Research made me do it. Really.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

*I must warn you that this post contains mature themes. If you are faint of heart or a minor, come back on Wednesday when I have a silly video much better suited to your delicate senses. Kthxbai.

Research. How many writers use research? Everyone that I know of. Even if they just read a blog on how to write better or google a word or two, that's research. Until a few weeks ago about the wildest thing I did for research was take pictures, read history books, and clickety-clack away on my keyboard.

All that changed when I went to the Southern California Writer's Conference.

You see, I have a few characters who are, shall we say, intriguing. They use sex as a weapon and torture is just another way for them to get off. They're twisted and perverted and I love them, but I don't really know what it is they do when they do the nasty.

Remember my gal pal Gayle? Well, I happened to mention to her that I thought I could benefit from some research on the topic. Maybe get a video or something.

Next thing I know, I'm driving down the freeway with Gayle and Linda Ochocki in the car and we're heading to a porn shop. That's right. Three middle-aged married women were going on a field trip to get Tameri some porn!

So what's the first thing I see when I enter the store? An entire wall of in your face business I can't ever un-see, so what do I do? Giggle like a 12 year-old boy who discovered he could burp the alphabet. Yeah, I was that classy.

The very sweet and understanding salesgirl helped me find what I needed ~ I'd been prepped on what specifically to ask for ~ and let me just say there that I didn't look at the DVD she showed me, I just said I'd take it if she thought it met my requirements. I'm fairly certain she didn't believe my story that we were there for research because she gave me the lamest, dumbest, and most boring lesbian porn video of all time.

I'm not even going to tell you the part where the disc got stuck in my laptop and I thought I'd have to take it to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store to get it out. Let's just say I might need therapy after that incident.

Not only did that ‘sweet' salesgirl totally mess with me, I didn't get the research information I needed. I bet she had some laughs at the bar with her girlfriends that night. Dang it.

Fear not, my loyal readers because I had a secret weapon. My gal pal Gayle. If you'll recall, I told you in my SCWC recap that she can hook a girl up!

Turns out, Gayle just happened to be regaling a few folks with a highly entertaining account of our field trip when this guy Oz mentioned that a good friend of his is a BDSM master. Or something like that. I'm still not quite sure what all those letters stand for, but I can guess. Anyway, she totally hooked me up!

By the time I left the conference, I had John's number (he's the hot BDSM dude) and a promise from Heather, Oz's wife, that she'd send me information from a lesbian S&M friend who would be willing to help out as well.

None of this would've happened if I'd stayed in my little corner of the conference. Sure, I was completely out of my comfort zone, but we had a blast and the story just got better each time we told it. I finally got up the guts to call John and I need to email Heather's friend ~ I wanted to make sure I had my questions lined up first so I don't giggle again like a 12 year-old boy every time he farts. Seriously, I'm that much of a dork.

As for the disk… after 45 minutes of stressing out and trying to get the darn thing out of my laptop (and missing the morning speaker, I might add), the stupid thing finally ejected and I was saved the torture of taking it to the Genius Bar.

Come on, ‘fess up. What's the wackiest thing you've done for research?

69 thoughts on “Research made me do it. Really.”

  1. Ruth Hartman BergeRuth Hartman Berge

    Ok. Your research is MUCH more interesting than mine! I’m working on a collection of short stories combination of memoir and Florida history. I have found that I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone a lot more than I ever have before just to ask a complete stranger a question. It’s worth every blush at the embarrassment that I must be inconveniencing them!

    One of the most interesting things I found out is that the old motel cabins behind a favorite restaurant of mine were the “no tell motel” of the era back in the 40s and 50s. I wrote it into the story and it helped paint the picture.

  2. Rebekah LoperRebekah Loper

    Wackiest thing I’ve ever done? Asked people for suggestions for water rituals (especially ones concerning virginity *cough*). In one of my stories, I have a group of people that essentially worships water. They’re a desert people, fyi. Makes sense now, eh?

    Now, should I shock you and tell you that I actually know exactly what BDSM stands for? πŸ˜€

  3. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect ChaosJillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos

    My research usually consists of looking at photos of male models so I can properly describe the men in my books. And well, MANday also requires a lot of that. Your story is hilarious. Love that the disc got stuck in your computer.

  4. Natalie HartfordNatalie Hartford

    OMG Tameri – I LUV it!!! WAHAHAHA!! I wish I could have been there in person to join in the fun! OMG!!! Fahhhbulous. And then the CD getting stuck – I would have nearly died! And the shop lady not hooking you up with the right material – NOT cool! Seriously.
    In the end, I am so pumped you’ve gotten in touch with people who can help you with your research so everything you need is authentic and awesome. You definitely stepped out of your comfort zone and that takes guts and courage so WOOT WOOT to you!
    I can’t wait to embark on research. I am totally calling you to HOOK me up! LOL!!

  5. Gayle CarlineGayle Carline

    It was a trip that will live in my memory. As a matter of fact, it will probably be the only thing I remember when I’m old and senile – I’ll just keep repeating, “Where’s the porn shop? I need a DVD.”

    I love to tell the story, especially the part where we get to the cash register and the girl asks if you need lube. So casual. “No, thanks.” So polite. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

  6. August McLaughlinAugust McLaughlin

    Good for you, Tameri! That kind of research can make our work shineβ€”and not just because it involves porn. πŸ˜‰ Much of my research makes me wonder if I’m on some kind of government watch list. LOLThe topics are, to use your word, mature…some criminal. The craziest thing I’ve done is tie myself to a futon to see if I could accomplish certain tasks. That is all I will say…

  7. JJJJ

    Wackiest thing I’ve ever done for research? Train with SEALs doing sneak ‘n peeks around a campground — and the campers had no idea. Close second was learning spy techniques and various kinds of drops using Julian as a backdrop. All was going well until the sheriffs showed up…then they left, laughing about nutty writers.

  8. patriciasandspatriciasands

    OMG – It’s so difficult to type, wipe my eyes, blow my nose and attempt to control my laughter all at the same time. Tameri, this could be a magazine article. Honestly! The experience in itself is hilarious but the way you write about it … priceless!

  9. jennifer tannerjennifer tanner

    Hi Tameri!

    I emailed someone who was selling old Greyhound bus schedules on eBay and asked them if they could check the schedule to see if a particular city was on the route. They actually emailed me back with the answer! Of course, none of this research made it into a scene, but at least I know I’ve got my facts straight.

  10. Jenny HansenJenny Hansen

    Tameri, you didn’t tell me you needed porn help!?!! I’ve got connections for you, darling. We could have gotten you interviews with porn stars or a little time on the set. You just let me know…I know people who know people. LOL.

  11. EmmaEmma

    Tameri, you are hilarious girl! May I ask what you were able to get from John?
    My research has been more of the boring google kind, but I’m going to take a leaf out of your book and hop in the car and go on an adventure next time I need to do research!

  12. Traci BellTraci Bell

    I’ve researched European history, architecture, food, guns, military, hotels, maps, etc. I haven’t had any turn out as interesting as yours! Have you heard of the book 50 Shades of Grey? I saw it on the Today show the other day, and it has BDSM in it. It’s supposedly making the book club rounds.

  13. katewoodauthorkatewoodauthor

    Ok, I cannot WAIT for the post about how the interviews with John and the lesbian S&M friend went!!! This is excellent πŸ˜›

  14. Juli Page MorganJuli Page Morgan

    Don’t you just know your computer and that DVD were in cahoots? Your computer wouldn’t have nearly as much fun watching you sweat if a Disney video got stuck in there. I once had to find out some information about BDSM for my book and wasn’t about to Google it. I could just imagine stern men wearing black suits showing up at my door asking embarrassing questions and me giggling like an idiot. Since I live in Hooterville, a porn shop wasn’t an option, so I asked a friend who asked a friend who had a friend who knew a whole lot more than I needed to know. But, man! did I learn a lot! The scene ultimately got cut from my book, but I’m going to use it in the next one for sure!

    Loved your post!!

  15. Natalie Hartford's HubbyNatalie Hartford's Hubby

    I just finished my resignation letter – it’s offical!
    I’m becoming a writer and attending ALL of these conferences!!

  16. Mark KoopmansMark Koopmans

    Hey Tameri,

    THIS wins my FAVORITE post award of 2012…. I was peeing myself reading this… OMG… what an image (actually what images you raised πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the laughs πŸ™‚

  17. Stacy GreenStacy Green

    Love this, lol! I think I’ll change my tune about conferences. This sounds more than worth it!

  18. susielindaususielindau

    This reminds me of what I am going through right now. I am really out-going and can talk about anything, but am procrastinating writing the sex scenes in my book and actually they are nothing like what you must be writing since this gal is only on vacation for a short time! Sounds like a great conference. Thanks for sharing!

  19. MarciaMarcia

    OMG, Tameri! She asked if you needed lube?! HIlarious…and it would have been almost as hilarious if you’d had to take your laptop to the shop to get the disc out!
    I haven’t had to do sexual research…I used my own imagination and experiences. :0

  20. AnonymousAnonymous

    I rode a Greyhound bus from central California to Salt Lake City, which is the same 22 hour trip my main character takes. I then spent 5 days during the Mormon’s yearly Conference debating religion (politely) with the sisters and elder clergymen. I also interviewed a small sample of the thousands of Mormons attending the conference, and the whack-job protesters outside the gates. One guy was even wearing a red devil costume and carrying a sign that read “Joseph Smith is the devil”. That guy was FUN to talk to.

    • Oz MonroeOz Monroe

      I forgot to log in. The above was from me.


  21. Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, LaughingKristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing

    LOL! Too funny! Had that happened to me, and my laptop required professional help to remove the disk, I’d be blaming a hubby, boyfriend or brother. πŸ™‚

    The weirdest thing I’ve researched was the history of outhouses. I also had some trouble with the Firefox/Avast rating system when I wrote a blog asking for ideas to use for a homicidal stalker in a series I’m writing. Overnight my green bars changed from green (safe) to RED (meaning it was an unsafe site…and people might get a computer virus). I had to take down the post, write emails explaining why I used the term ‘homicidal stalker,’ and…after a few days, the bars were back to green. πŸ™‚

  22. Kate MacNicolKate MacNicol

    You crack me up! The disk thing sounded exactly like something that would happen to me.

    I’m always doing things in the name of research. I’ve done shady things like figured out how to steal from art museums which is fun but I get hot, sweaty and paranoid when I’m doing it because I know it’s wrong. So far my books have thieves and liars in them but if I ever need a dominatrix, you’re my info girl, right?

    Recently, a writer friend of mine pretended she was buying a luxury car and took it for a test drive. She had a hoot pretending she was Miss-I -Can- Buy- Anything-I -Want.

  23. Natalie Hartford's HubbyNatalie Hartford's Hubby

    Talk about your bad seed in the Apple!

  24. Ali DentAli Dent

    At the point that the disc got stuck, I like you would have been in a panic; probably working out how to buy a new one. You’re so funny, Tameri.

  25. Ali DentAli Dent

    Thanks for keeping me in the “light.” I am so sorry you had to deal with that. Crazy.

  26. Coleen PatrickColeen Patrick

    Nothing wacky . . .YET! I am totally not above it, I can see the wackiness headed my way πŸ™‚

  27. Louise BehielLouise Behiel

    too funny. I can see the three of you having a good time and laughing yourselves silly. I did that research as a young woman. but those are stories for another time. thanks for the chuckle.

  28. Jennifer M EatonJennifer M Eaton

    OMIGOSH! That is hysterical. If it was me, it probably would have been my work laptop, and that would not have gone over well at all.

    Kudos for you for even going. I think I would wimp out, but just going in to the shop sounds like an interesting experience. I have somehting in mind, and I thought of calling a guy that I went to high school with to ask his “perspective” but I don’t think I could actually get the questions out.

    Gosh, I’m lame.

  29. Virginia RippleVirginia Ripple

    OMG! I can totally see that happening. I would have been just like you, giggling at the store and freaking out when the DVD got stuck. Of course, I’d be glowing scarlet the whole time, too. I hopee all your research helps, but if not at least you have a great story out of it. πŸ˜€

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