I’m at a research-intensive stage of Draft 2.0 of The Game of Hope. (YA1) I’m working to fill in all the pot-holes before sending it off—that is, all the xxx’s in the manuscript, the xxx’s I throw in while rushing through Draft 1. “I was offered a plate of xxx, xxx and xxx.” That type of thing.

Now I’m trying to figure all those xxx’s out.

If I don’t have the facts in my notes or books, I can usually find what I need to know on-line. I googgled “18th century cooking,” for example, and came up with a delightful “cheese wig”: a small bun coated with a cheese sauce that looked like a wig resting on a wig stand. (Then I googled images for “cheese wig”—gross! I don’t recommend it.)

If Google fails, I go to Amazon.com, and look for searchable books.

If that fails, I’ll go to Books Google.

I everything fails, and the answer is in a book I must have, I’ll order it.

I had an educational experience this morning. The book I want is out-of-print, but offered used on Amazon.com. However, I discovered that to ship a 1$ book to me in Mexico could cost $25 to $75 dollars. (With delivery in April.)


Full stop.

I cut over to Abebook.com, and bought the same book from a used bookstore in the UK for only $1.04 with delivery to Mexico for $7.75—and it may well arrive in a week.

Lesson learned: watch those shipping charges! And always check out Abebook.com.

(Another lesson learned: in looking for illustrations for this blog post, I discovered not to google images of “xxx”!)