Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Question of the Day #681

As we pulled out of the airport parking lot, my mother said, "Oh! I have a great cemetery to take you to."

"Really?" I asked. "What's it like?"

"It's down a long gravel road, next to a river. The headstones are really old. You're gonna love it," she said.

"Awesome," I said.

Then I laughed.

"How crazy do we sound right now?" I asked.

"What do you mean?" She asked and giggled.

The new project I keep referring to involves a cemetery in a small town. Since those aren't easy to find in LA, Mom found one in Vermont. So last night, after dinner, we grabbed a camera and a flashlight and drove down a dark, tiny lane to the cemetery.

Headstones marked deaths from the 1753 - 2008, sadly including many children. Water rushed by on three sides of the plot, where multiple rivers met. Ferns sprouted from the mossy grass.

Surprisingly, it wasn't creepy. The cemetery felt peaceful. And I wondered if the cemetery in my new book should also feel serene.

So much to think about.

What strange things have you done for research?



  1. I've done lots of things, but I'm blanking out right now. I asked a saleclerk with a lip stud what it feels like to kiss someone (and what guys have said about kissing her) because I was thinking of giving my mc in my new wip one.

  2. I had a Pampered Chef party at my house to research a book. Not the strangest thing, but out of character!
    My favorite cemetery EVER is in London right near the Earl's Court subway stop. Mossy, overgrown, peaceful and full of really old graves.

  3. I absolutely adore old cemeteries. I don't get spooked so much as feel it's a place to remember many lives. Sometimes it's sad, like the gravemarker I read that said only Mother and Child. I once did a news feature story on the old cemeteries in southwestern Riverside County and found many fascinating tales to go with them.

  4. I can't say that I've done anything strange for research, but for my next project, I just might have to.

  5. You sound like an actor researching a role. I find it so interesting that whether an actor or a writer or a chef, we all need to research our roles and get into our characters. I research chefs constantly. Today I was researching Gary Danko for cooking inspiration. Fabulous.

  6. I just did casting for a Midget, Mexican Wrestler, Sexy Woman, Chainsaw man and a Ventriloquist - that was interesting. Love these photos, reminds me of Ridgefield CT.

  7. Ooh! Cool pix. I don't know if I'd had the guts to go at night! I think the oddest thing I've ever done for research was interviewing one of my friends' kids about cat dissection. Yucky, but I got some great details I never would have thought of from simply watching YouTube videos.

  8. I haven't done anything strange, though I'd like to go back in time to old Tibet to do research...

  9. Right now I'm learning about the blues. Trying to capture that full-bodied sound in words is tougher than expected. the night mission to the cemetery!

  10. I'm planning on going to a lot of high school basketball games this year even though I know none of the players. Research for my basketball/ghost novel. I need to pick up on player's outward attitudes and basketball in general at the HS level.

    Cemetery pics are cool!

  11. If you haven't already done so, you should read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; you'll love the descriptions of Bonaventure Cemetery.

  12. That's really cool. Great pictures, too. I was looking up the cost and designs for casket flowers for research recently. That was kind of strange. Didn't realize those things cost so much!


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