Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Internet is my friend...

Kate Monster: The internet is really really great!
Trekkie: For Porn
Kate Monster: I've got a fast connection so I don't have to wait!
Trekkie: For Porn

I apologize for the Avenue Q quote, but any time I talk about the wonders of the internet this song pops into my head and gives me a great giggle. This post is so not about what's on Trekkie's mind, but what's on Kate Monsters mind - RESEARCH!

I have recently begun research on my upcoming novel, Descendants of Salem. In order to write this novel I have to have a fair bit of knowledge on the events of the Salem Witch Trials, and on witchcraft itself in the modern day.

So I went to my local library to see what I could find.

Have I mentioned I live in the bible belt?

I found two...count them...TWO books on the Witch Trials! Woohoo!!

Did I mention I live SMACK DAB in the middle of the bible belt? And in the most conservative, backwoods town in my county!

One of the two books I found - The Crucible. In the non-fiction section they had The Crucible. Um, that's not exactly the most accurate reference to use. I didn't bother correcting them, I just came home.

I booted up my computer, and pulled up the internet.

*gasp* Hundreds of Thousands of hits on the Trials. I won't go into how much I found on witchcraft (or the fact that I have a first hand reference for that).

First rule of internet research, of course, is always make sure you double check any facts you find. Anyone can put anything on the internet, and it doesn't have to be true. But if you can verify sources and check against verified references, you're in a good place.

But beyond that - here at our computers we have the world at our fingertips. We can research things that years ago would have taken so more than a keystroke to find! It's wonderful and I'm happy to abuse use such a valuable resource.

The internet has been a key figure now in my research for this book. It helped me immensely with getting everything down to the names of every person involved in the Trials. To getting a lot of information on the modern day Wicca religion, and all the side effects that go with learning this information.

What has the internet done for you?

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