Why I Love Research~

It’s true, I really do love research.  It is one of my very favorite parts of writing.  The thing is, I learn ten times as much as ever ends up in the current book, which means I become a quasi-expert on all kinds of off-the-wall topics (such as kidnap marriages in Central Europe, horrifying details of the slave trade, the most popular baby boomer names for each year from 1946 to 1964, how the Indian caste system got started… well, you get the idea).  Come play Trivial Pursuit with me, and you’ll see what I mean!

While researching the final book of the Grace In Africa trilogy (The Triumph of Grace, due out next spring) I discovered that the roots of Mother’s Day are in the Civil War.  It was an anti-war statement with the specific goal of reuniting families divided on opposite sides during those catastrophic years.  (My family could certainly have profited by the idea.  They are from Missouri, where brother was pitted against brother and father against son.)

Okay, so this isn’t an earth-shaking discovery.  But I did enjoy learning about Ann Jarvis and her 1868 committee, not the least, perhaps, because Mother’s Day is already special to me.  My son was born on Mother’s Day.  Every six years he and I share our “special day” together.  Pretty cool. 

When my son was born, the local hospital women’s auxiliary baked little heart-shaped cakes to give to each new mom, some with blue frosting and some with pink, each with a frosting carnation and the word MOM.  Since my son was the only baby there, I went home carting a dozen pink and blue heart cakes.

My son always calls me first thing in the morning on Mother’s Day.  My heart fills with love and my stomach grumbles for a little cake.

Now I will also long for an end to war, a quieting of angry rhetoric, and reconciliation.

“Blessed are the peace-makers.”




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3 responses to “Why I Love Research~

  1. I totally get the research thing. I wrote a historical fiction about a slave couple whose baby was sold before they were brought to CA in 1849. When CA was admitted into Union in 1850 they were free, but their baby was still a slave until after the civil war. The research was amazing and like your sentiment with war and peace, there are things that resonate deep in my soul because of the work that went into the discovery of what was at stake and the joy of seeing God’s fingerprints throughout history.
    Thanks so much for your dedication to bringing readers the rich harvest of your labor,

  2. I also love research! When I need to double-check a fact or figure or name or date in a manuscript I’m editing, I get sortof excited…as if I’ve just started a scavenger hunt. Will I find what I’m looking for? What more will I learn? Fun stuff!

    And we have yet another thing in common–I also had a child born on a holiday. My youngest was born on Dec. 25. She also was the only baby in the nursery. The auxillary had made a “giant” red felt stocking to send her home in. Well…I didn’t use it because, frankly, it was hideous. But I still have it…just for the memory. Quite a gift, don’t you think?

    I always learn A LOT from your books. Now I know why!

  3. Thanks, Jeanette. From a writer/researcher/editor like you, that means a lot!

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