Monday, August 14, 2006

Lost in the 60's

I'm doing quite a bit of research this morning for From the Dust of Rose Hill. It seems I've bitten off quite a chunk with this project, as it spans thirty-five years beginning in 1969. I was four years old in 1969--old enough to have a few memories, but none from a world view. This morning's research has been on Viet Nam and the women there and their roles in society. Most of the websites I have searched talk of American women serving in Viet Nam, but I have begun to narrow it down quite a bit. I'm interested in the cultures and customs basically. If any of you can point me to a great source, that would be appreciated.

Also, since I am spanning such a large time period, I am breaking my research down into decades. The 70's and 80's should be fun, and I'm sure there will be no problem researching the 2000's and the Gulf Wars. The thing about research is that you come across so much that is interesting to a reader like myself. You can spend hours and follow countless links getting more and more engrossed in what you're finding until you lose sight of what you started out looking for. Focus. I need focus.

Oh, and that brings me to a big pet peeve: search engines. You have to be very specific in your terms when you search, and still you sometimes you get a hodge podge of unrelated links. I use quotes around my search terms frequently to get the exact phrases I'm looking for. I also try to pick words that would distinguish my search from any other search linked to that subject. It's a tricky endeavor. Sometimes the payoff is big; other times it is just a frustrating mess.
Google yourself or someone else, and you will find out what I'm talking about. When you google "Cindy Green," here's what you get:

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Western Illinois Athletics - Staff Directory
Cindy Green was named Director of Marketing and Promotions for Western Illinois Athletics during the summer of 2004. Green, who graduated from Blackburn - 7k - Cached - Similar pages
MobyGames - Cindy Green
Cindy Green has been credited on games developed by the following companies: Electronic Arts Inc., Hitmen Productions, Sierra Entertainment,,6068/ - 9k - Cached - Similar pages
Adventurocity™ by Rick Green: About Us: Cindy Green Biography
Biography of Cindy Green, Adventurocity partner and Director of - 9k - Cached - Similar pages
Cindy Green - Annmarie Jonah Realtors
Find 1000’s of listings in Lynn MA and surrounding - 9k - Cached - Similar pages
Cindy Green
Cindy Green. Contra and square dance caller. Contact:: ERASETHIScgreen AT edwards-tech DOT com +1-413-665-3672 (eve). Did not appear at NEFFA in 2006 - Similar pages
Cindy Green Lee
Cindy Green Lee - Filmography, Awards, Biography, Agent, Discussions, Photos, News Articles, Fan - 24k - Cached - Similar pages
Cindy Green
Cindy Greene Certified Reimbursement Assistant 1 Hospital Drive, Room N106, DCO67.00, Columbia, MO 65212 Phone: 573-884-2264 Fax: 884-5936 - 11k - Cached - Similar pages Profile For Cindy Green: Reviews
Content by Cindy Green • Reviews written: 1 • (0 helpful votes). Gift Helpers ... If not, what kid doesn't love a cow! It's a heckuva deal. Cindy Green - 34k - Cached - Similar pages
Cindy - Green Jeep - m4w
Cindy - Green Jeep - m4w last modified: Fri, 28 Jul 15:44 EDT. please flag with care : [miscategorized] [prohibited] [spam] [discussion] [best of] - Similar pages

None of these are me. Square dance caller? Filmography awards? Marketing Director? Laugh, snort, choke on my Coca-cola. I even found a ballet teacher. Well, at least it ain't porn links. I wouldn't mind being on Amazon though. Finally entering "Cynthia H. Green" brings up my blog and also another Cynthia H. Green who is an optometrist. See what I mean about being specific.

But with a little determination and time you can usually find what you're looking for. The question that you have before you then is: Is the information reliable, factual, and usable? But I'll save that discussion for another day. Writers, I'd like to know your research methods. Do you prefer libraries, internet, interviews, first-hand experience, second-hand knowledge, or in order to do the best job, does it require all of the above?


Tammy said...

I would think "all of the above"
I did my novel meme today...check it out!!
I've never written a book...just a few wee short stories...these were mostly what I call embellished memories...I don't know if I would be up for a lot of research...but the readers now are very savvy or so I've read so there is need for precision...

Morning Glory said...

Cindy, you may have intended the brown background, but if not, your writing is almost impossible to read with the blue-colored print. Just FYI.