It’s Friday. And I’m talking about writing stuff again.

23 10 2009

Weather: High: 58º and RAINY. Like SEATTLE RAINY. Seriously.

It’s been rainy this week, but mostly a light drizzle. Today its been RAINING. With some volume and force. I love this weather, just not on a work day. I’d rather be home with the laptop, sitting by the window and letting the sound and visual of the rain falling envelope me while I’m writing. Sigh. But this is not to be, at least not today.

What sucks additionally is that my cube here at work has NO access to a window. I can’t even see the rain. Just the migraine inducing fluorescent lights over head (hisses) and the soul sucking burgundy walls of my cube. Which, thank the gods, are wallpapered in pictures of musicians, family photos and the Muses. 🙂 Oh and several snarky signs. Makes my life much happier. 🙂

Not recent, but you get the idea.

Not recent, but you get the idea.

And no, my desk is not as messy as it seems. TRUST ME.

Laura Anne Gilman posted on twitter about how a proposal was using every bit of her history degree & added that  she was glad she saved her textbooks.  It’s funny how many writers I’ve spoken with have made similar comments. I’m a book pack rat and I’ll tell you, like Laura Anne, I’ve found more often than not that it’s been a boon. My college degree is something of a bizarre Frankensteinian mish mosh (I started out pre-med, then switched to communication. My electives are…well, ECLECTIC.) Needless to say I have a ton of biology, chemistry and statistic books nestled in among the mythology and esoterica.  I went through a phase where I collected books on epidemics (The 1916 flu, the Black Death, Ebola outbreaks, you name it!). Then I started picking up books on genetics, both 101 and more advanced versions of the topic. Amusing anecdote: These were all for a vampire novel I was working on at the time. It’s still on the back burner and will hopefully see the light of day, so to speak, in the future.
I also have a ton of books on the occult, supernatural and almost a library unto itself on paganism & witchcraft. (Kinda the go to area for me and the husband on the High Holidays. 😉 ) The reason I’m pointing all this out is that sometimes, the inter-webs may be the most convenient way to research things for your novel in progress, but I think we forget that we might have better sources in our home libraries, or the public libraries, or even in our own heads.
Wikipedia can be helpful, but honestly? Use it as a stepping off point. Try some books from the time period you’re writing about. If you’re looking for a neat little known fact about a place your setting your story, contact their chamber of commerce or the tourist center. Sometimes they’ll have brochures or fact booklets to add some color to your story. (Thanks to Terri Osborne for that one!)

Writing is one of those phenomenally unique endeavors where we can get source material from virtually ANYWHERE.  So I guess what I’m  suggesting is step away from the computer once & awhile and pester your local reference Librarian. Believe it or not, they actually wish MORE people would. And you might find out those old college textbooks have more interesting things in them than you remembered.

Some websites that actually have electronic copies of useful texts (Not pre-digested information) :

www.sacred-texts.com Has an AMAZING wealth of electronic texts on almost any area of religion, spirituality and philosophy you could ask for.

Project Gutenberg Another great source of electronic texts. (nearly 30,000 books here for FREE)

Perseus Digital Library More digitized scholarly works

Medieval Sourcebook Lots of full texts from the medieval period

Sometimes reading the actual source text is more revelatory than someone else’s Cliff’s notes analysis of the text. 😉

So. Weekend is splayed out in front of me. In between going to look at bridesmaid dresses (OY!) and the usual housecleaning, I have a bunch of writing goals planned for myself. Also, next Friday is my 4th Wedding Anniversary, so I’ll be incommunicado on Friday and Saturday. Saturday night I’ll be handing out treats to the wee children. And NaNo starts on Sunday. ZOMG! I’ll be updating my wordcount here daily. Even if that’s all I post that day.

If anyone reading this wants to be a fellow masochist writing buddy, my writing handle over at the NaNoWriMo site is Fairygothmother.

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NOW PLAYING: Bleeder (industrial Strength Mix by Seb) — Zombie Girl

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