One of the best things about being a writer is that you actually get to learn things through your research. The more you don't know about something, the more you have to research so that you don't look like a complete idiot and have some 11 year old call you out on the details. Here are some of the more interesting things I've learned over the years:
1. Raccoon daddies don't stick around. If you see more than one raccoon, it's a mama and babies.
2. How fast a body will decomp at just above freezing temperatures. You can watch fast-motion videos of pigs decomping on the internet. Thought I'd throw that out there in case you're having a slow night.
3. That I shouldn't try to write in rhyme. Ever.
4. The best way to strip the skeleton of an armadillo is using bugs in the backyard.
5. That the bony armor of an armadillo is called a scute. I used that word in Scrabble a couple of weeks ago, so that little detail has come in very handy.
6. You can go tandem hangliding just north of San Francisco. No lessons necessary, just strap yourself in and jump.
7. It takes one day, 19 hours and 20 minutes to take a bus from Austin to San Francisco.
8. Campus police can arrest you in Santa Barbara.
9. You need to open a window in the back of the house in order to get fire to spread there.
10. That there is a paid scholarship program for young singers at the Metropolitan Opera. That would have been so cool - if I could sing, of course.
On this date: In 1956, Elvis appeared on Ed Sullivan.