By Chester Campbell
I've always been a big fan of Robbie Burns (his family was a sept of the Campbell Clan) and often quote snippets from his poems. One I particularly like and even put in a book (don't ask which one) is the famous line from "To a Mouse":
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley
You probably don't need Bill Kirton to translate that into "the best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray."
Which is by way of introduction to the fact that I had planned to write something quite scintillating today, but it's simply too danged hot to scintillate. I don't want to be guilty of throwing off sparks and starting a forest conflagration. So I'll confine myself to something more subdued, like a little history lesson. Maybe not as fascinating as Leighton Gage's explanation of why Brazilians speak Portuguese, but historical nonetheless.
Early in the summer of 2008, I thought it would be neat to join this blogging business that had begun to ramp up among mystery writers. I approached my colleague Ben Small, and he agreed it would be a cool thing to do. We needed a lineup of writers to cover the week days. Ben recruited a fellow former Durban House author, Mark Danielson, and I brought in fellow writers group member Beth (now Jaden) Terrell. Scouting around, we found Jean Henry Mead was also interested.
On July 15, 2008, Murderous Musings kicked off with Ben's lighthearted look at why we are so fascinated with murder. He has contributed many humorous pieces over the years. The following month, we added Pat Browning for a Saturday blog, and the six of us (with an occasional guest) kept contributing weekly articles for the next couple of years.
About the time last year's summer began to cool, some of us decided it would be nice to expand our roster to the point we would only need to blog twice a month instead of weekly. So we scouted about and began to pick up an interesting lineup of writers. You can see the shining faces of those we added in the photo montage above and at right. In the process, we became international with Bill Kirton in Scotland and Leighton Gage in Brazil. Carola Dunn is from England but now lives in Oregon. For awhile we also had Yrsa Sigurdartter from Iceland, but she found it too burdensome with everything else on her plate. We also lost Pat Browning along the way.
Our readership has grown steadily over time. So far this month, we have averaged 121 unique visitors a day. Several days brought more than 200. As you can see from the Statcounter figure on the blog, more than 105,775 people have visited Murderous Musings over the past three years. Thanks for coming, and please join us again.
Incidentally, if you're wondering about the title of this piece, it's from the old Harry Trumanism,"if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." And it's getting warmer in my office, so I'm outta here.
Also visit me at Mystery Mania