Wednesday, November 6, 2019

IWSG: Stranger Things . . .than Fiction


Our November IWSG question is: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever googled in researching a story? Easy peasy – all writers know that truth is much stranger than fiction but getting to the root of that truth sometimes takes some serious digging. And some of the dirt we’re digging up is seriously strange!

When I started my writing career, research was done in the local library. Don’t get me started on the suspicious stares I got in the research section when requesting info on topics from exotic poisons to the best ways to dispose of dead bodies. Times certainly have changed! No topic is considered TOO strange or taboo where the Internet is concerned. You don’t even have to search hard – it’s right there for everyone to see whether they want to or not!

So, this week, when offing a villainous secondary character, I was trying to discover the most expeditious way for him to kill himself in the bathroom without the chance of being revived. Clock is ticking. Hanging, not feasible. Pills, none available. Finally, I narrowed it down to blood loss (no tools necessary if one has convenient fangs and claws). Wrist or carotid? Let’s ask Google. Immediately, I had a host of answers to choose from and after checking several found a Q&A site where you could ask your questions and experts in that field would respond. I received wonderfully detailed feedback (I know, I’m a ghoul) and something I didn’t expect - a host of responses from concerned strangers afraid I was asking in order to end my own life. Dozens of comments from health care providers, from those who’d lost someone or had attempted suicide themselves. My impersonal search had just inadvertently gotten very personal.Now I’m worried 9-1-1 will show up at my door, but also incredibly moved by the compassionate outreach. Next time, I’ll preface WHY I’m asking.Apparently, even Big Brother Google has a heart and soul.

Before I head off to read your posts, a bit a personal news – I’m RETIRED! 


Yes, just pulled that cord and now am floating above the job market without a care (but still some concerns!). I plan to put that extra time into my keyboard once I create a structured routine (What day is this anyway?). That’ll have to wait until after I get back from a fabulous vacay attending the vow renewal of one of my critique partners in New Orleans (and sneak in some additional research time for the last book in my By Moonlight series while hopefully beginning edits on the first draft.

Happy November, fellow writers!


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the November 6th posting of the IWSG will be Sadira Stone, Patricia Josephine, Lisa Buie-Collard, Erika Beebe, and C. Lee McKenzie!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

26 comments:

  1. Yes, it might be a good idea to say you're a writer first! That's so nice that people were concerned, though.
    Congrats on the retirement!

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  2. I had always thought of filling out questions on science Q and A sites and I'm happy to learn to was a success for you. Wow! That's nice the professionals reached out to you. That makes me feel good for teens and other young ones who do ask questions and reach out for the wrong reasons. Happy IWSG day! Happy Retirement!

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    1. There are still good people in this world. That is good to know.

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  3. Great idea to find a Q&A site. I'll have to remember that. Congrats on retiring! I'm not there yet but am planning to cut back to more part-time work next year.

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    1. I may seek out some allowable PT work buuuut not until after the Michigan winter!

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  4. Google certainly has made things easier.

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    1. But you still can't believe everything it tells you!

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  5. Running the list of possibilities through my head - trying to figure out which one your offing! lol Very good to hear of the concern voiced due to your inquiry. And Happy Retirement!

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  6. I tried again and finally found where to put my comment! Yay!

    Your blog is laugh-out-loud funny! Oh, the things we investigate!

    As for your retirement not-knowing-what-day-it-is dilemma, one I deeply share with you, get a Day Clock. Best thing I ever inherited from my mother! (I sent you a link.)

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    1. I really don't need to know what day . . . just what time. But then that's what I have cats for. I'll never miss a breakfast or a dinner!

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  7. Congratulations on your retirement!From those friends I've seen in this stage of their lives, it just gets more busy! So enjoy and have fun, and wish I was going to NOLA too! Especially this time of year, it isn't too hot!
    So very nice to know there are people out there who do still care. The internet has NOT sucked all of our compassion away... IWSG proves that too!

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    1. Yay, IWSG! Yes, NOLA is going to be wonderful (November rated best time of year). I don't mind busy as long as I get to decide what I'm busy doing!

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  8. Freedom! Congratulations.
    It is nice to know there are caring people out there, even if you weren't going to off yourself.

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  9. That's some research you did! Can't say I'm surprised at the help you got to prevent suicide. I got messages like that (and links) When I research something like that...for a book, not for real, years ago. Congrats on making the big decision to retire. Enjoy your vacation then get to work, girl. I want to read that story!

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    1. STILL not finding allllll those hours at the keyboard.

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  10. This was a brilliant post. I loved the killing off of the bad guy scenarios. I'm keeping those in my bailiwick of "how to off my bad characters."

    Here's to freedom and who cares what day it is? I so rely on my Google Calendar for those mundane questions.

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    1. Yes, their reminders are life savers. And I can honestly say I have more things on it since I have more hours in which to do things!

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  11. Hi,
    Whoopie on your retirement. That's got to be a great feeling. You're soon going to find out that your life is busier than ever, but you'll enjoy it.
    Truly all the best and enjoy New Orleans. I have been there eight times and just love it.
    Happy November.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Thank you, Pat!! Yes, the busyness of retirement was a surprise. Probably becuz suddenly, you're always 'available'. I'll have to remember my stance when I was a stay at home mom - my work time is valuable!

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  12. LOL, nice to know they cared. Funny. Happy Retirement. Happy Vaycay and Happy Belated IWSG!

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  13. Oh man, I can't imagine the stares that happened when writers had to go to the library for research. One good thing about the internet! LOL

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    1. It's much less 'personal' but still not private!

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