Research Day at Watson

Some of you might know this already, but for the last two years I have been working on a book of my own, and guys, I am finally thisclose to being done! I finished the rough draft in August of this year and have been doing revisions. This isn’t the first book I’ve gotten this far on, but I have far more faith in this one than the others. I won’t get too much into the details, but it is a fantasy novel set in Denmark in 1525, under the reign of King Frederik I. There were some incredible things happening in Denmark at the time – King Christian II had recently been deposed after the Bloodbath of Stockholm, Martin Luther was teaching to the south, and peasants in Denmark were rebelling against the nobility and the Catholic Church. All of that drama makes a great setting for a fantasy!

I recently accepted a new job as technical writer at a local casino, so I have two days off between jobs. I decided to spend those days at KU’s Watson and Spencer libraries, doing research into Denmark, and Christian II, and the Reformation, and all sorts of other interesting things like medieval weapons and monasteries and medieval witchcraft. Hurray! I hadn’t done any real research since college, and hadn’t even stepped foot in Watson Library since then, so I had been looking forward to this for weeks! Can you tell by my excited face?

It seriously was such a breath of fresh air – there were some wonderful things about my previous job, and they treated me well for five years, but it’s time for some personal growth (even if it hurts!). Today was a good step towards that – I finally got some real time to dive into writing and history. It’ll leave me in perfect shape to start my new writing job on Monday!

Today I went to Watson Library, where most of KU’s books are housed. The picture below is the central stack on the first floor. Look at all of those glorious books! I found some great books on Danish Church history there.

I always used to go to the first floor because it was so quiet down there – almost nobody goes down there unless they are looking for a book, so I could hang out for hours without seeing anyone, or even hearing other voices. Luckily my old study spot was there waiting for me!

Today was a great start – hopefully tomorrow will be just as successful. The picture down below is a few of the books that I’ll be referencing. I also found a few books in Norwegian, including one that was absolutely perfect for my studies – but I don’t speak Norwegian so I was bummed at first! Luckily with a little bit of research I came across an app called Photo Translator. I’m not getting any credit for referencing them – I just thought you all would appreciate knowing how amazing it is! You just take a picture of the page and it auto translates.

So in all, I’d say it was a successful day. I’d love to hear your own experiences – if you write, do you like to do research, or is it just work to you? If you do research, where do you do your research?

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2 thoughts on “Research Day at Watson

  1. Well done for taking your research so seriously. Me on the other hand, when I want to research anything I just start Firefox then start browsing the internet. It doesn’t require me to leave the house or spend any money. 😄

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    1. Thanks! I think it really depends on what you’re writing – I’m setting my book pretty firmly in a real timeline, and I have totally been that reader before that reads something and thought “That’s totally not how it was!” so I really want to eliminate as many of those anachronisms as I can. There’s definitely something to be said for researching from the comfort of your own home, though!

      Liked by 1 person

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