Mystillery Newsletter #4 - December 2020

Mystillery Newsletter #4
Dec 1 2020

New challengers!

We have had a rash of new challengers signing up for the various challenges. Part of this may be due to the new unified advance signup page, which we didn't have before - people would just trickle in upon their first submissions. The possible downside, of course, is that once signed up, some people may not participate; a real bummer as it takes a bit of effort to code them into the challenges.

Finding new authors

One nice aspect of the challenges is that you get to see what others are reading. Has this turned you on to new authors of which you were unaware? Susan (Avid Series Reader) has now got me going on Martha Grimes and the Richard Jury series.

Color codes for 2021!

We have snazzy new buttons across the top of each challenge page for 2021, so you can quickly click across the various challenges.

The color of each button matches the background color of each challenge.

Profile pics

When a challenger signs up, I try to find/lift a profile pic from their social media/email account. If I can't find one, I set an icon representative of their location. Of course, you are in charge of your profile pic. If you prefer a different one, just email it to me. I can crop it down to size.

Mystillery news

The creepy Mystillery is the home page of the challenges. A new grid format has been added so you can quickly locate the archived challenges.

Medical Examiner news

The individual clipboards have been tweaked - instead of a generic clipboard icon in the title bar, they now show the examiner's profile pic. You may notice that which clicking the clipboard icon from the challenge page, a second window or tab will open. This allows you to keep the main challenge page window open, and just click through the various clipboards using two windows for your viewing pleasure.

The search engine is all installed now. The database used by the search engine only crawls the site and updates on the first of each month, so it will not find content added during the current month - until the next monthly crawl. A bit of trivia: although the descriptor next to the search box prompts you for title or author, it really searches every darn word on the site. So you can put other search terms in and it will work.

Six Shooter news

Thinking about setting your reading goals for 2021? You can set up your targets for the 2021 challenge now. Just email me at rickmills9@gmail.com with the names of your new author(s) and I will set up their targets in the 2020 challenge for you, then they will roll over to the 2021 challenge. Don't worry about the effect on your TCP *, it is not affected by the number of active targets you have up (we have an infinite number of lanes).

Six Shooter secret: The Six Shooter does not have a search box. However, you can still search the page easily to find a specific author/title. Type [CTRL]+F. On a Mac, [Apple +F]. This opens a search box under the title bar. This only searches the current page, but everything is on one page anyhow. This trick works for any web page.

If your target line is colored red, it is in danger of being deleted for 2021 due to non-activity.

We are approaching the great January 1 rollover!

Beachcomber news

Here is a tweak to the prize plan for the Beachcomber challenge. At the close of the challenge, ten participants (chosen at random from those who have filled four beach bags), will receive a beach-related prize.

The original Beachcomber plan was for the first ten challengers to complete the challenge to win prizes, but this had a couple of issues. First, it tended to turn the challenge into a race, which is not the intent. Second, it was not fair to participants who may join later in the year.

This also makes the award scheme consistent with the other challenges.

Prizes awarded from Beachcomber, Medical Examiner, and Six Shooter will be mutually exclusive - that is, you can't win a prize from more than one challenge.

Century Club news

The challenge page has been cleaned up to clearly separate the "members" (those who have completed the challenge) from the "applicants" (those who are in process).

Also, we don't want this to drag on forever, so applicants are expected to submit at least one book per year. If there are no submissions for a period of one year, that application will be considered abandoned and quietly escorted out the kitchen door and tossed on the loading dock. The date of last activity/submission is shown on the challenge page.

Best description ever?

Yikes, check out this description from Nancy Barr Mavity's The Body on the Floor (1929):

The crowd had poured slowly, steadily into the dark interior of the undertaking parlors in a viscous, flowing mass. The porch still overflowed with those who had found no room inside, coagulating at the windows and doors, clotted on the steps.

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borrowed from Bev Hankins' Facebook page


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