Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Research Train.

Quote of the Day: "Not all treasure is silver and gold, Mate."--Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Carribean

One thing about the Research Train for me--once I get on, I don't want to get off. And my writing suffers. I got absolutely ZERO words in yesterday, I was so busy surfing the Net and browsing Half-Price Books.

Latest spoils:

The Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser

Six Wives by David Starkey

A VERY old copy of Collier's World Atlas and Gazeteer

I have been trying in vain to learn everything I can about Mary Newman Drake, Francis Drake's first wife--and sadly, she seems to be practically a footnote in history. I have contacted several people in Saltash, Cornwall to see if I can get anything more on her than a date of birth, marriage and death. She is the entire basis for an historical middle-grade mystery I'm writing, and it's good that there isn't much "on her" because then I can use my Poetic License, but I also don't want to make gross historical errors, either. I like to play it safe when writing about real historical figures.

I found another great website: The Tudor Shoppe. Call me crazy, but just for fun, I bought replicas of the coinage from the reigns of Henry VIII, and Elizabeth I. (If you go to the site, click on "coins" and you'll see what I got.) I'll display them somewhere, or use them. It will help to be able to handle the closest thing to the real thing--especially since one real genuine Elizabethan shilling goes for around £335 right now. (Eeek.) I use references to coinage in my stories, so I'll be able to know what they looked like.

Research. It sucks away my time, but it is SO fun! Almost as fun as writing, because I'm making new (and useful) discoveries, even if it is in the privacy of my own home. I can't just up and leave my kids and go to say, England to research my novels (someday, someday) so I have to settle for the two closest things: Library and Google. And word of mouth, so make that Three things.

Hubby just left for Las Vegas this morning, he'll be there until next week. I think I'll get a lot of writing done--I'm stalled again on my Ellie novel but if I just sit down and force myself to do it, the words seem to eek out eventually.

I think I'll avoid the Research Train today--gotta get some writing done! It's too darn hot to play outdoors anyway. I'm staying inside.

That's why Air Conditioning was invented!

1 comment:

Michelle Miles said...

WOO! I love research too. :D I didn't get any words done on the WIP but I accomplished something else (see today's blog entry but you already know what that is anyhow hehe).