Sunday, May 28, 2017

Craft of Writing: Research ALL THE THINGS!

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What do I do when I am not writing? (I wish I could say the answer was sleep and eat, but I'm not writing ALL the time.) When I'm not battling the black beast of mental illness or editing, I am doing research. It is a habit that helps me relax (most of the time). My research tends to go in a few different directions.

It may be tied directly to my present writing projects. (Currently, I am looking up stuff about how to use html in blog posts. This way I can customize my work a little bit more.) It may be tied to larger projects that are in progress. (I have been slowly building up a body of research about medieval knitting techniques and trying to nail down just where crochet started or the earliest evidence of it. It gets tricky because naalbinding looks a lot like both. Not even the archaeologists are sure where crochet got started and nobody knows where knitting began, not for sure.) And then there is the research I do on the basis of crafts I'm working on. (I'm making a heavy blanket out of multiple strands of yarn. It is an adaptation of some scrap-afghan concepts and trying to make something similar to a weighted blanket with out having to pay $80 for one.)

I confess, my research is not half as well organized as it should be. My fiber arts work is jumbled up with my daily journal writing and some fictional stuff that I am doing for a LARP I participate in. At best, I have stacks of papers and notebooks. It is a messy practice that has been carried forward from my college days. I am working on correcting this because I am finding that it is getting mixed up with the stuff for the kids for school and my paperwork that goes with running the household. (Nothing like finding an important letter buried in a pile of recipe notes two days before it needed to be addressed, and the postage date is a month before. I now have a real mail sorter where things go so that doesn't happen again.)

It is an entertaining hobby. I tend to specialize in things that are a bit obscure. Honestly, though, I am at my happiest when I am learning new things about 10th century Ireland and how to master a new crochet stitch as I am waiting for the newest recipe I have tried to finish cooking. Throw in a dash of my making other peoples' day better by doing so and my happiness is complete.

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