Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A glare of cats: Researching animal plurals, and other great ways to waste time

Maybe it's because we're in the dog days of August, but I've been spending a ridiculous number of hours doing research on the web this month. Which is to say I've been wasting a ridiculous number of hours this month. For example, I love the rhythm and sound of certain phrases, so today I went through the entire alphabet of collective nouns for animals over at askOxford.com . An ostentation of peacocks, a host of angel fish, a leap of leopards--I now know exactly the right way to refer to a group of any number of creeping, crawling critters.

Then there are other wonderful time-sinks, such as http://www.forensic-evidence.com/, which has an impressive amount of information related to forensic science. Another good site is the San Francisco Public Library Historical Photograph Collection. I actually don't need any pictures relating to California's history for my WIP, but at this point it doesn't matter. Discipline-wise, I'm like the hungry gal who has rebelled against her diet and swan-dived into the hot fudge sundae.

I'll settle back down to a strict writing routine in September, along with my diet. Really I will.
Meanwhile, do you have any good suggestions of places I can goof off on the web?


  1. First, thanks for confirming my idea that nothing serious should start until after Labor Day, when the whites go away.

    Next, here's a fun site to browse till then: http://www.creativewritingprompts.com/

  2. So is there such a thing as a "blog of writers"?

    A site that is both fun AND productive (trying to help here, Kathryn) is Write or Die.

    This is Dr. Wicked's writing lab, and you'll see what it does. You basically tell him how many words you want to write in how many minutes, and he'll "make" you do it, or subject you to something that is... well, best see for yourself.

  3. Kathryn, here's one that's guarenteed to eat up a good portion of your waking hours: http://www.darkroastedblend.com/

    and the ultimate reference site: http://refdesk.com/

  4. Just one thing to say:


    I'm going to work now, I swear it!

  5. My new guilty pleasure:


    And of course, there's always Project Rungay, which recaps all the Project Runway shows:


    Have fun!

  6. Ohmygod, Karen, I'd just recovered from my Project Runway addiction, and now here it goes again--I had no idea about that site!
    Jim, that Write or Die site is great. After Sept. 1 I will put the writing-app gizmo thingee into strict Kamikaze Mode, promise!
    Joe that darkroastedblend site has potential for some serious time frittering (See? I just wasted time going over to dictonary.com to look up the transitive verb form of fritter).
    Camille, I love that creativewritingprompts.com. It's a good way to get the creative threads spinning!
    Terri, I snorted my coffee at the giant Barbie dress (at first I thought it was a monster-sized umbrella) at cakewrecks!

    Thanks everyone. Now I have at least 2 more hours worth of daily time-sink spots!

  7. I made the mistake of opening these links shortly after arriving at work. Now I have to really make up time.

    Thanks folks...thanks alot.

    ...now back to those pictures of floating cars.

  8. Arg! I just posted a blog about NOT goofing off. I need more discipline! So forgive me for not looking up the sites listed...

  9. Good on you for being so resolute, Lily! Hope we didn't lead you astray.
    Basil, you're welcome (grin)!