Got up, jumped into the shower, and while still waking up mused a little on Tomb Raider, and on the (stalled) fanfic. And boom -- realized if I put the SG1 usual suspects in a meetings, Doctor Frasier can mention a connection between what she's been working on for several chapters now, and something she found in Lara's bloodwork. Presto; reason for them to talk to her, and not so much information I give away the whole plot. And as long as they are all there, would be hilarious if Airman Harriman (the "Chevron Five encoded!" guy) is a Lara Croft fan. So I can open the meeting with him dropping a handful of magazines and books on the table.
Thought about Hammond's reaction to her hide-out weapon (gave her a North American Arms "Black Widow" while she was clambering about above Colorado Springs) and that led me to Carter saying she'd go armed as well on the "rather sketchy" trails up there (the words of at least one local resident, according to my research). Which led me to wondering why Miranda would jump into a stranger's car, and suddenly I'm in the middle of my stalled novel instead. And the obvious joke someone can make around my male protagonist that this isn't an urban fantasy, and he's not a werewolf. Besides, Miranda isn't fleeing a clan of vampires; she's fleeing elves. So what would that make him?
A dwarf, obviously, says this someone (probably the as-yet un-named former girlfriend, research biochemist, filk singer and general snarker who is becoming a more and more core character the further I go). Which hooks in perfectly with the various flavors of tech-v-art dichotomy that are going on here. And sets up the third act reveal -- Duergar (which is the band name, but is also the real antagonists; elves who are a little more comfortable with technology, removing my male protag's home ground advantage just as he realizes what is really at stake.)
Oh, right. I should really explain what the heck the novel is about before I go yammering about it. Maybe some day. I just had to write this down because it helps me think more clearly when I do. Seeing the words on the page, I can see better where they work -- and where they don't and need to be revised.
And maybe, with a lot of luck, today will see that flash of inspiration that pulls together my design for Poppins as well.