Hello dear readers!
I’ve been plugging away at a whole host of writing related things this last week or so, including the first stages of the big edit for ‘The Duodeca project’, research, and planning pieces for my novel ‘The Finder’ (my HTTS project), two flash fiction vignettes, and going back to work on another older novel: Super School.
The Finder is currently in research ‘no man’s land’ and planning purgatory. My main character is a psychic who found her first dead body at four. Her antagonist is a serial killer who is currently stalking her because she found two of his bodies, and he is afraid she might be able to catch him. During the planning phase, my muse decided I needed more information on everything before I could properly plan–police procedures, psychics, serial killers, everything. Yes, yes. I know the rabbit hole of research is easy to get lost in! I decided to limit myself to five good books. I ended up with three on psychic abilities, one on serial killers, and one (a basic reference book) on police procedures.
There is a lot written about the paranormal, and the development of psychic abilities, but most of it has little or nothing to do with someone like Isabella, who has been psychic from childhood. Or for that matter, the people in my own family. As my mother often tells me, I am related to a tribe of gypsies who made a living fortune telling before they escaped the old country. My view of being psychic is a lot more pragmatic and a whole lot less ‘woo-woo’ than nearly everything available commercially.
In The Rational Psychic Jack Rourke discusses his own experiences as a psychic. He does a lot of debunking of various theories and phenomena. I really liked how he emphasizes the need for appropriate emotional boundaries, and doing your own emotional work so that you do not project your own issues onto others. It was a good read, and a useful resource, His experience is a whole lot closer to my own family experience of psychic, (although no one in my generation has gone on to become a psychic on his level).
The Reality of ESP by Russell Targ is fascinating. It presents proof of ESP from the point of view of quantum physics, but it isn’t a book for the faint of heart, or for someone afraid of science. Russell Targ is a physicist who originally worked with lasers; he and a number of others pioneered a program to develop ESP, in order to spy on ‘non-visible’ targets during the cold war. The work he cites in the book is amazing. He presents his work with a low key but reasoned approach. I found it helpful, particularly how he organized the different levels and layers of skills, and their development.
Growing up psychic by Chip Coffey looks good, but we will see once I start reading it in more depth. What I have read seems pretty reasonable, but I haven’t gotten very far. If I start sputtering, or muttering, I will let you know. It is one of the few that actually talks about parenting childhood psychics.
I decided to limit my research on serial killers to psychology and development. I could spend years on true crime stories, but I don’t need that much detail floating through my already vivid imagination. Serial Killers: the method and madness of monsters by Peter Vronsky is a very thorough walk through a difficult topic by an experienced journalist. It is one of the few books that includes the psychological development of a serial killer, but there is a whole lot more in his book than just that, While I find it an emotionally challenging topic, the book is extremely well written, and well researched. I’m just not speeding through it.
I also picked up a reference book for mystery writers called Police Procedure and Investigation by Lee Lofland, a police veteran. The book is a solid basic text with a whole lot of information about police procedures with a US flavour. It is just something to be aware of if you write in a Canadian or international setting. What it doesn’t do is go into a lot of procedural details, or flow charts or checklists. I may let myself pick up one of the Canadian Police Procedural manuals, or Detective Procedure study guides I saw which do, eventually, but for now this is a good place to start.
I also wrote two flash fiction pieces this week, both little vignettes of Isabella’s life. It is so exciting to see her develop as a person.
One of my big goals is to finish things and get those muse bombs into order and out the door as proper finished manuscripts. So, while I’m doing research for the Finder, Super School is getting the attention it deserves. So far, I’ve added nearly eight thousand words to the manuscript. Another twenty thousand words, and the first draft should be done, I see the end, and (way more exciting) I know how it is going to end, or at least mostly how it is going to end. I can hardly wait to finish it.