Posted by: Robin | March 14, 2008

Enthusiasms

Some have called me obsessive. Just because I joined Netflix and rated over a thousand movies in the first three days only means I’m enthusiastic (and have too much time on my hands). Just because I go on annual three-week genealogy binges where I drive myself nuts trying to find a single fact on my latest elusive ancestor (into the wee hours of the morning) means I’m persistent. Finding an author I like and reading everything they have in print within the next month simply means I’m thorough. Last night when my daughter needed information and a phone number for a government agency, and I jumped in unasked to find said information means I’m helpful. My daughter laughed and said I haven’t met a problem I didn’t like. That may be an exaggeration, but I admit the examples are legion.

I have no explanation for my lack of proportion in whatever my latest enthusiasm is, but the rest I blame on my lengthy immersion in Nancy Drew mysteries at an impressionable age. I love to solve things. Since I don’t come across a lot of crimes, and I’m math-phobic, my default is finding information. It came in handy when I was a research assistant in graduate school and had to find out if pigs were sold at Smithfield Market in London during Charles Dickens’ lifetime. There is nothing like the rush of finding information that has eluded me for days or weeks. Even better is when someone else has decided the information is not there to find, or it’s the missing piece that solves a puzzle. But I have to admit the information age is playing with my head. I can no longer accept that the answer isn’t out there somewhere, and it’s getting a little ridiculous.

The novels I’m writing have required researching things I never imagined myself needing to know: the world’s mythologies, Old Welsh and Brythonic, winter camping, the terrain and climate of the Tarim Basin in Western China, the historical and literary sources for Arthurian legend, the laws in New York for emancipation of a minor, the properties of dark matter and Irish wolfhounds, to name a few. Right now I’m searching for the exact date of Easter (the Paschal Feast) of in 520 A.D. in the Celtic Church of the Britons (which is not the same as the Roman church). I won’t make your head explode (like mine) with the complexities involved, but I can’t let it go, just in case that one person in 8 billion who knows the answer reads my novel. And they call me obsessive. Codswallop!

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Responses

  1. I can relate!

    Keep us informed as to the progress of your book? It sounds fascinating.

    All the best

    Gary
    Celtic Myth Podshow

  2. Thanks, Gary. I will be keeping everyone informed. What is the Celtic Myth Podshow?


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