This blog is for those 18 and older.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Research....Then and Now

        Part of my goals for this new year is/was de-cluttering as much as possible. Fortunately for me, I am not a pack-rat because clutter makes me uncomfortable anyway…but my DH kinda is (we’re not going to discuss his workshop…it’s the stuff of nightmares) so I was cleaning out my computer room in order to comply with this objective. You know the drill….if it’s not needed and not useful, it shouldn’t stay (my shredder has gotten quite the workout).
          So what did I find? The most amazing things. I have three old binders I hadn’t opened in a long time (except to dust). They are front and center on one of the shelves to my left along with research and writing oriented books. And they were full. Page after page of my neat penmanship (I went to Catholic school when learning penmanship was a required course) or closely written print filled with facts and figures on white college-ruled loose leaf paper. There are pages and pages I copied from books I found on dress for both sexes from the Civil War to the turn of the century as well as copies of steamboats and trains and sailing ships. There were maps, too. And brochures from the Chamber of Commerce of over a dozen cities around the country, especially those that are historical in nature, like Natchez and Sacramento and San Francisco.
          What’s amazing about this? It was all gathered before I was spoiled by the Internet when one had to go to the library in order to learn about the history of military camps in Arizona, the history of ranching in Texas or the settling of Galveston and so many other things one must know to write historical romances.
          Now, if I want to know something, some fact that is crucial to the story I’m writing, I hop on Google or Bing or one of the more than a dozen websites that cater to history lovers. After looking through all this work, all these details about times and places I find fascinating, in the end, I was unable (and unwilling) to toss my binders. They’ll stay on my shelf until I’m ready for another stroll down memory lane.

Happy Reading (and researching)!

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