Sometimes researching a writing project makes me feel like a hyperactive child who can't focus on one thing before the impulse to move on to the next has taken control of my brain.
I wrote a book of readers' theater scripts on explorers several years ago. A couple of the characters took hold of me and still have not let go.
I have always loved maps, but now it seems I have the desperate need to understand how cartographers made them, how the explorers understand the curves and projections of the coastline, and how with nothing but dead reckoning and a glass of sand they could record their movement at sea.
A recent exhibit in town features maps collected by J. Kyle Spencer, member of the foundation at Columbus State University. He's been collecting maps for thirty years and recently donated his astounding collection of maps of Georgia to the University. Before going to the archives, many of the maps are on display at a local gallery.
So, on top of reading about my explorer who won't let go of me, I am now frantically hopping from sailing vessels and their main masts and mizzen masts to longitude to clocks to the moons of Jupiter and triangulation, which totally eludes me, to the history of cartography.
I wonder if Ayervedic herbs would help me to control myself, but then that could push me onto another path entirely. Maybe scurvy. Oh dear.