Are you paranoid?  Do you ever wonder if someone is watching your every move?  Worry about someone looking at your Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other web searches?  Yeah, me too.


We have had an amazing spring break.  Some family came up and visited with us and we ate a lot of food and watched movies and played outdoors and had a lot of fun.  This morning, though, I’ve been working on a short story that I think has a lot of juice.  I think I am going to submit it with a collection from that is forthcoming.

There was a bit of research I had to do as I was writing it that made me giggle and worry at the same time.  My regular readers will know how critical I have been of the NSA and their spying on American citizens.  I began to worry about what the NSA might think of the Google queries I often make.  I mean, as a writer, the only way to make something feel real for the reader is if it has that scientific or historical feeling of being based in reality.  The internet is a vast treasure trove of information that helps me understand some basic aspects of how complicated or violent things work.

But what if the NSA, the FBI, or heaven forbid someone from my church small group were looking at my Google queries?

Can you kill someone with rat poison?

Is strychnine legal to purchase?

Where can I buy strychnine?

What are the top poisons for killing human beings?

By the way, one of the things I learned is that only about 2% or all homicides in the United States are poison related.  We Americans prefer handguns because they are so much easier to get.

When I was researching my novel, the upcoming The Little Girl Waits my Google work was, in my opinion, creepier.

What are the laws for punishing prostitution?

What is a john?

Would a fall from a five story building kill someone?

How does someone abduct a child?

How long does it take for someone to bleed to death from a stab wound?

Did you know that it is almost always the prostitute, often a minor, who gets arrested in the United States and very rarely is it the john, the man doing the soliciting.  If it is illegal to have sex with a minor (and it is!), then how can a girl, being the victim, be arrested for prostitution?  Something is broken in our system.

Anyway, My Deep Cove series is a little bit more rooted in my own imagination, but when writing it I still had to make some interesting queries.

Where can I get information on Nazi human science experiments?

Is it murder to watch someone die without helping?

What does human blood look like in water?

When did girls start wearing tube tops?

How would whale sperm be stored?

Turns out, tube tops were popular in the 1970’s.  Other odd searches for other stories have included things that would make anyone wonder about me.

Best place to shoot yourself

Rape laws in the 1970’s

Can a rug stop a bullet?

Thankfully I am not writing about terrorists, blowing up planes, or jihad.  Yet.

I surely hope no one is searching my Google searches, but if they are, please understand.  I am a writer.


Google/NSA image from 


  1. I grew up after reading “1984”, and just assumed someone was always watching. So I never query Google about anything that could raise a red flag. If at times I want to follow those impulses, I go to a library and look around. There’s no drone or cam watching. Nobody can get in my head.


    1. that sounds like good advice invisible mikey. my problem is that i am lured in by the ease of the interwebs. however, books are still the best place for real knowledge and privacy. thanks for reading and commenting.


  2. We’re very dangerous people, us writers. Especially to authorities.

    You got me wondering about my own Google searches. I’ve had occasion to google recently about ages of consent in different societies and nuclear weapons, which must have somebody wondering what I’m up to.


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