It’s my mess and I know where everything is

This entry first appeared on February 4, 2010

Research is my favorite part of writing, but boy can it get me waylaid.

I’m doing most of my hard research now for the fourth Blackbeard book Blackbeard’s Legacy: Shared/Time. About a third of the book takes place on Aug. 28th, 1861, the day Fort Hatteras, Fort Clark, and Fort Ocracoke were destroyed or disassembled. My husband, being a Civil War enthusiast has dozens of book shelves filled with research books that I have been perusing for the past three years. By now that I’m down to the wire, I seem to find one sentence out of each book I read that I actually need making the pile up on my desk a bit overwhelming. I can’t even find my desk. This morning my laptop was straddled on my knees while my mouse was on my lap while my book was open and leaning on my desk while balancing on my laptop. I have papers everywhere, but if a gust of wind or one of the dogs upset one piece of paper, I’d be lost. I really do know where everything is. It’s just getting to the right piece of paper or book without toppling everything over that’s the trick. Research takes forever for one reason. I start reading and I can’t put the book I’m looking in down. The information I don’t need is so interesting I can’t stop reading. You know the saying, “It’s the last place I looked.” Well, once you find something you can stop looking. I need to apply that to my research. When you’re writing something you really love,,you’ll see what I mean. Can any of you guess what the connection between Blackbeard and the Civil War is? Ha! Bet you can if you read the first tree books.