Tomorrow I have to start editing my Riga Hayworth novellette. I say "have," because I'd been dreading the task. The story is too long for the anthology where it will be published. I'd have to cut something big (a character, a murder?). And I knew the first draft, as written, had other problems. (This is typical of first drafts). I just wasn't sure exactly what those problems were or how to fix them. Hence the dread.
As I was noodling around on YouTube, a video popped into my timeline on technology and magic. Since my story is set in high-tech Silicon Valley, I watched it. And that led me to a web search for a technomage mentioned in the video. And that led me to an ebook of essays on magic in which he'd authored a chapter. Unfortunately, while the TOC listed chapter/essay names, it didn't list the authors. So I resigned myself to slogging through the entire ebook to find the magician I was looking for.
The first chapter had all the answers. It was an essay pop magic and by an entirely different author/magician--one under normal circumstances I never would have read. But in a flash I realized exactly what I needed to cut and change regarding the magic in the story. Not only did I now have the "right" magic for my story, but I had a new theme, one that mattered to me. (Weirdly, the magic I'll now be using isn't pop magic - the essay touched on other magical streams of thought, and those are what broke things open for me).
I did find the author I'd bought the ebook for in the next chapter. His essay was useful as well, but not like the first chapter had been. In fact, if his essay had been chapter one, I probably would have stopped reading there, disappointed I hadn't found my answers.
I know the online algorithms are designed to almost read your mind. There's no real synchronicity in a web search. Google can anticipate what you want before you consciously know what you want (something I find mildly terrifying).
But finding my way to an essay by the "wrong" essay that not only solved my story problem but got me excited about doing so... Was it synchronicity that got me there? And maybe, perhaps, a quiet Saturday where I had the time and inclination to dive down all those rabbit holes?