I wanted to start the week with a story that I saw yesterday:
The head of the International Monetary Fund was removed from a Paris-bound flight in New York minutes before takeoff Saturday afternoon and was arrested in connection with a sexual assault on a housekeeper at a Manhattan hotel earlier that day, police told the Associated Press. (Full story here.)
First thought: Wow. Second thought: he's innocent until proven guilty. Third thought: screw disclaimers, this would made the most amazing start to a novel! Seriously, as a fiction writer I'm always on the look out for tidbits that might trigger the halting, juddering, gap-filled movie that runs in my head -- the way a novel comes to me.
In this particular story there is so much to work with. Political intrigue (this dude was going to run against Sarkozy to be French President), down-to-earth issues surrounding the maid (what's her story?!), and maybe even some serial criminal behavior. Particularly because my first two (unpublished, as yet) novels are set in France.
I hope no one else thinks like this and steals MY idea . . .
Next, a quick congratulations to my colleagues Efrain De Le Fuente and Allison Wetzel for trying an incredibly difficult murder case and getting a quick guilty verdict. I saw the pictures, this was a horrific crime, and I know they were under a lot of pressure, but they did a professional job. The punishment phase begins this week, so that's all I'll say on that.
Except for one thing about the defense lawyers, Alan Williams and Steve Brittain. You know, some cases leave defense lawyers with a very tough job. DNA cases particularly. And sometimes, disappointingly, people who don't work in the criminal justice field associate the lawyer with the client's actions. These two gentlemen are brilliant lawyers and genuinely good guys, the kind of people I'd be honored to break bread with. With whom I'd be honored to break bread. You know what I mean.
So in their honor, I am reposting a short movie I made, my feeble attempt to empathize with some of the attitudes they encounter.