My Internet History Could Get Me Arrested (TCWT)

My Internet History Could Get Me Arrested (TCWT)

It’s not even a surprise when I’m late for my TCWT posts anymore, is it? Since I don’t have a regular blogging schedule and I’m not used to having to write something on a particular day, it is super easy to completely forget. Especially when the 23rd was the day after my exams and I was celebrating by sleeping all morning and going to see Star Trek in the evening. (We need the email schedule back. Seriously. I’m too useless to be expected to remember this.)

It’s been a busy week of watching too much Supernatural and finger painting Les Miserables fan art.

Still, better four days late than never (and thanks to Nevillegirl for reminding me that I had a post to write). Now I just have to write this quickly before JARVIS runs out of battery, as he has been playing music while I paint all morning, as well as putting up with two episodes of Spn, and I’m too lazy to bring the power cable downstairs.

“What are some of the coolest/weirdest/funniest/most disturbing things you’ve researched for a story?”

Ha ha ha. You probably don’t want to know. But that’s what the post is about, so let’s get on with it.

There’s the research that scares people: how long would it take to dance to death; injuries sustained from being thrown off a cliff; pattern of bruising from broken ankle; sacrificial rites; laws regarding human sacrifice… (these were all from one project, an abandoned novel called Rite.)

I once did an inordinate amount of research into insanity pleas (to get off murder charges by pleading insane); I know how to pick locks; I know WAY too much about swords; I know quite a bit about blood spatters and bullet holes…

Oh, and fan fiction is totally research. Really. In every way. Always research.

There’s also the research that just comes across as weird and possibly-illicit-but-we-don’t-like-to-ask. I write a lot of stuff based on Celtic mythology, which means I read a lot of legends. Now, legends are fairly weird. People see a page of information about ‘fairy lovers’ (lennán sidhe) on your laptop, and they immediately assume the worst. But in just the last couple of days, I’ve had a few things that have been particularly fun. (So it’s really just as well that I was late with this.)

My current project is a prequel to my Death and Fairies trilogy, so it’s largely set in 17th century Ireland. One of my unexpected minor characters, Fyodor, prompted some interesting questions, which I put to my Tumblr followers in the hope that someone could give me some answers. (pay attention to the tags)

gay lennan sidhe

My research led me to spend an hour reading about Hadrian and Antinous. Oh, and then I was reading about King James I: 1606 — King James I of England began a relationship with Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset. Carr happened to break his leg at a tilting match, at which the king was present. The king instantly fell in love with the young man, even helping nurse him back to health all the while teaching him Latin. Entirely devoid of all high intellectual qualities, Carr was endowed with good looks, excellent spirits, and considerable personal accomplishments. These advantages were sufficient for James, who knighted the young man and at once took him into favour.

Yes, because when you fall in love with an injured young man, the first thing you do is teach him Latin. Right. Super romantic, guys. Super romantic.

I also have a habit of writing things I need to research on the back of my hand: this week it was “RUSSIAN FAIRIES” (underlined twice), because I needed to find out if there were fairies in Russian folklore. Turns out there aren’t, so that’s one question answered. For once, the internet actually gave me a straight answer!

Sometimes it won’t fit on my hand so migrates to my arm because it’s a combination of research and plot points. I’m really worried by the fact that this picture from last year says “necromancy” in the middle, as that’s not actually a feature of my book. Hmm… Also, ‘salt’? Dude, Supernatural is a more recent obsession than this.


So, there are a few of the things I’ve had to research. I daresay if I had longer to write this post I’d be able to think of a few more, but alas—JARVIS only has 11% battery left, and I don’t much fancy him dying on me before I can get him to the life support that is the charger upstairs, so I must end here.

However, if anyone knows anything about life in 1600s Ireland (whether related to LGBTQ issues or not), I’d be very happy to hear it, so leave me a comment.

Here’s the rest of the chain!

23rd – hahahahahaha. Yeah. Next time I’ll be on time, guys. I promise. (You know I won’t.)
30th – (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain)

16 thoughts on “My Internet History Could Get Me Arrested (TCWT)

  1. My internet history is really weird. I can go from watching a cute video of baby tigers to Googling ‘how to kill someone with tomato and barbed wire’ in a minute. And this is for Sherlock fanfiction. Writers are all psychos in some way, right?

  2. I love researching wacky, seemingly irrelevant stuff and just general wikipedia safaris
    Though I have never really done any fanfic I know a lot about the fictional universes of my favourite series’ due to long hours lying in bed reading obscure entries from their associated wikis.

    Basically I totally get where you are coming from and I consider it prudent to delete the search history every month or so.

    1. I tend to stick with every week. Even though I’m the only one who ever uses this laptop. (But it’s mainly because my browser hates me and that’s the only way to make it work at all…)
      Ha ha, I know what you mean about the wikis. I once read episode summaries for the entire first three series of Supernatural…

  3. Wow, that was awesome!
    What made me laugh more was the Supernatural obsession. I can understand – I’m equally crazy about it! :)

    1. I’ve been a few episodes into series six for weeks now and unable to make time to watch more than, like, three of them. Then a friend and I agreed to have a series seven marathon in a week or so, and I realised I was going to actually have to watch the other eighteen episodes pretty quickly. So that’s what I’ve been doing :)

      1. Good luck with that! :D
        But it’s quite interesting how they blend in all types of myths and creatures! Goes for really good writing!:)

  4. So how long WOULD it take to dance to death?

    I cracked up so much when I read “Entirely devoid of all high intellectual qualities, Carr was endowed with good looks, excellent spirits, and considerable personal accomplishments. ” Buuuurn.

    1. Generally all I managed to establish was that one would probably fall unconscious before dancing to death, as a sort of built-in function within our bodies, so they’re more likely to die from injuries sustained while dancing, as well as the exhaustion created. And it would depend on the stamina of the dancer, as well as the conditions they’re dancing in. Is it cold? Boiling hot? (Dehydration will also contribute…)

      1. During the Great Depression there were contests where the couple that danced the longest won a free meal or something. I think some people went for pretty long, but… I have no idea where I was going with this, it’s probably unhelpful because no one killed themselves doing that…

  5. Earlier this year I had to look up pregnancy and how that all worked, for a character. Pretty soon I’m going to have to research flatulence. Eep. 0_0.

    1. Russian folklore seems less focused on the fantastical and more on peasants. That’s a gross oversimplification, but it’s supposed to be more realistic.

  6. I laughed about Carr too. And I noticed your notes were not in green ink!

    This last week, I googled, “1950s girl fight” b/c I am writing a book that’s set in the 50s, and I feel like girls and boys fight differently (more slapping and hair-pulling) and I wasn’t sure if there would be a specific thing they did back then or not. For all I know, they also used to kick. Or something. Didn’t find out. But did find an odd videos of two 1950s pin-ups fighting (play fighting?) wearing underwear, garter belts, stockings and high heels. It was oddly un-risque by today’s standards. But definitely odd.

    1. Fountain pen on arms doesn’t tend to work out very well, so I’m obliged to grab whatever pen will actually write on skin. That particular one lasted for DAYS and I couldn’t get it off. It was a nightmare.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: