Tuesday, June 29, 2010
How Many Historical Novelists Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?
How many historical novelists does it take to change a light bulb? A shocking 21, it turns out:
One to screw in the light bulb.
One to complain that the new light bulb is too dim for reading.
One to complain that the new light bulb is too bright for reading.
One to say that it's just right.
One to ask about how homes were illuminated in the (say) fourteenth century.
One to supply a list of references.
One to say that the list of references supplied is all wrong, and that he or she has better references.
One to say that it really doesn't matter, that readers only want a good story.
One to say that on the contrary, readers care deeply about how a house is illuminated and will be furious if the author gets it wrong.
One to suggest that the writer avoid the whole question by having all of his scenes take place in broad daylight.
One to mention that her new novel is getting great reviews.
One to point out that the new novel has nothing to do with the lighting question.
One to say that authors should support each other and that it should make no difference whether the new novel is relevant to the lighting question at all.
One to see whether Amazon has any books on the history of lighting and, while she's there, to check her Amazon rankings.
One to say that with e-readers, you really don't need to worry about light bulbs.
One to say that the printed book industry will never die and that e-books are just a passing fad.
One to try to make peace between everyone.
One to write about all of this on her blog.
One to send a Tweet about the blog post.
One to do a Facebook post about the light bulb issue.
One to call her agent to complain about the unproductive morning she has had reading all of the postings about light bulbs.