Friday, May 3, 2013

Information ... right at my fingertips

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

I'm in the middle (okay, I'm at the 25% point) of writing my next book.  So there I am typing away, the muse is happy, and then everything comes to a screeching halt because I don't know what time the sun sets where my characters live.

This is important to the story, so I switch screens and land on Google.  Okay, what time does the sun set on October 5th in Buffalo, NY?  Seconds later--voila! There's the answer.  (It's 6:50.) 

A day or so later, I need to know when the sun comes up.  I don't remember what website I landed on to look up the previous information ... but Google does.  (It's 7:18.)

Years ago, little tidbits of information would be left out of a story ... or I'd have to jump in the car and go to the library and someone would have to look it up for me.  Now--I just ask Google.

Need a you-assemble baby crib?  Ask Amazon. How about the average water temperature of the Niagara River in October?  Ask NOAA. (It's 64F.)

Writing a book takes a long time.  (About six months for me.) I'm so glad to have a tool like Google at my fingertips to help me add as much realism as possible, and to cut the time I need for research.

What kinds of things to you look up on the Internet?