23 November 2012
The Unlikely Expert
by R.T. Lawton
In the process of writing and editing another story in my Armenian series set in 1850's Chechnya along the Terek River, I paused over a Ukrainian word I had used in a couple of previous stories for a strong wine that the Cossacks made in their frontier villages. I intended to add some adjectives or other facts to go along with my wording about this wine, but needed to make sure I was correct in my description. However, rather than wade through several pages of my own background notes on Russians, Cossacks, Chechens and other peoples and their customs of that time period, I decided to take a shortcut and Google the word "chikhir" to see what more the experts had to say, which I could then use in my story.
To my surprise, I was my own expert reference. Some of the very few Google selections for that particular word quoted passages from two of my earlier Armenian stories and gave Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine as the print reference.
Just goes to show the power that writers have, therefore we must always take care to be correct in what we write on a subject, even if it's fiction.We never know when we might be the one quoted in the future.
I laughed so hard upon finding those references that my wife had to come into the study to see what was going on. Ah, well, humor is where you find it. I guess experts are too.