17 September 2012

Happy Birthday, Baby!

by Fran Rizer

Today is SleuthSayers's first birthday– beginning the second year of life. Most of us view our creations somewhat as our infants, and to the writers, SleuthSayers is another of our children. Let's personify our professional association and take a look at our baby, SS.

Developmental milestones are accomplishments most children achieve by a certain age. During the first year, babies learn to focus, reach out, explore, and learn about the things and people around them. They also develop social and emotional attachments while physical milestones include sitting up, crawling, pulling up, and walking.

SS has definitely experienced a year of reaching out, exploring, and learning about people, including each other and our readers. Among other things, SS has explored writing methods and habits (along with writers' block), mystery books and films, locations, and exciting experiences including police and legal procedures. SS has taken a look at explosives, crimes and criminals, and amusing word-plays as well as delving into plot-driven vs. character-driven and genre vs. literary. Professional, social, and emotional attachments have formed. Physically, this baby has sat up, crawled, pulled up, and is walking.

According to Wikipedia, a September 17th birthday makes our childe a Virgo. I must confess I was hoping SS was a Libra. How cool it would have been for the astrological sign to be scales--as in scales of justice. Alas, we're stuck with Virgo, the only female symbol of the Zodiac, sometimes represented as a potentially creative girl, sometimes as a somewhat older woman, rather pedantic and spinsterish. What are the supposed characteristics of Virgos, whether male, female, or of a non-specific gender like our baby is?

Virgos are supposed to have considerable charm and dignity. "They are intellectually inquiring, methodical and logical, studious and teachable. They combine mental ingenuity with the abiliity to produce a clear analysis of the most complicated matters." After all, what is solving mysteries? Clearly, it involves analyzing complicated matters. These descriptors came from Astrology-Online, and I agree that SS has these traits.  (I left out the negative ones listed for Virgos because, as parents, we like to think of our children in positive terms.)

No time to go into all the other forms of Astrology, but as a great lover of moo goo gai pan, I'd be remiss not to mention our child's Chinese astrological associations. Once again, reality is not what I would have chosen. Don't you think SleuthSayers should be a tiger or a dragon? Not so. Yin. Metal. Rabbit. The only thing I can think of about our babe being a rabbit is that perhaps sometimes as the calendar gets away from us and we prepare our postings at the last minute, we have to be quick like bunnies. (You didn't think I was going elsewhere with that, did you?)

Numerologically, "SleuthSayers" adds up to the double digit 12, which reduces to 3. Though the playful articles on numerology in magazines stress the reduced number, a quick check of dreamtime.com/numerology reveals that serious numerologists consider both the double digit and reduced numbers.

Three is considered male, charming, outgoing, self-expressive, extroverted, active, energetic, and proud. The vibration of 12 is similar to the vibration of 3 raised to a higher level and with a little more idealism thrown in. Note that Virgo being represented by a female and 3 being male doesn't designate gender of the baby, but of the characteristics. SS exhibits all the good traits, but the comment I most appreciate is, "Gets along well with others." We love that comment when it appears on our kids' report cards--"Plays well with others"-- don't we?

If we were reading Cosmopolitan, we could look to see what other astrological signs are best suited to our Virgo baby, but that's really not necessary. After all, this babe isn't sitting on a bar stool in the eighties hoping someone of a compatible sign will offer to buy a drink.  We all know that SS is attractive to and attracted by writers, readers, and solvers of mysteries.

Checking out the pages of Woman's World, which is becoming almost as familiar to us as AHMM and EQMM and is being bought by more and more of my male friends to analyze John's stories to learn why WW keeps sending them polite rejections, I  find horoscopes. Do we really need to read magazines to learn SleuthSayers's future?  No way!

We're confident SS will continue to grow, expand, learn and develop friendships next year. Our baby sits, crawls, and walks. I predict that the coming year will be one in which SS runs and dances!


  1. Lovely, Fran, and very imaginitive.

  2. Way cool Fran to compare we Sleuthsayers blog as our baby. It works & the astrology, numerology, et al is such a clever idea.

  3. Happy birthday. I see you aren't too worried about the news that the astrological signs may be off by a month??

  4. Congrats on the birthday anniversary!

  5. Thanks, Rob, Bill, and you,too, Anonymous. Janice, I confess that sometimes I'm dense. (It's better than being called "that ditzy red-head" in my youth.) But I don't understand how the astrological sign is off by a month. Please enlighten me.

  6. Here is a bit more on the Chinese Rabbit -- and also Metal Rabbit -- "signs" if you would like them. I think some of it is very appropriate fory our SleuthSayers blog, however much it may not apply to individual contributors (who are not, of course, "born" under this sign).

    "RABBIT people love to play under the moonlight. Quite fanciful, they respond to the power and beauty of nature and are always being pulled one way and the other to examine what they find. They are the luckiest of all twelve signs! But, it's more a result of "the harder I work, the luckier I get" than taking crazy chances. They are cautious, conservative, bright, and have a good head for business. Supremely pleasant to have around, these affectionate, naturally shy peacemakers seldom ever lose their temper. They sometimes appear to be singing the blues because of a natural but short-lived tendency towards despondency. Rabbits always inspire deep admiration and trust.

    "METAL RABBITS make a very big deal about the true lasting values of life. To them, fame is ephemeral but reputation is forever. They are the background movers and shakers, never seeking the limelight themselves but always paving the way for others to become successful. Among Metal Rabbits you may find the book agents, the art critics, teachers, political campaigners and the great organizers. Although too conservative to catapult themselves onto the map, the successful people who have made it because of them are legends. Though not social butterflies, Metal Rabbits are very likable and have tons of friends because of their sincerity and unabashed kindness. Financially, they need to be more conservative! A speculative nature makes them venture into risky territory. If they don't watch their pockets, they're in big time trouble. Love Life, on the other hand, is nearly perfect. The very caring ways of the Metal Rabbit lead them to experience poetically quiet and at the same time exquisitely intense relationships. "

    As to the one month off statement, it simply has to do with precession of the equinoxes and changes in the calendar system, so that now when the constellation Libra (as one example) is on the plane of the ecliptic, it is not quite aligned with the dates give for the "sign" Libra. I'm not sure how much all that matters in the end, but that's what I think J was referring to. -- signed, a different Anonymous :-)

  7. Happy Birthday to all! A Metal Rabbit Virgo cusp Libra - there's got to be a story in there somewhere...

  8. A great post, Fran, to celebrate SS's birthday.

  9. Today proves what we all already knew: You're never too old to learn something new, and thanks to Janice and Anonymous, I know now what I didn't know this AM. Thanks for the comments and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  10. Thanks to Anon and Bill Crider!

  11. Good article, Fran. Thank you, my friend!


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