Working Wednesday, May 11, 2022

I’m still working on Lavender’s Blue, but we’re getting close to the end. Bob and I have the best conversations. The last one was about how Lavender couldn’t be strangled (and thus turn blue) for logistics reasons so we were going to have to rewrite that. Bob suggested she hit her head and bleed out, lack of blood making her skin bluish, except I looked it up, and it takes about three hours to bleed out from a head wound so that won’t work, so Bob suggested a broken neck, but I pointed out that wouldn’t make her turn blue . . .

Basically we spent many minutes on “How can we kill Lavender so she ends up blue?” And then I went to the local diner–not my much loved diner that closed because of the pandemic but the big diner in town which is also very good–and had onion rings. For research purposes. I never stop working, people.

How did you keep working this week?

108 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, May 11, 2022

  1. Besides hydroponic gardening, I’ve worked on health issues. I kept a follow-up with my Urologist. PSA is 17.25, which is high enough to be concerning, so I’m scheduled for a biopsy in June. But there is no problem until there is a problem.

    Part of the gardening is pruning or harvesting. I have quite the lettuce crop growing in Harvey, Harvey, Too, the Bucket, and Ethel. Phredd is all herbs, unless the green onion seeds germinate. On that, Etsy is selling me pod baskets for the iDOO units, and Green Onion Seeded Pods for both iDOO and AeroGarden units. Etsy is my go-to for accessories I can’t find on the home sites. Anyway, harvesting lettuce. I’ve had home grown salads every day this week and lettuce on sandwiches. I’m growing a lot of lettuce, seven different kinds.

    Farm One through Five are all… well enough. Neither bell pepper (one red, one yellow) is impressive. They’re dwarves. Both Dopey, I think. Or maybe Sleepy. I’ve moved them out of larger plants’ shadows. The Purple Chilis have bee-youtiful blossoms, but I haven’t seen a single pepper yet. The regular Chili Peppers are fruiting up a storm, in shades of green and yellow. I’m down to one living Piri-Piri. , nearly two inches tall. Well, it’s young, yet. I’ve been eating ripe yellow tomatoes in my salads, and more are popping up as little green balls.

    My new bookcase hasn’t arrived yet, therefore hasn’t been assembled, so I have Things scattered about my living space. Ergo, very little living space. I wanted to rearrange my book shelves mounted on the wall, but Rubbermaid discontinued them two years ago and didn’t tell me. Very annoying! Very!

    I have got to make a trip to Goodwill to reduce the pile of too-good-to-just-throw-away clutter.

          1. What does it say about this community that there is such a wide range of diverse thoughts about how to very specifically kill someone?

          2. Dear FBI and CIA, our google search histories are not evidence of intent.

            Thank you.

          3. Yes, if I recall correctly, exposure to carbon monoxide creates carboxyhemoglobin in the blood. Carboxyhemoglobin is described as having a cherry red color. Hence the pink!

          4. Sadly, I did miss the bodies dissolve in Coke conversation, although, even more sadly, I knew that they did so.

          5. Once upon a time, I was planning to be a forensic anthropologist, thus I was aware of all kinds of acids that have been used IRL to dissolve human bodies (one of my profs consulted with the FBI). Also, we learned disposing of a body on a fire made of wood will not destroy the bones, so IDs were still possible. This was the ’80s, pre-DNA advances of the past 30 years.

        1. Laundry room at the country club? All that blue detergent to make the whites look more white? She could drown in an industrial sized bucket of it…

    1. Prussic acid, I think. Or maybe cyanide. Hard to find these days, probably easier to just puncture her lungs.

    2. Turning blue due to airway obstruction, swollen tongue, allergic reaction or cardiac arrest. Someone could have deliberately triggered her asthma or a seizure. Or there is always internal bleeding for vampire victim look.

      I missed the coca cola discussion and also in Agnes & the Hitman, anyone know What happened to the missing person who wasn’t missed at all? Love that Dixie Chicks song

      1. Agnes accidentally killed him.
        I wrote a short story about it, but SMP decided it was too violent.

          1. I’m not sure where it is. I lose things all the time. I had to buy one of my books to check something for a sequel because I’d lost the original ms.
            If I ever find it again, I’ll post it here.

    3. Silver poisoning. You really need to work at it though Some types of infections, mainly the mottling. Low oxygen and cold will leave you bluish. Drowning in a vat of blue food coloring. Or going unconscious face first in a very dark blue frosting. What happened to violet in Willy Wonka?
      I used to say I wanted to die at the age of 90 in the arms of a 25 year old giolo( so I would stop be active and rich) but now smothered in buttercream frosting sounds good.

        1. I thought that was the saddest thing. It was the only thing she could do, but even though she was one of the bad guys, she was a good guy in the end.

          At least she died in ecstasy.

  2. You can poison Lavender. It will turn her skin blue. You get a deceptive murder method and time to revive Lavender.

    Use snakes to poison her? Spread it through her air conditioner or slip it in a drink?

    Something along the lines of Snow white and the poisoned apple?

  3. I sent off a query letter for a companion book to the children’s picture book I illustrated this year. The illustrations are the first real thing I have sent out into the ‘book world’ and I am both thrilled and terrified. Release date sometime in June, I think.
    And thank you, Jenny, for all those determined heroines providing excellent role models for self-effacing gals like me!

  4. It’s the time of year (here) to prune my azaleas. They had a glorious display several weeks ago, and now it is time to cut everything back and let them grow for the summer. As I’m bending over them, I’m getting facefuls of residual pollen left after the huge clouds earlier this spring. I’m probably halfway done. A friend asked me how much I cut off, and I estimated at least a foot, maybe two of growth. So, I took a picture of an untrimmed azalea, and then the pile of sticks that are left after trimming. It’s such a small garden, I can’t let them do their own thing.

    But as a bonus, there’s a picture of Wendy here too – I had opened the blinds yesterday and started work. A little while later, I noticed she was sleeping on the floor. That’s when I realized I hadn’t put up her cat ledge. She was on it before I had finished securing it, and I couldn’t resist the picture with her head on the window and her foot sticking through the hole. She’s the picture of contentment.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CdYZsHLOi5K/

    Meanwhile, my quilt group has decided our next project is to encourage each other to finish a UFO. So that has meant rummaging through my spaces looking for unfinished projects. I have an astonishing number of them. Maybe this will be the encouragement I need to get some of those over the finish line!

  5. I’m amused at this whole “how to kill someone so they turn blue” discussion.

    This week I am taking a break (or at least Monday through Thursday until the show starts again) and not doing any set activities after work since I’m not rehearsing any shows. Mostly I am trying to put back everything I had to completely unend (basically emptying half of the apartment into the other half) and that sucks. I put back the food and media and a good chunk of the bathroom stuff, but dealing with allllll the dishes overwhelms me. I have more cookery stuff than I want/need that has been gifted to me, but I feel bad getting rid of any of it. I also have a ton of paper/art supplies that I haven’t really touched in years and now have the ethical dilemma of “put back or get rid of,” too.

    At some point I am going to have to do stuff like “write reviews of these library books so I get them out of the house” and “read the mail and pay the bills” as well, sigh.

  6. Silver poisoning will turn your skin blue. It’s called Argyria. When you swallow silver, it corrodes in your stomach acid and turns into silver salt. You can get it if you used silver coated acupuncture needles…. and I got all that from WebMD! 😀

  7. Lavender is murdered while dying Easter eggs? She is murdered after she’s applied a blue facial mask? She dosed with very stimulating drugs, talks herself blue in the face, and keels over.

    I’ve had essentially a month of company, and the last and well-beloved relative is flying home today. So we’ll be happy and lonely all at once. And eat left overs. My father recently developed congestive heart failure, so good-byes are a bit more fraught for those living across the country.

    But my brother and sister took a couple of days and did some chores I had lined up, like change all the smoke detector batteries, climb up a ladder and nail on a barrier to an opening in the wall (that’s supposed to be there), and put up the new retractable clothes line. All things I could do, but now I don’t have to. And maybe I can get my brother to install the bidet thingy. I love my family.

    1. I should have made this clear:
      Lavender just got married at a country club and changed her mind. She tries to walk away and later is found out back of the club, dead and blu-ish, at least.
      And the reason she has to be blu-ish is that the book is called Lavender’s Blue (it’s also her last name and she’s depressed, but you know me, I like a three-beat).

  8. I tried following the link to the bodies dissolved in coke post but got an error message saying “sorry you are not allowed to preview drafts.”

        1. If you click on the title again, after following the link, it will bring you to the post and the comments. At least, it did for me.

  9. I’m back from my long trip across the country (which was wonderful, except for the flying and the time changes) and mostly working at trying to catch up on All the Things. I have to unpack, do laundry, start in on the gardening I should have been doing last week, and about a dozen other things. And that doesn’t even include the writing.

    I’m tired, but my well had been at least partially refilled by my time with people I love and the ocean, and for once I don’t have to deal with the day job when I return from a trip, so I’ll be plugging away at it until it gets done. Also, sucking up to cats.

  10. Cathy mentioned silver. That was my first thought too. Here are some links about the effects–and a couple of pictures:

    https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/colloidal-silver/faq-20058061

    https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/argyria-overview

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_uses_of_silver

    Normally, colloidal silver won’t kill you. In small doses it has an antibacterial effect and can be used topically to treat antibiotic-resistant infections. Over the long term, it can cause organ damage. But the real danger–and the one most useful in this context–is that it can be lethal in combination with a host of drugs.
    Hope that helps. I can’t wait to read Lavender Blue, however you decide to kill her. 🙂

  11. Is there some other way for her oxygen to be cut off that is logistically possible if it’s not strangulation, per se…

    Choked, trapped in an airless place, had an embolism induced, etc?

  12. Or is the blue a red herring….she turned bluish from cheap wedding day silver glitter makeup or something….but the actual death is whatever horror Bob can dream up that gets her dead for other reasons, and she just happens to look blue.

  13. I painted the railings on my front porch and now I am prepping the deck and railings for painting. We’re having absolutely gorgeous weather and instead of going out hiking, I am working on the exterior of my house. At least I can take a break now and then to sit in my hammock swing for a bit before making myself get back to work.

  14. I’ve been whingeing all this week about the edit that came back with a zillion changes. Then suddenly this afternoon I found myself on a downhill slope, and it’s ready to go back to Penguin tomorrow morning. My last edit (barring unforeseen events); retirement starts now!

    So I’m planning more gardening, plus brainstorming what I want to do for my creative week next week, and getting set up for it.

  15. What’s wrong with good old-fashioned asphyxia? Won’t the cyanosis be evident in the nails and lips and who knows where else…?

  16. Mrs. Stewart’s bluing is still available. It’s been around for about 130 years. My Grandmother always used it as a blue rinse for her hair – sometimes she overdid it and had blue hair. And people with white poodles would use it to whiten the fur. And if they overdid it, would end up with a blue dog. Does she have a dog that she routinely has rinsed with blue. How she gets it at the country club I do not know. I think it can be used to make moth orchids or carnations blue (Not positive that is what is used. It is put in the water and the flower takes up the blue. ) Her flowers for the wedding could be supplied by the country club and they have the bluing around. How it gets on Lavender I have no idea.

    1. And isn’t this the book that has a dog at the wedding, wearing questionable attire? Maybe the dog is involved in an incident that requires it getting bathed at the wedding venue?

          1. Maybe her wedding dress still had one of those ink bomb theft-deterrent attachments the store puts on because she stole the dress, and it triggered when she fell. Heh heh

          2. Her ‘something blue’ is a mickey of Blue Curacao from a buddy, and she is shot right through it and covered in sticky blue liqueur.
            Or she has a blue smoke bomb ready to set off on the way out of the church and it explodes all over her.

          3. Okay, you guys are just as disturbing as the previous “Coke dissolves bodies” people. Wonderfully disturbing, of course.

          4. She’s wearing a borrowed string of heirloom pearls, her dress is new, and her last name is Blue. We’re covered.

    2. I checked. Bluing is used to color white carnations blue. A little tacky looking (think supermarket blue carnations) but definitely blue.

  17. Braveheart themed wedding?

    Or Smurfs?

    My first thought was poisoning, but everyone else has come up with that too, so…

    Blue wedding dress?

    1. You left out Avatar, groom swoops in on a giant bird. Though Blue dress is good, too tightly laced – Snow White so she stops breathing

    2. I was thinking Boudicca at a masquerade themed wedding myself. The Icenii used woad too, right? Must google.

      1. Google informs me that woad is a well-known (but not by me) antiseptic and that the Iceni (ii?) used woad before they went into battle. Not sure how accurate this is but it sounds intriguing.

  18. I have no blue killing advice but did y’all know there are actual blue people in KY hills; the Faugets. Interesting to research.
    It is becoming a chore to find a contractor to replace a sagging floor.

    1. Wow. A blue-skinned family. I didn’t read enough to discover whether they had any other conditions related to their blue skin. Thanks Judy / Clever Cherry. Just when I thought I’d heard it all. . . .

  19. What I’ve been working on-reading about murder and body disposal methods. Also making a sign for women’s rights march on Saturday. And a bunch of other stuff that’s not as fun as reading this blog.

  20. On Lavender turning blue, I had two options occur to me right away.

    I suppose you have already researched cyanosis, turning blue from lack of oxygen bound to the hemoglobin in blood?
    There are lengthy articles (on wikipedia and medical websites) on a lot of different possible causes of cyanosis, some hereditary or illness-related, others quite possibly usable as murder methods or simple bad luck (maybe anaphylactic shock, supposedly from a beesting, or because someone put peanuts in a “safe” snack? If pulmonary obstruction from strangling is ruled out, how about choking on a bite of food?).
    Though I remember reading a murder mystery a long time ago where it was caused by poison (IIRC cyanide) I don’t see that listed in my quick scan of the first two articles, except in the form of drugs overdose, but looking a bit further might yield more results.

    The other one is the permanent blue skin that can result from the use of colloidal silver or silver dust. That doesn’t kill you but can look very striking; it is called Argyria (see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argyria or search for pictures).
    If you can’t resist the “Lavender’s blue” association but dont want her (staying) dead you might get her turning blue from using silver solutions to self-medicate, think she’s dying because of turning blue, then being shocked to find out it’s not deadly but irreversible…

    1. She stays dead. We’re still discussing how. Well, I’m discussing. Bob went to the mountains.

  21. I finished the proposal for my new mystery series and sent it to my agent, and now I’m taking a few days to catch up on house/yard stuff (although it would take ten years to really catch up on it), and then I’ll be figuring out what else to work on the rest of this month while my agent is reviewing the proposal and taking whatever the next steps are (revisions, submission, declaring my writing career to be bluer and deader than Lavender?).

    1. I was trying to brainstorm last year about a murder mystery series where Eliza Doolittle and Professor Higgins are the amateur detectives, the Pygmalian mysteries, as it were. The play has just come out of copyright. But I then conceived of adding a steampunk element where Prof Higgins fits up Eliza with new high class gears and I got bogged down.
      It still might be a fun detective pair— Eliza with her persistent cockney accent and Higgins always getting annoyed with it.

      1. That does sound like fun! I sometimes wish I could write historical stuff, but it’s just not how my brain works. I enjoy reading historical mysteries though.

  22. I added almost 3K more words to the WIP novel over the weekend and also put in hours of weed management. Wanted to get the front yard shipshape this month, because I’m expecting June to be a nightmare at Day Job meaning my evenings and weekends may well be reserved for exhaustedly drinking instead of pottering outdoors.

    Also completed a pre-publication read-through-edit of the novella collection slated for publication in July. 🙂

  23. Only certain areas turning blue: Raynaud’s syndrome. Distress can be a trigger. One can find plenty of upsetting things at a country club, I guess.

    According to Google, causes for blue skin, unrelated to underlying diseases, include tight clothes or tight jewelry. You can find both at a wedding.

  24. Certain areas only turning blue: Raynaud´s syndrome. The cyanosis can be triggered by distress. I guess, at a country club, one can find plenty of upsetting things.

    According to google, causes for blue skin unrelated to underlying diseases, include tight clothes, or tight jewelry. Weddings may have both.

    1. I get Raynauds in my hands and feet as a symptom of my autoimmune disease. Scares the hell out of people who’ve never seen it before.

    2. lol…I totally read this too quickly and my brain made “The cyanosis can be triggered by distress” into “The cyanosis can be triggered by the dress”

      And went down a brief mental path of how she must have died from a too tightly corseted gown.

  25. I worked on the yard. Weeding, pruning, clearing debris out of the rock walls, I filled the giant yard waste bin twice and almost fell off the wall once, but things are looking good, I took many garden pictures to gloat over my achievements, and Black Kitty of the Feral Patio Cats likes to follow me around and offer suggestions while I work so that’s fun.

  26. I know zilch about turning bodies blue (in a dead way, that is) but I look forward to reading whatever you decide!

    I spent my Wednesday finishing my final project (write a graphic short story for my graphic novel class) for a class with a professor I am trying to impress because she is really fucking cool. I have no idea if she’ll be impressed, but I finished the project with ten minutes to spare, so *I’m* impressed with me. And while drafting, drawing and painting 12 pages in 48 hours is not a thing I want to do again, getting back into my visual art brain was fun.

  27. So the part of my honorary niece’s brain that tells her to breathe is a bit wonky and sometimes misfires and she stops breathing, which yes it’s obviously terrifying and horrible, but she turns blue, especially her lips as her oxygen levels drop. So anything that deprives the body of oxygen will do it.

    In cheerier thoughts, wasn’t there a revenge scene in a book or movie where someone had put powdered blue dye in the shower head, and the victim stood under the water and ended up smurfed? I mean, who doesn’t let it heat up first? But I guess if it was one of those ones over a bath, where you heat up the water in the bath tap and then flick the control to shower head. Anyway, I don’t remember where it’s from

    1. Pretty sure that Mercy Thompson does that to Christy Hauptman at one point in that series. Maybe when Christy has to come and stay with them because of the Volcano God?

    1. I think she just bleeds out from having her carotid punctures. The combo of rapid blood loss plus death should make her blu-ish pale.

  28. On the blue-in-the-face thing, I just have a sea story to contribute. (The difference between sea stories and fairy tales is, fairy tales start “Once upon a time…” while sea stories start, “Now this is no shit…”) Anyway, this was a form of harassment which I never condoned nor participated in, but everyone heard about. On a submarine deployed at sea for months, some of the auld saltz might sucker a newby into a contest of manliness. Said contest involved placing one’s thumbs in a vise on the workbench in shaft alley, to prove they could handle the pressure.

    Actually, it was to ensure that their hands were secured. Then they would yank down their pants and skivvies, and… No! They didn’t do that! What kind of story have your filthy minds conjured? No. While the newby was exposed, they would paint the dangling orbs with Prussian Blue, which we carried in quantity for its usefulness when lapping in valves and such.

    That stuff does not wash off. Maybe if you could apply steel wool, but no. Anytime up to a week before returning to home port and said newby (married newbies were the preferred target) would have to explain to the wife or girlfriend or both. “Worse case of blue balls you’d ever see.”

    And they lived, happily, after.

  29. I have been not working for three glorious days. This has resulted in things like dishes and groceries and laundry, which all sound like work of a different sort, but it also resulted in dinner with friends and going out to see a movie. I have fielded several phone calls and text messages asking me to do overtime though. I turned down two shifts but accepted two others. Balance, or progress towards it at least.

    And if you need a quick and painful method of death resulting in cyanosis, a punctured lung or two should do the job.

  30. Baseboards, house putting back together, lather, rinse, repeat.

    My new glasses came and they are great. I can see again!! The lenses are called anti fatigue and they are one step lower than progressives on the bifocal scale. I was well and truly horrified at how bad my distance vision was and I feel so much safer driving now.

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