An idea has begun to form for my projected story. Still no actual words keyed in, since I don't yet have the characters. I know what characters the story needs (some of them anyway), but the individuals aren't there yet, and I never start writing until I can feel them in my mind, hear their voices, see their mannerisms.
What I have thus far is an idea for a specific problem aboard a specific kind of ship. The problem interests me. I also have a tentative solution, and have been doing research to see if the solution is feasible. Then I hit a snag: I just don't have enough engineering smarts to know if what I want to do is plausible, ridiculous, or just in need of support from fresh scientific advances, conveyed through the science fiction obfuscation known as "hand waving." Further research on the Internet only confuses me more.
So I do what I always do when stuck on technical issues: I send out a begging, pleading, groveling email to Mike Flynn.
He responds with two dense pages of information and diagrams. My savior! I read through them one, twice, three times. Yes, I can understand this. Barely.
Then all work on the story stops for the weekend, while I devote my writing hours to the student manuscripts for my Tuesday night class at Hugo House, plus reading two more submissions for Taos Toolbox this summer. Tomorrow -- creating characters and voice. I hope.