So I’m waiting to hear back from a farmer about getting to meet his cows. This is the kind of research I do.
One of my picture book manuscripts is about a cow. Not a cartoony talking cow who has mysteriously acquired opposable thumbs and the ability to stand on two feet – uh, hooves. A real sort of cow. The problem is, I don’t have much firsthand experience with cows. My pets have been of the cat and dog variety.
Fortunately, I live in Jersey Country. Definition: There are farms everywhere, but this is still New Jersey, so there’s also a giant mall 15 minutes away. (We take shopping seriously in this state.) I’d already checked out a couple of farms, but never seen more than one or two cows. Then a couple of weeks ago, I happened to be driving through a nearby town and I saw a WHOLE HERD of cows. A giant mass of black-and-white glory. Oh, the research possibilities!
I’ve been emailing with the farmer, and he said he could have someone escort me around the cows. I’m quite excited.
Incidentally, this is what 21st-century farming looks like: You have to use the walkie-talkie at the cash register to get someone to come in from the fields to talk to you, and then if you buy something, they handle the transaction on their smartphone. (I needed a tomato plant.)
I already have a pretty good idea of how to revise my manuscript, but I’m hoping some time with the cows will give me some insights so I can make the MS even better.
Also, I think this will be fun. It’s like a field trip. A very literal field trip.