I spent an inordinate amount of time yesterday trying to find the old Yahoo Groups site our neighborhood used to use as a mailing list. I wanted to search up (as Scout* phrases it) some of the past inter-personal squabbles for a writing project. The group was at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ONSneighborhood/ but has been archived
and as far as I know is completely inaccessible, and can be retrieved if you are a data wonk who can parse comma delimited files and such. It was far too much work for what I wanted to do with it. But I went down the rabbit hole anyway, because apparently social media has left me with the inability to focus on a single task for any length of time.
Until this morning, I had forgotten that all those old squabbles were in my actually email account. The old one under my past name, of course, but all still accessible to me. Oh, the treasure-trove of human foibles it is, too. The casual racism. Good grief.
It appears we officially shelved that mailing list in 2015 and turned to the Nextdoor site for our neighborhood sharing, which is a shame. Lately the folks on our street have started a group WhatsApp to contact one another and it feels a little closer.
I’m counting all this past reading as research time for my writing project but really it’s just fun.
I do need to actually write something in this project, though. It’s one I’ve had around for a long time but lost interest in because I couldn’t work out how to make the plot go. (I have a lot of trouble making the plot go, if that’s not clear from everything I’ve written here about my own writing.) I’ve picked it back up again realizing a different angle on it. I hope I can capture something now that it seems fun again.
I remember when I was reading about Agatha Christie’s notebooks that she would scribble an idea on a piece of paper and years later return to the idea and complete it, her brain having noodled out the problem over the ensuing piece of time.
[*Scout is the child of one of our friends and is preternaturally smart for a 6-year-old.]