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!
~~~

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.
~~~

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!

Comments

Jessica Bell said…
Thanks for posting about my book. :-) You'd like to butcher a hog??? LOLOL
Think I'll pass on the manure and baby.
Excited for Jessica - cool concept for a story.
Zan Marie said…
You've inspired me to measure myself against Heinlein's definition. ; )

And I'm doing well. I lack planing an invasion, butchering a hog, conning a ship, setting a bone, and dying gallantly. Not too shabby.

As always, your blog gives me food for thought.

Jessica, your novella sounds fascinating!
Hi Deniz .. my uncle was extremely keen on Josephine Tey's Daughter of Time - and I must settle and read it as I now have his copy.

I think India quoting Heinlein - has a point in this day and age .. I'm not sure we're as capable of doing things as post war ... and love 'die gallantly' ...

So much I'd love to be able to do .. I certainly have lost some skills of yore ..

Jessica's book - I must buy that ... it does sound intriguing ...

Good luck with those writing goals, let alone reading ones ...

The photos are great .. icebox sounds the word - looks positively freezing!! Hope you warm up .. we're out of the frost belt here ... thankfully ..

Cheers Hilary

Nas said…
Jessica's book looks interesting.

And Deniz, all the best with your goals.

Interesting about Heinlein.
S.P. Bowers said…
I did not know that about moment but now I can't wait to tell everyone!

Hey, if you ever want to change a diaper I can help you out.
J.L. Campbell said…
Hi, Deniz,
Somehow I got it stuck in my head that a moment was 60 seconds. You learn something new every day.

I've seen Jessica's book around. Sounds interesting.
Ciara said…
Those are some amazing reviews and praises for Jessica's book!
nutschell said…
wow. Jessica's book sounds very intriguing!
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com
Deniz Bevan said…
I don't think I could, Jessica, but I'd like to try. Maybe...

Me too, Alex!

You must have an invasion in your SF story, Zan Marie?

Ooh, I hope you like it, Hilary! I love Josephine Tey!

Thank you Nas and Ciara!

Thanks Sara :-)

Me too, Joy. I'll have to remember that a moment is longer than a minute... especially in my historicals.

It does, nutschell!
Carrie-Anne said…
I've never changed a diaper either, though I've observed it a few times. I'm crunchy within reason and so will be using cloth diapers if I have kids, and I'm so glad that these days cloth diapers no longer have pins. I've had a small brown dog-shaped scar on my right hip since babyhood because my dad couldn't change a diaper properly!
Deniz Bevan said…
I'd like to try cloth diapers too, Carrie-Anne! Aww, bet your dad felt so badly after!
Medeia Sharif said…
I nodded my head with your "I never" list.

I bookmarked the Amazon page for Jessica's novella.

Glynis said…
Mm, I might have to ask the farmer next door if I can do the Easter slaughter. LOL!

Good luck with all your projects during 2013, Deniz. :)
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks for coming by Medeia!

Aww, thanks, Glynis :-)

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