Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hiatus Discoveries

Coffee by the Window, 1945--Konstantin Gorbatov (1876 - 1945) First of all, a big thanks to all of my wonderful guest bloggers this past week! It was fun for me to have some fresh insights and ideas to read about.

I did not get H1N1. But I did start feeling horrible Sunday night. Discovery #1: Something I took helped me fight off the swine flu that my son has had for over a week now. The only problem is that I took so much stuff, that who knows what it actually was! In the mix was Airborne, herbal tea, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, zinc supplements, and some products that claimed they had antioxidants in them.

Discovery #2: Fumes from Clorox wipes,Lysol, and all the other cleaners I was desperately using to keep the rest of the household well, apparently make it impossible for me to blog, write coherent emails, or pen anything longer than 140 characters.

Discovery #3: Hello, Twitter. I cozied up to Twitter and Facebook when I needed a stress break and once I realized that 140 characters was my writing limit.

Discovery #4: Twitter lists. This is apparently a beta that Twitter is letting some users try out. I wondered why they picked me as one of their beta users and worried this means I tweet too much. Anyway, ‘Twitter lists’ means that you can sort out your followers on Twitter’s app and head them under lists (like you do on TweetDeck.) It also means that someone who is interested in following writing industry types can just follow your entire list in one fell swoop, if they’re interested in your labeled follower group.) I predict this is going to result in a huge writing community on Twitter. I’ll admit to being excited by the idea.

Discovery #5: Blockbuster. Thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions on movies for my sick son who is still contagious but bored to death.

Discovery #6: I needed to add 10,000 more words to my WIP (the Midnight Ink one due today.) This was a bad thing to discover on a week where my productivity and coherent thought dropped to an all-time low.

Discovery #7: If you read back through your entire manuscript, it’s amazing how many unfleshed-out ideas you’ll find. Easily 10,000 words worth, without needing to add filler. Whether it’s a scene that ends a little abruptly, a conversation that could turn into an argument, a red herring that could be dropped---there are usually multitudinous opportunities to elaborate and in a way that doesn’t result in too much flab.

Discovery #8: If your child has H1N1 and has been sick for over a week, they do want you to check back in at the doctor. But they may want you both to wear a face mask. People will stare at you at the doctor and carefully move away. Then you’ll discover that swine flu frequently leads to bronchitis and more days of quarantine for your child. But at least you can get antibiotics for bronchitis. Now he’s much better.

Discovery #9: The most important discovery? The writing community is incredibly supportive. I knew it already, but it was really demonstrated to me in so many ways last week. Thanks so much everyone!