We all know how to do research, right? You sit down with a computer or with a book and you read and take notes.
Of course that's only one kind of research. Last night, I engaged in another kind - the more experiential sort of research. At the end of it, my ears were ringing a bit, but it was totally worth it. Plus I got to support local artists, including one of S's friends, and I got to hang out with Intrepid Friend Lisa and her wonderful husband.
Allow me to explain:
I raced home from tai chi class yesterday evening in order to change clothes so that I could accompany Lisa and Elliot to the Trocadero (a concert venue in Philadelphia, where I recently saw The Airborne Toxic Event). Their son, Ethan, is one of the members of SexOffice, a local fusion/progressive band that was part of a lineup of unsigned local acts. (They are highly skilled musicians, which comes across loud and clear, and in some of their best pieces they kind of remind me of Spyro Gyra, but I'm not a huge fan of jam-style music, preferring more conventional song structure when I go to concerts.)
See, there happens to be an unsigned rock band in my work in progress (WIP) - a young adult contemporary romance based on an Austen novel - and there's a concert scene as well, and going to see Ethan's band allowed me to take notes on important things - like what people are wearing (both the guys in the bands (no girls, oddly enough) and the people in the audience), as well as observing behavior and body language as well as eavesdropping (when possible - man, it was LOUD in there!) on conversations.
Plus, I got to hear a variety of new music, including Bizarre Silence (we heard two songs, both excellent) and Stone Head (headbanging hard rock - not usually my thing - but really very good and they're the whole package - they look the part, know how to work the crowd, etc.) and a bit of the headliner, Sixkill, along with SexOffice's set. Not all of it was to my taste, but some of it was really enjoyable, so it's a win-win situation.
And now, it's back to work on Chapter 17B. Yes, 17B. Perversely, I refuse to renumber my chapters until I hit The End of the book as outline, so I've added a Chapter 17B to allow for a place where my characters decided to go off the course I'd mapped for them. (There's also a Chapter 10B and a 10C as well, for the same reason.)