Thursday, March 3, 2011

When in doubt, interested, or curious, research!

            I’ve neglected my blog a little in the last couple of weeks due to being ill.  What I find amazing about that span of time—and a bit creepy—is the wild trails my mind went on while I was sick.  I got a clogged ear and sinuses, and that seemed to spur my brain to contemplate things I don’t normally.
            These included a lot of aging thoughts, such as marriage, pregnancy, kids, balancing job and home life, retirement, and the health issues that run in my family along with older age.  The older we get, the more potential issues show up.
            As I’m nearing 30, there are a lot of things changing.  Most people I know my age are engaged, getting married, or considering/having kids.  The younger siblings of the friends I grew up with are in late high school or college.  Since I’m getting older, my chances of marriage and kids narrows; after 30, apparently, the chances of having a child without birth defects grows, as does risk of complication.  I’m starting to feel old.
            Granted, the unlike-me contemplations provide  good opportunity for writing research.  Sometimes a glimpse at mortality, too, will do that.  In the last two weeks, I had to watch one of the horses I’ve known for years be humanely euthanized due to old age and colic.  Daddy turns 60 this year.  I had a strange “interview” by an insurance agency wanting to recruit me to tell its services to senior citizens, and some of the information they gave us about the aging populace was a bit…intimidating.
            So, as with many things that pique my interest, I spent a good deal of time researching them.  Marriage and kids are two things that are a possibility in the future, and growing older definitely is.  I’ve dealt with animals and breeding, and taken physical health classes in school, so though reproduction isn’t foreign to me, there are still little things everyone is expected to know but no one really talks about.  Guess that’s one good thing about the internet.  It makes “uncomfortable” subjects accessible.
            One of the reasons I looked into the topic of pregnancy, too, is the fact that one of my main science-fiction characters was born due to a one-night between Kett and her mother.  I was curious how good the chances for this were, given it seems like a lot of people who want kids can’t have them, and others who don’t want them have them.
            This brings me to the tip of this entry—when in doubt, research!  If you’re interested in something and want to use the topic in your writing, research!  I’ve read many authors who didn’t research something in their work that had parallels in real-life, such as the author who thought the horse colors bay, chestnut, roan, and dun were the same.  Granted, some authors love to show just how much they know and researched, which leads to information overload on a reader.  You don’t have to put all the stuff you know on a topic into your work, just enough that it fits the story and if people look it up for themselves, they can see you’re correct.


  1. Ah yes, the too much research novels, that can put one to sleep in 3 pages. Good times.

  2. Yeah, but at least they're good for something, right? One can use them to get a good nap or night's sleep. heh