I was rustled from a sound sleep by the raucous characters I am researching for my master’s thesis. Friday I read more than 2,000 headlines and several hundred newspaper articles dating, between 1926 and 1960, about my theological antagonist. The situations depicted in the articles were unbelievable, and in many ways theatrical, so it is no wonder these words formed images that manifested in my dreams. But what made me sit up in the bed and grab my iPhone was the idea of how to organize all of what I read Friday and what I will read over the next several months, even years.
People who know me as a journalist and writer know I have to have organization. Most don’t understand it because journalists have the unfortunate reputation of being a highly unorganized lot, with notebooks and notes tucked hither, there and yonder. But that was never my approach. I need notes in an orderly form, notebooks with tabs and labels. And that is what cam to me shortly after 7a this cool Saturday morning, big binders with lots of tabs and sticky notes.
My subject, who I will reveal soon, is a slippery sort — in life and death and in research — because much of the information on him is second-hand, meaning he didn’t leave a heave paper trail, but a lot of people talked about him. I’m deconstructing the stories and accounts of others to get at who this man might have been. But what that means is I’m reading twice as much material because I need to be able to see the biases in one writer’s description over and above another writer’s description.
So looks like I’ll be hitting up Amazon for a lot of paper, printer ink, binders and sticky notes and spending my Saturday mornings just like this, at the keyboard by 8a.
Good morning, world!