Month: April 2015

Writer’s Manifesto: My Example

Remember when I put up that lecturette from DU’s Writers on Writing that was about the Writer’s Manifesto assignment? Well I created one of my own, based on an old piece from grad school. The old fragment would have been from 2000; the revised and fleshed out Manifesto for the WoW students was put up in 2006.

This nearly ten year old essay makes me feel sad. Why? Because the prompt for a Writer’s Manifesto is: Why I Write. If I were to try and answer that prompt today, my answer would be much shorter: I don’t write. Not anymore. Not often, not really. Also, I go to The Cup now, not the Trident. Anyway. Here are my barbaric yawps from ’06:

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The Trident Cafe: a Writer’s Manifesto

“Isak Dinesen said that she wrote a little every day, without hope and without despair. Someday I’ll put that on a three-by-five card and tape it to the wall beside my desk.” ~Raymond Carver

The Trident Cafe here in Boulder, Colorado has a number of spells that hover over it and in its interior air. Situated between a Tibetan gift shop and Jax Fish House, it serves both the best coffee in Boulder and used books and remainders of all kinds.

Walk with me through the bright coolth of a Boulder Spring day (oops, hold your nose: a clue of dreadlocked wookiies (1) are walking by…whew okay that’s over)…there’s Rhumba, nope can’t write anything in there. Why? Well, their rum list is the size of a fancy restaurant’s wine list, so we’ll wait till later for that.

As we enter the Trident, we should keep our eyes vulture-peeled for an available seat. Notice the wood throughout–wood floors, wood and brick walls, wooden bar, wood-grain tables, dark wood and leather chairs…if there was ever a fire in here (God forbid) you could steep water in the ashes for espresso. Be thinking about what you want to drink as the artistically-dressed young bussers flutter around us. There are two Naropa students, one Pearl Street Mall employee with a list for her office, and two yuppies (2) in line ahead of us, so we have time to think about it. Check out the wall of labeled exotic teas behind the tattooed barista. You bet your orange pekoe he can tell you about every one of them, never mind his apprentice youth and bold ink. Go ahead, ask.

Good choice: that tea will literally bloom into little jasmine blossoms in the water. I’ll order my usual (I often don’t even have to order anymore): a Florentine. Poor man’s mocha. Strong bitter coffee and hot chocolate. Still can’t make ’em like that at home.boulder-trident-bookstore_22750_600x450

All the best (and published) writing I have ever done has been at the Trident. Not without exception, but pretty much. I have been frequenting this place since teenager-hood with my blank books, and I feel after a good solid hour longhand there I have actually gotten more work done than I could at home with a parrot on my shoulder or at any computer. I am a big believer in the benefits of caffeine as a “happy drug,” conducive to my writing flow and brain waves. Maybe that’s the only magic spell the Trident needs–the coffee seeped into the wood (and bricks) surrounding me. They also have art exhibits on the walls, which is always a good thing, even if the art is not. Writing and art go hand in hand, even in my journals, and it behooves me to have artwork around. The bustle of people and music in the cafe doesn’t distract me, in fact, if I ever hit a brick wall, I start Found Conversation until it goes away.

What does interrupt me is my own self (just count the number of parentheses in this informal piece of writing and you’ll see what I mean). If I decide to write at home, there are always a thousand things to do instead: play with the parrot or cat, grade papers, surf the ‘Net, play a computer game, rotate laundry or dishes, watch the Food Network, drink a beer, hang out with Jason, play a computer game, do Tai Chi…not always necessarily bad for me, but certainly bad for my writing.

Back in the day, I had an acting professor corner me and demand I do a production he’d been working on called A Room of One’s Own, based on the Virginia Woolf piece and a performance by a well-known Dame of the RSC (3). I never ended up doing it, but researched it till it fell through (4).

In the piece, Woolf says it’s important to work in a room of one’s own, precisely for the above reasons. That was the main lesson I got from that research: that you have to make writing the most important thing happening for a certain hour on a certain day, no matter how many checks have bounced or how many people are crying (or dying) in the world. For what work do I really have to do, besides write? Later, a well-known poetry prof (Linda Hogan, in fact) said the same thing: “Turn the phone off,” she’d say, “because, you know, it may be somebody handsome calling..” (5) No distraction is as important as the writing at hand. Doing it is so much more important than the quality of actual stuff produced.

Example: a poem that came out one day at the Trident was sent out with no revision whatsoever, I barely even remember having written it–that half-asleep state that comes with a caffeine crash–and it was my first published piece.

Okay, I’m not advocating non-revision, that’s ridiculous, I’m just saying that there’s something about dropping everything and going to the Trident for an hour or two that makes my writing what it is.

What is it? Sword-and-sorcery, or just sword, or just sorcery. Or Holmesian mystery. Or all three?

I have a terrible habit of dipping into the collective unconscious at the wrong time, without banking on it quickly enough. Examples? I had young people going to wizard’s school (inspired by LeGuin’s Roke) back in the ’80s when I was going to junior high and high school with a bad knee. My Wizards’ school was a gym class substitute (of course, LeGuin and McKinley did it before I was born, but). Now that Harry Potter has a worldwide following, I wonder why I never finished my own tale. I worked closely with Jenny Heath on my sprawling pirate epic: five long stories in a fantasy world resembling our own Golden Age of pirates (mid to late 1700s Europe), researched joyfully and diligently, reworked and reconsidered, and even begun transformation into a comic book script at the advice of an artist friend in the trade. And after a half-chapter was ready for the penciller, what comes out on the market? A comic series called El Cazador. With a spunky lady pirate, and a red-headed adversary/love interest…all beautifully drawn…a bestseller…oh and don’t even get me started on the sexy vampires, I’ve got some sexy vampires (no they don’t fucking sparkle)…

There is a character from old school Sesame Street named Don Music. He had nerdy glasses and a sloppy mop of grayish hair. He’d always be sitting at his piano, trying to compose nursery rhymes. He would never quite get them right (“Mary had a bicycle…”) but he’d keep trying and trying until finally he’d exclaim: “I’ll never get it, never, never!!!” And he’d whack his head onto the piano and sob. I seem to have Don Music moments often, when I’m nearly done with a second or third draft of something and am scouting around for potential markets. But oh well, I’ll be at the next nursery rhyme in the next episode, without fail…

I find the Old Stories to be the most important–I force them upon any students I happen to have, no matter what the subject. Folks, especially younger folks, don’t know the old tales well enough–I mean, put them in the Forbidden Forest and they wouldn’t know to give that old weird beggar their food; or not to eat or drink anything a fairy gives them, or to offer to work to get into the magic palace…things any human should know well.

So my writing is recycled archetype. I think I’m comfortable with that.

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(1) Wookiies are rich white young people who sport dreadlocks and a myriad other Hipster inclinations.

(2) Yuppies are hippies who grew up to be very high financed businesspeople.

(3) Eileen Atkins

(4) my writing and my acting have always been trained in tandem, but not necessarily together my until recently. My life of education has been tending the earth of two separate trees–now they’ve grown close enough together as to share vines and branches.

(5) this was uttered during a graduate poetry class, it must have been in 1995? CU Boulder.

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Random Movement Pic

I had a series on the blog that was, lovely lurkers, called Random Movement Pic. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a random picture from my artistic past that depicts a movement project that I either directed or performed or both (that I created, in other words). I am hereby starting the tradition again, with this pic from September 2014: this is from I Miss My MTV, a dance theatre piece that Band of Toughs created for the Boulder International Fringe Fest. This is from the piece called The Promise–notice we are all dressed like Bender from Breakfast Club. Yeah: you had to be there…Oh, and this is no ordinary pyramid: it was moving forward in time with the music.

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IPA Review 1-2

So as you can see in the description of this blog, it’s all about my areas of “scholarly expertise.” Since I am not just a nerd but a nerdist, many of my interests and my expertises overlap–I am a professional in several areas on which I nerd out.

One interest of mine, however, is craft beer. I would not call it an area of expertise (beyond being the assistant to the Mad Scientist of homebrewing for a few years), so it can’t really fall into the realm of my “scholarly expertises,” but more lands in the interests camp. Being a nerd, however, I do what all nerds do, and that is: research about the things which interest me.

I was encouraged recently to begin taking notes on the IPAs I’ve been enjoying (IPAs are always my go-to choice of favorite zymurgical quaffs), and I have done so, on more than 30 different IPAs. I wasn’t sure what to do with this fun data, until I realized that maybe my readers have the same interlocking interests that I do, and would like to read about IPA beers from a nerd who lives in one of the craft beer capitals of the country (if not the world): Boulder, Colorado. So:

Here, lovely lurkers, are the first two records I have of my IPA review series. I’ll start putting them all up here periodically for your perusal. Please to enjoy.   ~Jenn

IPA #1:  Firestone IPA

Date consumed: 12/12/14

  • sweeter than I normally enjoy but citrusy enough to be drinkable
  • 7.5% ABV
  • I prefer snappier, as I said, but this isn’t a cloyingly sweet beer, just rich

IPA #2:  Odell’s IPAdownload

Date consumed: 12/13/14  (don’t judge me)

  • very crisp and citrusy
  • quite hoppy as well
  • 7.0% ABV
  • refreshing
  • quite sparkly w/carbonation, too–the bubbles prickle the nose

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The More You Holmes

From: er, I think it’s every episode, yes?  /  Elementary: uh, it says 3 episodes on iMDb. I can’t be bothered to look up which ones. Hey, there’s, like, 20 eps per season of Elementary, gimme a break…

Character: Mrs. Hudson

Reference: The Victorian practice of having one’s landlady also be in charge of one’s housekeeping, and the board as well as the room of the room and board situation, was nodded to cheekily in the very first episode of BBC Sherlock. She can’t help but be a motherly figure to the “boys,” as she calls them, and when she tells new tenant John Watson, “I’m your landlady, dear, not your housekeeper,” all the nerds versed in the Doyle canon snickered. Of course, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Mrs. Hudson would be expected to be in charge of not only collecting rent, but all the housecleaning and meals as well. In BBC Sherlock, she only does the latter two out of a motherly affection for the man that got her husband executed. We get to know more and more about her colorful past as the series goes on, until in 3.3 we hear that she was an exotic dancer and her husband was in charge of a drug cartel in Florida. 

The Elementary version of Mrs. Hudson is Ms. Hudson, a transgender woman who seeks safety from an abusive relationship in Sherlock’s brownstone temporarily while a snowstorm is going on. She’s an expert in Ancient Greek and was in fact one of this show’s version of an Irregular: an expert in a particular field to whom Sherlock goes for specific help. There have been many quite interesting one-off Irregulars throughout the series (from young computer nerds to anonymous hackers to a man called The Nose to a famous NFL star who happens to be an expert knife thrower). Ms. Hudson, however, at least had the potential to be more of a regular character, as she entered into an agreement with Sherlock to do periodic housecleaning. One would think she’d appear quite frequently in several episodes, but nope. For some reason, she’s barely there, and we haven’t seen her in a while. Too bad, as it’s rare to find a trans character, played by a trans actor no less, portrayed in such a positive light. Well, portrayed at all, really. Hopefully the show runners will include her more often as the series progresses.

  

Lecturette: The Writer’s Manifesto

Another in the series of lecturettes from old and/or defunct courses. This, from DU’s course called Writers on Writing.   ~Jenn

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On Attempting to Talk About Art–the Writer’s Manifesto

One of your major projects for this quarter is to compose a short Why I Write piece: a writer’s manifesto. What is it?

It’s a declaration of independence, an assertion, sounding the “barbaric yawp” (1) that says, “Yes, art is essential. Here’s a plethora of reasons why…”

But the catch-22 of this situation is that the moment you attempt to describe/capture this winsome creative process, the essence of it escapes words. Chapter 3 of Zen in the Art of Writing is called “How to Keep and Feed a Muse,” and addresses this issue with zest and gusto. (2) Yet artists and writers still compose essays about what they create. Can it be helpful to them, to try and pinpoint a method to their own incomprehensible, joyous madness?

An art-history major friend of mine once (in a sadistic mood, no doubt) forced me to read her homework. It was Kandinsky’s Artist’s Manifesto, and was (my friend moaned) not only badly written, but off-pissing as well.

K says that humanity is divided up into layers which, stacked on top of one another, form a pyramid. Peasants fill the largest, bottom layer, then lowly artisans, merchants, and so on up until you get to the artists, perched on the very top in the “upper triangle” of existence. Needless to say, anyone in the stratified layers below are either too stupid or too jealous to ever understand or appreciate art (let alone create it!) and the light it supposedly attempts to shine into the darkness of their ignorance. (3)

Uhhh, okay,  Mr. K, but I’m a peasant and an artist. Does that mean I’m too stupid to understand my own work? (4) Or is it that only artists understand art, and therefore audiences, viewers and readers should be obsolete? Boy, K, a little lonely in that upper triangle? That latest brilliant painting too misunderstood by the plebes to pay rent this month?

Shut up and paint.

Shut up and paint.

Kandinsky is a terrific artist–I’ve always loved his work. But get him to start talking about his art and, well, you see the problems in this particular instance. Unfortunately, Ray Bradbury and Ursula K. LeGuin notwithstanding, I’ve read even great writers with a healthy vision of their work fail to describe why they write, or wax cosmic until they realize they’re trying to describe the indescribable. My Kandinsky-suffering friend and I concluded our rant with a Koran whose wisdom I often find useful: “Shut up and paint.”

Okay, Jenn (you’re no doubt thinking): so why are you assigning such an impossible task to us?

Because that’s what all writing is: an attempt to pin nirvana into a fleeting image with words. To put one foot into the infinite, come back and tell the tale, like the shamans of old. An accomplishment is merely a frame around one small leaf of the great tree (5) but by saying yes, I write. I write because…you add a dash of Tabasco to your labors.

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(1) Walt Whitman

(2) zest and gusto are two of Bradbury’s favorite words he revisits in that book.

(3) Really. It’s all there in his manifesto–this sort of classist hierarchy.

(4) Shaddap.

(5) “Leaf by Niggle,” Tree and Leaf, J.R.R. Tolkien

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Podcast Appearance

OutriderPodcastLogoRecently I had the honor and pleasure to appear on Jason Malott’s podcast, The Outrider Podcast. We discussed the “genre wars” and LeGuin’s giving and getting heat from heatedly defending Fantasy as a genre. The link to the podcast has a bunch of excellent readings too, so here ’tis for your edutainment.   ~Jenn

http://jquinnmalott.podbean.com/e/special-genre-wars-with-jenn-zukowski/ 

Recipe For Poetry

This, from my series of lectures from old and/or defunct classes. This is Lecture #7 from DU’s erstwhile Writers on Writing course, and is an introduction to poetry.

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Lecture 7: Recipe for Poetry

Many people of all ages have this crazy idea that poetry is stuffy, difficult, lofty, and way beyond them. They feel that they have to write an “Ode to a Grecian Urn” or understand just how important that little red wagon is in order to attain the vasty height of poem reader-hood. And writing poetry? Forget it, they’re not that “deep.”

In fact, poetry is the oldest and most profound way humans communicate. Song, image, sound, is as old as our upright crania, and as essential to our culture.Greek+vase

To talk about (and to write) poetry (as opposed to prose and story), one needs less a set structure (like a plot) than a recipe. There are three essential “poeia”s which, combined, make poetry what it is. (1) The recipe of three ingredients is as follows:

  1. Phanopoeia       (image)
  2. Melopoeia         (music)
  3. Logopoeia         (intellect)

1.) Phanopoeia

…is the language of image. Rich image is often more important, even supercedes, any narrative in poetry. All five senses are important in poetic image, and often in contemporary poetry you see either collaboration or other combinations of picture and word. There is the literal way to do this (concrete poetry, or additions to visual art, comics, or picture books), but in essence all poems have image at their center. Read this sample of phanopoeia in the first two stanzas of Linda Hogan’s “Bear Fat”:

When the old man rubbed my back

with bear fat

I dreamed the winter horses

had eaten the bark off trees

and the tails of one another.

I slept a hole into my own hunger

that once ate lard and bread

from a skillet seasoned with salt.   (2)

We’ve got the tactile (the feel of the fat and the massage), the visual (the horses and trees), taste and smell (the fried lard-and-bread image), and hearing (horses chewing bark, frying skillet), and this all in the first two stanzas. Notice the blank verse: no strict set meter other than what comes naturally to the English language. What a beginning reader of poetry should “get” out of this is not necessarily what Hogan “meant” by the lines, but the images themselves. Poetry is like mythology, in that every individual reader will take a poem’s images differently, and the images, free of spoon-fed “meaning,” can take on as many meanings as there are imaginative possibilities.

 

2.) Melopoeia

…is the sound of the poem. There may be no meaning or narrative at all to a poem, only sound. The sounds of poetry come directly from poetry’s root: song. Each different sound resonates in the reader’s ear with a different reaction; as different colors resound with different human moods, so do the different vowel sounds and consonant stops. Poets have the poetic license (!) to play with these sounds and their combinations, which is where certain set structures like sonnets and haiku and rhyme schemes come from. A master of melopoeia, Dylan Thomas centered his work all around sound. Here’s the first stanza of “All all and all the dry worlds lever”:

All all and all the dry worlds lever,

Stage of the ice, the solid ocean,

All from the oil, the pound of lava.

City of spring, the governed flower,

Turns in the earth that turns the ashen

Towns around on a wheel of fire.     (3)

Of course the first thing you’ll notice in the difference between poetry and prose is the line  breaks! What are they there for? They do what all punctuation does: they provide a breath break. All commas, periods, dashes, ellipses, and line breaks do this, in different degrees. The line is a breath unit (4)–so Thomas’ commas and periods at the end of his lines make for longer breath pauses. I would recommend reading this particular piece aloud. Loudly. Listen to the repeated gong-notes of the vowels, the “pound of lava” going through the whole piece. Poets make language into a meal (and prose writers can learn a lot from this practice).

 

3.) Logopoeia

…can be better translated into a “dance of ideas.” (5) Stressing intellectual ideas, putting forth ideology and philosophy, poetry has long been a changer of history, as well as a “recycl[er] of a culture’s ruins.” (6) Poetry has been the most powerful protester and cause for many a cultural change. That’s not to say that a beginning reader of poetry should be bogged down by trying to figure out a poem’s “deep profound meaning” each time they read. A good poem should convey its “dance of ideas” through its image and sound selection, and meanings, as discussed above, can be as multifold as a poem’s syllables. Check out the three fractured haiku that make up Jack Collom’s “Indefinite Articles”:

an opinion

is like a moon

in a song

why should a

poem act so tough, it

has no feelings

Everything boils down

to a chunk of Roquefort,

which gets lost.     (7)

The light-hearted jab at poetry “acting tough” is a great thing for beginning readers and writers of poetry to remember: that song is in all of us, and a poem itself isn’t the feelings, the feelings are within us. The image of a moon in a song is a vivid visual and aural one, but why is it Collom’s definition of opinion? The reading of such potent little gems will differ for each person reading it. This is the other big thing about poetry vs. prose: in a poem, the language is condensed, heightened.  Anything said, any image conveyed, any repeated sound, is magnified by virtue of the poem’s line break form and length. This is why magic spells of old were often written in verse: the potency of the word, its actual physical power, was thought of as more powerful in poetry.

But then sometimes all it boils down to is “a chunk of Roquefort, / which gets lost.”

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(1) Ezra Pound’s setup, channeled through Anne Waldman, Naropa University lectures

(2) From The Book of Medicines, Coffee House Press, 1993

(3) From Collected Poems, New Directions, 1957

(4) From Lorna Dee Cervantes, Naropa SWP lecture, 1999

(5) Ezra Pound again, again through Anne Waldman

(6) Steven Taylor, panel discussion, Naropa SWP 1999

(7) From The Task, Baksun Books, 1996

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Reflections on Seventh Graders’ stage combat

Last month, I had the great privilege to teach stage combat to a group of middle schoolers in Longmont as their gym class (wow wouldn’t that have been keen to have growing up? Stage Combat for gym?)–their teacher needed movement professionals to come in and teach them, well, movement, and as they were in the midst of studying the book (and watching the movie) The Princess Bride, she thought that my particular area of expertise would fit in nicely.

Now, as I’ve said on other social media sites, there is nothing more joyful and full of glee than a band of ragtag seventh graders learning how to fake slam each other’s heads into the walls, but more than that was the profound experience of watching them synthesize their other schoolwork with the skills they were being presented with at hand. When I teach basic stage combat to college age students, I allow them to, after teaching and drilling the basic moves, build their own fight scenes using these tools. Many fight directors and instructors will not do it this way, but rather the teacher will have choreographed a fight scene that incorporates the required moves for passing the test, and all students will perform this same fight, albeit with perhaps different scripts. The reasoning behind this (I assume) is to keep safety a priority, and to emphasize correct technique in the students, leaving the more complex task of choreography to the experts. I find, however, that students don’t come away with any real learning from a stage combat class structured like that. What happens is, they end up learning how to execute proper technique rote, like learning a dance, but don’t have any understanding as to why the moves are the way they are, what they have to do with the story and their character’s objectives. And, to be honest, in a class taught in this rote way, there usually isn’t anything connecting the fight to the story, as the choreography is designed to cover specific moves for a test and that’s it. Allowing beginners to choreograph their own fights may sound like a big risk (of low quality fight scenes at the very least), but I have found it pays off hugely, and in fact actually teaches the students more deeply about the techniques they’re drilling as part of their art. Asking them to figure out what move should go next makes them think about why: why is my character doing this now, what would be his reaction if… etc. Then later in their careers, they can see more readily why a choreographer may be giving them the moves they are, and be able to integrate it into their acting process more seamlessly, eradicating the dreaded “act, then fight, then act” syndrome one sees so often even in professional productions from people who’ve learned the techniques without learning the art.

But back to St. Vrain Community Montessori’s seventh graders: I taught them the basics of unarmed and the basics of sword stage fighting technique, just like I do with the college kids. And, just like the college kids, I let them construct their own fights. Also, since I wasn’t the one grading them on their projects, I didn’t have to restrict them to needing to include certain moves to pass an exam. They used the moves they needed to build the most effective scenes (all from The Princess Bride). I was impressed by their ability to not only soak up all the information like sponges, but their work ethic in rehearsing the techniques over and over again for precision. I gave them nit-picky feedback and they took it all in.

Not only that, but their choice of scenes were brilliant as well. There were eight kids in all, and they all performed two scenes as the culmination of their work: one all-group scene which I chose (but they choreographed), and one scene with a partner. Since The Princess Bride was the center of study, all the scenes came from that material. I chose the scene wherein our intrepid threesome storm the castle guarded by the brute squad, but the scenes they picked in their partners were so brilliantly made, I was floored. One group did a very precise Inigo vs. Westley swordfight (“I am not left-handed”), which they scaled to their own time frame and skill level; one group did a scene from the book, not the movie, between Buttercup and the Countess; one group did a hilarious parody of the famous Inigo vs. Westley swordfight, with an ironic script they wrote themselves; one group used the screenplay online to create a streamlined scene between Vizzini and Westley.

Would you assume that a twelve year old would have the capacity to learn a movement skill, compose a script, create and write original

I will beat up your children for a small fee.

I will beat up your children for a small fee.

choreography, and produce a product at performance level, all in ten weeks? Well, they did. And it wasn’t cute, nor “aw isn’t that nice that they tried so hard.” It was actually high quality work, executed well with both artistic integrity and good technique. And apparently one of the students has filmmaking skills, so I can’t wait to see what happens when they translate their live theatre scene to the medium of film.

Sorry I can’t share any video or much photo with you, lovely lurkers, but there are permission and security rules in this age of children and the Internet. I did, however, get permission to use one image, that of me demonstrating a punch technique with Claire. A blurred-action Impressionistic snapshot of the experience I had with these kids.

~Jenn

5 Sherlock Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed

Sherlocks Home

Written by Lauren Shultz and Prof. Jenn

Sherlock is a series filled to the brim with hidden references and clues to future events. The show has even made a game of these at times, with us viewers left to pick up the pieces about how Sherlock could have faked his death back in Series Two. You could fill a whole website with all of those subtle moments and visual motifs (don’t take our word for it, read Prof Jenn.’s collection of secret references in Sherlock  here) but today – to celebrate Easter – we’ve picked out five ‘Easter eggs’ that you might have missed…

1. Cluedo

BBC BBC

Even the seemingly insignificant yet character-building moments between Sherlock and John are very thoroughly thought out by Moffat and Gatiss – something that is actually carried over into the set design. In the beginning of The Hounds of Baskerville, John argues…

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5 Ways to Get Your Sherlock Fix While Waiting for Series Four

Sherlocks Home

Written by Prof. Jenn

It’s hard to be patient while waiting for the next series of Sherlock. After all, the show really is more of a series of films than a TV programme, and so perforce we have a very long period of twiddling our thumbs between fixes. Our wait between Series 3 and 4 will be a bit less painful, as there is a one-off Christmas special coming but that’s still a long time, with only fan-fiction to hold us. Not that there’s anything wrong with fan-fiction, but…

Here are my professional recommendations on what to enjoy while you’re waiting for more cheekboned Cumberbatchian goodness:

5. Elementary

Elementary CBS

A lot of Holmesians are either Sherlock OR Elementary fans but why not enjoy both? Elementary is a delightfully-structured police procedural featuring a Sherlock in drug recovery and a no-nonsense, capable, female Watson. Jonny Lee Miller is a flawed, human…

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