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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wednesday Whittleings - Writing Research Treats

Wednesdays are my day to randomly babble. Sometimes about children books, others about writing, and usually about whatever strikes my mind. Random thoughts...random whittleings.

I have written 2000 words so far for NaNoWriMo. Most NaNo-writers are leaving me in the dust, but I'm only heading for around 30,000 words, so they can charge ahead. I have a long way to go, but I'm not worried. I'll make it.

My current project is a mystery series for middle graders, which is loosely based on actual crimes. My 'detectives' use various areas of science and technology to uncover the truth and catch those nasty villains. It's not only fun to write (my characters aren't exactly serious and well-behaved kids), but the research is completely drawing me in.

I love research!

For example, I've learned:

1) Exploding carpenter ants build up a toxic slime in their backsides and attack their prey by 'exploding' the poison all over them. This causes a painful death. Unfortunately, an exploding backside is deadly for the ant, and it dies in the process too (like a bee). But this sacrifice can save an entire colony.

2) The US government has spent years of research and an insane amount of funds to develop the stinkiest, most awful, stench bomb ever. They've hoped to use it to send the enemies running...gagging...puking...crying in retreat. This is a very serious program which has studied the world's most terrible odors, tried to capture the molecules that create the horrible stenches, and mix them in a deliciously stinky cocktail. The recipe is classified as top secret because...well, imagine how awful it would be if it were used against us! (Note: This form of weapon does not cause death or serious, long-lasting injuries.)

3) Thanks to #2, I conducted further research and now know how to build my own gas mask using very simple, household materials—tape, cola bottle and dust masks. Supposedly, it works against tear gas and pepper spray, but I'm not going to test it to make sure. In any case, if our enemies attacks us with stink bombs, I'm ready for them!

How does all of this filter into a mystery centered around ice cream, fancy rats and freshly painted classrooms? I'm not sure yet. But it will work out in the end!

If not, I'll learn how to make my own toxic slime and let my detectives blast the enemy with some of that.

As said, I love research!


  1. I love new idea! I wish I loved research this much. You make it sound like a lot of fun, and I didn't know that about ants. I did see someone fashion a gas mask out of household items in a movie. It worked for her. Lol!

  2. That's some fun research! Even if it doesn't all make it in the book, it's good to know. Good luck!

  3. That's some interesting research you've done!

  4. Research is great! We might not use it all in the current WIP, but that doesn't make it a waste of time – it could come in useful with another story, a quiz, conversation, or even a blog post.


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