06 May 2017

Two out of Fifteen–So Far

 Family Fortnight +  Leading up to the International Day of Families on the 15th of May, we bring you the eight in a series about mystery writers’ take on families. Settle back and enjoy!
by John M. Floyd

I've enjoyed reading, over the past week, about the families of my fellow SleuthSayers, and especially about the talent (and love of) writing that exists among their family members.

As for my own crew, here's some background. Our immediate family has now grown to 15, not counting my mother, and it's a number that doesn't sound all that big until we all get together (usually every June for a summer outing and every Christmas for a one-to-two-week gathering at our home in Mississippi). Then it's quickly obvious how much larger and younger and louder our group has become.

For anyone who's interested, my wife Carolyn and I have three grown kids and seven blue-eyed grandchildren. Our son Michael is a chemical engineer with DuPont in Parkersburg, West Virginia; he and his wife Jennifer (also a chem. e. and currently a stay-at-home mom) have three children: Lily (11), Anna (9), and Gabriel (6). David, our second son, is a physician at St. Dominic's Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi; he and his wife Jamie (also a doctor, and currently a stay-at-home mother and aerobics instructor) have two kids: Charlie (9) and Susannah (7). Karen, our youngest child, is also a stay-at-home mom, and a former music teacher at a local elementary school; she and her husband Collin Berger (a computer technician) live in Pearl, Mississippi, and have two kiddos: Richard (4) and Julia (1). My wife and I feel extremely fortunate that we have two of our three children and four of our seven grandkids living nearby and that we're able to have all fifteen of our family together at least twice a year. (We're also thankful for FaceTime--as we used to be for Skype.)

I'm always reminded, any time I think of family, of two old sayings. One is "The offspring done sprung higher than them they sprung off of" (which in my case is certainly true) and the other is "By the time the rich man has enough money to afford children, the fool has enough kids to support him." I especially like that second one. Now, if they'll only support me . . .

As for writers and writing--so far, although several of our brood have done some technical and professional writing, only one (besides me) has shown much interest in creating fiction. That's our granddaughter Susannah--on the left in the photo below, taken last Christmas--who'll be eight years old next month. She's an avid reader, especially of series like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, and likes to write fantasy stories and tales that involve animals of any kind. (Her people-doctor parents already suspect that they might be raising a veterinarian.) Currently Susannah is collaborating with a school friend, and together they've written several stories that I think have turned out really well. At that age I was probably still trying to learn how to tie my shoes.

So that's it, for the Floyds. One final point: although not many of us are writers, I'm very pleased to say that all of us--even my mom, who's 90--are readers.

That's the important thing. Right?


  1. Sounds like you have a great family in every way, John. And I hope they're supporting you soon ;-) .

  2. Love the photos, and nice to know you're part of a large group of readers. Writers can't ask for anything more.

  3. John, thanks for sharing your beautiful family. Really enjoy the pictures as well as learning about them.

  4. Thank you Paul, Janice, Fran, and O'Neil!! And seriously, I'm hoping more of our clan will turn to writing in future years.

  5. What a big, beautiful family, John! And I bet you've got another writer-to-be or two in the bunch.

  6. You have a beautiful family, John. Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. Bonnie and Barb -- How sweet of you both. And yes, I'm hoping the writing bug will infest some more of this bunch in the future.

    By the way, to any of the Grammar Police who might be on duty, my apologies for the error in my opening sentence. That should have been "the talent for (and love of) writing . . ."

  8. Wonderful! I remember you writing that your home was "a lively place" during the Holidays! I see what you mean!

  9. It really is, Jeff. Thanks as always for stopping in!

  10. What a sweet family, John! I'm not sure about the chem.e, but y'all definitely got the organic/bio-chemistry right.

  11. Pat Marinelli08 May, 2017 12:44

    I'm really enjoying these family posts. You have a lovely family and I love the Christmas pajamas. Love hearing about your kids and grandchildren lives and happy you get to spend time with them all.

    I used to dress my Irish triples alike when they were little.

  12. Thanks, Leigh and Pat!! EVERYbody likes talking about his or her family, so this has been a fun week.

  13. Mary Ann Joyce09 May, 2017 14:24

    Your family is beautiful, John! And I loved hearing about them all. I know you've said how boisterous your house is at the holidays, but really, what could be better? When my kids are all home it's a bit crazy, too, at times, but also lots of fun!

    All of my kids love, love, love reading, and you're right, that's what counts. I think writing and wanting to tell your own stories in that way is another animal all together. For me, my daughter Rakel is the other writer, although Kerry and Griff have been known to spin a few yarns, too, that weren't so bad. But to get them to do it is like pulling teeth!

    Nice checking in and checking out your handsome group!

    Take care!

  14. Mary Ann, how kind of you. Thanks for checking in, and best to you and all your kiddos.

    A special hello to Rakel, who I assume is still living her dream at the film production company. What a great job--tell her to have fun!!

  15. Lovely family .... with plenty of stories in the making

  16. Hey Debra!! Thanks so much--that's sweet of you. Hope all's well in your world.


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