The Personal Side of Writing Research
When I used to research topics for my natural history programs at nature centers, I used the library. So cumbersome compared to internet search engines. And … impersonal. Take today’s google adventure for Conifer Curse. In my WIP Fern must take on the beekeeping for the Meadows. Believe it or not, I have done beekeeping, back in high school when my parents moved during my senior year and I lived with my 4-H leader for six months at her orchard. I helped with the beekeeping, mainly holding the smoker and really dousing the colony into a stupor so I didn’t get stung.
But of course, this was back in ancient times and I don’t remember everything with clarity, so I plugged in honey harvesting and came across a fantastic blog: http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com After I watched many of Linda’s detailed how-to videos and slide shows, and admired her award-winning wax block (I had forgotten wax would be another ‘bee’ product that the Meadows can produce to support Emerald Isle.) I decided to bookmark the site on the most recent date.
That’s when things got personal. Yesterday Linda and three of her beekeeping friends lost seven of their hives at a community garden to flooding in Atlanta, GA. I feel so bad, for them and for the helpless bees. This is not the kind of feeling one would get researching a topic in a book. I mean, I’ve been in Linda’s kitchen, in her backyard, seen her grandson crushing honeycomb. All this morning. I really appreciate all the work she’s gone to in sharing via her blog what she’s learned in the last four years. So to see her photos of the flood and down in the water-filled basin the little marks on them that indicate where the hives used to be … well, you get the picture.
Yes, tooling around on the internet takes you to some research sites fast, but it also allows you to touch the lives of some very interesting people.