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?


Linda in MA said...

The internet does make a lot of things easier doesn't it. I would have just called my Mom on the time things since she lives near Buffalo. Can't wait to read this book when it comes out. I might recognize some sights!

Brittney said...

At work we call it Das Google :) Just a little joke between us about looking things up frequently during the day. Don't know the answer lets ask "Das Google". Some might strange discussions come up at my office during the day, where did May day come from, What is a heard of goats called...All of these can be answered by a simple search but lead to very interesting conversations!

Denise Rodgers said...

Also good for looking up what things look like on Google Image. Love it

BKF Price said...

I looked up Victorian house floor plans for my National Novel Writing Month project. I use Google or GoodSearch to look up info and images relating to novels I'm reading, too. Last night I looked up maps of Italy so I could better visualize slaves' escape route. I frequently look up images of or information about some of the things sold at Artisan's Alley, or places you've set your stories, such as Stowe for 'Room at the Inn'. I recently read a mystery involving Hildegard of Bingen and Googled lots of background info about her life and times. Fascinating - learned a lot.

Unknown said...

I looked up the cast of an episode of Grey's Anatomy to see if an actor was Sherri Shepherd's husband ( he's not). Gardening tools on Kickstarter. Ravelry , it's my FB and Twitter combined plus knitting. Checked up on the newest 3rd baseman for Yankees ( anybody but ARod is good). Back to checking on Sherri's husband. What DOES he do for a living?

Aurian said...

Lol google is one of the best inventions ever. I search for songs, if I know only one line, google knows which song and which artist I am looking for. If I don't know a word in a book I am reading, and I really am curious, the dictionary knows it. Random questions in my head, and good finds me the answer.

Rachelle21 said...

I Google when I need to find something or someone that I cannot find elsewhere.

Unknown said...


Recipes, nutrition, medical issues, where to buy Droste chocolate, tips for riding bikes, travel tips, festivals, etc. Also use apps like Yelp on iphone to find restaurants.

I sometimes look up pictures of a place that I am reading about if I am having trouble picturing it.

I don't physically go the the library that much anymore.
I used to skim through encyclopedias or look up in those a lot more. Now - they are in a box somewhere due to lack of space in this house.

ponyswimgal said...

God bless Google -- topnotch source of finding things out. It's been an amazing resource for me in genealogy research, too. I'm just hoping it someday doesn't ask us to call it "Hal."