Saturday, September 17, 2016

Research Record 9/9/16 - 9/15/16

Hello, records. Here's what my writing led me to research lately.

Story in progress - Turesia, Book 1

Googled -

Define Rhythm - Was really searching for synonyms, to describe the dance of lehua setuars.
"Pyromollusk" - Awesome! It's not a thing yet! But maybe I shouldn't post it here...
Rain forest mammals - Specifically looking for the kind you can throw spears at.
Giant river otter
Define Resignations
Acacia Resin
Cast lots - Drawing straws is what I was going for. Casting lots is more about divination / cleromancy. Not sure how I confused the two.

Wikipedia'd -

Peccary - Rain forest mammals brought me here.
Gum arabic - Searching Acacia Resin brought me here. Not what I was looking for.

Books Referenced -

(these are the same as last time and probably will be as long as I'm writing within Ausgan.)

"Plants in Hawaiian Culture" Beatrice Krauss
"Garden Ethnobotanical Guide to Native Hawaiian Plants" Amy Greenwell
"Hawai'i's Birds and their Habitats" H. Douglas Pratt
"Reef Fish Hawai'i" John P. Hoover

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Research Record 9/2/16 - 9/8/16

I remember reading a Michael Crichton novel when I was younger and thinking, "These details seem really specific and accurate. How the hell does he know all this stuff?"

Later in life I learned that authors who want any sort of authenticity in their writing have to do a shit-ton of research. Later still, I experienced it myself.

the dream team
When I wrote A Sawmill's Hope, it was largely about subjects with which I'm familiar, hiking, rivers, ruins, camping, etc. The monsters I wrote were based on years of unintentional research, then some intentional research. For the alchemy in the book, mostly contained to the chapters involving Seltys, I stopped writing for months, while I journeyed to the corners of the internet to study alchemy (see this particularly useful hub).

**Actually, I just remembered a disturbing path my research took during ASH. Darke needed to know the best way to kill prey with a projectile weapon. My most useful resource was here- Mechanics of Terminal Ballistics. I'm pretty sure all the research I did on this subject boiled down to two lines of text on the second page of the book.**

So, here and now.

I want a way to keep up with what I research, and when I researched it, and why. Maybe it'll be interesting to more than just me. If it catches on, I'm going to make semi-regular posts, maybe weekly. I'm filtering out all researched topics that aren't writing related. If I'm able to make this regular, I'll probably come up with a better format. Til then -

Research Record 9/2/16 - 9/8/16

Googled - 

"Bin Laden Quotes" - Because I'm writing a character who zealously believes in mass murder as an acceptable course of action.
"Define Eulogy"
"Squid with a Shell"
"Giant endoceras"
"Drop bears" - This is a hilarious concept. Check it out.
"Define Litany"
"Ancient Hawaii"

Wikipedia'd - 

Cameroceraus - "Squid with a shell", and "Giant endoceras" led me here.
Moonshine - The tribes of Ausgan (a nation in Turesia) make their own whiskey.

Books Referenced -

"Plants in Hawaiian Culture" Beatrice Krauss
"Garden Ethnobotanical Guide to Native Hawaiian Plants" Amy Greenwell
"Hawai'i's Birds and their Habitats" H. Douglas Pratt
"Reef Fish Hawai'i" John P. Hoover

I'd be interested to know your research habits, be it for writing or not! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What do you want?

I'll die eventually. But until then I maintain a firm list of things I want to own or to accomplish. As it stands, my list includes (but is not limited to) -

Get this!
- A waterproof backpack
- A better coffee maker
- Bow and Arrows
- A boat
- Weed eater
- 4-wheeler
- Acoustic bass guitar
- Laser surgery for eyes
- Rock grinding kit
- twould be cool to be able to fly
- A cruising catamaran and the ability to drive it
- Self-employment by 2020
- Evie's memorial to $10k

I also have a list for my future home -

- Triple sink in kitchen
- Enough land for a mead hall
- Stone pizza oven
- Pool
- Clawfoot tub in master bath
- Soundproof music studio (with every kind of instrument)
- Mancave with fixtures to hang hammocks everywhere
- Voice command lights
- Speakers in the walls

(I'm just giving you an overview here. No reason for you to know I want hooks installed in every room's ceiling to hang a sex swing. That's just not your business)

I also have a list for "things to do," "games to play," "books to read," and "soundtracks to collect."

I think you should make some lists, too. I think your list should include everything you want. Everything you've ever wanted. Everything you could ever dream you might want. Whether it's material or immaterial, list it. This list should be free of all realistic limitations. Don't say, "Well I want this, but..." No! Just put it on there. Accept your desires, don't deny them!

When I talk about this idea, some people's initial reaction suggests I'm being selfish. Why am I focusing so much on me, me, me, me, me? It's not like that. I'm not saying obsess over these things. Don't neglect people in your life, or anyone you're in a position to help, to achieve your wishlist at all costs.
What I'm suggesting is putting a theory into practice that's probably been pounded into your head since time immemorial. If I change the terminology, you'll see what I mean. It's not a wishlist. These aren't wishes. They're goals.
Perhaps I won't achieve them all in my lifetime, but setting goals is how I've accomplished some significant things so far, which brings me to another list:

- New monitor
- Lawn mower
- Better glasses
- Martin backpacker guitar
- Face hair groomer thing
- GoPro
- Camera and mic for video recording
- Wii U
- Published novel
- My own publishing business

I started doing this to free up my memory. To remember the simple things I can grab pretty easily, just not at the moment, or things I can't necessarily go out and get without extensive planning. Without this list I'd have to remember more things, and I save my memory space for more vital endeavors like zipping my pants, picking up my keys, charging my tech, saving my document, etc.

There are several lessons I've learned in this process.

1. If I put something on that list, I'll figure out how to obtain it, even if it seems ridiculous and impossible. It might require a series of steps and a lot of time and money (like the mead hall I will one day build) but once it's on my list, my mind is formulating a plan, whether I realize it or not.

2. If I'm ever not on the top of my game--doubting myself or just downhearted in general--these lists are a welcome respite. Looking at the goals reminds me why I'm doing what I'm doing. Why I persevere. Looking at that Obtained! list reminds me of goals I've met. It reminds me that if I put my mind to a task, I can achieve it.

3. I'm learning about myself in this process. In fiction writing, when you're creating a character, there are several traits that help quickly identify a person. One of those is Desires. When I look at my lists as a whole, it speaks to who I am as a person, at least to some extent. And self-awareness is a gift you shouldn't squander.

The most vital first step in preventing yourself from dying with an unfulfilled bucket list is to create a bucket list. Set your goals. If you think you're being selfish by focusing so much on you, then offset that by giving your money, time, advice, or help to someone who needs it. If you don't know what to give or how to start, throw some love toward Evie's Memorial. Whether you can drop $s directly or just spread awareness by sharing the page, all is welcome.

After that shameless plug, what better way to end this post than some good ol' hardcore rock?