Scary research

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November 17, 2007 by Tracey S. Rosenberg

I haven’t been writing much lately, mainly because of computer woes ™. The fact that the crash occurred as a direct result of being about to back up makes it all worse. However, it looks as though I salvaged everything, in spite of Thundercat nearly sending the extracted hard drive crashing off the desk, and buying a new laptop has been on the cards for a while now. Obviously that will make me more productive. (Joke.)

DNP (a/k/a The Novel) is set during WWII, and can I just say that researching this era can be frightening. I don’t just mean reliving the events of whatever aspect of the war you’re dealing with – though that’s pretty rough; Rachel Seiffert was depressed for a year because she kept immersing herself in the Holocaust. (Brief foray off-topic to say that Helen Pidd was a great editor when I worked for her, and I’m glad she’s doing well in the big bad world of journalism.) I mean that if you want details of the field tunics or sewing kits or any other type of army kit, you end up looking at re-enactors catalogues. I’m not going to list the creepy Nazi stuff because while I would like a larger readership, I’m not eager to attract the sort of people who are punching search terms into Google because they are genuinely seeking a Waffen-SS coffee mug, but if you want to know what a British Shell Dressing Bag looks like, it’s on page 47.

And another quotation. I think the quotations are likely to be things that stop me when I’m reading and make me say, wow, that is absolutely spot on. This one is from Dorothy Baker’s Trio (1943):

I know what it’s like to be drunk for two weeks and to sleep for three days in a big red fog, and to walk down the street and see a tree come at me fast and try to fall on me.

Not having ever been on a two-week bender, I can’t comment on whether the ‘big red fog’ is accurate, but that description of the tree encapsulated a sense of a person losing control of their own perception.


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Photo credit: Rahima Subhan

Tiny bio

I live, work, and write in Edinburgh. I travel to other places as much as I can. To contact me, email writingmostly at gmail dot com.


CURRENTLY READING: The Ginseng Hunter by Jeff Talarigo.

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