clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Monday, February 3, 2014

Writerly Sins

I'm a boat guy. There, I've said it.

The one at left isn't mine. Might be, but I need to be able to see that much money floating on the water every day. I can't lay it up on the Gulf, then fly down once-in-a-while. I still work for a living.

Writers have a lot of writerly sins: pursuits and passions that do them no good turn. Boats are one of mine.

But what of crime writing and boats?

Natalie Wood. She went for a swim in a down jacket and boots and didn't manage the backstroke too well. It was 1981 and the headlines interested me. I followed the reports. I didn't really know Natalie Wood as an actress. Her husband was much more famous to my generation.

The whole image of a woman, at night, on a boat, ill-dressed (nightgown, boots, jacket), drinking and falling over brought all sorts of possibilities for foul play.

What happened? There's an official report based on statements at the time. Good enough for me.

But, the image always presents me with the thought of crime. Boats do that to me. I think of murder every time I step on one. I think it is the small confined world that works on my mind. When people can't get away from one another, someone dies.

I love that about boats: such great material.

Did I mention Christopher Walken was on the boat that night? If there was ever a guy to vote "most likely to be on a boat when someone dies," it'd be Walken for me. Suicide Kings : great movie. Deer Hunter, too.

"Ira, you are the man."

Anchors aweigh. There is malice afoot on deck.

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