Once upon a time, bookstores were a sort of specialty shop. Small, often quaint, with a genre sections that were very small as well. And within those genres, there weren't too many surprises.
But along came Barnes & Noble, the size of a K-mart and full of so many, many new books. So many books, that I started going, "With this many books, is it really worth the effort to add one more to the pile?" Where once it seemed like reading was starting to become a thing of the past, at some point (and I do give Harry Potter a little credit for this), it started to come into fashion again. And where there are a growing number of avid readers, there will also be a growing number of avid writers. And a growing number of really good writers at that.
Yes, there are those with those mediocre and fanzine-level writers that somehow hit the literary lottery and catch a tween fad over their dreck, but like I said, that's playing the lottery. Sure, "you can't win if you don't play," but odds are you just wasted your dollar. And if you've ever sat alone for the time it takes to write a book, you know that you're spending much more than a dollar for a ticket to that gamble.
But I've wandered off my point. Sherlockiana, like those quaint little bookstores, was once a small and specialized pond. And now?
The estimable Silke Ketelsen passed along a link to a miniaturist blog by a lady named Orsi Skulteti that just blew me away. Miniaturists have been a part of the Sherlockian world for decades. There's even a Sherlockian society based around that hobby, the Mini-Tonga Society, that's been all about building tiny 221B Baker Streets. But the work described and shown in the blog Orsi's Minis is some Olympic level miniature work, and here's the kicker: it's all about the kitchen in 221 Baker Street from Sherlock.
A very specialized piece of art inspired by a very specialized corner of the Sherlockian universe. And the collector that manages to somehow convince the artist to part with it will have a very unique treasure indeed. But spend much time on the internet following Sherlock these days and you'll discover a lot of treasures out there. More time and talent are being spent in the celebration of Sherlock Holmes today than any time in our history. And like being a writer walking into a Barnes & Noble, it can be a little demotivating for the lazier or world-weary old creator like myself. What was once our small little pond to be big fishes in is now a goodly-sized lake with the occasional monster swimming through.
Lucky for us, there's a generation out there that contains folk who aren't lazy or world-weary just yet, as well as some Energizer bunnies (Now a dated reference. Sigh.) with a little age on them, who use the sparks Sherlock Holmes emits to build some roaring fires.
A new golden age of Sherlock Holmes may be a bit challenging to the individual ego, but all one has to do is take a step back and look at the big picture to find some great delight in the power of Holmes. And this morning I'm just delighting in that power evoked in one teeny-tiny kitchen.