Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bringing Inspiration Home

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about some of the research I've been doing. I actually went on a field trip to research a very rare type of wood, but the shop that might have carried it was selling off their fixed assets when I arrived - chairs and shelving. No stock left. So I mail-ordered. I am now the proud owner of a cat carved from palo santo wood.

Along with the cat, I received a free tree agate and some perfume. According to the card that accompanied the agate, it provides inspiration and wisdom. Sounds like it belongs right next to my computer, don't you think?

The point of this exercise was to smell the palo santo. It is supposed to have a unique fragrance, and the wood is regulated. It can't be harvested until after the tree has died and the wood is seasoned for a period of time (left lying "in state" outside).

My office is VERY smelly fragrant right now. The first couple of days, it made my eyes water! But now I have real-life experience with what this rare wood smells like, feels like, etc. What does it smell like? As advertised, the wood is something like pine/mint/lemon. I couldn't quite imagine those scents together, but each of them is present (or I smell them because someone told me I should). The agate is infused with "Druidess" perfume. It smells like perfume - I'd venture to say more along the floral spectrum.

Now I can apply my real-life experience to my characters. I know that Jared (my hero in Epitaph 2), who is a finish carpenter and likes to work with wood, will be able to craft pieces of the wood and that those pieces will serve as a room freshener (among other things). I guess that means its time to get back to work!


  1. Nothing beats first-hand (minus the obvious exceptions, like breaking the law, undertaking something TOO dangerous, etc.) Why is it romance authors always get asked about how they research their sex scenes, but mystery authors are never asked if they actually killed someone in the name of research.

    1. No kidding! And in line with that, those sex scenes are tricky. Everyone has a different experience, so you have to keep them fairly middle of the road for those people who think its unrealistic (when it might be "real life" for at least half the population...)