05 June 2019

Five Red Herrings, Volume 11

1. Pictures from a Prosecution. Back in 2017 the Library of Congress held an exhibit of unusual art: drawings by courtroom illustrators. Fascinating stuff including such sinister types as Charles Manson, Bernie Madoff, and (?) J.K. Rowling.

2. Man, that's succubustic. I have mentioned Lowering the Bar before. A wonderful website about all that is ridiculous in the world of law. This entry concerns a California attorney who used (invented, really) the word "succubustic' to describe the behavior of a female judge who refused to grant him the attorney's fees he wanted. (Apparently the lawyer worked very hard on the case, clocking 25 hours in a single day, for instance.) He also referred to the "defendant's pseudohermaphroditic misconduct." Stylish.

3. Write like a girl. Useful for all of us boy author types: Women Share the Biggest Mistakes Male Authors Make with Female Characters. Here's one from jennytrout: "We have never, ever looked in a mirror and silently described our nude bodies to ourselves, especially the size/shape/weight/resemblance to fruit, etc. of our breasts."

4. Write like a cop. From Robin Burcell, Top Ten Stupid Cop Mistakes (in Fiction). "Only some of the bosses are evil or stupid..."

 5. "Dieoramas." Article from Topic Magazine about Abigail Goldman, who  is an investigator for the Public Defender's office in my county. Her hobby is making tiny 3-D "reproductions" of entirely fictional murder scenes. Creepy...


  1. Another set of winners, Rob.

    Actually, I think Abigail Goldman's hobby is weirdly cool. Not that I'd turn my back on her, but artistic.

  2. This is an excellent posting with good information. I'm fortunate to have a wife who has been an associate publisher/art director/writer/editor who helps me get information about women correct. Even small things like about earrings and shoes.

  3. This post illustrates why writers love librarians- they know where the good stuff is hidden!

  4. Two of my pieces above are about art. Here's another: In today's Seattle Times there is an article about Weegee, the crime photographer that both Eve and Paul have written about here. A man now lviing in Seattle recently discovered a batch of crime photos he purchased in a junk shop in Philadelphia for two bucks back inthe 1970s. Turned out they are from Weegee's formative period and he should make considerably more than 2 bicks off them... https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/visual-arts/seattle-man-finds-a-cache-of-historic-photos-by-famed-crime-photographer-weegee-in-his-kitchen-cabinet/

  5. Love these, Rob. Obviously the "succubistic" attorney never read the Biggest Mistakes Male Writers make About Women. First of which being that the only reason a female judge will pay attention to your insults is to send you to jail.

  6. Lotsa fun, Rob! I agree w/ Leigh regarding the Dieoramas. Make them historical (Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination? Julius Caesar’s?) and history teachers have a new kind of homework assignment in their arsenal.

  7. Fun and interesting stuff here, Rob. Especially the Dieoramas. Love that. I once made a little tableau of Princess Di that might have been called a dieorama... Some people thought it was funny. Others thought it in very poor taste. As for getting things right, it's always good to try but sometimes just for dramatic license I have done things I know are wrong. I always worry about them, and hopefully they're not huge things, but I have to admit it and take my punishment.

  8. PS -- And now in reading your comment about the guy who found the Weegee pix: Wow! Yeah, I think he'll make more than a couple bucks. Great story and great pix. Can't wait to see more of them.

  9. I don't know what's more disturbing about that 3D printed crime scene. The dog who ate that poor guy, or how nonchalant the woman lounging on the bed is about it. -Bob D.


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