I’ve been thinking a little (okay, a lot) lately about the end of my service in about half a year and what I’ll do back in, in all probability, the US of A. Looming on the horizon are things like where to spend the much-diminished remainder of our vacation, negotiating how to get home with all our accumulated crap of over two years of living, finding work or going back to school or, in all probability, doing both. Lots of stuff to think on with great potential to overwhelm. Joy!
Writing is, of course, a given, and probably the one thing I have to look forward to (apart from, you know, always having 1st world amenities like running water) that will get vastly easier with our return. Not that I’ll have more time for it, but that researching my topics of interest won’t cost me the equivalent of a day’s pay and a year’s patience.
I have the offline version of Wikipedia, which has been a godsend, but it’s almost impossible to load a website on the local connections that has any graphics worth mentioning. I can’t watch videos or download large files. Getting an e-book is usually a prospect of hours, but I’m grateful I can get them at all. Still, it makes me long for high speed internet.
I take my research pretty seriously. I’m the child of a historian, and we couldn’t travel anywhere of consequence in my youth without my dad pointing out historical landmarks and battle sites and monuments. Every vacation included a museum. I didn’t savor it then, but clearly his influence has a presence in me, because if I don’t know the details of a place or thing I’m reluctant to write about it. Some writers just go with the flow and don’t worry about synchronizing details because the characters are more important to them. Some writers write about places they know intimately and therefore don’t have to research. Others write pure fantasy that allows them to make up whatever they want on the spot and go with it.
I do some of all of those things, but I’m also riddled with the niggling need to check and double check my facts. The thought of rambling into a historical setting laissez-faire style and plopping my characters down on, I don’t know, wrought iron benches in Bronze Age Mesopotamia makes me want to beat my head in with my computer. This reluctance of mine to sally forth into the great unknown for the sake of grandeur has killed a few really promising stories in their infancy over here, and I hope to be able to ameliorate that problem when I get back. Is this a common problem? I’ve no idea.
In the meantime I’ll write more for Pandora, which has the wonderful quality of being almost entirely the product of my own mind and therefore subject only to my rules and the generally accepted rules of the genre of space opera.
And I'm a sucker for puns, dammit. Forgive the title.