MISS DEMEANORS

Adventures in Time Travel: Would You?

Hey Miss Demeanors, This week I’m thinking about historical mysteries. I’m passionate about history and love reading novels set in another time. I’d love to write one. I also love the idea of time travel—skipping back into a previous century to experience life at that period. Except if I’d have to pop home frequently to take a hot shower and wash my hair. I have two questions for you this week: First, if it were possible, would you travel back in time? Second, if you could land in any historical era, when would it be and why? ALEXIA: Great questions, Connie. It happens I’m in the middle of doing historical research for a non-fiction paper. I’m virtually time traveling by reading primary source documents and walking through a 300+-year-old city. You’re asking about actual time travel, though. I’m going to say no, at least not to the past. Time travel to the future I might do. But I like indoor plumbing, central heating, and Netflix too much to go back in time. I also like the social, business, and educational opportunities women and minorities have now too much to go backward. I’d like to go forward 1,000 years to see […]

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Plot Twist! Secrets, Lies, and Expectations.

If Jed Mercurio is a pantser, I’m a red herring.

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The Mighty Pen

A couple of years ago, back when we could do such things, I went to see a band at a Brooklyn nightspot. In performing what I thought would be a cursory rummage through my bag, the bouncers found my pens. All two dozen or so of them.

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HIDE IN PLACE – the new novel by Emilya Naymark

She left the NYPD in the firestorm of a high-profile case gone horribly wrong. Three years later, the ghosts of her past roar back to terrifying life.

When NYPD undercover cop Laney Bird’s cover is blown in a racketeering case against the Russian mob, she flees the city with her troubled son, Alfie. Now, three years later, she’s found the perfect haven in Sylvan, a charming town in upstate New York.

But then the unthinkable happens: her boy vanishes.

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Celebrate Black History Month with Black Mystery Authors

The history of Black American crime fiction dates back to the 1930s

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Eat, Drink, and be Literary

Welcome to By the Book, Miss Demeanors’ style. In the tradition of the New York Times Sunday feature, the question of the week is: You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three authors, dead or alive, do you invite, in addition to your fellow Miss Demeanors, of course?

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Inspiration: Kent Haruf

There’s nothing I love more than an inspirational story, and one of my favorites involves Kent Haruf.

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Length Matters: How Many Words Does It Take?

How long is a sentence? The answer I got in junior high school was “long enough to finish the thought.” Cheeky.

For years, the longest sentence ever written in English was said to be Molly Bloom’s 3,687-word soliloquy in the James Joyce novel Ulysses (1922). However, one of the finalists for the 2019 Booker Prize was Lucy Ellman, whose 1,000-page Ducks, Newburyport consists mostly of a single sentence that runs to 426,000 words. Beat that if you can.

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Inspirations from the Past

I recently finished writing a historical inspired, in part, by my family’s immigration story.

After joining ancestry.com, I met cousins from that line and in 2015, and I had the chance to visit. One of my questions was why when so many Irish ended up in Canada, or Boston, or New York City, did this family end up in the Berkshires?

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The Worst-case Scenario

Reading about horrible things help us deal with them IRL.

From ancient myths to fairy tales to epic poems and literature of every era and genre, it’s the worst-case scenario that glues us to the page/stage/screen. We shudder and close our eyes trying to imagine what it’s like to go into battle or to lose someone we love. The story takes us by the hand and lets us live through the tension and fear, then lets us out at the end, still whole, our lives still intact.

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