Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The Fun Side of Research

Remember a couple of years ago when I told you about a super opening for a polo mystery? Well, I'm about 10K words into my WIP. It's been a slow process, probably because my confidence in my writing has been sagging lately.

But I'm not here to whine. I wanted to share my experience while researching for the setting of my book. I'd been to several charity polo matches nearby (thanks to my employer), but nothing compared to the events of the past year.

You see, my girlfriend met a millionaire, and they soon started dating. He had taken up polo a few years ago and plays in Florida and here in Ontario. After meeting him, I was pulled into the world of the rich - massive estates, horses by the gross and handsome people. You'd think they'd be snobby like in the movies, but they aren't. They're all wonderful and warm.

I attended matches at the polo club, watched my girlfriend taking lessons and went to some really great parties. They weren't wild parties - it seems horse lovers are just like me - lovers of animals, good food, music and conversation.

Recently my girlfriend and the millionaire parted ways (amicably) and are still good friends. I ran into him at this year's charity event (he and my girlfriend both volunteered on the committee) and we exchanged warm greetings. I'll always admire his easygoing openness and generosity. Because of him, my novel has taken on a new level of authenticity.

Here are a few of the events that kept me from blogging (and sometimes writing) the past few months:

Nacho Figueras, six-goaler and Ralph Lauren model, tearing up the pitch at Pace Polo For Heart 2011. I didn't meet him, but he seemed nice.

Me on Maya, a gift to my girlfriend. A sweet pony - I hope I didn't confuse her too much.

Me with Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur. Her husband was on the Royal Jaipur Polo Club team, invited to this year's Polo For Heart.

And finally, my own sister's brush with royalty on Monday. Cathy Elliott is musical director of The Talking Stick, the first all-Aboriginal original musical at this year's Charlottetown Festival. Her troupe performed for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and got to meet the newlyweds. I'm so proud of my sis!

I hope to "get back on the writing horse" with more regularity this summer. I might no longer be in the inner circles of the rich, but I was sure to take notes!


jjdebenedictis said...

Royal shoulder-rubbings for the win! I visited Jaipur as part of my India trip in February, so it was really cool to see that photo of you and the princess! (Of course, that was the day I got sick, so I didn't really see Jaipur... It's supposed to be beautiful, though.)

If you need a slightly-profane but very amusing writing pep talk, I just discovered this website and thought it was hilarious (and contained some great advice):

Terrible Minds

(((*hugs*))) Get through your pen-monkey blues and come back fighting and writing!

Sandra Cormier said...

I know Chuck's blog, JJ! He's hilarious and gies me a kick in the pants when I need it.

My girlfriend and her ex met the royal family in Jaipur and visited the polo grounds there. They are now great friends. A lovely family and the kids are so cute!