…but you can’t wiki everything.
I’ll admit it, I turn to Wikipedia a lot. No, it’s not the most reliable source of information but it is quick, easy, straightforward and a good starting point for more research.
But some things can’t be looked up, can’t be researched from your nice comfy office chair. Sometimes you have to get out there and smell the bull shit. Literally. Oops, what’s that smell? Did you step in it? Good! You’ll be a better writer for it.
I recently read another author’s blog post about her new book release. The hero was a bull rider. In this post she wrote (and I’m paraphrasing the idea since I don’t remember the exact wording) how she didn’t understand why any man would want to get on the back of a bull just to get tossed around like a rag doll and thrown in the dirt.
I shook my head while reading that and said, aloud to no one because it was 4 am and only the cats and I were awake, “I understand it.”
Why? Because I’ve researched? Yes, in part. I’ve talked to bull riders on line, on the phone and in person, but most importantly, I’ve seen why first hand.
I’ve seen a rider close up immediately after getting off a bull. I’ve seen his hands shaking because he’s so hyped on adrenaline. The effects of adrenaline on a body are as strong as any drug, illegal or legal. It’s addicting. It’s a high and a rush, and when it’s over the person coming off that high wants nothing more than to do it again. Ask anyone really into extreme sports. It’s not the sport they’re addicted to, it’s the adrenaline.
Here’s what I’m saying… I’ve walked into an arena and been struck by the stench of bull. I’ve walked out of that arena hours later and realized I no longer smelled it because I’d become so accustomed to the odor. I’ve felt the platform I was standing on vibrate when the chute gate crashed open feet from me. I’ve jumped from the loudness and close proximity of that clanging of metal on metal. I’ve watched the cowboy next to me take off his hat and take a knee when a rider got bucked off and wasn’t moving. I’ve been eye to eye with the bull when it was looking for the out gate after dumping a rider, but instead made eye contact with me on top of the chutes. I’ve had arena dust cover my pretty leather boots. I”ve seen bull fighters and riders in various states of undress as they prepped for a ride. I’ve seen the holes in the soles of the boots bull rider’s reserve just for riding before they change into their good boots for afterward.
And I hope to God with every book I write that I can adequately impart every one of those sensory images to my readers.
Still don’t understand it? I’m truly sorry for that, and more than grateful that I have the privilege to.