Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Book Brain and Caffeine Sources

I feel like most of what I've talked about lately has been my struggles with this book, but sadly, that's most of what's been going on in my life lately. Yeah, there was the San Antonio trip, but I've covered that. My panel there was directed at librarians, so I doubt too many people here want the scoop on how to plan author events at your library in a way that won't annoy the authors.

I'm still in the middle of a book I'm reading, and I'm not ready to talk about it yet. I didn't really watch anything on TV over the weekend other than NCIS reruns and Doctor Who.

I can say that the bluebonnets are in full bloom, and what's really cool is they have them planted on the grassy areas along and between the runways at DFW Airport. During takeoff and landing, they're a purple blur, but when the plane is taxiing or just sitting (you do a lot of that at DFW), it's nice to see a field of lovely bluish purple flowers. There are also fields of them on the edge of my neighborhood. They came late this year because it was a particularly cold winter, but because it was also a wet winter, they're spectacular this year.

And now I've stared at the screen for a full five minutes without being able to come up with anything other than the book. I officially have Book Brain. It's all-consuming. I spent yesterday afternoon making a list of things that make my character formidable and a list of the villain's weaknesses that the heroine can exploit. Today I think I'll do my List of 20 thing and brainstorm things that can happen in this situation and see if anything strikes me. Maybe I'll play some iTunes Roulette while I'm at it and see if that sparks anything. I know the general sense of what will happen, but I need to find specifics, and I want them to be interesting specifics.

I've also had some talks with Mom about the different habits of coffee drinkers as opposed to tea drinkers. I don't drink coffee. If it's the only available source of caffeine and there are pastries involved, I might be able to choke it down if it's mostly milk, has a lot of sugar and maybe a bit of vanilla, but it is not my beverage of choice. I can't tell the difference between "good" coffee and "bad" coffee because it's all nasty to me. I don't own a coffeemaker. I don't even know how to make coffee, other than the instant kind, and even there I'm not sure I'm doing it right because, again, I can't tell if it's bad or if it's just being coffee. About the only time I've really managed coffee was at my old job when they got one of those "pod" coffeemakers and had some vanilla-flavored pods. If I put enough creamer and sugar in it, I could drink that. But making coffee without the automatic pod thingy or Folger's Crystals is a process I have never experienced (I do have a jar of instant in my freezer for when my parents visit). That makes it somewhat challenging to write characters who are coffee drinkers, and my parents caught where I did it wrong. Apparently, tea as an alternate source of caffeine when coffee is not available doesn't work for a coffee drinker the way doctored coffee can work as an alternative when tea isn't available for a tea drinker, and a coffee addict would choose bad coffee over tea. I guess it's because there's less caffeine in tea, so the habitual tea drinker doesn't need as big a hit as the habitual coffee drinker does. I suppose I could describe the way coffee tastes to me as the way bad coffee would taste to a coffee drinker.

So, that's what's going on with me. Fun, huh?


Sara Lyn said...

Ever considered hot chocolate? :)

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog, and I have to say, I don't mind at all if you have book brain! I love hearing about your writing and the writing process you go through.

I'm a tea drinker myself, have never completely understood the whole coffee thing. I had to buy a cheap coffeemaker when my parents were coming out to visit. And yeah, tea has a *miniscule* amount of caffeine compared to coffee. I actually love iced tea, but it's decaf and I use fake sugar, so, as I joke, it's as close to brown water as you can get. I get my caffeine kicks from Coke, when I do, but even that has like 38 mg./can when coffee has like 150 mg./mug.