The Saturday Writing Quote — the importance of gestures

“To say, ‘Leave the room,’ is less expressive than to point to the door. Placing a finger on the lips is more forcible than whispering, ‘Do not speak.’ A beck of the hand is better than, ‘Come here.’ No phrase can convey the idea of surprise so vividly as opening the eyes and raising the eyebrows. A shrug of the shoulders would lose much by translation into words.”

—  Herbert Spencer, Philosophy of Style 17-18 ([1871]; repr. 1959). (Via Bryan Garner, Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day blog.)


Whistleblowing isn’t an issue most lawyers deal with, particularly those of us whose practices involve the daily issues of life — car accidents, workplace injuries, interpretation of contracts and insurance policies, probate and estate planning, family law, and the more commonplace areas of criminal law.

But it’s fertile ground for crime writers, especially writers of thrillers where plots may turn on issues with national or international consequences. An article in a recent issue of NWLawyer, a publication of the Washington State Bar Association, titled “Whistleblower Update: Recent Court Decisions Broaden Whistleblower Protections,” suggests that the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank bill related to finance and securities are likely to stay in force, at least for a few years. It discusses the bounty program, providing rewards to those who share certain information with the SEC or other agencies, and the anti-retaliation provision, and recent case law.

If someone’s blowing the whistle in your pages, take a look.

(And don’t worry: The author is a lawyer but it’s well-written — you don’t have to be a lawyer to understand it!)

Introducing Montana Women Writers

Bay & BridgeI’m delighted to be participating in a fabulous new group, Montana Women Writers. Fifteen amazing women living in northwest Montana have banded together to talk writing, reading, books, and more–all through the lens of living and writing in this stunning part of the country, near Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park. We’ll be blogging most days, kicking off the month by sharing our Book News. Come visit and chat!

It’s the next best thing to living here.