Monday, June 30, 2014

Letters from a Baker Street Irregular.

Want to know how to tongue-tie a blogger? Make him stop and think.

As any regular follower of Sherlock Peoria might have noticed over the years, a lot of what appears here is reaction. Reaction to the Canon, to television, to some event in the Sherlockian social swirl. Sometimes, a single blog-post evolves from one topic to the next, just because the title was written before the rest of it was completely thought-out, and new ideas occur . . . and are allowed to derail the entire process. Just like these opening paragraphs.

Given recent events, I had been telling myself all week that I should pull out a certain old correspondence file from 1989 and see what one Jon Lellenberg, B.S.I., wrote me back then, at a time when I had just become a member of the Irregulars, tried to put into words what made my investiture a bit troubling (the male-only thing), and was more successful at offending folks than moving the cause forward. They're hard letters for me to read, as it brings back a time when this fun little hobby of Holmes was not so fun for a time, and it's very hard to see yourself fail at communicating something you feel strongly about. A few calls for my resignation did ensue, but Tom Stix gave me a phone call and not the boot, but it seemed near enough at the time to make the old business worth reflecting on.

With many another summer distraction, however, I didn't get to pulling those letters out last week. But then, upon returning home this Saturday night, I found a new letter from Jon in my mailbox . . . a letter in itself being a nearly magical anachronism these days.

And I immediately got blog-writer's block, as I found myself stopping to think again. There are a small handful of Sherlockians who always make me have to stop and think, whether agreeing or disagreeing with whatever I'm up to, and Jon Lellenberg is definitely among them.

So, for the moment, I have an actual snail-mail letter to write in reply, as seems appropriate, in which thoughts will be passed along that won't be appearing in blog-world just yet. Just like most folks used to do in the olden days, before Facebook and its kin started bringing folks up to turn private thoughts public on a regular basis.

I suspect many of us are going to be thinking a lot about what it is to be a Baker Street Irregular this summer, and I think I'm done reacting on that subject for the moment, looking back on what happened in 1989. But I'm not nearly done writing . . . or thinking about it all.

Stay tuned.

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