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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Writer Brain...



I’d like to just call it ADD, but I’m pretty sure this has something to do with being a writer. I’m all set: big mug of coffee, writer hat firmly in place, two paragraphs into rewrites for chapter six… when suddenly, I need to know all about nuclear submarines. Most of my kindred author friends would respond with, I know, right? So off to the interwebs I go to hit up the Google gods for words of wisdom, much like climbing the temple steps of Delphi to consult with Apollo’s oracles. The answers I find are, all at once, vastly more thorough than oracle riddles, and yet, still obscure enough that I’m still not quite sure what the hell I’m doing… three hours later. 

Oracles. The original magic 8 ball.

The answer is "not likely." In my hand? Oh, that's just a laurel branch.
I'll take my payment in the form of Doritos and Cheez Whiz now.



About this time, a Facebook notification pops up, and like a sucker, I have to look. Someone in my writing critique group has posted something awesome. I’m reminded of the anthology we’re thinking about putting together. Research mode dissolves into brainstorm mode, and I start thinking about future projects we might do. A few of us write morbidly comic urban fantasy. There are reapers and zombies and vampires, oh my! So some word play on death would be fun. Like Dead Sexy or something less cliché…. Maybe a fun twisty pun on a sensual expression like ménage a trois? But how should it be manipulated? I look up the literal translation…. a household of three. Not too smutty, honestly, but the French words hold more weight here in the US. So something like ménage a morte could work, right? Or does that sound too much like necrophilia?

The website I’m researching the origins of ménage a trois on has links to polygamy, polyamory, and polyandry sites. One of my best friends has two husbands… so I follow the link, thinking I might find something fun to share with her. I read some legendary tale about a woman from ancient times (whose name I can’t pronounce) who had five husbands who were all brothers. Literally, brother husbands. This page has more links, from temple prostitution to concubines to ancient cultural norms. Another hour slips by.

I finally look up at the clock and realize it’s after 3am. FUCK. I have 300 words… and I still don’t know how many goddamned people it takes to operate a nuclear submarine. I click back on the first page I found with a cutout diagram of a submarine… and notice a little link in the sidebar for mini submarines, for leisure or research purposes. I click it, and my brain explodes. I delete the 300 words I wrote four hours ago and vow to start over fresh in the morning.

I'd still like to know how many freaking people it takes to run a sub... but I'm starting to think that might be classified information. Or maybe the Google gods are smiting me. Either way, my ADD/Writer Brain has given up. The book must go on.

Wishing you all visions of sugarplums.... unless you're a writer too. In that case, may the Google gods bless you and keep you well informed. Amen.

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