Woe to those who live to research but who have no professorship! I have been prone to research since about high school, driven by the need to know. Almost Wesleyan in my need for certainty, I have always been inclined to check things out. It took college and a doctorate to teach me the necessary research skills. It took years of teaching for me to learn how to frame questions on my own. And it took years of being shunned by the academy to realize that as I’ve been pursuing my personal research agenda that I lack the time to fulfill it. I’m a slow learner. Yet I can’t give it up. The thought process that led to Holy Horror was a kind of epiphany. I could write a book without reading every last thing about the subject. The problem, however, would always be time. I’ve read an awful lot about horror media and I’m only beginning to scratch the surface.
I’m not totally naive. Okay, I’m pretty far along on that path sometimes, but I want my readers to know that I understand movies and television are made for money. It’s a business, I know. But I’m an artist at heart and I like to think the creators are fond of their characters. Writers are advised to drown their darlings, to put their protagonists on a cliff and then throw rocks at them. And I also understand that money can make you do even worse to them. Of course, I’m still thinking about Dark Shadows. For me it’s been a rediscovery of my childhood. And just how much time I’d need to make sense of just one television series with a five-year run. There’s far more information on the web on Dark Shadows than I was able to find in print on Asherah for the years of my doctorate.
And the expense involved. Plus, it’s only early April and the lawn needs mowing! I’m still wearing a heavy jacket some days but the grass is always greener. Period. What a time to fall into a research reverie! I need a sabbatical but they don’t have those in the 925 world. And I need a professor’s salary to be able to afford the media required. The Dark Shadows series alone has over 1200 episodes. House of Dark Shadows introduced the fear of the cross to my understanding of Barnabas Collins. My world has been shaken and to settle it I need research. What I have, however, is work starting in just a few minutes.