Heinlein on the Competent Man, and New Books by Jessica Bell and Malachy McCourt

Learning something new every day is so much fun!

I've learned a few new words from reading lots of Josephine Tey this past week. Love her Englishness and mystery and the gentle wittiness of her characters.

And thanks to India Drummond's recent post on learning, I've discovered that a moment is actually a real unit of time; a medieval unit equal to 90 seconds!

India also quoted Heinlein: "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly."

In keeping with my how many books from which countries have I read question, let's see what I've got from the above list:

I can: write a sonnet (with help from Stephen Fry), balance accounts, take and give orders, cooperate and act alone (this sounds like a cover letter for a job application), solve equations (as long as it's algebra and not calculus), analyze a new problem, programme a computer (er, maybe?), and cook a tasty meal.

I've not had a chance, but would like to: change a diaper, butcher a hog, conn a ship (whatever that means), design a building (does LEGO count?), build a wall, and pitch manure.

I have never, and hope I don't need to: plan an invasion, set a bone (unless I was a doctor, but here I'm imagining a field of injured following the planned invasion), comfort the dying (as in, I don't want anyone close to me to die any time soon, and that's why I don't plan invasions), fight efficiently (though I hope I could, if an invasion ever came to pass), and die gallantly (well, we'll see about that one someday).

What else would you add to this remarkable list?

I hadn't known the competent man was a bit of a trope - I'm very surprised that Jamie Fraser isn't on that list!

In other new items, there are two new books coming out!

Through Irish Eyes, A visual companion to Angela McCourt's Ireland, with a foreword by his brother, Malachy McCourt:


And then there's the awesome Jessica Bell!
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Ever wondered how a five-year-old girl perceives the world? Then you definitely need to get your hands on THE BOOK, a novella by Jessica Bell.

Check out these awesome reviews:
"Jessica Bell’s surprising risks with language capture a child’s clear vision in a world of adult heartbreak. Indelible. Courageous." ~Thaisa Frank, author of Heidegger's Glasses and Enchantment

"THE BOOK is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. It's going to rip your blood pump out of your chest, kick it around like a football, and then shove it back inside you, leaving you with a potently reinvigorated faith in humanity. A curiously captivating read that somehow manages to encapsulate the length and breadth of love and family in one slim volume." ~Josh Donellan, author of Zeb and the Great Ruckus

Here's the blurb:
This book is not The Book. The Book is in this book. And The Book in this book is both the goodie and the baddie.

Bonnie is five. She wants to bury The Book because it is a demon that should go to hell. Penny, Bonnie’s mother, does bury The Book, but every day she digs it up and writes in it. John, Bonnie’s father, doesn’t live with them anymore. But he still likes to write in it from time to time. Ted, Bonnie’s stepfather, would like to write in The Book, but Penny won’t allow it.

To Bonnie, The Book is sadness.
To Penny, The Book is liberation.
To John, The Book is forgiveness.
To Ted, The Book is envy.
But The Book in this book isn’t what it seems at all.

If there was one thing in this world you wished you could hold in your hand, what would it be? The world bets it would be The Book.

Intrigued?

Available at all major retailers in e-book and paperback, including Amazon US and Amazon UK.
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I'm chugging along on my ROW80 goals. Next up is typing up a few scenes that were missing, which I wrote last month, and editing them as I type. I sent off a couple more queries...

I can't wait until I'm at a stage - hopefully by the end of the year - when I have (*counts on fingers*) four edited novels, one edited novella, and a couple of edited short stories. Then I can query in earnest!

And I leave you with images! I've blabbed about Shari Blaukopf's drawings before (especially during our snowstorm); recently she featured a lovely panorama of Montreal:


And then there's this one from the local paper, taken during our week of c. -35C (Yes. It was absolutely icebox):


Hope everyone's having a warm week!
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