Tag Archives: research

Famous First Lines

I know, I know.

This really would be more appropriate for Friday, for a first lines post. But that’s not what you’re getting, and this isn’t even a full post.

It’s an invitation to you to share your favorite first line.

Mine is:

“There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.”

Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre (1847)

Simple, yet beautiful. I shall never have the talent of a Bronte. *sigh*

Whistle While You Work

Can you whistle? I can sometimes whistle, but not with my fingers like some people can. I have always wanted to do that, though. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s loud and fun. And no matter how common it actually is, people are always like, WOAH.

Well, my heroine Sarah can whistle like that. Since I don’t know how to do it, I had to actually look up a how-to. No really, it exists. Here. I had no idea there were so many different ways to whistle with your fingers.

Sarah whistles with her pinky fingers. I am going to keep practicing, but likely with the first method as I seemed to get the best (almost) results out of that one tonight.

My poor husband, on the other hand, cannot whistle at all. It’s actually rather comical. And cute. I love him dearly.

So I spent a few minutes researching how to whistle all to write one little line. But I wrote it.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched this week?

Sarah recognized the truth in that statement. Forming an A with her pinky fingers, she pushed the tip of her tongue back and let out a shrill whistle.


I have so many ideas floating through my head right now. The current series I am working on involves twenty different stories, although some will occur at the same time. I am still 100% devoted to the story of Sarah and Stratford, but the other Ladies are pounding at the door. I already have an idea of what is going to happen with at least 4 other couples.

So what happens? Clearly, an entirely unrelated idea pops into my head. I mean, seriously Laura? Get your stuff together, woman. And not entirely a romantic idea, either. Ugh. What to do?

Well, there is really only one thing to do isn’t there? Take notes, write several stories at once. Follow the inspiration. Right now, inspiration has me investigating what psychiatric care was like during the Victorian Era. That’s your only hint. Well, there’s another one, but I buried it.

Did you find it? Let me know if you figured it out.

This is really short because I just wanted an excuse to share this:


Disappointment Abounds

So, my iPhone 5s broke today. Well, yesterday but I gave up hope in the early hours of the morning. It’s awesome, let me tell you. I sat my ass at work all day – no music, no Facebook or Twitter on my break. Worse, no texting with my beloved. Husband, that is.

It did not leave me feeling very warm and fuzzy, as you might imagine. But still, I persevered.

Over in my dark little corner of the writing world, the word chosen for Thesaurus Thursday was “zen”. Yes. really.

As in “Laura is decidedly not in a state of zen after not speaking to her husband all day.” The situation, however, will be ameliorated by the fact that it is a warranty issue, so I am not out the $100 deductible for an insurance claim.

That aside, I’ve always been rather lazy with writing $$ signs. I remember there being two vertical lines when I was a kid. How did I miss that even our keyboards only have one? Odd.

So, I started some research today. Not for the current project, but for one of the novels that will appear within this same series. About the scientific inventions of the early 19th century, clearly. I found a few sites that will provide some good starting points.

One of them states:

This is a list of inventors and discoverers (not necessarily Christians) who worked fundamentally from a biblical worldview
. . . with virtually no one who subscribed to an eastern, pantheist or animist worldview (to my knowledge).

Can this list be construed to imply that Europeans and Americans are more intelligent than other peoples on earth?
…Not at all! —That would be a ridiculous and repugnant notion.
—But it is the worldview (along with a measure of intellectual freedom) which makes all the difference.

A portion of the discoverers in the list subscribed to the Naturalist worldview, however, their view of nature by itself largely agrees with the biblical worldview.

Perhaps I am being simple here, but what this screams to me is not that the only notable discoveries were by Europeans and Americans, but rather that the writer of this article felt like only researching the Western world. That shows our own prejudices toward other cultures.

I’m not going to copy/paste here but just read this article on the history of science and technology in China.

Anyway, I stayed up way too late last night attempting to fix my phone. Y’all have a good night.

Music For the Soul…

Boy, time has really flown today. Well, that or it has something to do with sleeping in until almost 11 am. I love days like that.

The luxury of sleeping in aside, today has not been a productive day for me. I am working on the timeline for my newest project, A Lady’s Wager. Sarah and Stratford are two very complex characters. I have actually worked quite a bit on them to ensure this, and I know there is still more to be done. Because I have made them so complex, they are being very difficult with sharing their story.

To counteract this stubbornness, a trait they share by the way, I am attempting to hammer down the timeline for this novel. There are some things I would love to include in the story – historical events, that is. Princess Charlotte was married May 2, 1816. She had such a short life so I am choosing to celebrate it via inclusion. The Duke of Milan, a Jacobean era stage play by Philip Massinger opened at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Another inclusion. Unfortunately, I know very little about the play – and cannot seem to find a performance of it anywhere online to view. Perhaps I can find it somewhere to read. I was hoping for some actual social events to send my couple to, but I seem to be running into a roadblock there.

Music. Right. I was going to talk about music. There was a discussion on Twitter recently about what we listen to while writing. Because I’m having so much trouble with planning out this book, I thought I would try some period music. So I am listening to the Romantic Classical station on Spotify.

What’s in your playlist this week?

Happy 3.14.15

It’s Saturday, which means it’s question of the week day. Here is the question we were asked, or rather – questions.

How much research does everybody do for their stories? Do you tend to write things that don’t require research? Or are you willing to write outside of your knowledge banks and spend some time researching? Where do you go to research?

How much research do I do? Well, that depends. I just spent 20 minutes using the Google and searching all my hundreds of ridiculous bookmarks. Why? Because I remember reading a term used in Regency and Victorian England that I thought might be more appropriate than “page boy” or “messenger boy”. Was my search fruitful? Well, yes and no. Yes, I found the term that was sitting on the tip of my tongue. No because it was not an appropriate fit. The term I was thinking of was “link boy”, which is the boy you hire to carry a torch, lighting your way in the dark. There are other times, of course, when I do a five minute search. I tend to do my research as I go rather than all at once prior to starting. Likely, this will get me into trouble one day.

Do I write things that don’t require research? Or are you willing to go outside of your knowledge banks and spend some time researching? I love the challenge of historical writing. I’m already planning a series set in the 20’s and 30’s – right here in Springfield, Illinois. As I already said I tend to research as I go along, and it will likely get me in trouble one day. Perhaps when the rough draft is done, I’ll take a month or two and really research. Better, I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to get a History degree. Perhaps once I’ve finished my Accounting degree.

Where do I go to research? Well, I use the Google for quite a bit of research. Other historical romance author websites offer a wealth of information. And for certain things, even Wikipedia can be a good source. I’ve also invested in several books relative to the time period. And the library. Who doesn’t love the library? OH! And Pinterest has become a favorite place for clothing research. Don’t believe me? Go check out “Regency Era Clothing”. Wonderful!

The Trouble With Historical Writing

I love historical fiction. I especially love my historical romance. But, I’m discovering it isn’t as fun as one might think. When I go to process a scene prior to writing it, I’m like…shoot, what would be a typical day here? What would he have worn? And let me tell you something. There is a crap ton of information about women’s fashion in history, but not necessarily a lot about men. And I’m not an expert on anything like that. There are days when I can barely dress myself NOW.

But, onward I trudge. I have some books awaiting pickup at the library, which I hope will help with some research. In the meantime, Google Images and Pinterest seem to be helping a lot.

Have I told you that I love the research bits? I love learning new things, especially about the past. It gives us such an appreciation of those who came before us.


Also, happy 4th of July to those of you in the States.


Do you enjoy doing the research when you’re writing, or is it a dreaded task?

I know the experts say you can never do too much research, but there are times when I feel like it’s all I do. Perhaps it is because I’ll get this CRAZY idea that sounds so awesome in my head, but when I sit down to flesh it out and start researching, it’s utter shite. I know some people might think I’m a flighty writer, but it’s more that I just came to understand I wasn’t going to be doing anything with a particular idea, or at least not right now. And at times, it is absolutely because I bogged myself down with so much research that the idea became stale, or boring.

I know that perfect balance between research and writing exists. Or, at the very least, something very close. It just has to, right?

I’m trying something new with the idea floating around my head. As I research something, I use it as an interview question for a main character. Like right now, I’m working on a setting for Faery dwellings. (Not mounds as we’re skipping that and going to something slightly different.) So, instead of trying to write a dry description of the characters home, she is describing it to me.

I’m not sure that I can imagine living on an enchanted island, but Elixabeth Stigweard has lived there all her life. While she knows of the outside realms, she has never left the island grouping she calls home. And rarely has she left the main island to visit one of the smaller islands. She and I are almost done with this interview question. Are you as anxious as I am to read her descriptions?