Here at the cabinet we're collecting a different kind of curiosity--odd information. Having the freedom to hunt down random facts and call it research is one of the more fun things about being a writer. That's how I first learned about the art of pumpkin catapulting, how a raven's track in the dust looks diferent from a crow's, and what spices are used in Mediterranian foods. I've also spent hours finding just the right 1930s mansion and pouring over its rooms, and sketched for myself how a dragon could use a dual stomach and oxygen to breath fire.
Like I said, not exactly a bust job! The problem comes when the research spills over into real life. After obsessing over viquariums, frogs, toads and turtles this last month, I found myself irresistably drawn to build a pond in my front yard and invite my aquatic nieghbors to come swim. I picked up a used pond liner today, and hope to break ground tomorrow. A little odd, but not so bad a thing, right? Well, I've also given myself a healthy fear of snakes this last month, and something bordering on phobia where one particular snake is concerned.
Beginning to see why I'm not so keen on these things? Of course, the fact that I cast them in the role of the bad guy--or bad lady, in this case--and tied them to a twisted spell, a ritual, and a fifty year feud probably didn't help. But I still say, be careful what you research--that knowledge might raise its scaly head and come back to bite you.