needs to go into a work of fiction. Yes, I admit I am writing the sequel. I promised HRH Whirlwind a sequel. She sat still long enough to read the first effort, liked it and demanded more. It was all very flattering and I was foolish enough to give in and - promise. You do not break promises to ten year old children. They are inclined to remind you that you - promised.
So, there is research to be done.
I am of half a mind to make Miss Whirlwind do some of the research - after all the plot centres around the young heroine doing a little research of her own. I know what the answer would be though, "You just have to look it up on the 'net Cat." Miss Whirlwind is, in all likelihood, more competent than me at this.
I think I feel sorry for her. Sitting at a computer screen and typing in search terms is not like heading for a library and looking at real books. I remember when, frustrated by the lack of material in the library of the last school I attended, I went off to the State Library. This serves the whole of South Australia. All those years ago it was, apart from the university library, the major resource for research. When I did not find what I wanted there the librarian directed me over to the university library next door. The librarian there was a little startled to find a school student asking to look at a book. It was really not 'allowed' I was told but I was allowed to sit down and read the chapter in it there and then. It was, I thought, real research. The librarian even took time out to show me how to cite the reference in the correct fashion.
Now I do use the internet. I need to know all sorts of things. Much of it can be found on the internet. I need to know what Winston Churchill was doing in 1916 and when he was knighted. I need to know about the location of lighthouses and who held certain public positions.
I can find all that I am sure. It will not be difficult. What will be difficult is something quite different. I want to know what these people were like. How would my young heroine and her friends feel about them? Would these public figures respond to a request for information? How would they respond? That's the hard part.
The internet is a fine thing, a useful thing but it cannot replace people.