More Researching

Last time I talked about researching. Will give you some sites and more.

First, last clichés:

Look on with a jaundiced eye—Seeing only the bad side or faults. This phrase is based on the old belief that to a person suffering from jaundice (a condition in the skin and whites of the eyes where they turn yellow), everything looks yellow. See John Webster, The White Devil (1:2) [1612]. This term survived the belief and was a cliché by 1800 or so.

In the doldrums—Inactive, stagnant, “down in the dumps”, depressed. The origin is uncertain, but it started being used in the early 19th century both for the maritime doldrums, a belt of calms and light winds north of the equator in which sailing ships often found themselves becalmed, and for a feeling of depression. Frederick Marryat used it in Jacob Faithful (1835).

Have a lot on my plate—Have more than enough to cope with or worry about. Originated in the 1920s and transferred the image of an overcrowded dinner plate to a very full agenda. R. Simons used it in Houseboat Killing (1959).

Don’t swap horses in midstream—Don’t change leaders or methods in the middle of a crisis. Originated a quarter of a century earlier, the expression became famous through its use by President Lincoln in 1864 when he learned that his re-nomination for a second term was being backed by the National Union League. Several versions of his speech were recorded, some having it change and others swap.

So, how many did you find last time?

My last blog talked about researching, but I didn’t do it up brown.  I forgot to mention the research sites that I use, even though I have them posted on the side of my blog page. So, I will give you some sites to visit.

Want to know what a word means or phrase? See:

Need a forensic expert? Try

Your writing needs to be picture perfect. There will always be someone out there that knows more about what you are trying to say, so you want to make sure you research it. Interview professionals, google your subject, find other sites that will help you.  When I was growing up, we had to go to the library, look up what books they had, and hope it was available when we needed it. However, now, it is so easy to research. The internet has opened up so much more for authors, there is no excuse to not get it correct.

So like I said before: Research is important to you and to your readers. Don’t let them down.

Keep Writing,




Well, it’s happened again where I’ve had a long space between blogs. Why? No excuses, but my mother-in-law turned 100 years old and had to have a party for her!

First, last clichés:

Best laid plans—the most careful plans sometimes do not succeed. Robert Burns used the phrase in “To a Mouse” (1786). It was already a clichè by then.

Unwritten law—Rules accepted by tradition or custom rather than codification in a formal body of law. Plato expressed it and in 1907 Harry Thaw was declared insane and Delphin Michael Delmas coined the phrase: “Dementia Americana; the unwritten law.”

Low man on the totem pole—Lowest-ranking, least important, last in line. H. Allen Smith, a humorist, used this phrase as the title of a book (1941) after the radio comedian Fred Allen used the term to describe him in an introduction to an earlier book. As an aside, the position on an actual totem pole has no such significance. But, the term caught on quickly to become a cliché.

Keep you posted—To supply you with up-to-date information. Originated in the U.S. in early 19th century and comes from accounting, where the latest figures entered into a system are said to be “posted.” Originally-posted up- See The Weekly Oregonian, 1854.

Keep the ball rolling—To sustain or continue an activity without a letup. Some believe this is a metaphor from ball games, but a much earlier use referred to the sun or planets (including Earth) as a rolling ball. Became popular in US during the election campaign of 1840, when the supporters of candidate William Henry Harrison (“Tipecanoe” hero) rolled large “victory balls” in political parades and changed, “Keep the Harrison ball rolling.”

So, how many did you find last time?

I’m not going to look on with a jaundiced eye toward this blog. I will write when I can and try to impart writing knowledge and embed my work with clichés you can find. I refuse to get down in the doldrums over not writing every week on this blog.

Why haven’t I written? I’ve had a lot on my plate with planning my mother-in-law’s 100th birthday party. Can you imagine being 100 years old? It went off great and she even did the Charleston dance which she is known in family reunion talent shows for.

Why do I bring this up? Because I’m writing a book unlike my psychological thrillers I write about a 100 year old woman talking with her great, great granddaughter about her life.

No, I’m not suggesting that you swap horses in midstream and change your writing genres. I started this book a long time ago and since my mother-in-law just turned 100, thought I would let you know how much work it has been writing about a woman who is in her 100s.  Why?

Because the research is on-going. I had my little girl watching TV. Wait! When was the TV invented? Not when my 100 year old woman was young. Had her making toast. Wait! When was the toaster invented? Not at that time when she was making the toast. So how did she make it?

That meant that I had to research just about everything. Thank the Lord that we know have internet and I didn’t have to run to the library to do research. There are so many sites that you can find for find when the phrases were first used. Yes, even the words I have my 100 year old use had to be researched. Did they use that phrase at that time period? Every time I had her do something, had it been invented yet?

Who cares if I get it wrong? Well, first of all, I have too much integrity in myself to get it wrong, and I owe it to my readers, even if they might not be old enough to have a clue. So this book is still a work in progress because there is so much research involved, and I love writing my psychological thrillers a bit more. But I’ve learned so much about the past, and how to do research, that writing the book about a 100 year old woman has been very enlightening.

Research is important to you and to your readers. Don’t let them down.

Keep Writing,


Research in your Writing…

Hi everyone!

Hope all of you are writing and writing and writing.

Cliche from last post:  That Does It =that accomplishes or completes it.  Used to be that does the trick and it replaces does the trick.  Don’t have a first date used for this one.

How much do you research for your writing?  I write mysteries and I do a lot of research.  I interview experts, read as much as I can, and talk with people who might be in the field.

For example on my arson novel, I interviewed two arson investigators, spoke with firemen, talked with nurses, watched videos and read books on arson fires and arsonists.

The book has to ring true no matter what you’re writing on and if you can’t manage believability, then you’ve lost your reader.

So no matter what you write about, you must do some sort of research.  Reach out and touch an expert.  Talk with someone in the field, read about it or watch films about it and not just fictional films, but documentaries or teaching films.  Your story will ring true and you’ll keep the reader’s interest.

For example, in my working novel, Birthmark, a shark eats a body and when it’s gutted, pieces come out with a birthmark still on it.  Is that possible?  Well, yes I know it is, because I contacted a forensic expert and got the answer.

The internet is filled with good answers.  Writer’s Digest is filled with good books with good answers not only on writing, but books that tell you how to write mysteries and other genres, besides having lots of poison books, who dunnit books, and all of this turns out to be worth its weight in gold.

Research to make your story come alive with the ring of truth and believability.

Check out my links for some experts.

Keep Writing and Enjoy!