Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year writing and the Google novelist trap

Hello there, new year. You always make me feel a tiny bit inadequate. I believe it's normal to be able to sum up the old year in a nice little bundle. To figure where you've been and where you're going. Make resolutions, I suppose.

But life is messy, and my mature brain is a network of fibres hopelessly tangled by some metaphysical kitten. (An escapee from Schrodinger's cat-box, no doubt.) Every thought is connected to every other thought, if you follow Ariadne's thread far enough into the maze.

See what I mean? Away they go...

This week my beloved brain's wanderlust has been more obvious than usual. I'm writing a novel (yay!) and I make reasonable progress in the morning. Afternoons, not so much. In mid-sentence I tend to slide into Googleworld in search of, for example:
  • the meaning of Libertia Peregrinas (or is it Peregrinans?)
  • a biography of Anne-Marie Libert, 19th century Belgian botanist
  • photos of shearers' quarters on Canterbury farms
  • the difference between golf carts, ATVs and quad bikes
  • earthquake damage in Rangiora.
None of this information is necessary for me to write a perfectly good draft chapter, but I just can't resist. Research is a tunnel—an enticing tunnel, crammed with would-be novelists blundering around in the dark.

And so is blogging.

Why the New Zealand native longfin eel (tuna) should be the official symbol for the Year of the Snake: see my business blog.

Photo: Inside Lyttelton Tunnel (c) FishnChips on

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