Winter is closing in. (The old oaks are skeletons in my sky.)
Blood-red berries on the native wintergreen.
So it’s inside time–wood fires, hot coffee, the occasional root vegetable…and murder.
You see, our friend Kininvie, in Scotland, felt I needed something to do to keep me busy during the dark months of winter. (He knows I tend toward plotting political revolution and he’s just trying to help me avoid jail.)
What he suggested was that he and I co-author a mystery novel. And having never co-written fiction and also having never written a mystery, it seemed like a good idea to me.
I LIKE to try new things.
For example, the time I delivered (birthed) a breech lamb one night. (Shocking but fine.) Or when I successfully made bars of real soap, or even when I rolled the Volvo down that embankment and then it finally stopped (against a tree) and I had to crawl out of the upside-down car. All new experiences, all enriching. (Not in terms of dollars of course. Especially the car incident.)
But I liked this mystery idea, and now Kininvie and I are writing a novel.
There are some unusual things that make the undertaking singularly challenging .
To begin, we are writing it on Twitter, where each ‘tweet’ is limited to 140 characters. So we must pare the text down to accomodate this, and it’s very difficult.
And some of us (Kininvie), think the others of us (me) have already impulsively introduced a bunch of weird characters that some of us (me again) may have trouble controlling. I say pish posh. (Thanks to Roberta for that fine expression.)
Of course Kininvie’s story begins in Scotland, and mine in the U.S. (on the Oregon coast). His started right off with a dead guy, on the ground, in a plant nursery. (We ARE garden bloggers you know.) Mine has to do with some admittedly eccentric people, and lots of money, and I just completed a (IMO) fascinating seance scene…
But be assured that somehow & somewhere we will bring these stories together… After all it is The First Ever Transatlantic Twitter Crime Novel!
To follow the intrigue on Twitter, just ask to follow Twitter users Bkista (me) & Egfrith (Kininvie). (They are private Twitter accounts but we are most happy to send permission to follow–You might want to put Bkista and Egfrith on a list because there are a LOT of tweets.)
Configuring Twitter for this has been a bit of a challenge (like digging a swimming pool with a trowel would be a bit of a challenge) so if you have suggestions please let us know.
We are also posting the story on a whole new WordPress blog called Uncanny Death. The text there is still in the format of “Tweets,” which are added to the blog soon after we write them on Twitter. (On the blog the story looks quite a lot like Bible verses, oddly.)
To make things even more interesting, as we go along Kininvie and I can each add text to the other person’s story. (This is without any joint planning or discussion of course.) Why, just this morning Kininvie went to MY Uncanny Death storyline and killed my character’s cat, Fluffy. (See what I am up against?)
We are also allowed to make [bracketed] aside comments. How creative and impulsive and fun and evil and really this may be why we actually do kill each other by about January… (Finish date for the project is April.)
All things considered, it is likely very well that our computers are 4000 miles apart.
Still, If I go missing tell the detectives to check in Scotland and to search Twitter: #uncannydeath.