That's because I'm writing.
When I'm revising or editing (which are entirely different things, by the way), I can get pretty chatty. But when I'm hammering out a first draft, I'm a silent as space. I'm constantly thinking, rolling ideas around, chewing on 'em like a cow's cud. When I'm driving or sitting or eating, I'm dreaming, and that doesn't leave a lot of room for blogging.
Take last night, for example. I turned on Joss Whedon's Firefly and zoned out. Since my main character is partially inspired by Mal, watching one of my all-time favorite shows is actually considered RESEARCH, so I was WORKING, and it was also considered work when I stole downstairs and opened Dr. Krog's World's Biggest Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and ate half of one.
Um... Merry Christmas, buddy.
In any case, I tend to watch my favorite episodes of Firefly the most often. Shindig, Serenity 1 & 2, Jaynestown. This time, I watched one of my least favorites, War Stories. And that's when it hit me-- the ending of the book. The twist. The perfect fait accompli. There's a long way to go before then, but now I can't wait to see that scene come to life.
If you're not a Firefly fan, then I ask in all honesty, WHY THE HELL NOT? It's the best show ever, even if it was canceled after one season. A unique twist, amazingly complex characters, interesting story lines, and a hell of a lot more humor than you get with a laugh track. I mean, SPACE crossed with COWBOYS and a little sprinkling of CHINA? Not to mention it's almost-- ALMOST-- steampunk in the mixing of technology and simplicity. Spacepunk, maybe.
The story is great. The writing is phenomenal.
But it's the characters that really create the magic.
If you're a writer, and you're having trouble fashioning complex, well-rounded, true-to-life characters, I can't think of a better exercise than just settling back with the Firefly DVDs and enjoying the hell out of yourself. The good, the bad, the tics, the costumes, the voices. It's all there, just like it was in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
So, in conclusion, watch that one, too. In fact, just buy yourself the complete Joss Whedon collection and settle in for a long Winter's nap. Just as art students go to museums to sketch masterworks, a writer could do a lot worse than to find a show that really speaks to them and watch it religiously. Fall asleep to it. Let it sink into the ol' subconscious and thrash around a little.
And maybe one day, you'll realize that watching Firefly has become part of your career.
And that, my friends, is shiny.
Back to the trenches.