Friday, January 8, 2010

8 BALL




The project I’m currently working on requires tons of research. Despite common assumptions, you can’t always find what you need to know on the Internet. It’s inevitable that you’ll have to crack open a book, resort to shopping on e-bay and/or Amazon searching for out of print material, that kind of thing. It’s all very time consuming, but it can also be quite invigorating. I am exhilarated, at this stage of the game anyway. A mile high stack of books stares me in the face. Post-Its all around.

Whilst immersed in this research mode I get so enthralled I end up delving in far deeper than necessary—out of sheer curiosity and the hunger to learn more. I’ve got to exercise a little more restraint. Goodness sakes, there are only so many hours in the day. And I’ve got to get some bloody writing done! Not to mention the peskier details of life, feeding, sleeping (not getting much of that), paying bills, car maintenance, laundry, grocery shopping, BLOGGING AND VISITING MY PALS BLOGS, whew! (Wiping brow)

As with so many things, one thing often leads to another.

I am reminded of the days when schlepped all over town looking for the perfect samples to bring to a client, and how I’d get utterly carried away, picking up ideas and inspiration for my own house, future clients, or my parents and friends. So varied and compelling were the choices, I just couldn’t limit myself. My SUV would be jam-packed with wonderful fabric swatches, tile boards, cabinet door samples, squares of stone, carpet, wood, and stacks of wallpaper books;
yay, wallpaper’s back, better patterns and colors than ever before, and with a vengeance, I might add. Well, you get the picture.

Whoa, I think, slow down sister. Don’t bog yourself down. Go in, find what’s crucial, and get out. The writing’s the thing. You can always poke around for more facts if need be. Quit pigging out on knowledge as if you’re some greedy Roman with a trough to spew in when you get too full. I wonder; can one’s brain get too full? Sensory overload?

No matter, I’m a fiend, that’s the short and long of it. I’m on a roll, behind the eight ball, and it feels fine.

FYI: why I wrote that last fantasy post about getting in a car and driving somewhere alone? I pictured myself recharging as I sped along the highway, and words pouring out and onto the keys of my trusty laptop, (once I found a non-descript roadside motel to stay for the night, so as to avoid distraction.) A girl can dream can’t she?

What about you? How are all your projects coming along? What’s you current fantasy? Keep it clean ;-)


All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

26 comments:

L.T. Elliot said...

I can get lost in research too. A great site for cheap books (especially out of print) is Alibris. Love that place.

My current fantasy? A date night with my husband. *Sigh* Unfortunately, we're babysitting.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hey! My fantasy right now is moving and starting my new life. Right now I'm between the two and it's difficult. :0)

Jemi Fraser said...

I love research and agree - it is sooooo easy to get lost in the words and worlds :)

Current fantasy: more time!!!

Stacy Post said...

Lizzy, you may have a touch of librarian's disease. I'm sorry to say it's a permanent condition suffered by historians, curators, writers and scholars all over the world. :)

L.T., Alibris is a fabulous out-of-print resource, I heartily agree.

A fantasy for me right now would be to dig my toes in some warm sand at sunset. But alas, I'm hunkered down, preparing for more snow. Fortunately, I've got the fireplace going and my favorite slippers to keep my toes warm.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Easy to get lost in research and hard to find my way out of it!

Fantasy: it's April 2. So both my deadlines are over.

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder
Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

Crystal Posey said...

My current projects? Everything is slammed together and out of control because I need myself a schedule and I hate them. Therefore, nothing is getting done. At least that's how it feels.

My current fantasy? Move to Montana. I want cool, crisp air to breathe and snow capped mountains in view.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

My life is one word now...K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid!!!) I am decluttering my life...everything from only the bare necessities in closets to selling my RV to giving away once treasured items that are now dust collectors...etc.

My writing life is also in the K.I.S.S. program...clean, organized desk, enjoyable writing sanctuary...and several carved out time slots for writing, reading and blogging.

lakeviewer said...

Research is hard, can take you so deep and so far that you can't find your way back to where you wanted to go in the first place. Fun. Somebody has to do it.

Jeanie said...

My fantasy is to quit working so I can see what new directions life takes me. I think there is really some fantasy and some fear, or at least mild trepidation,

Helen Ginger said...

Sometimes you just have to say, I have enough information. That's not always easy.

What I'd like right now is one project to focus on. Not four.

Helen
Straight From Hel

staceyjwarner said...

I love research! So fun.

My current fantasy, I don't have one...is that strange?

much love

Fireblossom said...

It's so easy to get sidetracked! I wonder if you are a Gemini, like me. Hard to stay focused when there are so many shiny objects of knowledge out there glittering!

She Writes said...

It would be wrong for me to write the answer here, just kidding :). My fantasy is traveling with someone who loves travel like I do!

Marguerite said...

Behind the eight ball sounds great! (I had an eight ball when I was a kid and I was obsessed with it! lol) Seriously, sounds like you're on a roll, cher! Go with the flow!
I can so relate to getting carried away with buying design samples. And merci beaucoup for the astrology link. I needed to know what is going on with Virgos. Cheers and keep up the good work!

Nancy said...

I love research. But I'm a bit of a pig myself. One thing always leads to another, and then another. Pretty soon you are surrounded by open books and things you've printed from the internet and you think - maybe one more resource...

But then you just need to start putting it together. I'm in the midst of trying to find some more workspace. I need space to spread out.

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh I say PIG OUT! You can never eat too many words. and they do wonders for your thighs :)

My current fantasy involves having the money to do all the renovations that we want to our house as soon as we like.

Alix said...

My fantasy? Two words: Tim Tebow.

ellen abbott said...

Mine is to get off my ass and get back to model making.

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

I do a lot of research for my science textbooks and I love it. Unfortunately I want to use everything. My first textbook (for junior secondary) was over 500 pages! My publisher was not pleased. Someone from the book committee recomended it be used as a resource for the teacher(!). I've learned my lesson.

As for my wish right NOW- well after a lifetime of perfect teeth and not a single cavity, my front (had to be) tooth started wiggling today. My wish is it doesn't fall out. (Please pray for it folks)
And I dream of an office with a door.

Jan Morrison said...

my current fantasy is that someone takes care of all the mundane details while I swot away in my office. Another one is that I go away - a nice log cabin, no internet, just a wood stove to stoke and food to prepare once in awhile. Oh, and a big tub to soak in. Nothing but my favourite three disciplines at hand - walking the dog, writing and meditating. And a bit of chocolate... of course all those things are here if I would just change my mental view!

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

I'm note writing and I'm freaking out so of course my current fantasy is to go on holiday with my lotto winning and Daniel Craig, no big thing for a magic 8 ball, Right, RIGHT!
You have a great weekend,
Simone

Cheryl said...

I love the research and planning stage. It's like planning for vacation. All the fun, none of the exhaustion.

Current fantasy: life as a wandering, but always well fed and comfortable artist. My ideal home would be a really cute, well equipped caravan.

Journaling Woman said...

I really have to watch myself with research too, I love it and want to drink in every last drop and maybe lick the container clean, but that would be weird right?

I am doing more writing than I have in years, but I'm not where I want to be.

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

Honestly? My fantasy is getting rid of the things that clutter up my desk and life so that I can reclaim the energy I need to start writing again! May sound dramatic, but I have journals going back to 1990, with plans to write my book. I'm thinking I should dispose of all that and start on a fresh page...

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Personally, I'm feeling kinda overwhelmed...I've got too many deadlines to meet, and not enough hours in the day...Your car drive fantasy sounds PERFECT to me!!! I can so relate to this post...Thank you...it's nice to know that someone else feels this way at times too!!! Love you! Janine XO

The Victorian Parlor said...

Oh Elizabeth how I love to visit your blog!!! As a writer and an artist I too love researching and learning about the art form that I am pursuing (which I must say seems to change frequently-I think it's called Artist Attention Deficit Disorder and often results in UFO's-Unfinished Objects). Each book that I obtain is a gift of knowledge and wonderment to me. As for my goals this coming year, I am endeavoring to finish editting my historic novel and find a publisher. I am also embarking on a new-old artform of photo collage. With new camera in hand the possibilities are endless and how fun that the Victorians were known to engage in this same pasttime of scrapping and collage. So there you have it-I want to do it all but I must do so in between work, cooking, cleaning, and of course, blogging:). This post has brought a smile to my face!

Blessings,

Kim