Thursday, March 3, 2011

Living Vicariously Through Google

I've lamented this before--as a stay-home mom to four kids and a husband who goes on business trips, I don't travel a whole lot. And a bunch of my stories are set in lands NOT the U.S. (I just submitted a full request to an editor about finding a lost city in South America). So, how do I write about these locales?

Google. I love it.

There's Google Earth, and the street view feature. You can walk around any mapped street, and get a feel for the terrain. There's Flickr, people post their great shots of places and people and you can see what they see. There are countless websites (some personal, some professional) where you can glean almost every fact you want. I've found that the more SPECIFIC you are with your Google search, the better your chances at finding what you need. I've rarely been disappointed.

My favorite feature? Whenever I make up a word or term, I Google it. If it doesn't get any hits, I know I've invented something original. THAT is the best.

It's such a wonderful tool. I've written one novel set in the U.K. and Egypt, One in the U.K., one in Mexico, and I've been able to accomplish this through Google. I don't care what people say about it, I LURVE it! Google Rocks.

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