Thursday, February 4, 2010

Spy School

Much as I adore Joris, I sometimes hate to admit it when he suggests something and I resist, and then it turns out he’s right… it’s that Know-It-All thing… I’m one. He’s one. Inevitably there is a power struggle (or some pudding wrestling). The image in my head is of a mama cat smacking down a kitten that won’t leave her be… probably because he periodically meows at me, but in reality, the exercise is good for me.

For those of you who don’t know, Joris is my Dutch Boy (everybody needs one)… and okay, fine, he’s not entirely MINE, except if you were to use it in the form of MY friend, and he isn’t technically a BOY anymore—you’re 20, yes, Joris? But when I met him, he was only 16, so there’s my excuse. He does a ton of fabulous graphics things for me (which I am extremely thankful for because I ADMIT knowing nothing on THAT topic), frequently without even being asked, because he’s thoughtful (and I suspect likes to do graphic stuff when he’s avoiding term papers).

But I am the writer… (spelling mistakes corrected, fine, typos, okay… actual WRITING…. ME!)

This Particular Lesson

You may remember my requesting some reading on art thievery and spy training… I wanted fiction. I got some book recommendations.

Joris:  “if you’re doing research, why would you want fiction?” (this would be where the mama cat smacks him)

Me: “er… because it’s more interesting to read?” (aren't I articulate?)

It’s true. I am painfully intolerant of the fact list version of things most non-fiction has. I like a nice story woven in or frankly, I just can’t maintain my attention span.

So I read my two Iain Pears’ Art Theft books first… (and enjoyed them!)

By Way of Deception

From the PROLOGUE this book has been teaching me stuff I need for my NaNo novel. When Joris is right, he’s right. And what’s more shocking, it is a FASCINATING read. I’m only on about chapter 2—not very far in, but already I’m a mini-spy!

And YOU can be a Spy Too!

1) Never do everything if you can find MINIONS to do it for you! (look at my nice minions!  Okay, so they aren't so much minions as co-conspirators, but you see what I mean)
2) CONSTANT VIGILANCE! (which of course would go without saying, but it's so much FUN to say!)
3) Definitely carry a bar of soap when you go in a strangers house so you can copy their keys while they are getting you a snack.  You never know when you'll need to re-enter to copy documents or plant a bug, and you can't count on being that sexy stranger selling perfume more than once.
4) Never use the same route going anywhere because the people following you will otherwise figure out where you are going!
5) And this I’ve been saying for a long time… people will do pretty much ANYTHING if you are really nice and get naked.

Seriously though, I am getting great fodder for the part of my book that felt so difficult to grasp before—the stuff I never knew anything about and so was so jilted in writing…

So Joris, THANK YOU!


TreeX said...

I'm 21, actually, and I STILL haven't found that book ;))

Glad I could help though :)

Unknown said...

The Wench has many minions and recommends them highly--the younger and more, Um Energetic, the better! especially if one proposes nakedness (right Brew Boy?) *salacious cougar-type wink* but it's OK he's over 21, I swear.

Hart Johnson said...

Joris-definitely a help!

ET-strong handsome and making the the nectar of the gods is MY KIND of minion! *snicker*

ViolaNut said...

When I don't have fever brain, ask about art theft books again, 'cause I saw a couple during inventory last night but I left early 'cause I got a fever. :-P Bug me Saturday, please.

PS Even if I'm not a minion, I still love that pic of three silly taunters...

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I love the idea of being a spy! Thanks for the tips.

And Joris is also your artistic friend, isn't he? I love his work...

Mystery Writing is Murder

Hart Johnson said...

Leanne-will do--are you sick?! Ack! And that is one of my favorite pictures EVER... A blonde a brunette and a red head go to a french taunting... it's a PERFECT set up!

Elizabeth, I have a lot of talented friends, but yes, Joris does all the graphic art stuff (book covers, blog headers and such)--he IS talented.

And THIS JUST IN! Somebody found my blog yesterday by doing a twitter search for nudists. BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, that amuses me.

Megan said...

Here's a review for my favorite:
about the Isabella Stewart Gardner heist... and some fun Boston mob tie-ins. I go to the museum often, and the spots where the paintings were still sit empty! It's really cool!

Briony said...

Dammit, take two, it just ate my first post...

I only just happened upon this as I've been in my own selfish world again.

I didn't answer the first time you asked because I thought you were after art-theft stuff specifically, and the only thing I could think of was the Thomas Crown Affair... But spy-stuff I adore...

If you let me know in what context you are after spy-stuff (by email if you prefer), I *might* be able to help you out. Or not... ;)

Hart Johnson said...

Aha! Fabulous! Art theft stuff... spy stuff... I knew I could count on you guys!

BrioNI, email coming...