Ms. Paul, will you answer a question?

Posted by: Mike

Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/11/00 12:22 PM

I hope it's alright for a stranger to show up and ask you a question. Are you a cop? Did you use to be a cop? I'm a cop, a Brooklyn Borough detective. I don't like procedurals because they always get it wrong. But, my wife kept at me to try one of yours, so I did and went on to read all the Marian Larch books. I never worked a Manhattan precinct, but the department politics you talk about there, you could have been talking about Brooklyn. Lady, you got it dead right. I used to work for a guy like Captain DiFalco, a liar, always playing the angles. And it worked, he's now a watch commander. Even the atmosphere is right, i don't mean atmosphere, starts with a. So I have to ask, have you ever been a cop?
Posted by: Rita

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/11/00 03:53 PM

Ambience?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/11/00 06:15 PM

Oh, what a nice Christmas gift -- thank you, Mike. And call me Barbara.

No, I was never a cop; don't have what it takes to do that job. I just did the usual writer-ish thing of researching my subject. I read a lot about the structure of the NYPD and called some precinct houses with questions and had a nice long chat with the PR officer, Lt. O'Connell. Everyone was wonderfully helpful and explained things I couldn't figure out on my own (such as when Homicide is called in when someone dies in a fire and when it stays with the Arson Squad).

As to the departmental politics...well, sometimes I think all human activity is about the same thing: jockeying for position. You see it everywhere from government and big business all the way down to small groups of friends, so I knew it had to be rife in a huge police department like the NYPD. It's a common, shared conflict that I just put within the setting of police work.

And I'm sorry about "your" Captain DiFalco. Maybe he'll get his come-uppance one of these days.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/11/00 10:32 PM

Wow.....what every writer wants to hear:

You got it right!
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/11/00 10:39 PM

There was a time when I thought Barbara must surely be an ex-windsurfer.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/12/00 03:53 AM

... and Dick Francis an ex-wine-merchant, photographer, pilot, weather forecaster ...
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/12/00 10:23 AM

... and Dick Francis an ex-wine-merchant, photographer, pilot, weather forecaster ...

Ah, but he is an ex-pilot! Trained as fighter pilot in WWII but ended up flying bombers instead. (In his autobiography, he likens Spitfires to wonderfully responsive horses. But of course! What other comparison would he choose?) After the war, he had some sort of commercial flying biz for a while, if I'm remembering correctly -- something to do with ferrying people and maybe horses to and from races, of course. Just like one of his characters.

But the rest was research, I suppose. His wife's, that is.
Posted by: Mike

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/12/00 02:46 PM

Ambience yes, thanks.

Barbara, you sure fooled me. It was all those details that were so right, like that lazy detective Dowd who ducked out and left his partner alone onthe job, that goes on more then the public knows. Anyway, I enjoyed the stories, though I don't know what Marian sees in Holland. My wife likes him, though. I haven't read the short stories, they're harder to track down.
Posted by: Mary

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/12/00 05:48 PM

Mike wrote: Anyway, I enjoyed the stories, though I don't know what Marian sees in Holland. My wife likes him, though.

Well, yeah. Of course she does. I do too.
I don't visualize him the same way Barbara evidently does (on the Holland/Avon site) but in my mind--oo-la-la.

Mary

[This message has been edited by Mary (edited 12-12-2000).]
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/13/00 08:37 AM

Mike, one of the short stories is available online:
http://www.barbarapaul.com/shortmys1.html#lemon
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/13/00 08:46 AM

Mary, I have come to visualize Holland as Avon; I didn't originally. But Avon fans can be very persuasive.
Posted by: Mike

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/14/00 02:10 PM

Ok, I read Making Lemonade. Man, thats a tough spot to be in. I'd never do what Marian did at the end, but I know lots of cops would. That poor family, hell of a story.

Who's Avon?
Posted by: Rita

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/14/00 03:02 PM

"Who's Avon?" he asks. Mike, I asked that same question here once, and wow did I ever get snowed with answers! Barbara has put up a page about the Holland/Avon controversy; that's a good place to start. It's http://www.barbarapaul.com/holland.html
Posted by: Mike

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/16/00 11:10 AM

I never heard of Blakes 7. Neither did my wife, but she says she's leaving me for Paul Darrow. What's with this guy?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/16/00 01:23 PM

Mike, I'm frequently at a loss to understand why some people find other people attractive. I don't see why men go ga-ga over Heather Locklear, for instance. It's not a gender thing; I am equally befuddled by the prevailing opinion that David Duchovny is sexy. Small eyes, big nose, soft white body. Likable, but not sexy.

But I am firmly in the camp of Avon/Darrow admirers. If your wife can see his appeal just from still shots, wait until she sees him in action. Blake's 7 is available on video.
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/16/00 03:14 PM

I don't see why men go ga-ga over Heather Locklear, for instance.




Well, not all men. Some of us have much better taste. But I agree with your main point, of course. Not only is it surprising what movie/TV stars come to be considered sexy, it's also distressing how it often happens -- seemingly by fiat on the part of some arbiters of sexual taste, whereupon oodles of people start agreeing.
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/17/00 06:19 PM

What, Kay? What extra post? Are you imagining things? Are you seeing double? Kay! Kay! Are you all right?!

(Yes, I was able to delete it via edit. I hadn't realized one could that. Thanks for telling me about it.)
Posted by: Kay

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/17/00 06:43 PM

David, what on earth are you talking about....I am not seeing anything unusual.

Oh, and you're welcome
Posted by: Mary

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/18/00 10:28 AM

David--your comment about some arbiter of taste or the other deciding who's sexy is spot on. There's no other way to explain the appeal to so many people of Leo DiCaprio. If it were just teenagers, OK--but adults seem to think he's attractive.

I mean, he's not ugly by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm at an age where men to have the appearance of being old enough to vote do a lot more for me.
Posted by: Scribbler

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/18/00 04:34 PM

I'm with you about Leo - he *still* looks like a kid to me.

One I can't explain even though I'm afflicted by it, is why Sam Waterston is attractive. He hasn't got what you'd call the usual semetrical features that qualify for "good looks". In his case, I think it must certainly be force of personality (which in his case *is* attractive). Now, I recently saw a picture of his son -- good looking.
Posted by: Mary

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/18/00 07:35 PM

Scribbler-Sam Waterston has great hair, and even if he's not conventionally pretty I think he's got nice features.

In fact if he were 10 years younger and hadn't gone so gray he could be a convincing Holland. (Avon fans notwithstanding.)
Posted by: Jon

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/18/00 08:23 PM

Well, like all conversations on this site, we've migrated to show business; food is next, right?

Most of the time I can see what is supposed to be attractive about some new hot name, even if I don't see it that way myself. But some of the ones "decreed" to be gorgeous this week are just plain mystifying (not that they're ugly, just that they're like people I see every day): Charlize Theron, Téa Leoni, Jenna Elfman....

Also every year in the movies there's this phenomenon regular as clockwork: some new boy who's not only in 3 flicks simultaneously, but is being touted as if he were this major phenomenon with a body of work behind him. It usually explodes in September, and in successive years we had the spot filled by Matthew McConoughey, Matt Damon, Vince Vaughn... you get the idea. (I eventually decided Damon has something, on the basis of Mr. Ripley; but the others seem to have sunk back into oblivion.)
Posted by: Kay

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/18/00 09:00 PM

Quote:
Well, like all conversations on this site, we've migrated to show business; food is next, right?


Funny you should mention that. I am in the middle of my annual baking frenzy to gift the neighbors.

As for who's attractive, if he ain't Sean Connery, he ain't attractive.

At any age!

As for women, my childhood idol, Maureen O'Hara, still looks pretty good at 80.

In both cases (although the young O'Hara was stunningly lovely), I think it is something deeper that the surface good looks that makes the impression......



[This message has been edited by Kay (edited 12-18-2000).]
Posted by: Jon

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/18/00 09:59 PM

I agree. It's what (in my view) makes Frederica von Stade so charismatic among opera singers. Obviously she's gorgeous, and has been for 3 decades now; but she also radiates an inner glow that makes her special.
Posted by: Scribbler

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/19/00 01:16 AM

I agree with you, Jon, that there must be something internal about the "power of attraction."

Strangely, I was thinking about just that when I was watching a figure skating competition a few weeks ago. Michelle Kwan came in second, due to technical aspects. And yet, in watching the other skaters, I couldn't help but think that she has "that inner something" that (for the ordinary watcher) far outshines the ability to do three triple-toe loops. It isn't just a better artistic sensibility - when she is out on the ice, I get the sense that she purely and simply *loves* the sensation of skating. There is a special joy on her face that isn't there just for the audience.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/19/00 09:22 AM

I think the word we are looking for here is "charisma."

I remember my mother telling me about the time she met Flo Ziegfield.

She did not even know at the time who he was, but she said she looked up and saw this man who was not particularly good looking but there was a force of personality that was actually palpable.



[This message has been edited by Kay (edited 12-19-2000).]
Posted by: Mike

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/19/00 09:23 AM

What's wrong with Heather Locklear?
Posted by: Mary

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/19/00 10:17 AM

What's wrong with Heather Locklear?

That's simple. She's not Sean Connery.

Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/19/00 12:10 PM

What's wrong with Heather Locklear?

She's bland. Only slightly pretty at best, and her body isn't the type that appeals to me.

Oh, there's nothing wrong with her. She just doesn't appeal to me. And no matter how often the mysterious Entertainment Powers That Be insist that she's a sex bomb, to me she isn't. Which is sort of where this threat started.
Posted by: Mike

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/29/00 11:48 PM

Hi, this is Elaine, Mike's wife. We couldn't find any Blake's 7 to rent, so we bought one cassette. It's "Children of Auron" and "Rumours of Death." That is one strange TV show. I thought Avon was very sexy but Mike thought he ought to be arrested.

But it made me want to read YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT again. It's different this time, because now I see Avon's face and hear his voice every time I come to a Holland scene. It's kind of weird, but nice-weird. I like it.
Posted by: Julia

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/30/00 01:26 AM

So I'm computerless for a couple of weeks, and when I come back I find there's Darrow drooling going on...

Yes, B7 is a weird show. It's also a very good show, with (usually) good scripts, good acting, and lots of eye candy for the ladies Although I'm not sure that's the best pair of episodes to start with.

The PAL videos are still available, I don't know the current availability of NTSC - but there are always fans ready to make copies if it means new souls for the faith. DVD is a strong possibility next year, but likely to be only for the UK/Europe region, everyone else is going to need a chipped player.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/30/00 09:41 AM

Hi, Elaine. I think Barbara's away from home at the moment, but she'll be along eventually. I did the same thing you did -- read the books, learned of the B7 connection, and then re-read, although I think I started with Fare Play (I don't know why). It does add another quality to the books, doesn't it?

How did you happen to pick those two episodes?
Posted by: Mike

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/31/00 11:34 AM

Eeny, meeny, miney, moe. I don't want to go for the whole series, but I wouldn't mind buying one more cassette. Which one would you recommend?
Posted by: Mike

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/31/00 11:35 AM

Oops, forgot to say that was Elaine posting.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/31/00 03:51 PM

I don't have the videos; all I have are copies of copies of copies that someone sent me. So I don't know how the episodes are paired for video -- in order of broadcast, I'd imagine, since most of them are linked to earlier and later episodes. Avon doesn't really begin to shine until after Blake has left the show, so you'd want a video from late in the series instead of early.

Julia knows more about this than I do.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 12/31/00 04:48 PM

And I don't know anything about it, but I thought I would mention that Elaine can sign up as herself by clicking on "want to register." You can have multiple identities on the same computer.

I suspect Barbara got snowed in somewhere - New England, I think - and can't get back to Pittsburgh, which may not be much better....we missed the mess in SW Virginia...not sure if DC got it or not.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 01/02/01 06:49 PM

Hello, Elaine; it's always good to meet someone nibbling at the B7 bait.

But for some reason it's very hard to recommend specific episodes; I don't know what will appeal to you. One of my favorites of the video set is Volume 25; it has two strong episodes, "Gold" and "Orbit". But those episodes come near the very end of the series, and I don't think you could get the full impact of "Orbit" without knowing all of what had come before.

Perhaps a better one to start with would be "Project Avalon", because it includes all of the original cast; you'd get to see Blake in action. That's on Volume 5; it's paired with "Breakdown" which is only so-so in spite of a couple of strong scenes.

One of my favorites is "Mission to Destiny", which is a murder mystery aboard a spacecraft with Avon playing detective. Unfortunately, its partner on Volume 4 is "Duel", not one of the show's better efforts. In fact, it's pretty bad.

And then there's "Gambit"...and "Star One"...
Posted by: Julia

Re: Ms. Paul, will you answer a question? - 01/02/01 09:58 PM

Go on, start at the very beginning and work all the way through...

Failing that, the episodes are two per video, in order - and the thing about this series is that by and large you have to watch it in order to really understnad what's going on. This is why it's difficult to recommend individual episodes - as Barbara says, Orbit is a stunner of an episode, but only if you've seen a good proportion of the earlier episodes. As for Blake... well, _don't_ watch it until you've watched most of the series, and don't let anyone tell you the plot.

You can find a set of useful info on the episodes at http://www.hermit.org/Blakes7/Episodes/index.html
including a short (one page) synopsis of the series background, character profiles, and episode transcripts.