My mom used to ask us that with a hand cocked on her hip, peering into our wide-eyed faces. Naturally, the blame trickled down to the youngest one, me. So, out of self-survival, I learned CSI techniques early on!
Being from a family with four generations of lawyers and legislators, I developed the skill of building my defense before I spoke. My parents were fair judges. Sometimes I got off with a light sentence.
On endless nature walks through the Texas Hill Country, Dad taught us keen observational skills. We learned to detect where a deer had traipsed in the moonlight or a beetle laid eggs under a fern leaf. I became a keen observer of nature, and later, human nature. So sleuthing became an integral part of my mental DNA.
Though I now absorb mysteries whenever I get the chance, I never could get into the Nancy Drew books as a youth. I didn't want to read about her. I wanted to be her. I absorbed the Charlie Chan, Hercule Pirot, and Sherlock Holmes movies that showed on TV each Saturday afternoon, trying to solve the mysteries before the reveal at the end. I excelled in creative writing classes and photography, and was even was published in Atlantic Monthly back in the day.
Adult life soon told me to get real. I complied...for decades. I raised a family and worked as a medical insurance appealer, which still involved investigating and developing a case to get our claims paid so it somewhat satisfied my "sleuth-tooth." On the hour commute to and from home in the burbs, I’d still lapse into developing plots in my head but never considered writing them down.
Then, life became way too real. Widowed in my fifties, I had to fill the silence of my evenings. I've never been very craftsy, so I shook my story-telling brain cells awake, let them capture my keyboard, and created mysteries and suspense as well as devotionals and inspirational works. Now, as well as a writer for several publications and after winning several literary awards, I am also an editor with two publishing companies.
I think I have finally begun to be who God has been molding me to be all my life. That, to me, is the biggest and most wonderful mystery of all!
Mysteries with a Message