Two Birds

My wip has a pivotal scene that takes place in the local hospital and circumstances have come together that will allow me to do a bit of research: my dad is having knee surgery.

I haven’t set foot in this hospital for almost twenty years so my plan is to explore the ER while he’s getting put back together. Hopefully they won’t think I’m staking out the place…

I’m expecting to be gone three hours, and if I was still in Mexico I’d assume that meant seven, but I’m not really sure when I’ll be back online. I’m not bringing any reading material so I MUST work on my novel.


Do you have any funny stories about times you’ve done research for a book or story?

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.


  1. Nothing funny, but I was able to trail a funeral director/mortician for a few hours one day. That was one of the more interesting things I’ve ever done. Did you know in some municipalities (mine being one of them), the blood drained before embalming is just allowed to go down into the sewer? No special hazmat vats or anything like that. Just right down where everything else goes. Mmmm, tasty tap water.

    The funeral home was an old house and they had this cool hydraulic lift that transported the bodies from the basement embalming room to the upstairs viewing rooms. That gizmo was cool enough to make it into my book.

    • Avery, that would terrify me. Although when I read this earlier I meant to ask about the morgue at the hospital, and I just realized that I forgot. I did check out the ER.

      So cool that you could include those authentic details in your story!

  2. Nadine

    I don’t think I’ve ever done any thing really odd for research, but one night at dinner I was overhearing a conversation at the table next to me that I knew would make into a book one day and I listened intently, so intently that I didn’t realize I was almost falling out of my chair, lol.

  3. My character is handed a glass she thinks contains water, but it’s really vodka. What would her reaction be? What does it feel like to take a big gulp of straight vodka?
    I posed this question to my two college-aged daughters and the next thing I knew the glasses were lined up and we were doing shots of vodka.
    Results? Tastes just like Rubbing alcohol.

  4. Pingback: The Bird Song

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