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A to Z Challenge 2016 Q as in Quintessential

QWelome back to The A to Z Challenge on Living the Dream. This year’s challenge has been a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and explore new horizons. I’ve visited more than 200 blogs to date and have had my best days ever for likes, follows, and visitors. I’ve had guests drop by from all over the world, and I’ve visted them in return. If you aren’t part of the blog hop, consider signing up next year– you have a whole year to think of 26 posts!

Today’s letter is one of the tough ones–the letter Q. I thought of talking about qualities again, or perhaps quotes in general, but instead I chose a word people rarely use. Q is for Quintessential. Definition quintessential

Today, I want to talk about the literary character I admire most, Sherlock Holmes, the quintessential observer. Interestingly enough, the font used for this image is called quintessential.  quintessential-Sherlock holmes

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the books depicting what is surely the world’s best known detective, had a way with words that many writers, including myself, aspire to emulate. Since I write suspense romance, the power of observation, even the smallest detail, can be essential to a story. Over the years, many actors have attempted to portray the wily detective–some have done a better job that others.  Some of these I know; others are a mystery. Basil Rathbone was the quintessential Sherlock Holmes just as Sean Connery is the quintessential James Bond. How many can you name? How many have you seen in action? Did you love their portrayal? Did you hate it?


Two nights ago, I watched a new Sherlock Holmes movie, one that touched me deeply. It was simply called Mr. Holmes. Mr. Holmes

This film really got to me, and I think it’s because it touched on my greatest fear–senility. If we agree that Sherlock Holmes didn’t drown at the hands of Dr. Moriarity, then the quintessential detective grew old. Ian McKellen protrays Sherlock Holmes long past his time. He’s a lonely old man who gave up detective work because of his last case. After seeing Dr. Watson’s version of the case brought to life on the screen, he determines to “fix the inaccuracies” in the story, but there’s a problem–his memory is failing. I won’t spoil the story, but surfice it to say, I was in tears a couple of times.

Seeing the quintessential detective struggle to be the person he was, capable of doing what he did, brings home the nature of our humanity and the fragility of our bodies and minds. To me, Sherlock Holmes will always be the best deductive reasoner– ficitonal or real makes no difference.

Now, please hop over to the A to Z Challenge List to check out other incredible blogs.




Finally retired after more than 30 years as a teacher! Now, I get to spend my time gardening, enjoying my grandchildren, and writing. I finally completed the number one item in my bucket list and Crimson Romance published my first novel, Fire Angel, in April 2013. Since then I have published 24 manuscripts to date and don't plan to quit writing for a long time yet.

9 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge 2016 Q as in Quintessential

  1. What a wonderful word and I so rarely get a chance to throw it around!

    You have hit upon the one thing about the character Sherlock Holmes I’ve always envied- his power of observation. Most of us tend to wander through a typical day on autopilot without really paying attention to the small details. Although we aren’t solving grand mysteries like Holmes, life can be so much more interesting when we’re in observation mode!

  2. I think this sounds like a very moving movie. I know that I, like you, would be in tears. Anything to do with senility, Alzheimer’s, any form of dementia gets to me. My grandma had Alzheimer’s and I am now having some similar battles of my own. It is very scary.

    Thank you for another great post. Have a blessed evening!

  3. It must be hard for any actor to play Holmes, it’s some huge shoes to fill. I happen to love BBC’s Sherlock, the modern take is just fabulous. But Jeremy Brett was always a favorite of mine, he gave the role something special. I haven’t seen Mr. Holmes yet, but it sounds like a powerful film. Great use of the letter Q. Quintessential is not a word you hear very often, but it sure fits.

    Robin from Write On Sisters

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