My family has learned to indulge my excitement over the strangest things. Like the book I found at Barnes and Noble this week. It’s called Back in the Day: 101 Things Everyone Used to Know How to Do. In one or two pages dedicated to each “thing,” the author tells you step-by-step how to do it. It is simple, straightforward. A great way for a writer to understand how someone would go about doing a task that is completely unfamiliar to those who live in the “modern” world. At the very least, it’s a jumping off place to know the questions to ask. At its best, this book provides the actions needed for a character in historical fiction to do what was common knowledge in their era.
What kinds of things are these, you ask? Things like shearing a sheep, defending a castle, treating a battle wound, making a barrel, forging a sword, baking bread, addressing royalty. You get the idea. I was giddy with excitement over all the information!
My husband and kids laughed and gave me that look that said, “Yes, you are weird, but we love you anyway.”