I research stuff. I just do. Research is necessary for my writing but I also do genealogy. And I also have, “I wonder …..” moments on other things. I love it – most of the time. But sometimes, I don’t like the results of that research at all.
Take the other day for example. I had a, “I wonder whatever happened to ……..?” moment about a star I used to follow when I was young. Some of the things I discovered not only shocked me but were quite awful for that particular star. No big deal really I guess – but my memory of them changed to from one of pure joy of to one of pity. Sure, there was a little admiration that they got through that stuff. But, I am a little ashamed to say, pity was the overriding emotion. Throw in a little embarrassment for some of the stuff that was ‘put out there’ for all to see and you have a recipe for smashed childhood delusions. Boy had that star fallen! Wish I’d left that research moment alone: I could have quite happily lived with my fantasy for the rest of my life with no consequence to anyone.
And then there are your black sheep in the family. Not your average black sheep – I love those! Bring on the bastard children or the ones who marry outside their religion or do things their own way. I’m not even talking convicts (I’m Australian – got at least 5 of those and hoping for more). No, I’m talking about the wife beaters, the alcoholics, the child molesters (NOT my family – I used to do genealogy professionally), the ones who abandon their families to poverty and the workhouse. And any other countless things that people would really prefer not to know about: once uncovered, it’s uncovered. You can’t really put it back in the box. Actually in a bit of a dilemma at the moment trying to decided if I want to try and open one of those boxes on a dear relative of mine …… been trying to decide for about 10 years now ……
Am I going to stop or limit my researching? Not on your life! I would have to change who I am if I do that. But I do need to remind myself from time to time that I may not like what I find.
Kerry A Waight - Author
A writer of historical fiction and paranormal stories.