My Search History : IWSG Wednesday!

Badge for Insecure Writer's Support Group

It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Thank you to November 6th’s IWSG co-hosts:  Sadira Stone, Patricia Josephine, Lisa Buie-Collard, Erika Beebe, and C. Lee McKenzie! Today we will look at my internet search history, as I answer the optional IWSG question for the month:

“What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever googled in researching a story?”

I think most writers fear the FBI may get ahold of their search history. Imagine if Mary Shelley lived in the 21st century. What would her search history look like?

Grave Robbing




Living dead

My Search History

For me, most of my search history is related to health topics related to cancer, since those are the books and the blog posts I most often write. However, a couple of years ago I wrote the 1st draft of my mystery, “The Nature of Murder.” I wrote it during the month of November for Nanowrimo.

My search history included:Search History

How to grow marijuana

Determining a knife blade by the wound it makes

Blood spatter evidence

Poaching sturgeon for their eggs

Dining cars in trains

Using bear spray properly

Blinding someone with sand

You get the idea. My search history was interesting.

Writers have to learn how to be bad guys and good guys. If your story is going to be half-decent, you want to have the details as accurate as possible.

For me, the best thing I did was to interview a conservation officer about his job and what his thoughts were on my story’s plot. He gave me fantastic advice and loaned me a book filled with the kinds of details that the internet is missing. Sometimes, the World Wide Web is so big that the little things get lost. So my advice is to look to sources outside of Google, as well.

If your search history has ever included “How do you help a friend who has cancer” I have the answer! “Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone who has Cancer,” has just been updated and revised. I am really proud of it. Grab a copy today!

What Are YOUR Thoughts?

I’d love to hear in the comment section, below. I appreciate my readers as well as the writing community. To show that appreciation, I use Comment Luv. Just leave a comment below and your latest post will get a link next to it. Thank you!


Facing Cancer as a FriendAbout Heather Erickson

I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at

The Memory Maker’s Journal 

Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer

Facing Cancer as a Parent: Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer

I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.

Have any questions or comments? I would love to hear from you! By commenting, you agree to the terms of my privacy policy.

10 comments on “My Search History : IWSG Wednesday!

How funny–I didn’t even think of looking at my search history. I just sat back, closed my eyes, and pondered! What a list you have.

Hi Jacqui. It’s interesting because of the way Google, Facebook and other online entities target ads at you with their algorithms. I wonder what they advertise to serial killers. You would think they could predict who is unstable, out there.

I wonder if the FBI actually has a watch list. It would probably be filled with writers.

Hi Liz. I saw a movie once ( but I can’t recall the name) where a writer was being investigated for murder. He looked completely guilty because of notes he made and news clippings he had as part of his research for a novel he was writing. It was pretty scary for me as a writer to watch. 🙂

Personal contacts often lead to the best information!

Hi Alex. They do! It takes a bit more work, but it is well worth it. And most people love to talk about what they do, or what they are an expert on, so finding someone to interview isn’t that hard. You can even talk to someone on the phone or via skype if they are a long way away.

Looks like you’re the person to get lost in the woods with! I agree with your advice to interview people face-to-face when possible. I’ve gleaned great information from chatting with cops, doctors, and artists. Most people are very generous in sharing their expertise. Happy writing in November!

Thank you, Sadira. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

So, can you blind someone with sand? Or is it just temporary? Us other writers are curious now. LOL

Hi Patricia. It scratches their corneas if they are hit with it while their eyes are open. It is temporary with good care, but it can cause a lot of problems. I have a scar from having my cornea scratched and it causes problems driving at night. Have a great week!

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