Insight into "write what you know," courtesy of a random conversation with The Spouse about why garage door manufacturers give their products such stupid names. They do it because they think it will make (other) people more likely to buy their product -- i.e., they know the names are stupid, but they think that their consumers are different than they are, and won't look at a garage door called The Algonquin and roll their eyes. They're guessing at what's in the minds of other people, and are sure that it can't possibly be the same thing that's in their minds.
Why is this? I don't know. However, it's what made me write Nine Days. For some reason, mystery writers stopped writing books that I like to read. Every one I tried seemed to devolve into the same tired prostitute / supermodel / stripper-with-a-gun or soccer mom / herbalist / cat whisperer-stumbles-on-a-corpse story. So I decided to write my own damn book, one that I would like. Publishing was not on the radar -- it was just something to do with the time I used to spend reading -- so I didn't try to follow any rules except the ones I (mostly) agreed with.
As I got into the thing, I realized what was wrong with those other books -- the authors weren't writing what they liked; they were writing what they thought (or maybe what their agent or publisher told them) "other people" would like. At least, I hope that's true, because if all of those writers really like the torture porn that they're writing, we're headed for the apocalypse more quickly than I feared. That's when I realized what people mean by "write what you know." Really, it should be "write what you like." Write what you want to read. That's what it means.
It costs NINE DOLLARS to get into the new Blanton Art Museum (no link for those corporate bastards). When did art become something available only to the monied? Not just art, either -- it's $7 to get into the Bullock History museum. Last time I went to a museum, which was, admittedly, quite a while ago, it was free. There is nothing free to do in American culture anymore. The Revolution has been Privatized.