Author: Alexia Gordon

Author of the Gethsemane Brown Mysteries, published by Henery Press

Ask Me Almost Anything

Needed: questions for our Friday feature, Question of the Week. What have you always wanted to ask us but never thought you’d get the chance? Post your questions on the blog or on social media.

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Keeping It Real

Happy New Year! This is my first blog post of 2022. A-n-d…writing it doesn’t feel any different than writing a blog post in 2021. Honestly, so far 2022 does not feel dramatically different than 2021. No earth-shaking revelations, no epiphanies, no existential paradigm shifts. Realistic Expectations and Fond Hopes Luckily for me, I didn’t really expect to wake up January 1 and find the world transformed. I consider myself a hopeful realist. Life is not a movie or a novel. In fact, that’s part of the appeal of fiction. Creating it, we can order the world the way we want it to be and change it at will. Consuming it, we can choose works that offer us worlds that we want to live in instead of the one we actually live in. Moving Forward None of this is to say that I’m depressed or pessimistic about 2022. Rather than a do-over, I see this year as a chance to move forward. I can look back at what didn’t turn out the way I wanted and, for those things that are in my control, I can make the conscious decision to change the circumstances and behaviors that led to undesirable outcomes. […]

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My Grown-Up Literary Christmas List

Making a List, Checking it Twice A little while ago, I offered a list of Christmas movies that provided alternatives to sweet rom-coms. My list trended more toward serial killers, terrorist takeovers, and fluffy creatures who will kill you in your sleep than toward undercover royals and small towns in need of saving. But what if movie viewing isn’t an option this Christmas? Maybe you were outvoted, and you need an escape from the shiny-happy movie marathon. Maybe your house is overrun with merrymakers, and you’re peopled out and just want to hide in a corner with a book. Or maybe you’re like me and are taking advantage of the time off work to sleep in during the day and stay up late at night reading and listening to ghost stories. Forget Elves Ghost stories? At Christmas? Yep. It’s a tradition, or was, anyway. Anglophiles are probably more familiar with it than the rest of us, as the British were the main keepers of this un-merriment. Telling scary stories during the long, dark nights of winter pre-dates both the British Empire and the Christian religion, of course, and is hardly limited to the English-speaking world. (Heard of Krampus? Frau Perchta? […]

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The Christmas Movie List You’ve Secretly Been Waiting For

Coming to a Streaming Device Near You Boyfriends of Christmas Past You, Me, & the Christmas Trees Christmas in My Heart A Husband for Christmas A Bride for Christmas A Christmas Prince A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby A Christmas Prince: The Royal Scandal A Christmas Prince: The Royal Divorce (Just kidding about the last two) Déjà Vue All Over Again You know the routine. Tune into Hallmark (41 new Christmas movies this year alone) or Netflix or Lifetime or Prime Video or any streaming service on the planet, really, and you’ll find a movie full of treacle and light. All the movies will follow the same general plot outline: just before Christmas, an absurdly attractive person travels to someplace they either don’t want to go to or that they must go to incognito. (Variation on a theme: they stay home but they are forced to do something that they don’t want to do or that they must do incognito.) Once at the place (or doing the thing), they meet another absurdly attractive person who can’t stand them or who they can’t stand. The two ridiculously beautiful people team up to do something or […]

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Comfort Reading–When You Don’t Want to Act Like an Adult but Have To

I’m Fine I overslept this morning. I woke up with a sore arm, achiness, and a mild feeling of “blah.” Yep, I got my Moderna booster shot yesterday evening. I’m fine, really, and I’m in favor of vaccines. I got my flu shot before Halloween. These mild side effects are nothing compared to the way I’d feel if I contracted the actual illness. But… However, I am feeling poorly enough to be (silently) whiny and to want my mom. (By the way, I’m over-50.) But Mom lives half a continent away and I still have to adult. Bills don’t pay themselves. So, I turned to books for comfort. They have fewer calories than mac and cheese. I wanted to read something intellectually stimulating enough to be entertaining but not so grown up that it would force me to interrogate the darkness that pervades the world. Middle-Grade Fiction—The Undervalued Solution Middle-grade crime fiction provided what I needed. Last night, I rewarded myself for being a big girl and not even wincing during my shot with a Festival of Lights latte and a negroni. (I was a very good girl, and the pharmacy didn’t give out lollipops.) Several chapters of The Westing […]

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Put a Dead Body in It

I recently spent a long weekend binge-watching horror movies/series. After several hours of corpses, missing people, and mysterious figures hiding in dark corners, it hit me that, of the shows I watched, only the haunted house story felt like horror (and even that had a few whodunnit moments). The others felt more like crime fiction. People were being murdered, perhaps more gruesomely/inventively than in straight-up crime fiction, and someone else had to figure out the who and why before the whole town ended up dead. Prior to the horror movie marathon, I went on a trip and met someone who announced that they preferred “English literary novels” over crime fiction. I replied, “put a dead body in it and it’s crime fiction.” This person later conceded that Wuthering Heights was a crime novel. I argue Crime and Punishment (crime right there in the name), Hamlet, Les Miserables, and half of what Dickens wrote fall under the crime fiction umbrella. Jane Eyre stopped pretending to be lit-tra-chure and became The Wife Upstairs.  These revelations prompted me to ask my fellow Missdemeanors: What books, short stories, films, TV series, etc., that aren’t traditionally thought of as crime fiction also work as crime […]

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Better Late Than…

Happy Birthday to Me I’m late posting this blog. Sorry, not sorry. I was busy celebrating my birthday! I made the day all about me. Bueller, Bueller… I took the day off work and didn’t get out of bed until noon. How decadent! I shopped, taking advantage of some birthday discount coupons. Reading and watching TV came next. So many spooky movies streaming right now, I had a hard time choosing. (I settled on a movie called Halloween Party. It was better than I expected it to be.) I ordered dinner in because I don’t cook on my birthday. (P.F. Chang’s.) I rounded out the celebration with an ice cream sundae and a cocktail. And I stayed off social media all day. I wanted a birthday free from stress and drama. Take Care of Yourself Self-care is something we often neglect. When we look at our calendar full of obligations and commitments, it’s hard to make guilt-free time for ourselves. But it’s important to do so. Taking care of ourselves gives us the strength and energy we need to fulfill those obligations and commitments. Tell Us How do you make your day special? What do you do to celebrate you? […]

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What Remains

La Plus Ça Change I just got back from a trip a couple of hours ago. My travels involved three airports, three planes, and several Lyfts. They also involved masks but not so much social distancing. Restaurants were open again and airports seemed just as crowded as they did in the before times. While I was on my trip, I used a cloud-based communications app to interview an author for my podcast. I later used the same app to give a podcasting tutorial to a writers’ group. The day prior, I’d used it to attend a writing workshop. The author and the writers’ group were more than 700 miles away from me. The workshop moderator was 2,000 miles away. If the lockdown hadn’t forced us to find new ways to communicate, I likely wouldn’t have done any of those things. Some changes brought about by the lockdown are likely here to stay. Live streaming and virtual conferencing aren’t going anywhere. And that’s a good thing. Because of Zoom, Slack, Adobe Connect, Microsoft Teams, Streamyard, Crowdcast, Looped, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and all the other streaming platforms and communications apps we can interact with people, attend conferences and lectures, and participate […]

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The Fundamental Interconnectedness of Crime

O Frabjous Day! That’s what I exclaimed the day I went online again. The logistics of a cross-country relocation and moving into a new apartment meant that I went without Wi-Fi for several days. Quelle horreur! You wouldn’t think I was old enough to remember the days before Wi-Fi was a thing. I missed being able to connect to the world in an instant. Absence Makes the Heart Grow Desperate My days spent without made me realize how reliant, dependent even, I’ve become on the internet. How did I manage growing up in the analog age, a time when I had to look up information in a set of encyclopedias (which still take up an entire shelf in one of my mother’s bookcases) or physically go to the library and use a microfiche machine? I had to *gasp* get up and walk ALL. THE. WAY. over to the TV set to change the channel, of which there were only 4 or 5 (6 or 8 if I stayed up late and adjusted the antenna just right). My address book (printed on paper!) only had one line for a phone number because people only had one line, a landline—and no space […]

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Name It, Wear It, Eat It, Drink It

While images of James Bond and his martinis and Nero Wolfe and his beer, and apocryphal quotes about the degree of inebriation best suited to writing, come readily to mind, no one thinks as much about a character’s favorite shade of nail polish or preferred aftershave. The Missdemeanors were up to the challenge, however. I asked them, You’ve been hired to create a new cocktail, ice cream flavor, or lipstick color. You have to name it after a book, fictional character, or author. Who’s it named for and what’s it like?

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