Sunday, September 30, 2012

Research in the Writer's Life



I have spent the last few weeks researching for my WIP. I love research but have felt guilty about not getting a significant number of words on file. About not posting to my blog in quite some time. I do feel putting forth words toward my WIP is the most important, but I don’t want to not post to my blog either. Having a blog keeps me focused on using my imagination or acknowledging subjects that are important to me or that I feel might be important to someone out there reading my blog.
Speaking of interesting subjects, I’m researching Unitarian Universalist ministry, the theology schools; how long it takes to become ordained, the degrees, the investment and what it might mean to one of my characters, Jack, to take on this important work. Research can be so meaningful, fulfilling. I learn something new every day and love that. Figuring out how to integrate it into the work is another story, but one just as challenging as finding the nuggets of interest that will add to the story, to Jack’s character, the depth of who he is.
For instance, I hadn’t realized that our President went to a Unitarian church for a short while in his youth in Hawaii. That some of the press tried to use this fact against him and even went so far as to label basically anyone “too” liberal as communist, as if they really knew what that was. Because if they really knew, there is no way they’d call a liberal and a communist the same thing. But be that here or there, I was surprised to hear of the connection in our president’s life to my own. I was raised in a Unitarian church and as best as I can recollect, I enjoyed the experience. I enjoyed my church family.
I have recently read an article from the UUworld.org website that touched on Pres. Obama’s time in the UU church and how he eventually chose the church and faith he could live and believe in. 
Here is the article link if you care to read it:
This article speaks to me and my character Jack, as it forms the basis for his reasoning in becoming a UU minister. He wants to have a positive impact on youth, on their lives and their faith. Jack wants to help create family for those who don’t have it, within their hearts or without because that is something he himself needs as well. Of course he doesn’t realize this at first.
This research is allowing me to see into Jack’s soul, his mind, and the life lesson he will gain in this story. Jack and I are beginning a ride that might turn out to be quite wild. I hope it will also be a long and fruitful one.

Images from the UUworld.org website

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