Given that we live in different cities and only meet face to face twice a month to do work, most of Racheline’s and my communication is done via e-mail. We have efficient systems and it works really well, and what you can do with technology these days is amazing, etc.
But twice a month we do get together in the same physical space to work in our office in Philadelphia. And while our email exchanges can get hilarious and odd, our in-person experiences can get bizarre and also pretty magical.
This past Saturday, after an epic marathon session of edits on the Starling manuscript, we went out to get some fresh air, eat food that wasn’t cheese, and talk about something other than verb tenses, we ended up at a place that had amazing tacos and the strongest margaritas I have ever encountered. And they were served with paper straws!
We talked about Midsummer, the novella we’re working on about a summer stock company doing Shakespeare deep in the woods of Virginia. We were struggling with the b-plot, our major problem being that we didn’t have one. And man did we toss around a lot of terrible ideas.
“What if there’s a skull?” Racheline eventually asked.
“I don’t know, a skull.”
“Yeahhhh, but what does it do? Like, for the plot? Or at all?”
“Well, let’s figure it out.”
So we started talking skulls.
Also, that weekend, unbeknownst to me until I got to Philly that morning and was trying to find parking, Wizard World Comic Con was on. So we were having very strong margaritas and were talking very loudly about skulls while cosplaying people were strolling down the streets.
Soon we’d found out what the skull’s purpose was, but not hadn’t entirely figured out how to execute on it.
Every time one of us asked, “But what is the skull process?” the other would interrupt with “Oh my god look at that adorable lesbian couple cosplaying Steve and Bucky!”
You can do a lot with technology, and working the timezones is one of the best weapons in our arsenal. Sometimes, though, the in person stuff works better, with or without the magic of a world filled with other people’s narratives.