Friday, April 9, 2010

John Grisham Novels Based on Things that "Really, Really Happened"?

Now, I don't think Ive read everything that John Grisham's written, but I have read a fair amount. His books make for an entertaining airplane read, as evidenced by the fact that my husband refers to all of them as The Business Traveler.

"What are you reading, honey?"
"John Grisham's The Business Traveler. I picked it up at O'Hare."

But. As a lawyer and a sentient human being, I have to wonder about a quote Grisham gave to the Yale Daily News, in which he says that his novels "go back to something that really, really happened." What I presume he means is that they have as their seed a nugget of something that could conceivably happen. To wit: In The Firm, our hero eventually brings down the bad guys by giving the feds evidence that the partners have been padding their bills, which amounted to mail fraud. This was clever and believable. Less believable were the mounting body count, firm-arranged liasion with a prostitute on a Caribbean island, and the $10 million or so dollars the young attorney escapes with at the end.

Is this a bad thing? Of course not. Trust me, a book about what really happens in the practice of law would be titled The Insomniac's Companion.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hilarious McSweeney's List

I sent out some queries this morning, in which I use the phrase "taut legal thriller," so I googled it and hit upon this gem from McSweeney's. Titles Still Available for Taut, Fast-Paced Legal Thrillers.

I can't decide which I like better, Approach the Bench or Continuance Granted.

Monday, January 25, 2010

An Elegant Solution

Well, it's been a while since I've blogged. In part, the radio silence was the result of the holiday madness; in part, the reality that I am the only one reading this, so I can simply think my incredibly deep thoughts and not write them down; and, in part, the fact that I cannot find enough time to write.

Having finished my practice book and relegated it to the dusty corners of a flash drive, I started my WIP in early December. I know where I want to go with it but . . . each and every time I sit down and open the file, some electromagnetic pulse must alert my sons to the fact that mommy is about to start writing. They appear out of nowhere and need me urgently to settle a dispute, put someone down for a nap, make them a snack, you name it. Even if they're SLEEPING---I open the file and BOOM! Awake, needy children materialize.

So, I could hardly justify using my meager writing time posting on a blog read only by me.

Why, then am I here? Ah, I have hit upon a solution that is elegant in its simplicity. Just like an elegant solution in science or math, I can now achieve my maximum desired effect with the simplest effort. Have I auctioned off the children on eBay? I have not. Moved out? Nope. I am writing the first draft in longhand. You know, with a pen and paper.

My output has skyrocketed since I decided to start carrying around a 99-cent notebook. I can be in the same room as the kids (who, at 2 and 4, really don't want to play with me, but just want me around) and can scribble away. Writing while lifeguarding during bath time? Check. In the car? Check (so long as the beloved husband is driving). While waiting for the cookies in the oven to bake? Check.

Now, I thought the drawback here would be the inefficiency of writing everything down and then typing it out, but it turns out, I automatically do a light-to-moderate edit while I word process it. If a phrase jars me or I spot an error, I just correct it as I go along. I figure this is actually more efficient than composing at the keyboard.

I am most pleased.