Chera Hammons: Poet and Writer

"…a slow shutter on ambulation…"

Thoughts on Research

Hello, friends! I meant to blog over what was Spring Break for most local folks, but I didn’t have internet for awhile during and after the “land hurricane,” and when I got it back I had to prioritize some other projects on which I’d fallen behind. Friday, my day off, was spent with my husband repairing and strengthening the fences that had been affected by Wednesday’s 64 mph sustained winds (with gusts to 84… It was brutal). We were lucky– things could have been much worse, and were worse for many people.

Anyway, I’m here now, and I’m talking to a colleague’s composition class tomorrow about research. Namely, the importance of specifics, and how I use research in my own creative writing.  This is a guess, as I haven’t technically kept track of it, but I suspect that I spend about 25% of my writing time actually writing; 25% reading new publications, reading submissions, networking, submitting work, and taking care of other, related business; and 50% doing research.

I love research because I’m a curious person. I grew up without the internet, and it still seems miraculous to me that I can find the answer to nearly any question, even the most random one, within a few minutes. In the course of writing various projects, I’ve researched many current events / contemporary issues, as well as things like why onions make people cry,  saddle making, laws regarding home burial, the birth rate of mustangs, how sound behaves in space, the timeline of development within a turtle egg, wild animal baiting and its consequences, and courtship etiquette during the Dust Bowl.

I never know where my research might take me, but I know that it is important. It helps my work to be true.

Not to mention the added benefit of knowing all the Jeopardy! answers, because I have filled my brain with such a strange but wide range of facts…!

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