One book leads to another...

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Odds and Endings

Hi, Everyone! Now that it’s “National Get Caught Reading Month,” can anyone recommend a good mystery to read beneath a full Flower Moon next week? I’m guessing there are a lot of A to Z Challenge Survivors out there – Congratulations! If you find your muse has left you without a word or ransom note, you can always sharpen your writing skills with any of the many great resources offered by the Insecure Writers Support Group, founded by Alex Cavanaugh, right here and right now on this first Wednesday of the month, when IWSG members convene through blogging, Facebook, and Twitter to talk about whatever is on our writing minds and agendas. See what we’re all talking about here.

I’m taking full advantage of the (optional) uplifting question of the month, “What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for a story?” because who wants to dwell on rejections, right? Besides, this question calls to mind all the fun of the writing journey!

Since I’m one to wander off the beaten path, it’s no surprise I tend to do that in research as well. So once upon a quest for knowledge of how to handle being lost at sea (terrifying, isn’t it?) I came across the true story of a family on a dream vacation voyage in the Bahamas during which the Captain, having been caught in the act of murdering his wife (for the insurance policy he’d recently purchased), then proceeded to end the lives of all but one of the family who'd been alerted to the scene of the first crime by the screams of the Captain’s wife. It was nearly fifty years before (then eleven years old) Terry Jo, the only surviving family member, was able to tell her harrowing story in a book entitled “Alone: Orphaned on the Ocean.”

For another story I was writing – and researching, I was checking out hypnosis. Since there are quite a number of characters (in my story) under the influence, I wanted to know if there could be adverse reactions. And sure enough, there could. It’s called “Inadvertent suggestion acceptance”; sometimes concretely, sometimes literally. For example, You can dance your feet off, or You can eat anything that movesoh, the possibilities!

Not that I’m a fan, but one story led me to a most disgusting insect called a Tumblebug. Not even my cat would go near it. Out here we call it a Turd Roller because that’s what, and all, it does. Scientists, on the other hand, are quite interested in the only non-human ‘animal’ known to be in existence that uses the Milky Way for nocturnal orientation.

So, what’s in your notebook? On your agenda? Have you ever been lost at sea, hypnotized, or seen a Tumblebug?