Wednesday, November 6, 2019

IWSG & Strange Research

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.




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!


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November 6 question - What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story?

We're a fun bunch and I'm looking forward to seeing the answers to this question!

For one of my stories, the setting was a ranch so I did a lot of research on that.
The weirdest part of that research was on the different ways to brand cattle.
I now know a lot more about using dry ice to brand cattle than I ever thought I would!

I also have a pretty good idea about how to steal and fly a small personal plane without getting tracked by radar.

How about you? What fun things have you researched - or read about?
Anyone else's searches make them appear to be living a life of crime?




46 comments:

  1. Dry ice? Instead of a hot iron? Is that better for the cow? Bet it still hurts...

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    1. It's actually far less painful for the cow - which is why it was created. Very cool!

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  2. The dry ice makes me feel better for the cattle (although I bet, like Alex says, it still hurts!) I'm always Googling murder-related stuff. :)

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    1. Apparently it barely makes them flinch - much better for them!
      Your list would be so fun!

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  3. Dry ice - I wondered how they branded cattle now.

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  4. I had no idea dry ice was used in branding! I too, love hearing the answers to this question!

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    1. I know! It surprised me as well.
      I'm loving the answers to the question!

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  5. As a vegetarian, I don't think I' would have enjoyed learning about branding cattle. Glad it helped you out.

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    1. I think you're right!
      The MC was all about making it less stressful for his animals

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  6. I had no idea they used dry ice to brand cattle. That hurts just as much as fire. I just had the chance to deal with some of that ice with our recent power outages, and touching it feels like you've stuck your fingers into flames.

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    1. Actually, they say it's much less painful for the animals. But I have no idea why!!!!

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  7. Dry ice? Add me to the list of people who learned something new today. I suspect it doesn't smell as bad, but do wonder about the pain quotient.

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    1. LOL - according to what I learned, it's much less painful for the animals

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  8. I did some ranch research for the Gracie books. Also researched when our bluebonnets bloom in different parts of the state, since it spans several different planting zones. I don't know how to steal a plane (yet) but I do know how to lift latent fingerprints off of almost any surface.

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    1. I remember the part where you needed that research!
      That's a fun skill to have :)

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  9. Hi,
    I really don't know. I was wrapped up in getting my manuscript prepared and ready to send out that I don't think I researched anything that was funny.
    Wishing you all the best and a great month of November.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Some stories require more research than others. Most of my searches are on climate, wildlife, natural vegetation ... such exciting searches :)

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  10. ...how to steal and fly a small personal plane without getting tracked by radar...
    That's so cool!
    Happy IWSG Day, Jemi!

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    1. I would definitely have to refresh my memory - but it was fun to write!! :)

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  11. I love the places writing takes us. Flying would have been fun. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. It would! I wanted to be a pilot at one point but my weird & terrible eyesight eliminated that career trajectory!

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  12. I don't know about branding cattle, but that stealing a small airplane off the radar thing could come in handy someday. And I already have some air time, having been an unofficial co-pilot for hubs, when he used to fly small planes. What fun!

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    1. That IS fun!! I always thought flying would be a great career or hobby. Weird eyesight eliminated that :)

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  13. Wow! I had no idea dry ice could do that! I’ve done some research on how to make someone sick. My favorite thing to research is survival stuff. I actually chopped down a fairly good size tree with a hatchet and used a fire starter to make a fire.

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    1. I know - it surprised me too!
      Wow - good for you!!! You and Gary Paulsen could be best buddies! :)

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  14. Glad you know how to escape radar in case I need to get out of the country secretly.

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  15. Hey, I learned something today. I didn't know they used dry ice to brand cattle.

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    1. It surprised me when I discovered that too! :)

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  16. Very interesting answers to the question, Jemi. As for me, hmmm, probably researching Haitian voodoo, spells, ceremonies, etc. I spent weeks on that one.

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    1. Yes! Definitely Haitian voodoo HAS to rank high on the entire list of strange and interesting things to research. You're braver than I am!

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  17. That's some very useful information, esp. branding cattle. LOL

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  18. I love reading about all the things we writers research. We ARE a fun bunch! For my novel West of Paradise, I researched everything about 1881, especially trains and the gun fight at the ok coral :) It was pretty fun, but then, I;m a bit of a history buff.

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    1. That is fun!!!
      You did a great job on research for that book - I enjoyed it!

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  19. Alas, I still haven't quite determined how to poison someone -- or come up with a way someone is killed by some kind of poisonous powder on a letter. I keep putting this research on hold because I worry I might be put on someone's watch list, even though this is for a plot twist for my historical suspense story about a 15th Century tapestry. Your post made me smile, though I'm not sure I would actually try to fly a plane based on research alone. Have a great month ahead.

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    1. I would definitely want more than a few lessons before trying that plane as well!
      I know a few writers who have been researching those poisons - I'm sure there's a list of "oh, don't worry - that one's a writer" somewhere! :)

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  20. What a fun question! I've looked up unusual things, too, thinking I must look like a criminal to anyone who saw my search history!

    Who KNEW about dried ice? Not I. Still: ouch.

    Have a great week, Jemi! :)

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    1. I do wonder about the people checking for weird and scary searches. They must really wonder about us some days! :)
      Apparently it doesn't hurt the cow like regular branding - who knew? :)

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  21. Steal a plane? That would be a fun research project! I went to a Supernatural Convention as research but I also had a lot of fun at it ! Sometimes I like to hang out at game stores too, and listen in on the conversations for character ideas and development.

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    1. A Supernatural convention sounds fun for sure!!
      Hearing snippets of covnersation is always fun - love who much we can pick up :)

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