Sorry for the long break. I was suffering from a compounded concert hangover last week. No, it wasn't that kind of hangover. No liquor was involved. The hangover was from wandering around the University Bookstore in Seattle for two hours (signed pretties were acquired), rocking out at the Queen Extravaganza (which was epically awesome), and driving 8 hours round trip in a single day. What compounded it was that I only got two hours of sleep (because of all of the caffeine ingested) before working an insane shift at the day job, followed by a less insane dog sitting job.
That's right. I worked two jobs on two hours of sleep. Yes, I'm insane, but that shouldn't be a surprise to any of you. Be assured that I'm not going to do that again. I don't like being a zombie.
What I will do again is work on my novel on long road trips. Don't panic. I was not typing as I drove. I could have dictated, but I didn't think my passenger would've liked that. What I did instead was bounce ideas off of him. I started working on a short story that I began last year but had to push aside so I could focus on finishing the novel. Ok, in all honesty, I was stuck as well, but it was mostly pushed aside for the novel. So I gave him the gist of the story and explained why I was stuck. We bounced a few ideas around, most of which didn't gain the favor of the other person. Once I convinced him that the story couldn't end up in a fiery inferno (his favorite solution) we finally got to the root of the story's problem and found the solution.
I've used this method many times. I did it with the novel, last month's short story, and some flash fiction pieces I wrote last year. Every time the solution surprised me as to its simplicity and it's always something that I've overlooked. I'm sure that eventually I would have discovered it on my own, but it would have taken days if not weeks. Borrowing a friend's brain (and not in a zombie kind of way) shortened that time frame to a few minutes.
It's amazing what a fresh brain can accomplish.