20 September 2013

Happy Anni-Verthday!

SleuthSayers has hit the end of Year Two, and, over the past couple of weeks, there's been a lot of talk about our blog’s second birthday.

While, at times, our blog may seem to be a sort of online coffee house—Surely I'm not the only one to hit my morning caffeine (and in my case nicotine) when perusing SS after firing-up my computer at the start of each day!—today I'd like to look a bit more deeply into our blog than that.

Birthday or WHAT?

One thing I’ve noticed, however, is that some of us refer to the occasion as a Birthday, while others call it an Anniversary. For my part, I think we need a cake that looks more like this one, at this year’s annual office party.

To my way of thinking, birthdays are about individuals (excepting twins, triplets, etc., of course). And, while there’s an individual entity here: the blog, itself. It seems to me that this entity is the creation of several writers working in concert. Thus, though the blog may be an individual—of and in itself—that entity is also the interwoven, or perhaps “patchwork,” composite of many individuals working together.

And it seems to me that, when individuals come together, collaborating in intimate, or semi-intimate ways—as the writers who produce SleuthSayers have done for the past two years—the thing I’d like to celebrate may be less the birthday of that entity we call the blog, and rather more the anniversary of the writers’ creative collaboration.

Thus, the birthday wish at the top of my blog probably should be replaced with something more akin to this. Or, another illustration referring to an anniversary of writers who came together to breath life into our new digital entity: SleuthSayers.

Of Digital Offspring DNA

Perhaps the photo of the champagne flutes, flowers and cupcake aren’t what you envision when thinking of an anniversary. Perhaps some of our number think of an anniversary in terms like this:

While, for others, the term calls up a vision similar to this one... 

This one...

Or, this one. 
I sometimes think we're more like this.
Notice how the crazy guy seems to be jerking her arm?
That's a bit different than pulling her leg IMHO.

The more disturbed among us may even envision a scene similar to this one
(Which rather scares the willies out of me, with it's "decapitatedness" to be frank!)

It may certainly be argued, we are far more than “a pair” or “a couple”, so why not an anniversary photo similar to this one?

Perhaps this is what we should envision.  They just seem so mysterious to me --
Clothes retro, but shiny clean . . . as they stand where they don't seem to belong.

How about a photo similar to each, all, or none of these?

My resounding answer is: YES! 

All these, and many more, may be the way that writers and readers who contribute to our digital offspring individually conceive of the word “anniversary.” Which, I believe, is one of the greatest strengths of our collaborative effort. 

After all, a diversified gene pool is a critically important asset for any healthy brainchild. And, at SleuthSayers, our collective phsycho-verbo-experiential gene pool is delightfully vast and varied.

But … Kids Aren’t Clones 

As a parent, one thing I’ve learned is that children not only seem to be born their own individual personalities, but also that these sometimes rather alien personality traits often challenge good parents to extend themselves in previously unexplored directions.

Part of our blog entity’s character is that it encourages those who have—before this time—probably concentrated on primarily, or even only, the written word, to expand into other means of self-expression through the use of photographs, sound files, digital film clips, and other media not normally available for access through books or magazines.

Our blog: We are it, and it is us.
Thus, through our brainchild blog, we accomplish interdependent interaction.

While we transform the blog through the results of each writer and contributing-reader bringing his/her own baggage to work on it, the blog creates an impact on each of us through the exercise of its own transmogrifying digital DNA.

As the blog is transformed, it transforms us—its writers and readers. We are not the same people we would be, without the blog.

And, thus, I am confronted by the idea that—though I began this blog on a birthday note, then changed that note to one of an anniversary celebration—the final idea has (it’s just my luck!) come around full-circle. We find the blog writers and readers are an inherent component of the blog entity, just as the blog’s entity has become (and continues to magnify in proportion) its writers and readers.

Birthdays may seem to be reserved for individuals, while anniversaries may be more applicable to joint ventures.

However, at SleuthSayers:  Contributors (joint venture participants) and offspring (the birthday individual) evidently continue to meld into one. Thus it would seem that Birthday and Anniversary needs come to be conjoined in the phrase:

Happy Anni-Verthday!

To my fellow SleuthSayers:
Readers, Writers and Digital Tikes
ONE in ALL   &   ALL in ONE!

P.S.  This is a photo of Velma after last year's office party.
I found her near the exit, and -- after taking the photo-- got Leigh to pour her into a cab.
See you in two weeks!


  1. Now that I have cable hookup instead of dial up internet connection, the cable went down of course-- and it won't be up until tomorrow afternoon. LOL

    So, I'll try to monitor and post comments using my cell phone.


    PS: I know "intrdependent interaction" is a bit redundant, but--given the multiple complexities of the interaction-- I felt a little redundancy might well be called for. LOL

  2. Ah, Dixon, the curse of the cable!
    I'm eager to see what Velma looks like after this year's party.

  3. Wow! Velma really knows how to party!

  4. I really, really like this. I think "one in all and all in one" is precisely the right motto for collaborative, threaded work such as this blog. I hadn't thought of it that way before, but it's so. I started reading this blog for one writer, but as time has passed I've come to see the threads that wind through all the contributors and the words they share. I don't write mysteries or even read them (except Tony Hillerman, who you all may think is not a mystery-writer anyway), but the themes I find here are always intriguing and often significant. So the "one" has become an appreciated "all" for me, and the "all" has enhanced my understanding of and appreciation for the "one". So what can I say but: Thank you one and all!

  5. I like the "anni-verthday" so please don't so me if I use it in one of my post.

  6. Glad to say, thanks to excellent work by some Cox subcontractors, my cable is up again. Turns out Cox meant to disconnect one of my neighbors, and shut off the wrong line! LOL (T'ank Gawd it didna' cost me nothin'.)

    Fran, I'm with you. Can't wait to see Velma do that dance where she wears the lamp shade and little else!

    Eve, you said it! She really does.

    Anon,I'm glad to hear the blog struck you so deeply. Nice to hear from you. Hope to see you here more often!

    Louis,it ain't like I got dibs on the phrase. For all I know, I might have stolen it from somebody else. Besides, I'd never sue ya'!


  7. Loved it! Love the blog! Love the pictures!

  8. I'm sho insultanated, just becaush my Friday night bash went on through Shatturday and Shunday almost. Wicked, wicked time jush becaush I losht my shoes and sheam-shtockings and garter belt and all. *hic*

  9. Glad you enjoyed it, Jeff.

    That's one of the reasons we all love you, Velma!


  10. Best thing I liked in this share is that pink and white ribbon cake. My sister also planned a superb birthday party for her husband at one of the nearly located event venues with lavish catering. Cake ordered was yummy and DIY d├ęcor was sober. Fresh flowers on tables looked attractive and created a wonderful ambience.


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