Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Adventures in Research - Part Four

So the weather has been teasing us once again here in New York. First it was lovely this weekend, and then yesterday it started off raining, then sunny and humid, and then rainy and then just rainy and humid. My hair just doesn't know what to do with itself. I wish I had the money to afford the brazilian anti-frizz treatment that is now popular for us curly-heads. Its supposed to be better for your hair that the japanese hair-straightening technique that came to our shores a few years ago. Apparently the brazilian version puts keratin in your hair when it straightens and anti-frizzes.

I am ashamed to say that I only wrote two pages yesterday on my WIP but I had to stop and do some research, which has just given me some great ideas for future scenes. That's what I love about research, when it can actually help with the plotting as opposed to just telling me what kind of corsets and skirts people wore in the late 19th century.

It was immensely gratifying for me to learn that I could have my heroine play basketball in college, and that they had electric lights, central heating, and an electric trolley to take my heroine into town, not mention flush toilets and bathtubs with running water. In fact, I may have to write a scene where my heroine can take a bath just so that I can include that little tidbit!

So far, I've learned about late 19th century Halloween traditions. Did you know that it was the Irish who brought jack o'laterns to the States? In Ireland, they use to carve them into turnips to scare away Stingy Jack, which is this whole legend which I won't get into. Anywhoo, when the Irish came to the US, they discovered big fat pumpkins, which were better for carving the jack o'laterns than turnips.

Trick or treating came later in the 20th century, but I have more than enough stuff for my Halloween scene in the book. And I gave one of my character an Irish granny so that I could impart the information without it being too much information dump, which can slow down the narrative.

I also got sidetracked by discovering another Scandalous Woman to write about, darn it. More books for me to buy, which is going to cut into my shoe budget immensely. Still now that there is NO TV for me to watch since all the season finales for my shows are over, I am going to be spending my nights editing and my days writing in order to get this book finished.

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