Saturday, June 16, 2012

Research (and search, and search, and...)

A few quick facts about me: I love reading, I love writing, and I love learning. Thus, writing research is one of my favorite things in the world.

Even writing picture books leads to quirky fun facts and fascinating ideas. When venturing to write a mid grade novel on a Christmas theme, I became so immersed in the winter solstice, bells, Planet X and the Yule Cat, it took me a good long while to drag myself away from studying to write the actual story.

Here are some favorite research tidbits I've dug up:

1. There really are people in the world who eat scabs. I know, I know...but it's best to be aware, don't you think?

2. The Navajo loom is symbolic of life, the universe and, well, everything.

3. There are no crystal skulls reported to be of ancient date that have actually been proven to be of ancient date. All that have been examined have been debunked as well crafted forgeries. There is one possibility, but in the middle of an investigation to prove the skull's authenticity, the owner snatched back her prize and now refuses to let anyone see it--unless she likes you a lot. She says she previewed the assassination of John Kennedy in it.

4. My favorite holiday legend? The Yule Cat. In Iceland (I think it's Iceland) if boys and girls were hard workers they received clothes for the holidays. Anyone caught without new clothes at the right moment would be promptly eaten by the giant Yule Cat.

Isn't that cool? Nothing like a creepy Christmas. I know this fabulous legend has helped my own children to work hard year round and show proper appreciation for those gifts of socks and underwear.

5. And finally, studying Planet X just raises more questions than it gives answers. Is it real, is it not real, and what does it have to do with Babylon? And Atlantis? And the end of the world? And is it the 11th planet or the 12th planet even though we’re apparently down to only 8 planets?

Yes, Planet X. A whole treasure trove of unending research. OCD research junkies like me should avoid the topic entirely.

But, you know, if you can control it, here's a link to get you started: Planet X.  



  1. Wonderful post. Though I'm quite sure there are several ancient crystal skulls residing in Maine ;)

    My husband says there's a story about an Easter witch. Is he nuts?

  2. Not sure...let me do a little research ;)

  3. Okay, how come I haven't heard of planet X? And, what's this about a Yule Cat? Clearly I've been researching in the wrong places! I need to steal your notes...unless I could just spy them through my crystal skull? :)

  4. You have a fabulous blog! I’m an author and illustrator and I made some awards to give fellow bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I want to award you with one of my homemade awards: the Powerful Woman Writer Award. There are no pass along requirements. This is just to reward you for all the hard work you do!

    Go to and pick up your award.