I am currently in research mode. For the past several days I have been pouring over articles on how to run a ranch. I found several blogs that I am now following, I’ve gone through months worth of blog posts. While I spent a good deal of my childhood in the country (on my grandparents farm), I was an active member of FFA (Future Farmers of America), spent a semester studying Agriculture in college (before I had to leave school due to a pregnancy), and had the best job in the world working at the stables I never dealt with cattle. Sure there were times when we would all help round up Ed’s cows after a storm had knocked down a fence (sometimes while it was still raining) but I never really was exposed to cattle. We had sheep on the farm, I remember caring for the lambs who had been abandoned by their mothers. So, I’m researching cattle: cattle breeds, which ones are good for beef, which are good for milk, which are decent for both, what climates does each breed thrive in?
Not only am I gathering as much information as I can about the animals that will be on the ranch but about the typical climate of my location. The story is set in Wyoming but the weather in Wyoming varies depending on which area you are in. I’m currently looking at the south eastern part of the state. Where my main character’s ranch will have been passed down through the generations. She’s able to trace her family back to the Wild West when her family settled there in hopes of a better life.
I love research mode! I wish I could pick up and travel to Wyoming and get some hands on research in but as that is just not in the cards for me right now I will be content to spend hours reading books, articles, blog posts, business guides, breeding charts, even watching the occasional movie so I can get a feel for the scenery as well.
Do you enjoy researching for your books?