I’m not one of those writers who can sit in a cave in write. Well, I could. I totally could, but only if the cave had Wi-Fi (really good Wi-Fi, not that stuff that goes in and out and drives you mad). Without internet, I am nothing. I don’t know how writers before the internet managed. Really, I don’t. Sure, I went to college before most people had computers, but I don’t remember those days. I have actually actively tried to forget those days. (Working full-time and graduating before you can legally drink is not fun, in case you’re wondering.)
On the average writing day, I spend at least thirty minutes researching completely inane things. Oh, there are days and days spent researching murder and how to get away with murder. But the vast majority of my internet searches are just plain silly. Don’t believe me? Here is a list of some of the things I researched this week (a partial list because I can’t give away any actual clues):
- Whether bats have good hearing. Because inquiring minds want to know.
- Elderly names for a man and a woman. I went with Bernice and Vernon. I have an elderly uncle named Vernon. Geez. I hope he’s not as sleezy as the Vernon I wrote in my story.
- Crazy cat names. Spoiler alert: A cat named Myrtle will make a brief, hissing appearance in my next book.
- When not to use an apostrophe. Lots and lots of times.
- How to spell purview. Turns out I knew how to spell it all along.
- 1930s or 1930’s. Answer? It depends.
- How to spell smart aleck? Spoiler alert: It’s smart alec or smart aleck. (Word disagrees with me, but the dictionary says I can go either way.)
- What’s that thingy people sit on at bars? It’s a bar stool. Yes, sometimes I can’t think of words like bar stool. *Hangs head in shame*
- How to change cat litter? I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Even though cat litter is mentioned for about one paragraph, I wanted to make sure I kind of knew what I was talking/writing about.
- Shows old people like. I knew I wanted to mention Matlock, but darned if I could remember the actual name of the show. It’s Matlock, Dena. Mat-lock. Not hard to remember.
Somehow, these strange searches take up hours and hours of my time. I’m a writer. I don’t write. I research cat names on the internet.