How far would you go?

I've never thought of myself as an adventurous person and the idea of living in a tent, eating unknown animal parts and travelling huge distances off the map are all terrifying to me, which is why being accused of being 'research rabid' has come as a bit of a surprise.

The comment came from a fellow writer who suggested I was insanely committed to researching my fiction. I agree that having fifty-seven photographs of bath chairs might seem excessive in the ordinary run of things, but I am working on a novel set in a convalescent home after the Great War and bath chairs feature heavily.

It's true that in editing a short story about walnut tagietelle I made the dish four nights in a row, but walnut pasta is not exactly a hardship either, in my opinion, and I was the only person in the house - I didn't make anybody else eat it so regularly.

And I admit that I do have a tendency to wander around sniffing bottles of frankincense oil (Christmas or high church mass or Byzantium), or jasmine (summer evenings or fragrant heroines) or pine (Scottish highlands) when I'm trying to evoke a scene, but that's only a minor eccentricity, isn't it?

But yes, I may be going too far. For the novel I'm currently working on, I'm trying to gain access to a river that has been running through an underground culvert since 1887 and I've just been told that I may indeed be allowed to visit it. The thing is, I'm terrified of deep water, enclosed spaces and the dark. I may not have thought this through properly ....


NaNo word count - 44511

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