Friday, September 25, 2009

Ambrose Bierce - the Devil's Dictionary #1

Ambrose Bierce wrote several sarcastic, witty definitions. I have posted some related to crime and law here. For more, see .

1. ACCOMPLICE, n. One associated with another in a crime, having guilty knowledge and complicity, as an attorney who defends a criminal, knowing him guilty. This view of the attorney's position in the matter has not hitherto commanded the assent of attorneys, no one having offered them a fee for assenting.

2. CEMETERY, n. An isolated suburban spot where mourners match lies, poets write at a target and stone-cutters spell for a wager.

3. CUI BONO? [Latin] What good would that do me?

4. DEBAUCHEE, n. One who has so earnestly pursued pleasure that he has had the misfortune to overtake it.

5. EMBALM, v.i. To cheat vegetation by locking up the gases upon which it feeds.

6. FUNERAL, n. A pageant whereby we attest our respect for the dead by enriching the undertaker, and strengthen our grief by an expenditure that deepens our groans and doubles our tears.

7. GUILLOTINE, n. A machine which makes a Frenchman shrug his shoulders with good reason.

8. GUNPOWDER, n. An agency employed by civilized nations for the settlement of disputes which might become troublesome if left unadjusted. By most writers the invention of gunpowder is ascribed to the Chinese, but not upon very convincing evidence. Milton says it was invented by the devil to dispel angels with, and this opinion seems to derive some support from the scarcity of angels.

9. HABEAS CORPUS. A writ by which a man may be taken out of jail when confined for the wrong crime.

10. HATRED, n. A sentiment appropriate to the occasion of another's superiority.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"Bordello Blood" or "The Hooker Book" or...

The Hooker Book

Okay, that’s not the actual title... it’s just how I have always referred to it. The working title is “Bordello Blood” and that will likely change. An alternate title is “Mourning Prostitutional” but I’m not 100% sure the pun works...

Anyhow, the manuscript is done, finished, signed, sealed, delivered... no contract for it yet, but hope springs eternal...

As you may have guessed from the titles and alternate names, it’s about the sex trade. The idea came to me in December 2008. I had just finished an essay for one of my MA courses. The essay was on equality and fair treatment for sex workers. I dug up a pile of mind-boggling facts and statistics, and all sorts of interesting/shocking research and notes (much of which didn’t make it into the final essay just because of maximum word count).

Some of the stuff I had learned was just way too interesting to be deleted or tossed into the recycling bin with all the other papers and outlines and rough copies of the essay. As well, I have long wanted to write about something to do with Mexico. So, there you go, that was the genesis of Bordello Blood, or The Hooker Book ,or Mourning Prostitutional, or whatever it ends up being called*.

I started writing it in mid-December 2008 and completed the whole thing by May 2009. In it, you’ll see many of the characters you met in Blood and Groom: Lindsey is back, as are Shane and Jessica. To learn more about the plot, check out the synopsis listed under July postings.

** Another title just came to me: I think I like “Dead Light District”... what do you think?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What's on Sasha's Bookshelf

Sasha loves to read when she has time between cases. Naturally she's a mystery fan, so her bookcase has the following crime and detective novels:

-The whole Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich

-Most of the Inspector Morse books by Dexter

-Several dog-eared books in the Nero Wolfe series (about the only books Sasha will re-read). She even has the series continuation by Goldsborough.

-Letters D through N of Sue Grafton's alphabet series starring Kinsey

-The McNally series by Lawrence Sanders (carried on by Lardo), plus the Commandments and the Deadly Sins, but none of his stand alone titles.

Other than mystery fiction, Sasha's bookshelves also have miscellaneous non-fiction, humorous books and some almost "capital L" Literature, like:

-Biography of Winston Churchill

-To Kill a Mockingbird - one of her faves

-Dreams from My Father

-Animal Farm

-Barney's Version - laugh out loud funny!

-Crime and Punishment

-Catch 22

-Everything by Jasper Fforde (Thursday Next is better than Nursery Crimes, but all are worth reading)

-The Essential Dalai Lama

-Everything by Christopher Moore 

-The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson

-The last 16 issues of MAD Magazine

-Every issue of Billboard, going back about ten years.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Quotations about crime, law, etc.

Quotations about crime, law, and so on...

Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they? - George Carlin

Obviously crime pays, or there’d be no crime. - G. Gordon Liddy

The key is to commit crimes so confusing that police feel too stupid to even write a crime report about them. – Randy K. Milholland

Behind every great fortune there is a crime. -Honore de Balzac

Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole lifestyle a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect. – Hunter S. Thompson

A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers. – H.L. Mencken

If it weren’t for my lawyer, I’d still be in prison. It went a lot faster with two people digging. - Joe Martin

The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced. - Frank Zappa

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. - Voltaire

The reason there is so little crime in Germany is that it’s against the law. - Alex Levin

We live in an age when pizza gets to your home before the police. - Jeff Marder

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A few more lines I like... from Blood and Groom

At a spa retreat: The scrawny clerk with her granite complexion and tombstone teeth was hardly a walking advertisement for the “New and Improved You” espoused by this holistic hell.

Some say money is the root of all evil, but I say it’s the root, trunk, branches, and all.

Clowns at my wedding? Other than the bride and groom, I’d have never thought of it.

Was fate trying to tell me something? Like maybe I should take up recreational glue sniffing?

I got a call from Mick, asking me what kind of flowers I’d choose for my bridal bouquet. “Dandelions,” I said.