Deadline Diaries

Five Romance writers tell all.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Writers Need to Know...

Posted by Christine

A lot. Too much.

Which is why I can’t even remember how I got along without the internet. I know, know. Much of the info online is suspect. Take Wikipedia. Great stuff there. But you have to keep in mind that anyone can add onto any page at any time. Yes, Wikipedia has people fact-checking constantly, to be sure any given page hasn’t been maliciously falsified. But still…

You have to be careful out there.

I am. Honestly. I try to check and cross-check any info I'm going to put in a book and call a fact. Still, I know stuff gets by me. Sorry, I do my best to get it right. But it’s the nature of the beast that now and then we stumble.

And you know what? Even with the above caveat, I’m still in love with the things I can find out online. I have a folder in my Favorites links devoted to Research and Reference. That folder has a hundred addresses of places online to find out stuff. That folder should be better organized.

One of these days… (hah!)

And my Research and Reference folder isn’t the half of it. Every book I write gets a Favorites folder and then there are sub-folders within the main folder. For Settings and Flora and Fauna, for information about my hero or heroine’s profession, for things like how to kill someone with digoxin or Spanish slang and idioms. It’s all quite dizzying.

And wonderful!

And my very favorite research sites—I mean aside from the basics like and Wikipedia and

The ones about time and the phases of the moon. I love this site: Complete Sun and Moon Data for One Day. You go there, you fill in the blanks, you can find out sunset and sunrise anyplace in the world on any given day. And the phases of the moon on that day. I love the whole moon phase thing. Sorry. Just do. It’s something I really need to know so my H/h can look up in the sky and see the moon as it really is in that place. On that day.

Weird? Maybe. But all writers have their weirdnesses and this is one of mine.

Love this one, too: Tells me the time and date—right now—anywhere in the world. I need to know that! I really, really do.

And there’s my friend, Betty Sanders, a member of my local RWA chapter. She keeps a blog that’s a…reference of reference sites. Everyone needs that. So here you go:

What about you? Favorite info sites I should know about? Share, share!


At 9:17 AM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

Wow, Chris, thanks for the link to Betty. That's some list she's got!

Sorry I can't relate to your time and date and moon phase obsession but you probably can't relate to my need to know where every pub in the universe is located and whether or not you can roll downhill back to your hotel from there--or if you've got to call for a taxi. *g*

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

Chris, those are some great info sites~!!

Yes, the moon thing is a little odd, but as evidenced by Kate... not so very odd among writers!

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Christie Ridgway said...

I LOVE the internet. I can get lost for days researching...whatever. helped Son 2 a lot this year with a big geography project.

But I have a site that you wouldn't think of for research. Youtube! Before I went on my trip to Malibu, I searched for it on Youtube and found some great home videos. You'll bet I'll go back there to refresh my memory.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas! I am NOT going to the mall today. I'mnot I'mnot I'mnot.

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Kate, well. I realize now that I need to know that about pubs, as well. Send me a link, Baby. LOL


Christie, re the shopping. I feel your pain. And Youtube. You're right. Great one!

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Susan Mallery said...

I'm with the rest of you on the moon thing. But I am currently obsessed with sunrise and sunset. What with living in Seattle and having no daylight to speak of. I'm unnaturally thrilled that we're adding 3 whole minutes between now and the end of the year, not to mention 59 minutes in January.

I, too, am a huge fan of the internet and research. Love Betty's list!! Love it!!

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Susan, well, I have no excuses for my obsessions. I simply indulge them.

At least until I begin to see them as self-destructive. I figure the moon phase obession is reasonably benign.

So far... Mwahahaha...

59 minutes of daylight added in January! yay!

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