Behind the Times

Sunday, September 21, 2008
I am probably the second to last person on Earth to both watch "The Devil Wears Prada" and to read "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer. I just watched the first this morning on HBO, and I'm a little over 200 pages into the second as of last night. (The last person, of course, is my husband.)

Which is ironic in several ways, the least of which is that I invoked TDWP in my manuscript, "Good Will Ghost Hunting: Demon Seed." I'm not a total cave-dwelling critter, so I've seen various promos and interviews and reviews of TDWP and knew that Meryl Streep's character was a total fashionista biatch. My husband was reading my rough draft last night and asked me, "How did you know Manolo whatever shoes are in?"

The unintended insult didn't hit me until this morning. (Of course he did NOT mean it as an insult, so it's a dang tootin' good thing that I know my husband well. *LOL*)

Back up to last night, I shrugged and told the truth, "I don't know." I researched, is the easy answer. I'm one of those people who pick up useless (to me) trivia and store it away. (Which is why I probably have to have a list of things to do every morning so I don't forget those.) I'd never seen TDWP (the irony is that it was on HBO this morning after having this conversation last night).

The unintended insult (and trust me, he did not intend it in this way) is that I literally haven't bought any new clothes in...well, let's say that it's a good thing Sprawl Mart doesn't depend on me for my wardrobe purchases. I am totally not a clothes hound. (Now, I can put a hurting on a budget at Home Depot...)

Roundabout my point is research. As a writer, you've got to be observant. And you have to be open to things falling into your lap. You have to be willing to walk outside your comfort zone and invest a little time and energy into your work. And you also need to be open to whatever little snippets of information might fall into your life. You can't hold onto all of the flotsam forever, but you have to find your personal way of dealing with those little random, odd factoids that drift your way.

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