Monday, July 19, 2010


On Saturday, I went to the Red River Valley Fair. I sat underneath a canvas tent in a hard chair, holding my nook in my lap with a notepad that says From the desk of Natasha across the top. Open on the nook is one of the various books simply titled "Japan" that I downloaded from Barnes and Noble. It is one of the many old books that Google scanned from various university libraries and that the store offers them as free e-books. I am using them as research for KIN and have been trying to gleam as much information as I can from them. I have been doing most of my research at work on my lunches. This Saturday, though, I was watching my husband do an Iaido demo with his sensei and a fellow student.

Some of the information is outdated, or full of history that I don't need to use. I am not involving myself with the politics of the country at this time or that since they don't serve any real function in my story. I am mostly searching for the little every day details of life in ancient Japan. What kind of food did they eat? What are their customs for life changing events like marriage and death? What is the terrain like?

I did learn some facts that I found just intriguing to discover. For example, Marco Polo brought knowledge of Japan to Europe. I think it is easy to forget that Marco Polo isn't just a poolside game.

I am also very much interested in studying more of Japanese fairy tales. I think I learn more about their culture from reading them than some of the content written by long-dead British discoverers. I appreciate their efforts, but it isn't always the right tid bits that I want to read.

I am actually thankful for the research on the nook. It is easy to carry with me wherever I go, but also it gives me access to books I never would have had. To think, I haven't even looked at the Project Gutenberg yet!

I am really getting into the research to help fill in some of the blanks during my rewrites. I am hoping that I will accomplish bringing this world to life with some accuracy, even if it is based on Japan and not actually in Japan. It is something I am quite passionate about, and that is always such a wonderful feeling.


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