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I love researching in this day and age.

My first published novel was a historical, and I researched it in my university library. I had already graduated, but still had my student card. So while I couldn’t take books out, I could still go up into the stacks and pore over books, getting the information I needed. It took hours. It took walking to the library. It took a great deal of dedication.

The other day, I was researching cows giving birth for a scene that I was writing. This next novel involves a ranch, and I wanted to make sure that my details were accurate so that my reader could feel like she was really there. Now, in times past, I would have had to call up an uncle who used to farm and try to pump him for information… and go down to the library and go over several different books, taking notes. It would take the better part of a day to research one scene. But not now in this day and age.

This is how quickly it happened last week:

I commented on Facebook that I needed to research calving. I only thought that it might be an interesting little update for my friends who wonder what I do all day. So while I was checking out Wikihow and Youtube videos, a friend of mine linked me up with an actual rancher she knew on Facebook. This rancher either happened to be by his computer, or had a cell phone with him while he worked, because within ten minutes I had enough information to write my scene.

I love modern convenience! Even ten years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to research that efficiently! And there you have it: a newborn scene.

Photo by Patrick Mackie

Photo by Patrick Mackie

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