When you’re researching for a manuscript.

I’m seriously thinking of giving a nod to Google in the acknowledgements section of my new book. How in the world did writers accomplish their research before it? And it’s crazy interesting how many places you’ll go to find what you need to authenticate a setting or locate an obscure–but necessary–chunk of info!

For TOPANGA CANYON, I’ve journeyed to site after site on intentional communities, learning how to purify a house with white sage and rose water and read a juicy story or two. I’ve visited mommy sites–that didn’t exist when I had my daughter–for info on everything from contraction duration, to Moses’s beds, to baby-moons, to gender neutral paint colors, and mommy brain. Even found a cute “How Big is my Baby” chart that tells what week the baby looks like an apple or a cauliflower. I’ve traveled to Columbian culture sites for common last names, quirky superstitions, comfort food, and how to say “Get the hell out of here” in Spanish. I’ve been to 3,682 flower pages. And an handful of real estate sites in Klamath Falls Oregon. I’ve learned more than I wanted to know about composting, metronomes, bronze casting, and n dimensional manifolds.

But readers are pretty good at seeing through nebulous references. Research is a time-suck, but an essential one, and still light years faster than before search engines.

Thanks, Google.