Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Need A Research Assistant

I'm finding that writing a book is not as easy as just sitting down and typing words on a page. Since I am writing a non-fiction book, there is a LOT of documentation involved. It's not as simple as she-said, he-said - you have to have all the paperwork in order to back up certain facts to the story.

After digging deep for the first chapter and then bawling my eyes out as the words poured from me and the story was coming faster than I could type, I realized that I had to back up certain facts with facts! Simple huh.... oh hell no!

I'm Googling names, places, and certain pieces of information while very little is coming up. I need birth certificates, marriage licenses (a bunch of them), divorce certificates, property records dating back long before I ever hit this planet, and social security records. I cannot believe how long I was on the phone the other day to certain agencies who were telling me that I needed this certificate before I could get that certificate, and vice versa.

It was complete chaos except for the guy at the Social Security office who found the whole concept of the book completely fascinating and finally divulged a little info he wasn't "suppose" to. I won't mention his name as I don't want to get him fired for being so damn helpful, because he helped make this whole agonizing process even more enticing and suspenseful.

After tallying the total finances needed for all my beginning documentation, I'm in it for about $300 so far and the first chapter isn't completely finished yet! I can't even start on the 2nd chapter until I have at least half of what is needed to even begin the first few paragraphs.

I need a research assistant..... fast!

After getting much needed advice from a few "associates", I have my list of places on the net that say they can give me what I need for a nominal fee of anywhere from $2.95 to $12.95 a month. But I think they want a years worth up front before they fork over any info I'm desperately searching for.

How reliable are these sites. I have ones like,, obituaries101, yada, yada, yada. Which one do I choose? Which one is reliable and which one(s) are just teasers for your curiosity? I have come to realize in just the past week that giving birth to four children without one stinking painkiller was far easier than this! I am complete confused and my brain hurts just trying to figure out who to turn to.

I need a research assistant! But I can't afford one just yet - so I'm left to my own common sense and good advice of those who have been through this process before me. So since I am semi-broke, I have gone-a-begging to my TwitterMoms, "Moms That Write", discussion board. If anyone has any advice, someone on this board should be able to send me in the right direction; especially since one of my main characters life is full of mystery and secrecy. Can't find shit on them on Google anywhere!

You ask how my kitchen remodeling is going along with adding this book to every growing challenges in my life? It sucks right now! After dumping almost all my remodeling expenses into replacing lost keys, two trips to the emergency room, school supplies, band supplies (that's till an ongoing process), and various other emergencies that have come up in the past month - I am now waiting for some relative to die off so that I can get some kind of inheritance to see this project through.

NOT likely happening anytime soon!

I have my cabinet doors primed, but not painted. Hardware for some of the cabinet doors, but not all. I still have not chosen which green is for the accent color so little blobs of green are still smudged on a section of the cabinets and I am forced to be taunted by them each time I leave the house. Nor have I chosen which metal tile to use: brushed aluminum or the shiny shit! It's a mess, but I figured that it will all work out once the kids are in school (Nia starts in September), and I'll have more mula set aside and a lot more free time to slap some eye-glaring white down and have it done in a few days.

It's gotta be finished by Thanksgiving for God's sake!

NOW I need a remodeling assistant, who is also a research assistant!

Where do I look on Google to find someone like that, and how much is it?


Gondooo said...

I wish I could be there to help you. Carolyn, one day you will be a reknown author, the whole world will want your books and you will look back on this time in your life and remember how hard you worked to get there.
In the meantime....keep on writin!

Tara R. said...

You might want to check with local colleges. Students are always looking for internships or practicum work for school. Most internships DO NOT pay, it's for college credit only. Just an FYI.

Mrs. Fish aka Two Fish said...

Carolyn if you lived closer I could help do the remodel...been there done that! You are a helluva woman I swear!! I can tell you that has A LOT and their fee I don't think was too bad, not sure if you worked them or liked them. As Tara said the University can be a PLETHORA of stuff from interns to broke ass college kids and their library is pretty extensive if they allow you to use it. Good luck. Once you get over the hump I bet everything will fall together.


Stacey said...

You've certainly got your hands full! Hang in there, things will eventually work out. I have faith in you! :-)