Thursday, February 01, 2007


An upstairs toilet or communal latrine perched between two houses, c.15th c.
(source is the Bibliotheque Nationale)
However, the man at ground level makes use of a convenient corner.

Always of more minds than a MPD patient when I see a plot point made visible in the news.

Police arrest 8 men in Britain in alleged plot to kidnap, behead victim (Yahoo News)

Close, very close, to one of Damie's later adventures.

Yes, I know there is nothing new under the sun, no scenario that had not been done and done again, and that truth - and people - are far more strange than fiction.

Still, it gives one an eerie feeling. A sense of shock. Suddently, it is not just fiction one is fooling with.
One one hand, I think ha, validation. The scheme in the novel is not far-fetched, remote, beyond the bounds of ordinary reality.
No one can claim it is one of those conspiracies that will never happen. Not preposterous, ridiculous, impossible, etc. QED!
On the other, it is a bit disconcerting to know that one's mental logic may parallel terrorists' thoughts and plots in pertinent detail.
One hastily dismisses that conclusion as a natural consequence of reasoning and research.
After all, writers have to be a bit cold-blooded.
The venial personna calculates the effect should this plot have been uncovered about the time said fiction hit the bookshops - though sometimes such a repetition of reality can be a negative, rather than a sales booster. Like the fellow whose novel about subway bombings in London was due release on der tag.
Terrorism - in its present incarnation - is one of those hot-button, automatic no's for some agents. They will not entertain an MS containing terrorism as part of the conflict.
One wonders if such proof, evidence, demonstration, will make them more reluctant rather than less.
It's still a crap shoot.


December Quinn said...

It all just makes me want to go hide, Bernita. Seriously. I see names I've used, phrases, anything...even the cars my characters drive, in another book, and have fits.

December Quinn said...

BTW, I think there's a lot more than just one terrorism plot going on in your book, I wouldn't worry!

Carla said...

Logic is logic, I suppose.
It's part of the world and isn't going to go away.

Bernita said...

Happens quite a lot to many people, December, from what I've read on message boards.
And yesterday I was reading a novel where the main female character voice a complaint of mine exactly: That by the time I learn the rules, they will have changed them!
Something I've been saying for years.

It always has been, I think, Carla, but people don't realize it.

BTW, keep getting a bx-vjhbsj error when I click on both your sites.And others.
Am going to try from here, rather than my favourites list.

Bailey Stewart said...

On the other, it is a bit disconcerting to know that one's mental logic may parallel terrorists' thoughts and plots in pertinent detail.


Bailey Stewart said...

Bernita - I just got the same error when trying another blogger site - it's them, not us.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post. Something that is thought about more often in the past several years than had been previously, I think.

Most of us can think and write a lot of things we wouldn't actually do. I know I can, at least not in my current state of Grace. -V95

Anonymous said...

Just FYI. I tried December's site and got the same error. -V95

Scott said...

The man may have made use of a convenient corner, but what a shitty spot to lie in!

I think a terrorist story will find its way to the shelves be it in six months or a year. I wouldn't avoid any story if it has legs. What is new will be new again in time.

December Quinn said...

It's stupid Blogger. I'm having the same problem on some sites today, and it won't let me view comments on some of the ones it lets me access.

Bernita said...

I just have an evil mind, Bailey.

On this side of the pond, that's so, V95.
And people have forgotten the Red Brigade and a dozen others of that ilk.

Erm, Scott, he's not having a nap.

Doesn't seem to be any pattern to the sites one can't access either.

Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

And yesterday I was reading a novel where the main female character voice a complaint of mine exactly: That by the time I learn the rules, they will have changed them!

This is so true, Bernita. All I can do is to concentrate on crafting the best story possible without regard to current trends--otherwise I'd drive myself crazy. By the time the manuscript is completed and makes its rounds whatever was previously verboten may very well have been forgotten and could even be the new craze. Who knows?

Scott from Oregon said...

In 1981, I came up with a slogan to silkscreen on T-shirts to help night crew coworkers keep on going at 4 am.

"Just Do It!"

(Even this anecdote feels rehashed. Did I tell you this before?)

With so many books rolling around out here now, you are bound to cross facts with many of them. I mean, the bible is not the first time creation myths were tackled...

I was a bit worried for your safety when you mentioned you were the mastermind of the plot to behead said Englishman... Tell the authorities not to approach your front door. You have a sign up...

raine said...

...One one hand, I think ha, validation. The scheme in the novel is not far-fetched, remote, beyond the bounds of ordinary reality.

Sounds like you've tapped into the universal field there, Bernita. Eerie, but exciting!

And I'm not sure there IS such a thing as a 'conspiracy that will never happen'.

Anonymous said...

I've had mucho problems getting into your site. There are probably dozens of writers out there, if not more, who are working on a story that is similar to one everyone here is working on. Getting lucky is the biggest key to getting it published, other than it being written well.

spyscribbler said...

It is scary. We try so hard to imagine what could happen, what terrorists would do. When it does happen, it just feels freaky. All of a sudden I wonder: if I came up with something like that, then what does that say about me?

Bernita said...

I'm neither fast enough nor smart enough to target current trends, Daisy.
BTW, you looked so cute as the crab-fest. Blogger would let me read, but not let me post.

Bernita said...

Not quite like that, Scott.

I'm sure there isn't, Raine, but an amazing number of people are innocent.

Steve, even I've had problems posting on my site and most of my favourites.Thank you for keeping at it.

Bernita said...

I rely on precedent, Spy, for terrorist actions.
Still, it is a bit of a creep.

Erik Ivan James said...

Not being nearly a good enough student of literature trends, I have wondered, however, if readers buy "events of the day" books for their fantasy and pleasure, or do they instead buy "events of the past or future". Don't know.

Robyn said...

I do sometimes wonder about myself. I've come up with some sick things in my time.

This post made me think about one of Tom Clancy's books- terrorists blow up the President and most of congress during a State of the Union address. Exciting read, but in the back of my head I was saying, "Don't give them any ideas!"

Bernita said...

I don't really know, Erik.
Some events are "hot," like the Raid on Entebbe; others, the public prefers they be mature.

I'm afraid, Robyn, that the devoted terrorist is way ahead of the writer regarding "ideas."

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Euughh!! That picture! More than I wanted to see eating lunch..LOL

Hey if you think that news story is bizarre, how about the one yesterday about the Turner promotion that looked like bombs...they did it in ten cities...LOL...In New York the cops just dismantled them. Goes to show how many nuts they deal with on a daily basis!

Boy heads are going to roll over that!

Bernita said...

The thing is, Bonnie, I don't think the story is the least bit bizarre.

Gabriele C. said...

Writing historical fiction has a few advantages. :)

archer said...

The guy in the big red hat is getting ready to flush.

Bernita said...

Indeeed, Gabriele. Any mayhem accepted.

Now, Archer.

Donnetta Lee said...

Bernita: I agree. Writers can be cold. You know how sometimes you keep running into the same idea/thought/phrase repeatedly? Lately, I keep bumping into: "There is nothing new under the sun." It's been shadowing me for days. Remember, the collective unconscious. Splains a lot. Donnetta

Shesawriter said...

This has happened to me more times than I'd like to remember. It's a nightmare.

Bernita said...

My apologies for the cliche, Donnetta.
I did recognize it as such.

It's also validation of a sort, Tanya.

writtenwyrdd said...

Know what's scary-funny? When 9/11 happened, the defense guys went to Hollywood writers and said, come up with scenarios. That's because their pre-planning had missed the obvious plane-as-bomb, so they wanted people with imaginations to come up with scenarios.

Even as I kid, I couldn't believe that the government couldn't come up with some of the stuff that I envisioned as possible.

Bernita said...

During the cold war, Written, a version of that story was going around - that the CIA contacted writers of thrillers to get a handle on what the Russians might try next.
It's not implausible - that agencies might resource the concept people.

writtenwyrdd said...

Well, I did read some actual articles about outsourcing for creative minds a few years back... Don't ask me where, probably on the internet, but I did read them.