Friday, June 19, 2009


Doctor Watson and Sherlock Holmes

We all need a little help.

I’ve been the recipient of a great deal of help the last few days---in the form of my twelve-year-old son.

We were at Walmart and he wanted to purchase something there….and he was a little short. He wanted me to spot him---$40.00.

I know a good deal when I see one. He’s young, he’s strong, and he needs money. Now I have myself an indentured servant for the next month and boy: I am definitely taking advantage of that fact. Yesterday, he and I went through my desk. The process took about an hour and a half. He spent most of that time shredding, filing, and occasionally rolling his eyes. But he also had some very good ideas about how to make the process easier.

Ideas are important and we don’t always get them ourselves. Sometimes we’re so stuck in the rut of our routines (but…this is the way I always organize the desk…) that we don’t view challenges with fresh eyes.

Sidekicks are wonderful additions to our novels. Dr. Watson for Sherlock, Captain Hastings for Poirot, Robin for Batman. For one thing, they keep our protagonist from having long internal monologues about their conflicts---instead, they can share them with a sidekick. And maybe bounce some ideas off them, too.

It can be a little boring reading about the perfect protagonist who solves all their own problems. Much nicer, much more realistic, I think, to have them tell a friend about them…and maybe get a fresh perspective on their challenges.