A teaser…

A little snippet for you from my WIP…

Chicago, 1925

     “Just a prostitute,” the young beat cop said, taking in the drowned woman’s attire. The remnants of a thin, dark dress clung to her waterlogged form, making her skin paler still in the light from the patrol car’s headlights.

Detective Lang lit a cigarette and stepped closer, staring down at the body. The girl’s throat was mottled with bruises and her head sat at an awkward angle. The beat cop began to shift the body onto the sheet laying nearby on the bank, so that they could shift the body up the slope to where the morgue van waited. The girl’s head turned toward him, and though her face was puffy and her eyes closed, he recognized her.

She should have been dancing the night away at The Orpheus. Just last week, she had been, but now she was dead.

“Hurry it up, Jones,” he snapped to the beat cop. He paced back to his sedan and left them to deal with the corpse. How had she ended up in the river, so obviously murdered? She’d been on top of the world, popular and successful, and beautiful.

He stubbed out his cigarette and lit another. Important people would have to be told, and he didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news.

That’s all for now!

A new book!

I get excited over books. A new book by a favourite author? I’m dancing in the aisles of the bookstore (or tapping my fingers eagerly on the keys). So today, when the book has come in the mail (thank you Book Depository!), I can’t wait to get started.

What’s the book? Why, the latest in the Simone de Beauvoir series from the University of Illinois…

I have all the other books in this series (so far), and I can hardly wait to crack this one open!

From the U of Illinois site:

“The Useless Mouths” and Other Literary Writings brings to English-language readers literary writings–several previously unknown–by Simone de Beauvoir. Culled from sources including various American university collections, the works span decades of Beauvoir’s career. Ranging from dramatic works and literary theory to radio broadcasts, they collectively reveal fresh insights into Beauvoir’s writing process, personal life, and the honing of her philosophy.

I’m especially looking forward to reading the radio broadcasts and some of the dramatic works. If I don’t finish it by Christmas, I know exactly what I’ll be doing with my days off…

By the way, if you’re looking for a bit of an introduction to some of Simone de Beauvoir’s work, pick up one of the earlier works from the Beauvoir series, entitled ‘Philosophical Writings.’ It has quite a few of her scholarly essays. If you’re more of a memoir type, snag her ‘Wartime Diary’ or her ‘Diary of a Philosophy Student, Vol 1’. (And if fiction is your thing, ‘The Mandarins’ or ‘She Came to Stay’ are worth every penny.)

Julian Sands does Harold Pinter.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/edinburgh-festival/8692801/Edinburgh-2011-Julian-Sands-reads-a-poem-by-Harold-Pinter.html

Julian Sands reads a poem by Harold Pinter, from the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. (WordPress won’t let me use the Telegraph’s code to embed the flash video, so you’ll have to check it out at the link above.) I’m not very familiar with Pinter’s poetry – does anyone have a recommendation for an anthology (if there is one)?

ETA: Apparently Sands read from a copy of “Various Voices” during the production.

To use ‘think’ or ‘feel’? That is the question.

(feel: perceive, emotion, etc. / think: rational reasoning, objectivity)

I lay awake at night for at least an hour before my mind can usually quiet itself enough for sleep. And last night, my mind was muttering about something that had annoyed me.

That thing? People consistently using the phrase “I feel…” (or “How do you feel…”) when they really should be using “I think…”. I want to shout at them: “Feelings are for emotional states, and temperature!”

When someone says “I feel safer” in regards to (for example) airport/airline security procedures, that doesn’t mean that they actually *are* any safer. They may feel safe, but there is no proof that they really are any safer. A colleague asked me recently, “How do you feel things have been going?” I’m not going to say “I feel fine.” I’m going to say “I think they are going fine.” I have thought about it, and feelings don’t enter into it. If the situation isn’t working, it’s not working because something needs to be fixed.

Additionally, consider how strong a statement sounds when ‘think’ is substituted for ‘feel’. The latter ranks up there with ‘I believe’. I will give more consideration to an idea that has a rationale and facts behind it than something which is based entirely upon emotion or a belief.