|My dogs, Hamlet (on left) and Whitman (on right).|
I love doing research. It's probably the geek in me (I blame my mom who introduced me to Star Trek at a very young age), but one of the parts of writing that I really enjoy is learning new things. While working on my previous novel, I went through the training to become a Master Gardener. I already loved gardening, but I wanted to take it a step further. (Did I mention I'm a tad bit obsessive?) The great thing about it is that I can spend time learning about things I'm interested in and call it Work!
Since my first book is out of my hands right now, I'm diving into the research for my second book. Let me tell you It. Is. Fascinating! Since I'm at the beginning (and things could easily change) I'm not going to talk about it right now, but the pictures in this post are a clue.
Another benefit of research is that it prevents me from checking my email every twenty seconds for news on the first novel. Publishing is like adoption. There are periods of intense activity followed by long waits. Researching the second book allows me to pretend I'm Zen about the whole thing. (Not that it's real. The kids are once again calling me Wacky Mommy.) It also forces me to look at writing as a long-term career, instead of a one-shot deal. Researching the second novel means at some point, I will have to write the second novel. Which is a very hopeful thing.
It also helps me remember why I started writing in the first place. Because I love stories. Dreaming up a new story line and falling in love with new characters is refreshing after months and months of revision.
So in between clicking refresh on my email every twenty seconds--because you know, my agent could be emailing right now--I'm also acquiring a great deal of knowledge about some Very Interesting Things. Which I will share with you at some point. Just not now. (How's that for a tease?)