J. Allen Wolfrum is a fiction author and former Marine based in San Diego, California.


Sherlock and a Sunny Christmas with Exploding Kittens

Sherlock and a Sunny Christmas with Exploding Kittens


I finished reading Where the Long Grass Grows by Louis L’Amour and started a compilation of Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The first story is titled, A Study in Scarlet, which describes how Dr. John Watson met Sherlock Holmes for the first time.

In their initial meeting, Sherlock Holmes deduces that Dr. Watson had recently returned from military service in Afghanistan.  The story was written in 1887, and Mark Twain said it best--history might not repeat but it certainly rhymes.

As I was reading, my thoughts kept wandering towards the Sherlock TV series on BBC. It’s hard to read the original stories without replacing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s description of Sherlock with Bernard Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock in the BBC TV series.  My plan is to finish reading A Study in Scarlet before picking up another book.  The original Sherlock Holmes stories are great but I don’t think I can make it through all four in a row.


Lots of unanticipated work on the book this week. The changes keep getting smaller and more focused which seems like a good thing. I read through each chapter again, made a few small editorial changes and added a chapter at the end of the book. I think adding the short chapter at the end of the book will give readers an opportunity to take a breath after the final action scene and it emphasizes the controlling idea of the book, justice prevails when heroes sacrifice their personal ego for the greater good.

The final step before publishing the book to Amazon is the cover art, which should be complete at the end of this week.

My goal is to get my first book, Selected, published on Amazon by the first week of January.

I also spent some time going over the first few chapters of my next book, which I’m tentatively calling, Plan B.

In the first few chapters I wrote, I tried to shove in a bunch of back story from the perspectives of characters that don’t continue throughout the book. Scrapping those chapters isn’t a total loss, it gave me the opportunity to think through the story line.


Lots of action at the Catranch this week. A Christmas tree in the house means new smells and fun toys for Richard and Pamela. Pam thinks the water in the tree stand is the bee’s knees. Rich wants the bacon scraps from Christmas breakfast integrated into his daily diet.

We spent Saturday in La Jolla, walking around town and at the beach. It doesn’t seem like Christmas time when you’re wearing a flip flops and sunglasses at the beach. Not a complaint, just an observation, I’ll take sunny SoCal over a snow storm and sub zero weather any day.

On our way back from the La Jolla tide pools, we wandered into a used bookstore and I found a copy of The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy. I’m excited to start reading it after I finish the Sherlock Holmes story.

The week ended with a visit from friends who introduced us to the Exploding Kittens card game.  It’s similar to Cards Against Humanity and made by the creator of The Oatmeal website. We had a lot of fun playing, it doesn’t require an overwhelming amount of thought and the rules are simple, defuse the exploding kitten, or you lose.



Thanks for making it this far into my rambling. Hang in there, I promise these posts will get better as time goes on. I’ll eventually find a rhythm that works.


Books, Chickens, Salmon Tacos, and SoCal Sunshine

Books, Chickens, Salmon Tacos, and SoCal Sunshine

Struggling Through Point of View

Struggling Through Point of View