The X Files and other strange things

X marks the spot, right?  At least it does on every pirate map I saw as a child.  But I wonder if Blackbeard buried gold and trinkets in a chest under a big red X. I doubt it.

I often feel like I am digging for buried treasure when I go into my X files. Those are my research files, places I store bits and pieces of information that randomly turn up in my manuscripts or will one day. Those are my gold and trinkets.

As I was skimming them tonight, the variety tickled me. As I have mentioned before, I genre hop. So I have stuff that is as diverse as a United Nations meeting. Gawd forbid there is really a governmental agencies tagging all the stuff I research on-line. I could be on some FBI/CIA watch list and never know it. *looks around in paranoid fashion*
And if you think my files are bad, you should see my book shelf. But let me not get ahead of myself, First the X files. I have correspondence with the following people:

  • two doctors
  • one criminal lawyer
  • one family law lawyer
  • one horse trainer
  • Poker players
  • one stripper
  • four polyamory group members
  • one hardwood lumber specialist
  • two radio station manager
  • five disc jockeys in three states
  • a plethora of other authors
  • a photographer/videographer
  • a zoologist (big cats specialty)
  • four police officers
  • one former secret service man
  • numerous 911 people
  • two district attorneys
  • one CPS worker
  • a midwife
  • a personal trainer
  • a minister
  • fire fighters from five states
  • EMTs/Paramedics in four states
  • two newspaper reporters
  • a prison guard
  • a veterinarian
  • many renfaire enthusiasts
  • musicians
  • and a few others that escape my mind right now

Now, I have not used all of this information yet, nor do I even have plans to use it in the near future but who knows what tale will pop into my head next.  When I meet a person with a different background, I make note of it and try and glean as much information as I can and open a line of dialogue that I may need to call on in the future. So far, I have been really really lucky in that very few people I have approached have turned me down. It happens and, okay, I can deal with that. I just look elsewhere for the information I want.

But if my computer files are bad, my bookshelf is worse.  Reading across just one shelf I have:

  • Meshach Browning: Tale of a Revoutionary Era Hunter
  • Grimm’s Fairytales
  • 1923 Book of Etiquette
  • A Look at 20 Worldviews on Faith and Religion
  • Satanism and Witchcraft
  • Sourcebook for Medieval History
  • The King James Bible
  • Costuming through the Ages
  • How They Fight: A Study of Warfare Tactics through History
  • The Complete Annotated Works of William Shakespeare
  • The Story of English
  • Festivals and Celebration Practices in Ancient Times
  • Eygypt: Pharoh’s Land
  • Neaderthal Man
  • four different dictionaries
  • two thesaurus
  • A case study compilation on mute children
  • Ghost Stories of the Potomac
  • Native American Legends for Readers
  • Little Brown Handbook of Grammar
  • Researching Your Geneology
  • First Aid handbook

Yeah, that is one shelf. Remember that post I made on Trivia? Here you go. I have read all of these books (not the dictionaries or the thesaurus, I skim those. Okay, I skim the Grammar book too. *ICK*).

I write fiction, but I don’t make up stuff. I love my research. Where else can I justify talking to a stripper one day and a surgeon the next? When I think of a cool plot twist, who better to go to than my former secret service dude (Hi Todd!) and ask him? Truth is stranger than fiction, they say and I do hope so. I may write fiction but it is all fact based. And I have the X to mark the spot where I found it.

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2 Comments

Filed under bizarre analogies, Inez, writing

2 responses to “The X Files and other strange things

  1. talesfromthecrit

    I have an unbelievably weird collection as well. My husband is also a voracious reader and he has his own bizarre collection right next to mine. I won’t even go into what it actually contains but it’s weird. In an effort to get some organization we refiled all the books seperated by genre and then organized alphabetically. So it’s still weird but it’s in its own sections.

    AJ

  2. You have a lot of people on the “payroll,” but people are invaluable resources. I wish I’d known you knew poker players when I was writing ALL IN. 🙂

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