One of my favorite parts of writing is doing the research--and not just the kind which involves cracking open a book or Googling. I love research which is hands on, or when it’s like a treasure hunt where you have to contact one person, then another until you get the information you need.
For a novelette I had published in Orson Scott’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, I asked a glassblower if he could create a heart out of glass, then watched while he actually did it. http://www.zglassblowing.com/glassblowing.htm For a short story, I talked to the Vermont State Archeologist about how clay was harvested and stored by early 18th and 19th century potters, then did some river slogging to remind myself what climbing up a clay bank felt like.
Right now, I’m revising a manuscript—but that doesn’t mean I’m beyond the need for research.
In an attempt to simplify the story's details and make each one have more weight, I decided to replace a jackknife that the main character just happens to have in her suitcase with a straight razor which is important early in the story . . . (read the rest on my sister blogspot) http://fivecuriosities.blogspot.com/