Why all the research?

Enough of you have been emailing to ask why I wants to know about lying and DNA testing and race that I feel I should offer some kind of explanation, or several even:

  • I am hard at work building a lie-and-DNA-detecting robot.
  • I was bored.
  • Maureen Johnson made me ask you cause she’s too lazy to do her own research.
  • It’s for my new novel.
  • It’s procrastination to avoid work on my new novel on account of Scott took my IM capability away.
  • I am distracting myself from certain sad events on The Wire.
  • None of the above.

I hope that’s cleared everything up to your satisfaction.


  1. Gina Black on #

    Ah . . . The Wire.

    Thanks for the mention of Paul Elkman in your last post. I found an article about him from 2002 that is really interesting, and I also put in a request for one of his books at the library. I’m hoping it will help my writing because I have a hard time showing and not telling emotion.

    But it makes me wonder . . . how do you read someone’s face in after they’ve had their Botox treatment?

  2. limeywesty on #

    Poke Scott in the tummy and tell him that he should give you back your IM.
    Tell him it’s research.
    I don’t know, maybe try out some of your new lying techniques to see if you can come up with a good enough story to convince Scott to do that one thing for you…
    I’m not sure, you think of something. You’re the one who tells stories for a living.

  3. dragonfly on #

    oh yes. that clears everything up!


  4. eek on #

    The Wire…ah, perfection…but too often, too sad. I still miss some we lost seasons ago…

    And I think they should have Omar do Honey Nut Cheerio commercials…


  5. Gabrielle on #

    personally, i’m blaming maureen. 🙂

  6. Hillary! on #

    Yeah, I’m more inclined to believe that Maureen is too lazy to do her own research, but, then again, I don’t think you would do research for her so enthusiastically. So I’m just hoping it’s for a new sekrit book that no one know about just yet.

  7. maureen johnson on #

    What? What? This has nothing to do with me! Though I am enjoying the vote of no-confidence I am getting from all sides.

  8. Margaret C. on #

    I vote for the robot. But I think it should also know CPR so it can save lives.

  9. Mary Elizabeth S. on #

    Now, Justine, you can be honest. We all know you’re researching ways to use high-schoolers’ DNA to make zombies, and trying to learn how to lie convincingly so as not to let the zombie out of the bag too soon.


  10. Jeanni on #

    Aw Justine, you can tell us about the zombies, we promise we won’t tell anyone, loyal fans and all that. And you should definitely poke Scott in the tummy, with a cookie, repeatedly, until he gives you back IM.

  11. Patrick on #

    I know some people who could get you IM’ing without Scott being able to block it. It’ll cost ya, but you know, when you need it, you need it.

  12. doselle on #

    1. Justine…your post on Imitation of Life has caused me to scurry to the video store where I’ve purchased both. I owe you a response and have not forgotten. But, as you know, WORK must come first.

    2. The Wire. I am unhappy. Very unhappy. [redacted for spoilerage-ness]

    3. Glad Scott took away IM. I have weaned myself off of it, as well. IM is a time and brain suck that does very little towards making the work go faster.

    4. [redacted for spoilerage-ness]

    5. Since you’re so VERY good at it, can you talk for a minute about what makes for a good public reading of one’s work? How you decide which sections to read from…whether you feel its appropriate to make editorial revisions on the text you’ve chosen to read, etc. ?

    Certainly, it must get easier over time, right?


  13. Justine on #

    Doselle: Let us not speak of The Wire right now.

    5. Flattery will get you everywhere! I guess I could post about that. I am in hate for reading aloud. It sucketh. But general rule: keep it short. Ideally ten minutes or less. I prefer self-contained pieces. Though it can be fun to leave every on a giant cliff-hanger. Hehehehehe.

  14. doselle on #

    Why do you think reading aloud sucks so hard then, eh?

    I mean, like, what could possibly suck about a performance anxiety-inducing exercise in public speaking before a crowd of stranger OR WORSE respected friends and acquaintances?

    I mean, it doesn’t sound THAT bad, does it?

    And no–let’s NOT speak of The Wire for the moment! The scene where Bunk puts on a corset and performs a scene from Pride and Prejudice seemed entirely out of context to me, but whatever! 🙂


  15. Justine on #

    When I first started doing readings I was afraid no one or very few would show up, but now I look forward to that cause it means I don’t have to read and we can just chat casually (if there’s very few) or I can go home.

    But mostly I don’t read at my appearances anymore. I tend to tell some anecdotes and then switch to Q & A. Is much more fun for me and the audience.

    I really liked that scene with Bunk! I love anything Bunk does.

  16. doselle on #

    The best part about Bunk was his unexpected reaction to Detective Griggs as ‘Mister Darcy.

    Who knew any human could make that kind of sound with a piece of black licorice and a tea cozy. 🙂

  17. Justine on #

    That was a tea cozy?

  18. doselle on #

    Yes! Yes! I know it looked very much like a miniature anteater, but it was almost certainly a tea cozy. I take my tea cozy collection quite seriously, so I would obviously be in a position to know about such things.

    How Bunk was able to to fit it over Kima’s head with the teapot still inside it is another question entirely. Guess its really not just television.

    Its HBO.

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