Tag Archives: Google

Silently Watching at the Bone Moon- Beyond the Door…..

dark-angel
As the large oak door swung open, his heart was pounding in his chest. Beyond it, he could see a dimly lit room dominated by a large alter-like table.
“Go on,” whispered Trine anxiously. “Don’t keep them waiting.”
Pulling himself up to his full height, he took a deep breath and stepped inside.

The room was circular, suggesting it formed part of a castle tower and was much larger than he’d anticipated. Behind the large table sat three male vampires. There was an empty seat to their right.
“Welcome, Son of Perran,” greeted the gentleman seated in the centre. “Come closer. We don’t bite.”
The vampire’s dark humour caused his companions to laugh.
“My name is Stefan. I am the head of the Court of Elders. To my left is Michael and to my right, Alessandro. We’re delighted you could join us at such short notice.”
All the runner could do was nod silently. His palms were clammy, and he could feel a trickle of sweat running down his back between his wings. Facing the three large male vampires was intimidating but, more worryingly, where was his mother? Trine had assured him that she was one of them.
“She’s not here,” said Alessandro, his accent revealing Italian roots. “We agreed it would be easier to talk if she weren’t here.”
Again, the runner nodded.
“My daughter has told us a little of your history,” continued Stefan. “The Court owes you an apology. Our errant sister should never have brought you into our ways. I am sincerely sorry she has damned you to this life without your full consent.”
“Apology accepted.”
“Most gracious of you. Thank you,” said Stefan with a slight bow of his blonde head. “Please tell us your story, Son of Perran. Start at the beginning. Start with your very first meeting with our wayward sister.”
Fighting to keep his voice steady, he told the Court of Elders about his first sight of the dark angel all those years ago on All Hallows Eve, about the bite and the broken fang on mid-summer’s night then the offer of a partial transformation. He could feel himself becoming emotional as he relayed the tale of how the partial transformation failed, about his Rabbia Sanguigna then the dark angel’s trip to Spain to acquire some of his mother’s blood. As he told how that too had failed, he grew angry and, by the time he was telling the Elders of his final meeting with the dark angel, he could feel his Rabbia Sanguigna rising.
Stefan raised a hand to pause him, poured something from a pewter jug on the table into a goblet and passed it across to him.
“Please, drink,” he instructed softly. “It’ll still that anger, son.
Without protest, the runner accepted the glass and drank deeply, tasting a strong, gamey blood mixed with alcohol.
“And then my daughter found you,” prompted Stefan calmly.
The runner nodded.
“And how do you feel about your vampire existence now, Son of Perran?” enquired Michael. It was the first time he had spoken, and the runner was mildly surprised to hear he was an American.
“I hate it,” he replied honestly. “Don’t get me wrong, the flying’s kind of cool but I don’t enjoy this life. It’s cost me everything I love.”
“That we can understand,” sympathised Stefan with a wistful smile. “You were tricked into it by that woman’s selfish obsession with you and her total disregard for our code of conduct and our rules.”
“She’s been a thorn in our sides for nigh on two centuries,” revealed Alessandro. “We tried to work with her, but she too was ill-conceived. Her creator was a fool. A drunken womanising fool. She’s always been head strong, self-centred and obsessive in her desires.”
“We welcomed her here,” interrupted Michael. “Tried to integrate her into the wider family but she wasn’t interested. She’s been a loose cannon for too long.”
“Trine said you want me to kill her for you,” he said, fixing his gaze on Stefan, brown eyes locked on blue. “Is this true?”
“Sometimes my daughter says too much,” sighed Stefan, a hint of exasperation to his tone. “She is, however, quite correct. We hope to enlist your help in ridding the world of this evil creature once and for all.”
“Why should I help you?” he challenged, suddenly finding a level of confidence he rarely felt.
“You can name your price, Son of Perran. Put simply, if we could kill her ourselves, we would but we can’t. You, however, have a distinct advantage over our centuries of experience. She’s bound to you. That gives you the upper hand here.”
“And I can name anything as my price?”
“Within reason, yes.”
Silence hung in the air between them as the runner considered his options. Pushing any last doubts to one side, he said simply, “I’ll do it on one condition.”
“And that is?”
“Once she’s dead, you kill me.”
The head of the Court of Elders looked to his two companions, who both gave a small nod of consent.
“Agreed,” said Stefan simply.

From the shadows behind the table there was a small barely audible gasp of “No!”

Research – if in doubt what do you do?

If you want to find out about something you know nothing or little about, what do you do?

There’s an obvious modern day answer – you Google it.

I’ve been doing a fair bit of quite obscure research recently for Book Baby 3 and it struck me earlier – how did writers research such things pre-Google?

The world’s knowledge is quite literally at your fingertips. You don’t even need a computer- any smartphone will do. It does make us all quite lazy though.

Pre-Google ad Wiki if you wanted to research a topic, you packed up your notebook and pens and took yourself off to the local library.

Or, if you were lucky enough, maybe you knew someone with a copy of the Encyclopedia Britannica. I’ve always wanted a copy of it!

Regardless of the research topic, the answer back then was always found in a book of some sort.

I remember as a child helping a friend to research the history of her house. We are going back over thirty-five years here but I seem to recall the house had been part of an old school at one point in its past. Armed with our notebooks, we took ourselves off into town to the main library in search of some local reference books. Being children, we were dismissed by the librarian in the “adult” library and sent upstairs to the children’s section. Like we were going to find much in the way of local history there! Fortunately, the children’s reference section was right next to the adult reference section and we did manage to find a couple of local history books but not much.

Someone’s mum suggested that we try the other library in town, the reference library next door to the local museum. Now that one had a  scary librarian! However, she realised that we were serious about our research topic and helped us to navigate our way through the catalogue system and pointed us in the direction of some useful old local histories. She even brought out some newspaper archives for us to read through.

I can’t remember now what we found out about the house (sorry) but it was my first introduction to “real” research.

In my final year in high school, I had to undertake some historical research in support of my Latin dissertation on the Roman Emperor Caligula. I was trying to argue that he wasn’t completely insane. Again, finding information proved to be a challenge. The “standard” Roman research book of choice proved to be of little use – The Annals by Tacitus – as some of them are missing. Yes, those that surrounded the time period I needed to research. Typical! My class teacher assisted where he could by bringing me his own personal copies of some Roman histories and also by borrowing a book from The British Library (I think) for me to use for a short period of time. I loved researching and writing up that dissertation! The topic did and still does fascinate me.

Now all these years down the line research is still fun but SO much easier!

Be honest, when did you last even open a book to look something up?

It’s a bit of a standing joke in this house if, over dinner, we are discussing a topic that requires some validation or more detail, I’ll reach for the dictionary as my first port of call. A good dictionary is worth its weight in gold. There’s an incredible amount of information in a decent dictionary.

So what’s your favourite research tool these days?

For both book babies, Google streetview have proved to be a Godsend. And who can live without Google maps?

Even when it came to searching for a cover image for Book Baby 2, Google was the first place I looked. (I had looked round the men in my life and decided that none of them quite lived up to my expectations of Jake Power – sorry, guys) It did mean I perused more images of half-naked hot men, and some not so hot men, than was perhaps healthy for me. Tee Hee…..

This week’s topic has been of a darker nature (No, I’m not giving any Book Baby 3 plot clues away) and it has left me pondering a few bizarre points.

Well, I’ve procrastinated on the research front long enough for one day. Time to delve back into Google….or maybe I’ll read the dictionary instead.