A photo of Sarah sitting at her desk, with an evil vacuum cleaner approaching her from behind and saying the word Grrr! in a speech bubble.
Spotlight on Writing

I’ve been diligently slogging through the edits for Darkness, Set Us Free. I’m fairly pleased that now, I’m close to finishing the second round. While this time it has been a much smoother ride (no total rewrites this time around), I do still run into the odd inconsistency.

The latest has been concerning military radios. Last night, I spent a full hour researching military radios and trying to work out exactly how they operate. They are similar to your basic walkie-talkie. A classic two-way is able to transmit and receive, and has backup batteries so you’re able to leave it in ‘standby’. But, I had additional questions:

– How does frequency hopping work?

– If a radio is in standby, can the enemy track its location?

– Do military radios have built in trackers?

Maybe some of these questions seem naïve; I am obviously no genius when it comes to military equipment. If you’re reading this and rolling your eyes at my general lack of know-how, I encourage you to enlighten me.

And to be honest, in all likelihood barely any of this research will make it into the book. So why am I bothering? Because even if none of it makes it into the book, a basic understanding is needed to be able to have our characters confidently use the equipment. If I don’t understand how it works, then how can I expect my characters to?

Story-time with Sarah

I have become convinced, ever since moving to Canada, that my vacuum cleaner has it in for me.

To start with, it was just generally snarky. It’s never pulled its weight around the house, it complains when it has to hoover the tiniest of stones, and it totally disregards fluff.

“I was made to hoover dust,” it says in a snobby voice. “Not stones, not hair, not fluff. Dust.” And then it flicks its long tail at me, and shits out the offending stone.

Believe me when I say I have tried to reason with it. I’ve come this close to throwing away any dignity and begging it to work. But it wouldn’t have a bar of it. It continues its contrariness and refuses to cooperate.

So now, it is all out war.

I’ve seen it scheming. I have to keep one eye on it at all times; it’s tried to trip me with its cord more than once. And it’s heavy enough that I’m quite certain, if I let it get the better of me, it would push me down the stairs. To be fair, it’s not all one-sided. I’ve contemplated murder. If I gave it a large enough boot to its plastic armored shell, I could break it. Maybe if I fry its circuits. But I can’t bring myself to do it.

In an attempt to keep the peace, Dan has suggested we buy a replacement. This is not an option, however. If the vacuum cleaner dies of anything except natural causes, it will have ultimately won. Why? Because then it will have deprived us of the ability to pay for something we want. Let’s be real—a new vacuum cleaner is never a priority. I can’t knowingly do that to myself.

So, I am at a stalemate. For now, the vacuum cleaner lives a healthy life. Not a cough; not a splutter. I pander to its every whim, picking up stones from the welcome mat and sock fluff from the carpet. But one day, I will have my revenge.