Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Roads of Research

There's a part of me that never wants to stop attending school of some sort. I don't necessarily like the structure of school or the inflexibility, and anyone who knows me knows that I didn't always focus on the learning part of school when I was in it so much as the grade. But I like the idea of never stopping actively learning.

Writing has given me some strange knowledge that I never expected to learn. In the course of the Madison novels I've worked on, I've researched assorted animals, some real, some imaginary, some long extinct, most exotic. I've taken notes at veterinary hospitals (and, oddly, been far too prophetic about what would happen to a few animals in my life, which has made me leery about writing bad things about animals). I've learned police lingo, as well as that of World of Warcraft fans.

Most recently, I'm going to have to figure out the abilities of cell phones. Unlike 99% of the population of America, I don't have a cell phone and neither does Cody. So I don't know how to change ringtones, if it costs money, and if you can send pictures to email addresses. These are things that Madison would know, though.

I did have a weird moment yesterday when I realized I needed to do some research on knives and I thought that I would just pop on down the road to a store called Accessories and More. Only, that's the name of a store in my novel that would sell knives, and no such store really exists. Yet there was that moment when I envisioned myself walking down the store aisles and talking with the men behind the counter who are far more knowledgeable about knives than either Madison or I ever will be. It was a bit surreal for a moment. And then a bit of a let-down when I realized the research wasn't going to be that easy.

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