Continuing on the theme of “great discoveries while researching…”
I have found so many weirdly wonderful facts while researching that I don’t even know where to start. Some are hilarious; some are profound. Some are both. Think about this one, which I discovered while writing The Truth About Poop: When they are upset, chimps who have been taught sign language (but not in this context) indicate their frustration by making the sign for poop.
But perhaps the most amazing thing I’ve discovered while researching kids books and magazine articles from my previous career is that just about everything is interesting. Everything, as long as I can understand it. There have been many times when I started a project (especially assigned ones) thinking ho, hum. But once I started looking around, asking questions, sinking into that world—it was fascinating.
Iris breeders not only know all about genetics and beauty, they also have a microcosm as complete as any society with the conservatives and the radicals and the innovators and the ideologues and all the feelings that past between them. Allowing hunters to cull herds of bison or elk might actually be the most humane thing people can do to prevent disease and starvation. A bunch of guys got together in Philadelphia a few hundred years ago and, by cherrypicking an idea here from Rome and there from France, managed to create the principles of a nation. We all know how hard it is to research an idea and come up with a decent book. How did they pull that off?
Once you look at something, really look at it, it is fascinating. No matter how big or how small, the whole world is in it.
How incredible is that?