She loves Sherlock but David Tennant will never love me—and no one is doing the dishes…


Well. That was how many weeks in a row of making-you-cry-and-angst serious? Change of pace. And go:

Flora: Do you know why I love Sherlock so much, Mom?

Jane: Well, he’s a timeless character, a hero-anti-hero figure rolled into one, a dragon slayer, yes, but also a so-bad-boy, on-the-side-of-right and yet essentially amoral, brilliant-yet-obtuse—he’s really the perfect archetype of…

Flora: It’s because he looks just like Daddy and talks just like you.

Oh. From which you may deduce a) that the father of my children is h-h-h-o-t and b) that I’m a high-functioning sociopath.


Jane: Keerist. Would someone please command, order, TELL ME to go do the dishes? Or better yet, go in the kitchen and do them for me?

Cinder: Meh. Just go read a book. We’ll just eat the chicken from the baking tray.

Flora: With our fingers.

Ender: I! Want! A! Fork!

There’s always a demanding one, isn’t there?

I can wash one fork.

I. Will. Wash. One. Fork.


Flora: And another thing! Don’t you dare blog about this!

Jane: But…

Flora: No!

Jane: But…

Flora: Absolutely, never, ever, NO!

Sorry. You don’t get to find out. But man. It was brilliant.

But she says I can tell you this one:


Flora: Mom? What do adults talk about?

What a question. What do adults talk about? My friend Marie and I look at each other. Laugh.

Jane: Kids?

Marie: Books?

Jane: Oh, homeschooling.

Marie: Boys.

Jane: Girls.

Flora: You can’t talk about boys and girls! You’re married!

Marie: Well, your dad’s a boy, you know.

Flora: OMG. Do married people get crushes?

Jane: Well…

Marie: Um…

Flora: OMG. You do. Like Daddy has a crush on Felicia Day? And you think David Tennant is hot?

Jane: Well…

Marie: Um…

Flora: Mom? There’s something you need to know.

Jane: What’s that?

Flora: David Tennant will never love you!

Meh. I’ll live.


So, Nothing By The Book is taking a page from old school un-social media and doing a re-run summer, while I spend the hot days (please, weather gods, grant this piece of flood plain some scalding hot days, will you?) getting a tan, running through sprinkles, selling one book, writing another, reading two dozen more, neglecting my garden, falling in love, jumping off cliffs—you know. Everything but blogging. Stay in touch via Instagram—NothingByTheBook—will you? Or Twitter—  or/and . Or, just come back in September.

I will.



NBTB-Rafting in the wading pool.jpg


Jane: And then she says, “David Tennant will never love you!”

Flora: It’s true.

Sean: I don’t know about that. I mean, just look at your mom, and she’s really smart too. And David Tennant’s pretty intelligent and dresses like he’s got great taste. I bet he’d be totally into her. And then, you know how we had to stand in line for hours to get that Matt Smith photo? We’d get to hang out with David Tennant all the time and take pictures of him all the time and then sell them on e-Bay for a fortune and…

Flora: I didn’t think of it like that. OK. What do we have to do to hook them up?

My family. They deserve a high-functioning sociopath.

Post-script 2:

“Sunny days, long weekends, flood anniversary trauma. I’ve missed so much!”

“Oh, let me catch you up, ma’ darling. June posts you might have missed below.”

Would Edgar Allan Poe by any other name smell so sweet? (And wear a fez?)


First, this:

Flora: Was Edgar Allan Poe a real person?

Jane: What? Yes, of course.

Flora: And he really wrote The Raven?

Jane: Yes.

Flora: And his real name really was Edgar Allan Poe?

Jane: Yes. Well, he was born Edgar Poe, but then he was sort-of-adopted by a family called Allan, and so he became Edgar Allan Poe…

Flora: That’s just brilliant. He’s so lucky. Because suppose he had been named Edgar Steve Poe? Or Edgar Smith Poe? He’d never have written The Raven then. No way.

Jane: Really?

Flora: Yes. Only someone with a cool name like Edgar Allan Poe could have written The Raven. Edgar Steve Smith Poe would have written… The Pigeon.

With apologies to Steve Smiths… everywhere…


Then this:

Flora: Was Charles Dickens a real person?

Jane: What?

Flora: Was Charles Dickens a real person? A real writer?

Jane: Yes. He wrote… David Copperfield, which is so good. And of course, A Christmas Carol. And The Bleak House, and Nicholas Nickleby, and…

Flora: OK, so Charles Dickens is like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Not like Sherlock Holmes.

Jane: Yes. Sherlock Holmes was not a real person—he was a character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Flora: It’s important to get these things straight.

Jane: Absolutely.

Gods, I love her.


And finally:

Flora: So Agatha Christie was a real person.

Jane: Yes.

Flora: But The Doctor is not a real person.

Jane: No. I mean, yes, he is not a real person.

Flora: But Matt Smith is a real person. And so is David Tennant.

Jane: Yes.

Flora: Two different real people, playing the same character.

Jane: Yes. Well, actually—what, 12? 13 different people playing the same character over 50 years…

Flora: Why is all of this so confusing?

Because… life. Art. Authors. Characters. Creators. Creations.

Yes, she’s watching The Wasp and The Unicorn, and The Day of the Doctor. Simultaneously. Reading Sherlock Holmes (graphic novel version, adapted by Ian Edginton, and illustrated by I.N.J. Culbard—brilliant). I’m not quite sure from where Charles Dickens makes an appearance. I ask. “Horrible Histories.” Of course.

NBTB-Fez Medley for Edgar Allan Poe post



PS  “Well, this is all very nice interesting, but I’m here looking for that interview tips for kids video that’s part of the Sunnyside YYC Flood Scrap Book Project.”

“Are you? Thrilled. That’s this here: Filing, flooding, interviewing—or, ‘Confluence.’ Our kids and the film crew will be at the Hillhurst-Sunnyhill Farmers’ Market today interviewing. If you’re a YYC reader: come tell your story.”