|Broadcasting "Number 10" in the field.|
I love internet research because it gets so random. I'll Google "Vietnamese folk tales" and end up on a site where a vet is talking about how he saw his Marine commander get jumped and mauled by a tiger (true story!). Or I'll stumble across something really haunting, like this video describing the "Wandering Soul" psychological warfare Americans used in Vietnam (also called "Number 10) -- ghostly howls and dialogue from beyond the grave
broadcast at top volume over North Vietnamese territory. (I read elsewhere that Wandering Soul inevitably drew gunfire.) This is so spooky I've probably guaranteed myself nightmares.
And yeah, I'll probably use it in the novel, or at least the heart-in-throat fear these sounds (and the whole idea of psychological warfare) call up. I wouldn't call it "inspiration" exactly. But when it gets to be too much, I'll probably bury myself in some heartwarming Vietnamese fairy tale I've checked out of the library.