For the last two months I've been immersed in books, DVDs, audio cassettes, and historical maps conducting research for an upcoming book I want to write. I've become so fascinated with learning about colored people living in Virginia around the Civil War period that I think I've started to use "research" as an excuse to just continue to read, read, & read some more. Although there's plenty of info on slavery, I'm pretty surprised at the lack of information about freedmen.
Right now I have about a dozen more books to get through and have filled up a couple of legal pads with notes and ideas. I'm one of those writers who begin their stories in long-hand and continue until I realize that my hand can no longer keep up with the thoughts coming out of my mind, or, I realize I am writing so fast my handwriting has become totally illegible. My family thinks it's unreadable as it is, so when I start to have a problem figuring out what I wrote, I know it's time to hit the keyboard.
You see that pad, yeah, the white one, filled to the brim, crinkled with curled edges, and purple-stained?
Some of my best thoughts are on there, but thanks to Bella leaping onto my lap from across the couch, knocking my glass of wine all over, some words have faded into nothingness. I wonder if that's her way of telling me, "Enough with the scribbling, ma! Pay attention to me!!!"
When I get in this mode I sort of forget about everyone, except for the characters I'm creating. But Bella's right. At some point I have to say enough is enough. No more research. I'm just not there yet. I still have to visit a couple of museums and speak to some locals, but if I don't set a deadline this "research" will go on forever. I'm thinking one more month at the most...