As writers we are not only drawn to the interesting, it is the quirky and odd that inspires us. Sometimes we get caught up in our research, spending hours following rabbit trails to insanely pursue new nuggets of information that only a handful of souls would ever find noteworthy, believing that one more click will somehow unlock the missing piece in our manuscripts.
Or, we’re just nerds. At one point, we were Helen Keller, and now, with Wikipedia as our personal Annie Sullivan, we have found W-A-T-E-R.
When I am in this zone, scarfing down chips and salsa, my kids have been told only to interrupt if there are broken limbs (theirs) or blood (gushing, not oozing) or something is on fire (three foot flames only).
Summer is my favorite time for research because I drag my kids along and call it a field trip. The Hernando De Soto national memorial? Thomas Edison’s summer home? Uh…Ron Jon Surf Shop?
This summer I visited Mobile, AL and walked through a cemetery created for victims of yellow fever. Guess what? Right beside it sat the Mobile Historical Society. Fully air-conditioned, thank heavens. It is so easy to lose track of time when you’re surrounded by the scent of old paper and Murphy’s oil soap.
My friends know they are in trouble when 1) they haven’t heard from me in a few days and 2) they call me and I say, “Of course I’m fine! Why wouldn’t I be fine?” then the next words out of my mouth are 3) “Did you know…?”
So, now we have returned to the beginning of another school year and what have we learned? What trails have we followed (or stumbled upon) that can be applied to our WIP?
The one thing I’ve learned is that Google Chrome doesn’t have a really good FAVORITES button. There are no folders, either. It’s annoying. If anyone has figured out how to save more than five things at a time, please let me know. I put my thirteen year old on it and even offered him money, but so far, no dice.