Saturday, November 24, 2018

Drinking Tea During NaNoWriMo

It's November, a time for pumpkin-flavored everything, Thanksgiving, and National Novel Writing Month. I think the originator of NaNoWriMo was probably not hosting Thanksgiving, as he seems to have thought that having the holiday would actually help people achieve word count.

However, I can't blame my poor word count on the holiday. The fact is, I'm writing a mystery (again) and my plot has run into constant problems (again). It is possible that I was never meant to write mysteries, only to read them. I haven't actually given up yet, though. I'm at 27,000 words with six days left. It isn't actually impossible that I reach 50,000--just really, really (really!) unlikely. It probably requires a sudden blast of inspiration and the discovery that the woman who has gone missing is not actually being held captive by her no-good brother but has actually engineered some kind of elaborate plan to run off with the lonely rich man's most valuable possessions.

Nope. Sorry. Doesn't work. She's not a con artist at heart. Sigh. I'll have to keep searching.

I do drink a lot of tea, as I have mentioned before. This is even more true when I am trying to write. So, instead of more complaints about my meandering mystery, I'm going to share an interesting tea experience.

Some weeks ago, my area had a water emergency. A watermain (?) right near the water treatment facility developed a serious leak and we received a succession of messages: "Please conserve water," "Please restrict water use to drinking and personal hygiene," "Water levels have dropped too low for safety--please boil all drinking water and continue to restrict water use."

Fortunately, I still had jugs of water left from preparations for hurricanes, so I didn't have to rush to the store. It did remind me how precious water is, and how convenient it is to have running potable water. But on to the tea story.

Making tea during the water emergency, I kept thinking the tea looked darker than usual. Had I steeped it longer by accident? Unlikely, since I usually set a timer. When the water came back on, I did a comparison: tap water tea versus the jug I was using. Sure enough, the tea did look different. After adding milk, it still looked different, with one being grayer and one redder. I couldn't actually detect a difference in flavor, but some days my sense of taste is less sensitive than others, so I'm still not convinced that it was just a difference in color.

I read the label on the jug. It was a supermarket brand, filtered and ozonated. Ozonated?? Was that the difference?

Well, there's only so much time I have for experimentation, so I didn't then go on to test different varieties of water for tea making. I did look it up, and maybe someday I will do an actual taste test of different waters. (I sometimes use a Brita--how does that compare? What about those waters with added minerals?) I did think it was interesting, though, and I preferred the appearance of the tap-water tea over the ozonated one.

Now to the real announcement, which is that I'm not going to try to write any more blog entries until the New Year. There's just too much other writing that I want to do, and all the usual holiday stuff. So...

Till next post in 2019. Happy Holidays.