BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Thursday, April 19, 2012

More Weirdness

The other thing that's weird about my brain is the things it finds interesting. I'm pretty sure in this case that other writers do the same thing, so it's writer weirdness rather than maybe just me weirdness.

A good example is the evening I flipped through channels and found the Discovery Channel was doing a show on container ships. Who has any interest in container ships? Not me, that's for sure, but I was looking to kill time so I figured I'd watch a few minutes, get bored and do something productive.

That didn't happen. Instead, I found myself riveted on the world of container ships and how they're loaded and unloaded.

This has happened to me too many times. I did research on nanotechnology years before I wrote The Power of Two because it caught my interest. Remember the atom smasher and the wormhole from The Troll Bridge? Yeah, that started when I was researching string theory for a story idea. From string theory, I went to M theory. M theory led to reading about particle accelerators which led to learning about the Einstein-Rosen Bridge, black holes, and worm holes.

I guess no knowledge is ever wasted because I never know when it's going to fold itself into a story somehow. The idea that I researched string theory for was an idea I shelved, but a year and a half later, I needed time travel and I didn't want to write a magic necklace story, so it came in handy.

In a way, it's kind of cool, you know? I know a little bit about stuff most people don't care about. On the other hand, it can also be frustrating because I know just a little and there are times I really need to know more. It's also kind of frustrating because of how much time it takes. It's like falling through my own personal wormhole because I can lose an entire weekend reading just one more thing about the topic of the day.

Unlike the unanswerable questions that I mentioned on Tuesday, this particular quirk doesn't really annoy me that much. I love learning and I'd be doing this kind of research even if I wasn't writing. Remember nanotechnology? Yeah, I read on that at a time when I wasn't writing.