Saturday, May 14, 2005

Made For This Age

I just went to great effort to make a full pot of coffee and it’s horrible. Why is it that some days are good coffee-making days and some days just plain aren’t? Depleted of all my early morning energy, I promptly snagged a 16 ounce diet coke. Yesterday carrot juice, today diet coke. I am a picture of multi-faceted health, my friends.

Ah, where to begin? Since it is Saturday, I have decided I’m fairly due the opportunity to ramble in a disorganized fashion. I’ve noticed that weekend traffic drops tremendously in blogland, just as it does with emails. Normal people (ahem) are probably outside enjoying the balmy late spring weather, and in winter they’re probably off seeing movies or playing sports of shopping. I think I’m one of the only people I personally know who stays well tuned into the Net on many weekends. Someone this week, and I’m sorry I don’t recall who it was, posted on their blog about their gratitude for living in the age of the Net. I’m right there with you. (And before anyone decides my memory is impaired, please take note of the tremendous volume of details that I must keep track of in my daily life. I have repeatedly wowed authors by recalling vivid specifics of their submissions, even many years later. I am not slipping—I promise!) Ahem. Back to the Net revelry.

I was made for the Internet age. It was no accident, for instance, that I launched our agency in 1996, the year that the Net suddenly reached its massive tipping point. A few years earlier, and the space between Atlanta and New York would have been a much broader gulf. These days, editors and I email all day long, making deals, sending submissions, looking at contracts. It’s endless. I’m also Agency Internet Gal with my clients (just ask any of the fine ladies who visit this blog—smooch, love you guys.) It is the single most effective way to keep regular contact with my clients. Nobody has to wait in a phone queue. I can actually send emails while on the phone by the way—done it. Plenty of times. But I can’t talk to two people at the same time. I can, however, have multiple emails in play.

The research factor is priceless to me. In my earlier days of committed writing (visualize black screen and white-lettered crawl: Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away….)I used to go to the Georgia State Library in downtown Atlanta and actually sort through microfiche and the like. Good grief. You could spend a whole day and come away with almost nothing. Now if I decide I want to just look up the phrase “global awareness” or a toy with time travel theory or download Baker Street because my hero loves it, I’m only one second away. In fact, I’d argue that the Net is almost a form of time travel, i.e. the immediacy of information dissolves traditional and long-held boundaries that once limited our human possibility. Just a thought.

And it brings me to The Matrix (and I did promise I’d be self-indulgent here, no?) I caught part of one of my all-time favorite shows last night, Six Feet Under. This series has some of the most brilliant writing I’ve ever encountered on television. If you’ve never watched it, I would totally encourage you to order season one and season two, which were amazing. But we’ll save SFU for another day except this. I absolutely snorted out loud watching it last night; Nate, a new dad, is trying to find someone—anyone—to watch his baby. His little sister Claire tells him in a huff, “This isn’t The Matrix, Nate. Those of us without babies are real.” What a howler! I always prayed I wouldn’t be one of those self-absorbed new moms, the kind who acted like anyone without a baby just didn’t know the meaning of life or obligation.

Ah, and here’s the thing of it with this mini-ramble. I’ve talked and talked and never even come to the idea I started with for this post. I’ve discovered that I often have no idea what I’m going to write here until it begins to come together. It’s a very refreshing format, isn’t it? It draws on a different part of our novelist brains, and probably is a good exercise in creatively unwinding.

So, since I never got to dreams and the power of the subconscious, I shall return with that, most likely tomorrow. I do thank you for listening and reading, my friends.
Happy Weekending!


Kristen Painter said...

Trust me, you're not the only one glued to the Net on weekends. Actually, I can't really think of any day I'm not glued to the Net. I can't unglue, it's just part of me. Whether I'm checking on the goings-on at Romance Divas or researching an inkling of an idea to see where I can take it or reading blogs :o) or sending email - I'm on.

When I travel, which is frequently, withdrawal hits me. And my husband. There probably isn't a city or country we've visited that he hasn't been to an internet cafe of some sort. Okay, except Morocco.

If this really were the Matrix, I'd probably chose not to unplug. I mean, not if it meant losing my connection. ;o)

Happy weekend!

Jaci Burton said...

Okay so I"m not one of the 'normal people', because here I am and it's the weekend *g*

I agree about the internet, Deidre. It's an amazing tool for a writer. It's also my worst enemy at times. So easy to waste time doing things other than writing when you type on a computer that's constantly connected to the internet. And no, I don't have enough self control to unplug while writing. I might miss something *g*

Anonymous said...

LOL. Add me to the list of abnormal. Especially after my modem died early in the week and it was two and a half days before I could get on the net again...shudders.

I love email too cause you can communicate in such a way that you can handle all the other stuff going on in your day while talking to people. And yes being able to talk to more than one person at a time is very cool.

Deidre Knight said...

Yea!! It's my early Saturday AM Internet Posse. Woo hoo! It has amazed me how much less traffic I get on weekends, which has been a bit of a drag since typically I have *more* time to post and blog on the weekends. It's awesome to know that you guys are here and reading.

Krisen, you made me laugh. I'm with you--I wouldn't unplug either. Grin.

Jaci--you so have my number. I actually am trying to get back to setting "page goal" rewards in terms of how often I get to go online while writing. It's a terrible distraction. Such an irony, too, that a bunch of writers blogging then discover that blogging is a form of distraction. LOL!

I'm having a writing day today. The kids are away, and so far I have written four pages that I'm really happy with. I won't tell you the page goal objective, but it's a big one. Gotta be very achievement oriented since I'm sacrificing time with my little people.

Jaci Burton said...

It is nice to know that other people are 'out' there. The weekends are always way too quiet online. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one 'out there'.

Come on...spill that page goal. I'll bet your deadline oriented, aren't you? I always work better on deadlines, though the self-imposed ones never seem to work for me. If left to my own devices, it can take me forever to write a book. If my editor gives me a deadline, I'm so there and right on time! Weird, huh?

Comforting to know I won't be the only one writing today ;-)


Deidre Knight said...

Ah, Jaci, you've got me pegged all right. VERY goal oriented. My first book is due in August and I'm trying very hard to wrap it totally up by June 1. I dont know if it will happen, but I want to stay way ahead of schedule because of all my agenting obligations. Plus, with summer coming, I want time with my wee ones. So I'm trying to sacrifice NOW, so that later I can have time with them doing fun summer things. Today's page goal: at least 20 pages. Maybe more. For some people that's nothing. For me that's a lot. I'm off to make the java work. :)

Deidre Knight said...

oh, and Jaci? It's nice to know you're writing today too. Grin.

Kristen Painter said...

Twenty pages? And you're replying to blog comments? Go write, woman!

(Okay, let's not focus on the fact that I'm supposed to be showered and getting ready to head out the door to see a matinee of Riverdance.)

Jaci Burton said...

Okay, I've blogged (about deadlines *g*), I've surfed. I'm writing.

20 pages? Dayum...impressive. Let us know how you do on your goal. I might try to do 20 today, in between finding my kitchen, doing laundry, and thinking about grocery shopping (note the 'thinking' part)

Make the BIG pot of coffee, will ya? *g*


Deidre Knight said...

Kristen, good girl. You go on and shoo me outta here. :) Okay, ladies, I have my big coffee (which still just isn't great--what's up with this blend?) and I'm ready to go. When I double what I've got, I'll come post again.

I know, I know. Twenty's probably a joke. lol. We'll see. I'm getting a lot done, though, in terms of organization on some stuff that's been troubling me. d

Jeanne Damoff said...

I'm here, too. A little late to the party, it seems, but definitely a weekend net surfer.

Like you, Deidre, I love blogging for the freedom to create whatever happens to surface. It's fun, but if I didn't think it was good writing "exercise," I'm not sure I could justify the time spent. Keeping priorities in order is quite the balancing act. It's that old devil, Distraction Man, again. Grrr! May you defeat him with 20+ pages today.

Good coffee is as essential as clean air. I wish you all the best in your quest for the perfect brew.

Happy weekending to you, too.

Deidre Knight said...

Jeanne, Distraction Man must be vanquished. He's a horror and a half. And probably the equivalent of kryptonite for a distractable sanguine like me. :)

Ellen said...

I've been out all morning shopping for a birthday party we've having for two of our kids tomorrow, so I'm a little late to this topic:-). But I'll chime in... I love the internet. I love communicating with people via email because I write much better than I talk-- on the phone I stammer and am relatively inarticulate, whereas in email format I sound more or less intelligent *g*. And I absolutely adore the way you can find out anything on any topic. It's not just for writing research, either. Whenever I come across something I've never heard of, I can Google it and find loads of info. The internet is a wondrous invention!

Anonymous said...

I'm here on the weekends. But since we've traded a dozen e-mails, you know that already. ;) Of course, I've also churned out 3,500 words on an article I'm writing, emptied the dishwasher, answered a few other e-mails... But it's a manuscript-reading afternoon ahead, so I'll be unplugging soon, if only temporarily.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes feel like a weirdo b/c of all the time I spend on the 'net. But I find it helps keep me going when I'm writing (like little tiny coffee breaks; I barely drink coffee because it hypes me too much, so I need mental stimulants). My critique partner and I often email each other several times a day. She has small children, so on the weekends I do barely hear from her. My kids are older = freedom. And now they have their own computer = more 'net freedom for me.

So I'm glad I'm not the only one who also heavily uses the 'net on the weekends. I'm supposed to be washing the house (vinyl siding) in my never ending-quest to actually accomplish spring clean this year, but it's raining.


Anonymous said...

I've been cyberaddicted since the days of 300 baud and my Commodore 64. That was pre-WWW when all you could do was post in BBSes with strange techy types (the ones with pocket protectors). In fact, if you want to go all the way back, when I was a little girl I'd sometimes go to work with my dad who wrote programs on those huge old IBM mainframes and I'd write stories on punch cards. I still have two of them somewhere.

If you're waxing sentimental about cyberspace you might check out the wayback machine. I found all the early iterations of my websites. It's reassuring--and frightening at the same time--that nothing in cyberspace every really vanishes.

I'm also a weekend surfer--actually a constant one, probably 18/7, and that's only because I have to sleep sometime. Since I mainly work on my wireless laptop (I don't have a Blackberry), I'll even wake up in the middle of the night and check my email or blog hop.

Seems to me that 20 pages is a very admirable goal. If I could just get three more chapters revised, I'd be very happy with myself. So back to it.

Happy Weekend All