Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Informal Research

My loved ones have to put up with a lot when I’m writing. Most of this burden comes in the form of disturbing questions. I don’t always remember that, as they’re not in my mind with me, they don’t necessarily know that I’m researching plot lines. So, when I call my nurse mother and, without providing any context, ask her if there are any medications that could have the side effect of causing seizures followed by a coma-like state, she responds with “What’s going on? Is someone seizing?” After which, I think, Why would someone be seizing? Then the writing haze finally clears and I realize I sound like a crazy person. So, I clear up the fact that this is all for the sake of fiction and my mother laughs, relieved, and pulls out her medical books to see if she can find anything that might fit the bill.

Most people I’m close to are subjected to such questions. Dad generally gets obscure law enforcement procedure queries. My sister gets a lot of “How would you feel if….” followed traditionally by something that prompts her to respond with “What’s wrong with you?” My brother and I discuss the finer points of time travel. And all my friends field whatever I randomly happen to think about when I’m with them.

Living with me, Roomie deals with my questions on a fairly regular basis. I can’t say that she is quite as enthusiastic about them as some, but this may or may not be because I ask her things I know are going to disturb her (*cartoon villainess laugh*). See, for instance, the below gchat:

Me: Strange question, do you know anything about dislocations? It’s for my writing.

Roomie: You’re gross, that’s what I know.

Me: Answer my questions. If you were to dislocate something, like a finger or shoulder, would it make any noise when the bone was popped back in its socket?

Roomie: I don’t know, but my guess would be yes.

Me: You don’t know? You’re supposed to be my resident expert on injuries. You’ve broken everything. Twice.

Roomie: I’ve never dislocated anything. I just looked at a couple things and I believe it would. Read Step 6:

Me: You know, if you were to pull your finger out of its socket and then pop it back in, it would probably be the best way to find out.

Roomie: That’s probably true. And most logical.

Me: Exactly. I’m going with the clicking sound, for now. Sound good?

Roomie: I think "gross" would be more appropriate. But, yeah.

Me: Excellent. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.


Me: Well, I’ll allow you to call me Your Majesty, if you’d like.

In addition, to taking issue with my queries regarding injuries, she also is excessively wigged out by fantasy creatures. This doesn’t stop me from telling her about them, though. Of course, I think this is fair turn around. Sure, she has to listen to my ponderings on centicores, lamassus and banshees, but she once made me go into the Shore Store. It’s a toss up as to which is more terrifying. (Except, not really. One is clearly a more scarring experience than the other.)

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