Guys, I miss The Tuesday Night Bloggers; the passing of Agatha Christie’s 127th birthday last week really brought this home to me. For the uninitiated, the TNBs was essentially an autonomous collective of bloggers who would pick a topic each month and put up a blog post on that topic on, well, the relevant Tuesdays. It came out of the celebration of Christie’s 125th birthday — I was but a wee nascent glint in the internet’s eye at the time — and continued in various forms up until possibly March or so of this year, since when it seems to’ve been on indefinite hiatus.
Now, I totally get it: we’re busy people who have lives away from our blogs (I mean, I don’t, but I’m pretending I do because I guess other people must…). Someone would be responsible for collecting together all the links to the posts other people wrote, and there would be weeks when the effort involved often wouldn’t make this worth it because only two people had the time to write anything. I never curated in this way because I’m too cool for Facebook and so am not part of the Golden Age Detection group thereon where the links were shared, but I can understand the work involved and was always grateful for it.
But I did love the opportunity to explore some of the marginalia that would lurk in the corners of my brain and be provoked to life by an interesting topic and a looming Tuesday deadline (when I had time, of course…on account of the busy life I definitely lead filled with parties and conversations about lawncare). It helped give a structure to my blogging week — TNB topic on a Tuesday, review on a Thursday, then some obscure reflection of my own choosing on the weekend…rinse and repeat — without ever having to churn out something I wasn’t invested in purely to meet a deadline. It helped me write stuff that I hoped was worthy of the time people would spend reading, commenting on, and talking about.
It was also a great way to see how others would approach the same topic. The range of experiences and opinions we have in this GAD corner of the interwebs is wonderful, and it’s a number that’s only increasing with more people finding these blogs through the British Library Crime Classics or the Freeman Wills Crofts reprints or the HarperCollins Detective Club reprints or…well, you get the idea: there are a lot of intelligent people out there, and the chance to provoke conversation is an opportunity we’re lucky to have.
So, I have an announcement: I’m going to relaunch the Tuesday Night Bloggers.
But I’m also going to learn the lesson of history and simplify things a bit.
Here’s my plan. Each month, I will pick a topic that will be the theme for the posts on every Tuesday that month. That, you’ll notice, is the exact same thing as was done before. The simplification comes in this way: anyone who wishes to get involved can do exactly the same thing — pick a topic of your own, not necessarily the same thing as me, and post on whatever topic you choose on your blog every Tuesday of that month. We won’t collect anything centrally, so it’s very much an individual undertaking, but it can at least continue in a spiritual sort of way and might even lead to some kind of collective thing further on down the line.
This may not appeal to anyone else, and that’s the beauty of it: I’m gonna do it, and if no-one else does it’s exactly the same as if ten thousand people think it’s a good idea — there’s no extra admin from my perspective, which means I’m more likely to keep it up. I could have just done this without saying anything, but I wanted to flag it up in case anyone else fancies it. I also didn’t want to just assume the model of the TNBs without acknowledging the undertaking that I was shamelessly reinventing in travesty, running the risk of “Well, the bloody cheek of it…” comments. Because, y’know, sparking the vengeful attitudes of people who read about so many entertaining ways to commit murder is not a provocation I’m keen to incite…
So, join in, don’t, do whatever you like. I will be starting it in earnest come October, and I’ll even tell you my topic now: I’ll be looking at the stories in the new Locked Room International collection The Realm of the Impossible, probably one continent per week or…something. The details will be ironed out in due course and the stories examined over the course of next month. Simple.