A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Madison’s Grandma was written and serialized for wdfyfe.net in September 2019. Now, revised, it’s the starting point for the Songs of Sylvia. Although the original tale was not “old and lousy,” the new story is definitely “new and improved.” All the other Songs of Sylvia fill in some of the blanks in Mrs. Ferguson’s past. Of course, there are still many gaps and other events that might, one day, bear telling. After all, Sylvia Harrow was a remarkable young woman, and anyone who knows Mrs. Ferguson knows that her adventures aren’t over yet. But, for now, Songs of Sylvia is available as an ebook. It’s a quick read – 150 pages, and you can order it. — HERE —
And for those of you who are not familiar with the original tale.
Mrs. Ferguson kept a tidy house. She loved her garden, sang in the church choir and exercised religiously three times a week. Madison, her granddaughter, thought she was the perfect milk-and-cookies grandma. However, grandmas don’t just magically appear out of nowhere. Somewhere, they all have their own stories. And sometimes, all it takes is an odd coincidence to open them up like a half-forgotten book.
When a young woman is abducted in Rome, that book opens for Madison and her grandma. It takes them from the tidy little house in Denver halfway around the world to Istanbul. It’s an exotic world where grandma’s old friends laugh and dance and carry guns. It brings Mrs. Ferguson face to face with the girl she once was, the girl she thought she’d left behind. And it shows Madison that her grandma isn’t exactly as advertised.
Last Week’s Puzzle
There are five houses in a row. Each is painted a different colour and each inhabitant is a different nationality. They each own different pets, drink different beverages and drive different cars.
From the clues below, deduce who drinks water and who owns the zebra.
1 – The Englishman lives in the red house.
2 – The Spaniard owns a dog.
3 – Coffee is drunk in the green house.
4 – The Ukrainian drinks tea.
5 – The green house is immediately to the right of the ivory house.
6 – The man who owns snails drives a Buick.
7 – The man in the yellow house drives a Cadillac.
8 – Milk is drunk in the middle house.
9 – The Norwegian lives in the first house.
10 – The man who drives a Ford lives next to the man who owns a fox.
11 – The house with the Cadillac is next to the house with the horse.
12 – The man who drives the Chevrolet drinks orange juice.
13 – The man from Japan drives a Dodge.
14 – The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
Last Week’s Solution
Since we think spatially, the best method of solving last week’s quiz is to draw five boxes on a sheet of paper. Then, write each variable on something like a Post-it note so you can move it around. Begin by joining the values that go together. For example, we know the Spaniard owns a dog, so those two would be connected. Next, position the values we know to be true. Again, we know the Norwegian lives in the first house, so place him there, etc. Then use the connected clues to eliminate impossibilities. From Clue 4 we have the Green House connected to Coffee and from Clue 6 we know that it’s to the right of the Ivory House. Therefore, since we know the second house is blue and milk is drunk in the middle house, we can conclude the 4th house is Ivory and the 5th house is green. We now know the Englishman lives in the middle house! Then it’s only a matter of following the clues to discover the Norwegian drinks water and the Japanese guy has a zebra.