes for the arch-nemesis he was. He had his focus now set on my good friend, but I did not know any of this at the time. My part in this adventure began when Inspector Lestrade from Scotland Yard appeared at my Doctor’s office. Continue reading

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Sherlock By Moonlight

For over a year I have had trouble falling asleep.

There are many things I can point to as possible blames for my restless evenings. Three jump quickly to mind.

  • The obvious one, and the one we probably all share, is the 2016 election and what happened afterwards. For more information on that, tune in to NPR on any day (or hour).
  • The second is more personal. With my writing, I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my latest book (which I believe is probably the best original fiction I will ever create). It’s a very unique position, where each reader (agent or publisher) says it is important, some even say they love it, but it has yet to find a home. It’s like being the nice guy in high school; everyone wants to be its friend, but no one wants to date it.
  • The third one is I changed jobs last year. While I am very happy with the results of that experience (and it turned out to be a very good thing for me), everything around those stressful months still wears on me.

I wouldn’t say all of this is dramatic enough to call it PTSD, but it does linger in the gut sometimes at around 11 o’clock when my entire family is asleep and a part of me feels like I need to stay awake to keep an eye on all of them. I don’t have time to sleep. It feels like a luxury I don’t get right now.

I’ve tried a few tricks to fall asleep. The first was I got a sound machine, one of those devices that can do the sound of rain or thunderstorm, etc. (Strangely many of them just make me feel like I have to use the bathroom.)

The sounds did work for about a month and then my nine-year-old son discovered it, and I have not seen it since. It lives in his bedroom now, and while I am struggling to fall asleep he is experiencing a peaceful summer night with crickets.

Analyzing myself (which I love to do), overall, I need to put my mind in a sense of peace and harmony. Give myself the “okay” to fall asleep. Just lying in silence doesn’t do that for me. Reality bears down too much in the quiet moments.

…Strangely what has been working has been solving mysteries with literature’s greatest detective. Continue reading

Three Things I Have Almost Blogged About…

Broken PencilSo when I started this blog, I had nothing but the best intentions. I made lists and lists of different things to write about.

… Then I sat down and did way too much about Disneyland and Game of Thrones (two things that should never be in the same sentence again).

Let’s have a brief tangent- I’m one of the few book readers that is thrilled that Game of Thrones is passing the books. The script writers for the show certainly have their problems (for example, they go darker than the books, amazingly), but one skill they do have is the ability to edit. They cut, cut, cut the books down to something a little easier to consume and that is no small feat. I’ll never be totally happy with the calls they make (poor Sansa) or even the calls Martin makes (poor Ned), but at least we’ll be getting an ending to the tale in the new few years.

Okay, where was I? Recently, I found my list of original ideas for blog entries, focused on only one current theme- what interests the guy writing this.

Hey, it’s my blog, what can I say?

Below are three items I always wanted to dive into and never got around to. Not to say they aren’t interesting, it’s just… I’m a very important and busy man (no, I’m not). I have a lot of writing responsibilities (ha!). These short essays are the best  I can do (that is probably true). Continue reading

Five Things I Am Into Right Now, April 2014

UmbrellaSpring should be a time of rebirth, new things to discover. It’s one of the reasons that the summer blockbusters start in this month and Easter is filled with eggs and rabbits. Yet, when I look over my list I notice that much of it is filled with… well… old stuff.

Maybe this says something about me?

Or maybe I just need to stop psychoanalyzing myself?

I do it a lot, of course, but everyone that has a blog does. We are a collection of little self-therapists, the only difference is the world gets access to the notepad. And can comment on it.

Well, speaking as my own therapist, I see on this list a sonic piece of detective comfort food, a need for silly humor, a demon I can’t escape, a cartoon for the kiddies, and a CD that always puts a smile on my face. My diagnosis is that it is a something like a call for Spring, but a comforting one. So maybe I am almost on the right page, just not quite.

Continue reading

Chasing the Ghost of Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock HolmesAs I write this I am surrounded by the ghost of Sherlock Holmes.

I am wearing a t-shirt for the BBC show Sherlock. You can also find the Blu Rays for the seasons behind me, alongside the box set containing all of the films starring Basil Rathbone and the series with Jeremy Brett (my favorite television Holmes).

Over to my side is my Sherlock Holmes deerstalker hat that I bought at 221B Baker Street in London many years ago. I remember that moment vividly.

Why?

Well, honestly, I have a big head. I can’t really buy hats since it is rare I find one that fits my large skull. After spending an afternoon walking through the properly messy rooms of the museum, I assumed I would be going home with just a copy of an illustration from the original books (now on the wall in my kitchen), but to my utter surprise there was a hat that fit me. My large head? Really? It was a glorious moment, as if the great detective was prepared for my arrival. Continue reading