Writer’s World Wednesday

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole 101, or The Search History of a Writer

rabbit hole

I write contemporary fiction, so I don’t often spend much time combing through historical texts and tomes trying to make sure I get the tale of the times correct.  Still, that doesn’t mean that I never have to consult good old Google with a question.

Just the other day, the following searches occurred where one thing led to another and ….

What Color robes does a catholic priest wear at a wedding? (depends on the liturgical calendar…ok)


What color robe would a priest be wearing in May? (It’s not the month, but the season)


When is Easter 2019? (oh, it’s a longer time frame than that.)


When is Pentecost 2019? (what if the book doesn’t take place in 2019… dates of Easter and Pentecost vary : look up 2020, 2021 maybe I’ll go backwards 2017…. ok, nevermind, I’ll just say “robes.”)


Who is a recent gold medalist in swimming? (Michael Phelps. Didn’t something weird happen with Phelps…)


Did something weird happen with Michael Phelps? (Something about racing a shark and getting arrested… we all make mistakes… nevermind, my swimmer character is a girl anyway.)


Who is a female gold medalist in swimming? (Just get a name and go with it.)


What last names go with the name Oliver. (Are you telling me I never gave one of the main characters a last name. I need to know his name. *Ask (fictional character) Oliver himself, but in true Oliver fashion he tells me it didn’t matter to him, whatever I wanted to call him was fine. So…


Stumble upon someone else searching for the same thing ten years ago. Read through the  long list of suggestions—people are very helpful and they suggest many names even Twist. Asker of question seems to have gone with Cavenaugh –not bad.


Suggestions I pondered from the list…Mason or Finley. (—Finley….Realize this is a great play on names as giggly girls can make a cute nickname for him by reversing some of the letters. Fine-ly… get it, he’s cute.)

And the writing day goes on…

When is Spanish Mass at the Basilica in Asheville? (5pm on Sunday… oh, that changes the time of day in that scene if I want to make it match, which I don’t really have to, I never actually say they are in Asheville… I’ll make it match.)

Best places to get an appetizer in Asheville? (ooh, Zambra…)

Menu for Zambra downtown? (That looks delicious.)

Who is the chef of  Zambra (not that I’m going to put that in the book, I’m just interested now.)

Ok, so for the most part this list might look like I was googling a fun time in Asheville and trip to church–if I want to hear Mass in Spanish that is.

But sometimes my search looks like this:

How long does someone have to be suspected dead before a marriage dissolves itself?

How deep is the water off the coast of Kure Beach?

How is a new chief of police selected when the current one dies suddenly?

But that’s a whole different story… literally.


I wonder what I’ll search for today…




2 thoughts on “Writer’s World Wednesday

  1. Imagine what it was like before the days of “google” 🙂
    I would say you have it EASY! But then you weren’t complaining about the hard life of a writer…and it’s fun to get to peek into the mind of a writer and see what you have to do before you actually have the finished product

    • oh my, yes it IS so much easier. I remember in college when I first started writing more seriously, I had all these books on places and events, travel guides, just all sorts of things to be able to get a look at places I had never been. I researched things in the library using the card catalog as my search engine–yes, it’s all your fingertips now, it’s just a matter of wading through it and not getting distracted. I love to talk to my students about the days before the internet. I think they think I’m making it up. LOL.

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