I was sitting in the office rambling at length about upcoming investigations, all the while Mr. Cross resentfully sighing and taking dictation, when the dispiriting correspondence came in. My recent examination of a Gold Coast ballroom and the potential for a third floor dancing room series had induced visions of long ago candlelit parties, bare shoulders reflected in expansive mirrors, Georgian decanters and more secret servants’ halls. I was in a dream world. There were breathtaking possibilities. Would I rap at the doorknockers of local mansions I believed to harbor ballrooms within or orchestrate little birdies with secret notes? Of course there were manila files of old, half-started detection piled up on the ol’ tanker, serving to distract me from course. And I was still humming from a recent interview with a wonderful woman from the Metropolitan Utilities District about Walnut Hill and other municipal properties just the other day. My sleuthing options were dizzying and plentiful, I suppose, just the way I like it.
I will not attempt to deny my happiness but as for that dispiriting correspondence. It is none too pleasant, as they say. A smack of gob was coming. As a buildup, I receive fantastic weekly words of cheer and questions about the impending My Omaha Obsession book. What a joy! I assure everyone the book will come out this fall of 2019 or shortly after, in the winter. The first of my investigations was submitted in the fall of 2017; the very last investigation was presented in June of 2018. All photographs, maps and illustrations were filed in August of 2018. All delicious details that must be explained in confirmation that There Was A Plan and that busy bees (or were they elves?) were hard at work in a book factory far, far away. It felt so good to move forward and get back to sharing my investigations online, knowing my book was being edited! Very recently, after speaking with a journalist at the Omaha World Herald, I was cajoled to check in with the publisher and hammer it down—“Just when is my book to be released?”
Surprisingly the current word was-is that the My Omaha Obsession book will not be published until the fall of 2020 or the winter of 2021. It would be another full year. Thwarted!
This shocking missive flattened me to a place of despondency, much like the sad, cheap windows of the fast-casual, apartment buildings seen mushrooming around Omaha. Like a bland, boxy, mixed-use space (haha…okay, I’ll stop with the regrettable architectural analogies), I plopped down and surveyed the landscape. What exactly were my options? Make a stink? Self-publish? Excuse me, as I just speak aloud for a bit. While this news came as a great shock to me, I soon came to recognize that in the world of problems, I had very little to complain about. Meanwhile I knew no one will ever care as much about this project as I…well, maybe Mother of Miss Cassette, for she felt this in the pit of her stomach also. In this awareness, was I remiss in my duties, assuming that the publisher was working on my project? I had long ago equated this experience to putting my baby manuscript in a small boat and sending her down the river. Would I trust the process? At what port would I pick her up? Would I recognize her when I saw her again? I thought my job was to let her go in this last year. To find my baby manuscript had sat for a full year with no attention, pained me greatly. And I felt humiliated. Five days later and it still doesn’t make a lick of sense. Good indication that I would have to address these uncomfortable issues of the ego and permanence.
Aside from the internal work of acceptance, there is much other work to be done and that is why I am alerting you, dear detective friends. In order to usher this editing along, I will be taking some time off from our sleuthing missions and the website. I am tasked with shaving down four of the longer investigations to be completed by the end of September. I just wanted to be upfront and let you know I have stepped away but only in order to reach my new goal. The timing is quite poor, as we’ve had a nice upswing in new friends and new developments here in the detective office. I will not be able to respond to emails or take your insider tips until I’ve helped to get the manuscript whittled into shape. Please know that I wish it wasn’t this way and I look forward to our meeting in a large drawing room, huddled on a lovely floor of polished oak, in near the future. Until that time, I hope you and yours have a beautiful end of summer. I thank you for your continued support, Omaha friends.
Signing off for now,
Please feel free to leave a thought in Comments. I welcome you to poke around the website with your flashlight. Investigate. Hide in the shrubbery. Look under these rocks and down those alleyways. I am more than pleased to have you tiptoe about. By the time you head for home, I hope you have been fully Sherlocked and Satiated.
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