Having once wanted to be one myself (and still not sure I’d turn down the opportunity if it were offered me ;-), I have utmost respect and admiration for academics. And now that I’ve made the acquaintance of yet another who willingly and happily provided me (someone they’ve never met and from whom they received a request for information) with resources and contacts to assist me in my novel research, I’m even more convinced that their status in our commerce-obsessed culture is highly, highly underrated.
So my novel may be saved after all. Okay, it will need to undergo some drastic changes. And it will require rewriting whole sections of what I have so far (did I mention I’m at page 137?). But, armed with this new information and insight from a certain emeritus scholar from a prestigious Midwestern research university, I have a much better idea of where I’m going and therefore am more confident about my subject, not to mention my character. If anything, I think this new and improved storyline may be even more interesting than my previous one! Will wonders never cease…
I’m not looking forward to the rewrite, but at least I have a clearer sense of direction. I think I’ll engage in more research before I go back and tackle the narrative. Dr. X gave me the name of a colleague of his in Singapore who has done research on just this topic, so I emailed him yesterday. I also picked up a bunch of books at the library and submitted a sheaf of Interlibrary Loan Requests, all of which should help me get a better grasp of the backstory.
In the meantime, I haven’t gone back to the play, but I will this weekend. I just finished writing my column for next week and the effort was taxing. I may just do research the rest of the afternoon. I wrote a commentary about the presence of sexually violent predators in our community, an emotionally trying topic to begin with. I’m not 100% happy with the end product — it’s such a mess of an issue — but I think I at least made my point.
On a brighter note, I got a paying freelance assignment yesterday, my first in months! Doesn’t pay a lot, but hey, it’s an electric bill. Small pleasures, small treasures.