The only three-inch book I found at the library was the 2008 edition of Writer's Market, which I did get and have perused. But I finally found the ice skating section (squeezed handily between the snowboarding and the skiing) of the library. My first pile included all of their adult skating books. I asked Dad if they would be mad that I took them all ('they' referring, of course, to all the other people writing ice skating-themed books); he took one look at my stack and said something to the effect of, "That's ridiculous."
So I put three back, two of them the more picture-driven books. One was a lovely biography of Brian Boitano, who I actually knew nothing about at the time. I was very intrigued by a sketch of his performance. I wanted it for reference. :) But I didn't get it.
I got three books: Edge of Glory, by Christine Brennan; The Encyclopedia of Figure Skating, by John Malone; and Figure Skating: Championship Techniques, by John Misha Petkevich. I chose the most interesting to begin first, knowing that eventually I'll have to look through them all at length. (Truth be told, I can't believe I'm going through with this research-for-the-book idea. There's another reason that I write fantasy besides the fact that I enjoy it; there's nothing to research, only to create.)
The most interesting is, of course, Edge of Glory. It is actually very interesting and keeping me as engrossed as a novel would, and it has actually taken the place of The Once and Future King in my "free-reading" time. (Wait - I have free reading time? No one told me...) It's all about the couple of years leading up to the 1998 Olympics in Japan, detailing Michelle Kwan and Elvis and Tara Lipinski. I only just got to the first pairs skating chapter (pairs is never as interesting for the English-speaking population of the world, because we do so poorly in it), but I've learned so much already.
I've been keeping detailed notes, and it feels like I'm back in school. Read, read, read...oh, wait, that was important. Write it down. I kept handwritten notes in my composition notebook during my brother's baseball game and felt both scholarly and like a workaholic. But I only read/wrote between innings or when they changed pitchers, so I don't feel too badly. We won dramatically, and I should have had my camera out, but instead I had a pen.
Anyway, the handwritten notes got transferred to a .wps file that has grown into two pages now. Everything is quoted, details about how the lutz is a jump off the outside of the skate blade instead of like the toe loop, which leaps off of the toe pick. All of this I need to know and didn't know, even though I've been a hobbyist for quite a while now. I know all the terminology...and I have no idea what it means. Now I'm learning, and I'm getting eager for the next winter Olympics (2012?!?!) so that I can try out my new knowledge. That's practically the only time I get to watch ice skating on television.
I am greatly enjoying this new venture into a subject that interests me and is interesting. Even if the book flops (ouch), I love this research phase and learning new things that I like to know about. I just like learning new things. And right now I'm learning about something I've loved (and known nothing about) for years, which is great! I feel like I'm finally justifying my interest in ice skating.
Most helpful information so far?
“…the six jumps - toe loop, salchow, loop, flip, lutz, and axel, in order of difficulty from easiest to hardest…” - Edge of Glory, by Christine BrennanMeanwhile, the plot of Thin Ice keeps getting deeper and deeper and deeper. I'm actually a little worried. I don't want to be having to cut down on characters and subplots...again. I was hoping this would be a simple book...