Does this happen to anyone else?
I am minding my own business, writing away. I am describing the images shown in a particular photograph. Suddenly, it occurs to me that this photo is taken in the home environs of cannibals and shows them in their routine, everyday life. The cannibals, themselves, do not play a large role in the story. It is their miracle medicine that is the focus of interest (to the best of my knowledge, I made that part up). The cannibals are there for the mind-games aspect, because the person viewing the photo does not know that they are cannibals (until she Googles the tribe), but does notice a pile of unburied bones in the distance. The bones were already there without the cannibals, but I like this new direction. It makes the bones and the medicine even creepier.
So of course I want some authenticity to the subject. Knowing nothing about cannibals, beyond the Donner Party and Dr. Lector, it seems sensible to do some research.
An hour later, I have what I consider to be a lifetime supply of information on the subject of cannibals. I feel absolutely no compunction to actually travel to New Guinea for a first hand look at the subject. Insofar as following the rule about “writing what you know,” I am confident that I either know enough to write – or – and this works just as well for me – screw the rule.
I have left quite a trail of search terms and click-throughs. Add that to my other rather eclectic pattern of researching murder, criminals, and eluding detection and this internet research is bound to get me noticed by the wrong people sooner or later. I can only say:
They will never take me alive!
On a more interesting note – there was no mention of fava beans and Chianti. I, myself, am enjoying a lovely Pinot Noir right now.