Sunday, July 30, 2023

Welcome to "Throwback Sunday at MIE"

The first post on Murder is Everywhere rolled out on November 11, 2009. Since then, 4500 posts written by some of the finest crime writers on the planet have appeared on a daily basis at this URL.  I think it's fair to call that a powerful demonstration by MIE's contributors of their commitment to maintaining a fresh dialog with fans and other lovers of the genre on matters far removed from self promotion of their work.

Of the 4500 posts virtually all were new material created specifically for MIE's readers. Though some have been reposted, the vast majority lived for but a day then floated off into the great ethernet library in the clouds.  

That doesn't seem right. There are so many interesting topics, incisive opinions, and downright funny tales hiding out in the MIE vault deserving of revival.  And so, we offer you Throwback Sundays as a place to stroll into the past.  It won't be every Sunday, but when it is we hope you'll enjoy the memory.

For our first Throwback, I thank Caro for her post Friday reminiscing on her experience taking over the Friday slot from Dan Waddell, one of MIE's founders.  Caro mused about what Dan might be doing now.  That got me to thinking about Dan's first post -- and how what he wrote about then, might yield a clue to what's kept him occupied over the ensuing years.  

So, fellow sleuths, here's Dan's initial post that went up on November 20, 2009 titled, "The Pram in the Hall."

Dan Waddell

"There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall."

Better writers than me have debunked Cyril Connolly’s famous quote and, as someone who’s trodden on some toys, barged his way past a few buggies and broken off mid-paragraph to change a nappy or two in his time, I’d agree he was talking the sort of pompous bunkum only dilettante intellectuals could conjure with a straight face. The constraints of parenthood actually helped me write. Childless, I could work any time, day or night; and the end result was that I often ended up working neither. When it was only an option to write in daylight as nights were given over to reading aloud about hungry caterpillars or trying to grab some much needed rest, my productivity grew. My life, at long last, had structure, even if a few other things were lost, such as sleep.

However, had Cyril been a crime writer he may have had had a point. When my first child was born I wasn’t writing crime. Now, with my third newly arrived, I am. In fact, I’m halfway through my latest. I am trying to conjure up dark deeds, ominous atmospheres and a creeping sense of dread. Meanwhile, Child Three (as we’ll call him, as long as Tom Rob Smith doesn’t steal it for his next title) is doing the best he can to distract me. He likes to be held and I like to give my suffering wife a break. So half of my day is spent with him in my arms, staring into his eyes, innocent dark brown pools, humming lullabies, or rocking his pram so he can sleep. Then I trudge back to my office, muslin square still draped absent-mindedly over my shoulder, an unseen slick of baby puke down my back, and try to recreate the dark deeds etc. It isn’t proving easy. The outside world has ceased to exist (though not for long, I promise, or my contributions to this blog will look a little insular…), my characters are strangely content and people are more likely to be hugged to death than flayed alive and their raw flesh salted.

I would panic, but for one thing. Around the corner lie those books only parents know of; not least that bloody hungry caterpillar. After the 45th reading, misanthropy will reign and I get the feeling that my characters will grow less pleased with their lot and people will die. Horribly.


Dan - Friday

No comments:

Post a Comment