Monday, May 19, 2008

I Love the Internet -- Robin

The reason I love the internet isn’t because I can get current pictures of Britney Spears on a minute-by-minute basis or because I can read customer reviews of hot tubs from Costco any time I want to. And it isn’t even because I can make myself into a South Park character (even though that is freaking awesome!).

I love the internet for two reasons:

1. Research for my novels
2. Pandora.com

I love those particular two things because I can listen to music on Pandora that I may have never considered listening to, all while researching information on American history. Heaven!

So this weekend I was listening to Wyclef Jean (my new fave) and looking up info on the Declaration of Independence. (I know…who wasn’t?) And I came across a woman who has done extensive research on the D of I (which is my new pet name for the good ol’ Declaration of Independence). She had written a book on the Founding Fathers and some of the information she discovered on a specific incident in history is going to be a critical turning point in my book. So I really, really wanted to find out more from her. And thanks to the internet, I found her email address.

I sent her a detailed email describing the book I’m working on and asked her a few questions about the D of I, hoping she’d give me the little nugget of info I needed to make the scene that much more real (and also hoping she wouldn’t mind me calling it the D of I). But I also figured she was probably a busy person and it was probably an old email address and I’d probably never hear from her.

Wrong.

She wrote back the very next morning. And she gave me the perfect nuggets I need to make the story so utterly real. Woo-hoo! Yes, I squealed as I read her email, which caused my husband to yell across the room, “Why are you squealing!?”

“Oh,” I said, “I’m just chatting with a history professor from MIT…that’s all!!!”

And he said under his breath, “Man, I love the internet.”

- Robin
(who is currently listening to Fiona Apple radio on Pandora)

8 comments:

Katie said...

Holy Mackeral!!! Pandora has got to be the freakin' coolest site I've ever found! (Oops! I mean YOU'VE ever found) If only I had a pandora station in my car or on my ipod...

And I love it when some stranger emails you back for your research :-) too fun.

Natalie said...

I love when famous people write me back when I'm looking for sources for articles. I wrote one on author school visits and emailed Lisa Yee to see if I could ask her some questions for a sidebar. She was as nice as she seems on her blog...those were pre-Peep days, though, unfortunately. Would've loved to have had a Peep quote. Maybe next time...

Natalie said...

Ooops, Peepy, not Peep. No wonder Peepy doesn't return my calls...

Anonymous said...

Ooooooh, college girl! The D of I will be sweeping the nation soon enough. Lamy

Freedom Star said...

Pandora is hella cool! Thanks for the recommendation! I'm currently listening to My Wish by Rascal Flatts.

Disco Mermaids said...

Doesn't Pandora rock!? It's the best way to write/research/do everything.

And Natalie, we here all agree that Lisa is the nicest, most supportive writer on the planet.

I don't know Peepy well enough to speak for him. (Or is it a Her? It?)

;-) Robin

Laini Taylor said...

Oh man, I love the internet too. SO MUCH. I can't even remember "before"!!! This is a great story -- I'm in awe of researchers who can provide these real details to bring the past to life. I want to kidnap some and keep them where I can always ask them questions. . . okay, maybe not. Maybe I'll just stick to email!

Anonymous said...

okay, Pandora.com is so cool!!
I love Alabama and I'm listening to them as I type this. Thanks for this tip.
Carolyn