This month June bugs are the prompts for our Wicked Wednesdays. We’re starting with this definition of bug, “a sudden enthusiasm”. Someone who suddenly gets involved with photography is referred to as a camera bug, for example.
Wickeds, do any of your characters develop an unbridled enthusiasm for something? Does that passion play a role in a plot? Does it last? Have you developed a sudden enthusiasm for something?
Barb: The Wickeds are sick of my pandemic-related Outlander obsession. I watched the show with my husband then started reading the books. Now everything is Outlander-related, as in “that actor is in Outlander,” etc, etc. We’re headed to Scotland this summer, which is not Outlander-related, a long-planned, pandemic-postponed trip, but I think it might become so. As for my characters, I wouldn’t say they develop obsessions, but I am very grateful for the things I learn along with them, be it about making pottery (Muddled Through), digital gaslighting, (Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door), oyster farming (Shucked Apart), etc.
Edith/Maddie: Have fun in Scotland, Barb! I’m not sure if it qualifies as a bug, but I got involved in a flurry of office reorganizing a month ago. I changed around the furniture and ordered a new bookcase. I love it! In Murder in a Cape Cottage (out in September!), Mac picks up colored pencils and an adult coloring book. Not sure that will stick, though. Robbie’s mostly scrambling to come up with new recipes, enjoy her marriage, and run a business – oh, and solve crimes.
Sherry: Will you come do my office next, Edith? I have my laptop on a wobbly stack of papers on my desk as I type this! Barb, I watched about a season and a half of Outlanders before I lost interest — however, Elizabeth loves it. I’m a bit obsessed with Mick Herron’s Slough House books, but I’m making myself read them slowly. There’s eight of them so far and I’ve finished the fourth. I also watched the Apple TV+ version of Slow Horses. The casting was perfection and it did a good job of following the book. Sarah Winston is obviously obsessed with garage sales and Chloe water sports both to their detriment sometimes.
Jessie: I love this question, Julie! My protagonist, Beryl, develops a lot of sudden enthusiasms. She is forever throwing herself into new things, most notably detecting! I am quite sure she gets this from me. I tend to dive into things with a great deal of vigor. My latest obsession is color. I have an easel and a cart filled with art supplies set up in my kitchen and just spotting my paint palette covered in blobs of brilliant color has led to a craving for it in many aspects of my life. I have been on the hunt for rainbow colored yarn, vibrant inks for my fountain pens and even a new pair of fuchsia running shoes.
Julie: I love these answers. Edith, I hope this organizing urge moves south a bit. Barb, I love your Outlander obsession. Scotland is going to fuel it. Sherry, I can see the Slough House bug hitting here as well. The books are the perfect tone for me right now. Jessie, we are very much alike in our enthusiasm to try new things! I approach things with gusto, and often it wanes. But having acrylic paints and canvases at the ready isn’t a bad thing. When a whim hits, I’m prepared. As for my characters? Ernie stress bakes bread, which is a lovely way of dealing with things. In The Plot Thickets, he bakes a lot.
Readers, aren’t these bugs fun? Do you have a bug that you’d like to share?