Monday, April 21, 2014

Taxidermy Kittens & Burial at Sea

I am floundering in between huge projects right now, so I've been taking advantage of the time to write some short stories. I tend to do at least a little bit of research while writing, even if it's something as simple as verifying the distance between two intersections. But for recent projects, I've come across some interesting and rather disturbing tidbits of information.

In an ever-increasing effort to make my search history more interesting should the FBI ever confiscate my laptop, I recently did a search for 'taxidermy kittens' and came across Walter Potter, a fellow who lived in the Victorian era and who was famous for creating dioramas of cute little critters acting out human activities, such as having a tea party, or going to school. Apparently he began his taxidermy career as a young man following the death of his canary. After performing an autopsy on the canary, he then stuffed it.

Another bit of research led me to a tiny island in Greece known as either Vidos or Vido Island, depending on your resource. The island has been occupied by various military forces over the years, and it was once used as a prison. According to Wikipedia, the waters surrounding it are the final resting place for roughly 5,000 Serbian soldiers from WWI. Many of them had tuberculosis, and while the island was used as a quarantine, the quality of its soil didn't allow for burials. These are the sort of tidbits that get the story wheels grinding.

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