A new hat!

A figurative one, anyway — real ones tend to make my head hot.

I got into writing on purpose, but a lot of my stories come about by accident: usually because I start with one idea and my characters wrench the tiller from my hands and adjust the sails to their liking and we all end up somewhere else.

This new hat I’m trying on, it’s kind of an accident, too. I joined the YA GLBT Books (née YA M/M Romance) group on Goodreads because despite my advancing years, I still read YA books. Hell, I will read (okay, look at) picture books, too, if it comes down to it. If I come across Fox In Socks at a store, I can’t go on with my shopping until I have at least read the tweedle beetle battle. Out loud.

Anyway, my point is, I didn’t actually mean to put on the hat of a YA Author, but it seems to have slipped onto my head anyhow. I’m not complaining–far from it–I’m just kind of surprised. Kind of excited, too, because this means I have a shot at getting some of the completely RANDOM things I’ve written out into the world, which is always fun.

Thing is, if I’m going to write YA stuff, I’ll probably need to use a different name. Probably nothing radical–C. J. Wright, perhaps. Or maybe I’ll drop the C and go with Julian Wright instead. I’m trying to decide whether I should add a subdomain here, or if I should bite the bullet and have a separately-hosted site… A tumblr, maybe.

Before I do any of that, though, I should really have something to offer in terms of YA content, which means polishing up my . It will be M/M for now, though I may branch out in the future. I’ll make sure everything’s clearly labeled, no worries.

Now I have to try to decide if I should change a character’s name or not. Hmm…

My browsing history is a little suspect.

I have results for ethylene glycol poisoning, phlebotomy equipment, testing for ethylene glycol poisoning, and poison control centers of America. I also have the poison control jingle stuck in my head, so it’s at least effective on that count. (I do own a copy of the handbook of poisons, but it’s somewhere in a box in another state, at the moment. And I don’t know if it would tell me how much blood is needed to run an ethylene glycol assay, anyway. From what I’ve turned up, it looks like it only requires about a teaspoon (5 mL.)

I’m actually doing research, though whether or not the story will ever be published remains to be seen. My poor character has been having a tough life as a were-creature, and now that he seems to have found stability–and even a family, though some of them are no longer alive–he’s been poisoned. (I know who, how, and why, too, which is a huge achievement. Normally I have crimes and investigators but no idea about any of the rest of it.)

I think that my number-one weird research query will forever be “do birds burp?” (The consensus I got from a local bird-care group: not unless they’re ill, no.)

It never ends. (Or: A Peek Into How My Mind Works)

In the course of Tristan making a joke about Bastille Day, I thought I’d better double-check to make sure I had my dates/events straight in my head. Lucky me, the whole storming-the-Bastille thing took place in 1789.

Wait, 1789? I went scrambling off, thinking I was going to have to be concerned about getting Tristan’s escape from the French Revolution just right, and then I suddenly realized that it would have been over– No. I just checked. Crap! The Revolution wasn’t over until Napolean showed up in 1799. Argh.

I go from one war to another. If Tristan is (15-16, 16-17, 17-18) when he leaves for and then arrives in the nascent US, then he was born, let’s see, he gets there in 1814, so if his birthday was somewhere between the middle of January and the middle of April, then he’d have been born anywhere from 1797-1799. Which means that no matter how you slice it, depending on where he was born, there’s going to be war and bloodshed in the kid’s surroundings. (And now I’m wondering what I did with my copy of the Les Mis soundtrack. I was actually exposed to it via my high school choir director, who gave us a medley of Do You Hear The People Sing and…one of the sad ones, I think the one about the castle in the sky, to sing.)

And all of this over a joke. I still don’t know what the most common breed of draft horse was in the US at the time, either.

Edited to add: AND I just found out that one of the things that happened during the French Revolution was that the whole master-apprentice thing got tossed out. Anyone could join a trade as long as they got the right license. *Grumble* *Blink* But that doesn’t mean that people forgot about it, and it doesn’t mean that it actually happened overnight… And besides, Tristan’s parents wanted him away from certain “undesirable elements” anyhow, so it all works out. Okay, then.

Second Edit: Hm. Upon noting that France went to war with Austria (who was then supported by the Prussians), about the time that a 17-18-year-old Tristan would have been born… I’m about ready to throw up my hands and decide to move the Dupont family to Spain or Belgium or something. (Aaaaand now that I think of it, since the US didn’t want anything to do with French or British imports, it would probably be easier on Tristan if he boarded a Belgian/Dutch ship and sailed off, instead of having to do the whole Spain-Florida-Louisiana thing. Hmm.)