IWSG Day, NaNoWriMo, and Research Lists Consolidated


o much to do! School and NaNoWriMo and more.

But first...

"Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. ...

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!"
The awesome co-hosts for the
November 6 posting of the IWSG
are Sadira Stone, Patricia Josephine, Lisa Buie-Collard,
Erika Beebe, and C. Lee McKenzie!

This month's question: What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story?

A great question! I love writing about my research.

The last time I tried consolidating my research lists was two years ago.

Here is a better compilation, which still doesn't capture everything:

from the Research Randomness post
  • the "flavour" of life in Ephesus in the middle of the first century
  • day-to-day tools, habits and surroundings: pottery bowls and lamps; open gutters in the streets; animals everywhere; smells of bread, fruit and unwashed bodies; travelling as a slow time-consuming process involving many people and animals and much packing of supplies
  • a timeline with all the major "outside" events going on in Ephesus and the Roman Empire

from the Oreos and Choughs post
  • pre-1500 buildings
  • pewter, brass, and bronze

from the Research Weirdnesses post
  • rituals of the Temple of Artemis
  • the Reconquista
  • sea levels in Turkey over the past 2000 years
  • was Columbus Scottish?
  • musical groups in Montreal in the 1930s
  • pub names in ancient Rome
  • Greeks and Armenians in Arnavutkoy, Istanbul c. 1910
  • how long it takes to drive from Halmstad to Stockholm
  • riddles of the Greeks and Romans
  • the Spanish Inquisition
  • hotels on Capri
  • Ottoman life and courtly customs in the 19th century

from the A Question About Sailing post
  • If you were sailing from Constantinople all the way to Spain, in 1493, and had left rather in a hurry, what sorts of items would you need in your cabin? Items you might purchase in an Athens market. Candles? Extra clothing? A knife? A lantern? Something else?

from the What I've Learned From Editing post
  • art history
  • Renaissance clothing
  • the layout of Barcelona, and French curse words

from the Statistics and Storywriting Fun post
  • listening to nightingales

from the 8 Things post
  • pilgrimage
  • monasteries
  • Jews in Spain
  • the Renaissance
  • Provence, c. 1450 to 1525

from the My List of Research, So Far post
  • the Inquisition - hierarchy, major dates, etc.
  • the Ottoman Empire and its welcome of Jews during the Inquisition
  • travel in 1492 - overland? ships on the Meditteranean? passports, papers, etc. between countries?
  • foods readily available when travelling on foot across Spain - loquats? oranges? berries? fish?
  • flora and fauna in Spain in 1492
  • Columbus' journey - ports and dates
  • Judaism in 1492
  • (other) Major events in 1492 - art, books, etc.
  • Cistercians vs Benedictines (I've got a monk, and don't know what order he belongs to yet)
  • daily schedule in a monastery
  • holy days in Judaism and Catholicism throughout the year
  • If I have the energy, I might even look up moon phases. I was pleasantly surprised to see that, after I had written it as taking place on a Tuesday, I found out that Columbus really did sail on a Tuesday!

from the Unusual Research Topics post
  • caves in the Mediterranean region
  • Cistercians vs Benedictines
  • how to defeat or outrun Saracen pirates
  • what fruits grow in which seasons?
  • medieval and Renaissance meteorites and volcanoes
  • was chivalry dying out by the end of the 15th Century?
  • monetary systems and “passports” in the Renaissance
  • sailing without a map or compass
  • how to dress as and pretend you’re a nun
  • leather shoes and how long they might last
  • names of saints
  • the best way to set fire to a manor house
  • sacrificial rituals at the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus

from the Research Weirdness Again post

15th Century:
  • metalwork and trading
  • marriage and burial rites
  • more parts of ships and nautical terms (these never stick in my head)
  • clothing in fashionable Roman homes
  • Cem, the exiled brother of Sultan Bayezid
  • layout of the town of Cadiz
  • hills and villages on the mainland beyond Cadiz - where would one be taken if one had the misfortune to be kidnapped?
  • donkeys and horses and mules, oh my! (Adam Heine's got an awesome reference for horse travel times)

modern day, but featuring a 1000+ year old curse/legend:
  • druids and their tombs
  • Welsh myths and legends
  • Cornish myths and legends
  • archaeological key words
  • fairy tales, especially genre staples for Beauty and the Beast tales
  • noble families of England, Scotland and Wales
  • mythical sea creatures and Cthulhu

from the Poetry and Sundry Items post

from the Research Library post
  • birds as pets
  • rural summerhouses in 1914 Canada
  • the library at Alexandria
  • 15th Century London

from the Wishlists and Research post
  • travel and railway guides for Alice and George's story, set in the summer of 1914 near Knowlton, Quebec

from a NaNoWriMo2014 prep post
  • espionage in WWI

from the Need Research Help post
  • what's a good word for a female Kraken that forces you to do her bidding? I've been calling her The Mistress, but is that servile and forbidding enough?
  • what are some introductory texts on archaeology? I've watched Time Team, read their book Archaeology is Rubbish and also read a few scholarly articles, plus Agatha Christie's Come, Tell Me How You Live, but what else should I read to help me immerse myself in that mindset?
  • what's a good midlife crisis sort of car for a recently divorced man in his late 30s? He's Scottish, living in Switzerland...
  • this is a bit darker, but I need some details on surviving a basal cell carcinoma surgery -- is there any radiation or chemo in the follow up? What are the day to day pain levels and side effects?
  • what are some good resources for Scottish slang? I don't need Irvine Welsh level dialogue, more the inflections and word choices of someone who was in high school in Edinburgh in the early 90s and has been living abroad for over a decade. So far I've picked up a new Christopher Brookmyre to read (I've read his Pandaemonium but that was mostly younger kids)... What other novels would be good? [Update: I've read a lot of Peter May and Val McDermid since the above post]
  • does anyone know anything about the police system in Switzerland? I need basic information on hierarchies, how often the different cantonal systems communicate and some procedural details with regard to murder -- are statements taken from all witnesses right away? Does one have to leave an address with the police if it's close to Christmas and one is travelling out of the country?
  • what is it like to travel to the Isle of Lewis? What's the ferry like? The roads between villages? Opening and closing times for shops and pubs? [This is something I hope to research in person sometime!]
  • what are some good menu items for lunch and dinner at a fancy spa hotel with a famous chef?

From the Ask Me Anything Writing Exercise post
  • new Quebec bands
  • B2Run competition
  • bamya, the food and the Egyptian word
  • Someone to Watch Over Me cover versions
  • gambas a gogo
  • MacDonald clan battle cry
  • Reverso translate
  • slang from Australia and New Zealand
  • Pinterest images of suits
  • later, I added these items: durian, various lyrics, 60s hits on piano

There's also my abject ignorance of flora, medieval images, tips for using square brackets when writing historical fiction, why published authors always tell aspiring authors to READ, plus all the image searches and serendipitous finds of characters' faces...

It seems I need to consolidate those as well. Will do that next week!

The above post on Oreos and Choughs also features a quoted telegram sent by Dorothy Parker, which accurately sums up my ROW80 and NaNoWriMo and schoolwork life at the moment:


What sorts of research questions do you have?


That's quite a list! At least you kept track.
No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!
Chrys Fey said…
I make lists of odd things I research/Google, too! :)
Good heavens, that list is a wonderful case of research in its own right!
Diane Burton said…
Wow. What a list or lists. I keep a list of links to what I've researched with the book (or series) so if I need to go back to check out a fact.

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