Dear Google, I’d Be Lost Without You

This week the Debs are writing about technology. What do we use to help our writing, what couldn’t we live without? 

For my post this week, I’d like to write…

An open letter to Google,

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways/products, that help me as an author.

Chrome: I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what makes your browser different from the other guys, but you’re my default, baby. And, I’m all about your extensions. I’ve got four go-to extensions that I use on a daily basis. Ebates (thanks for saving me some cash on sites that sell bookmarks and other marketing doodads), Buffer (to help schedule social media), StayFocusd (a program that blocks those oh-so-temping sites I shouldn’t be scrolling instead of writing), and thanks to Crystal’s post on Monday, Evernote (to allow me to quickly and easily take notes while researching).

Google Maps: Considering BECOMING BONNIE and BEING BONNIE are about Bonnie and Clyde’s escapades, your map feature is something I use quite frequently. On April 13, 1933, they fled Joplin, Missouri. By daybreak, they were in Shamrock, Texas. I’d be shrugging my shoulders if you asked me how far away they are from each other. But you, Google, you know, and I was able to work a distance of around ~400 miles into my story, which is a lot of miles to cover in one day, which I learned from Googling.

Google Images: Speaking of Shamrock, I hopped on over to your database of images to get a better idea of what that town looked like in the 1930s. Thank you for those details as well!

Google Drive: What a great little nook for writers. I save so many spreadsheets, photos, and docs here, many in which I can easily share with my colleagues, editor, publicist, etc. And my goodness, thank you for that autosave feature. #godsend

Gmail: I had to include this sucker, but I feel like it’s a given. I’ll be honest, I can probably count the number of people I know who don’t use gmail on one hand. Kudos to you guys for taking over the email world. Now, if there’s a way you could get people within the publishing industry to read my emails faster, I’d be much obliged.

YouTube: Here’s another one I use pretty frequently as a historical writer. The other day I typed “finger wave” into the search field, and up came a bunch of tutorials on how to do this 1930s hairstyle. Now BEING BONNIE’s got a real-to-life scene where Bonnie sports the hairdo.

Google Alerts: This is a handy little tool where I get an alert via email when a search term, like “Becoming Bonnie”, is published somewhere on the internet. There’ve been a few times where I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see my novel show up in an alert, where I may not have otherwise known it was mentioned. Though, I’ll be honest, Google, I don’t always get all my alerts. And, I’ve gotten many alerts for articles about how Bonnie from Vampire Diaries may or may not be becoming a vampire. You could work on this one a little. Just saying.

Google Calendar: You completely redeem yourself with this one, however, because I’ve got a severe case of Mom Brain. It’s well documented, and I wouldn’t even know the date if it weren’t for you. Also, thanks for those pop-ups that let me know when I’ve got an event coming up. Otherwise, there’s a 99% chance I’d be a no show because of said Mom Brain.

So there you have it. My love runneth over for you, Google. And, I know, I know, I probably only utilize about 1% of your products and services, but I’m good. Truly. I’m happy, too. Those gems above are amazing resources to help me hit my writing goals each day. Thank you, Google. I’d be lost without you.

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Jenni L. Walsh spent her early years ​chasing around cats, dogs, and chickens in Philadelphia's countryside, before dividing time between a soccer field and a classroom at Villanova University. She put her marketing degree to good use as an advertising copywriter, zip-code hopping with her husband to DC, NYC, NJ, and not surprisingly, back to Philly. There, Jenni's passion for words continued, adding author to her resume. She now balances her laptop with a kid on each hip, and a four-legged child at her feet. BECOMING BONNIE (Tor Forge/Macmillan, 5/9/2017) is her debut novel that tells the untold story of how church-going Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s. SIDE BY SIDE, telling Bonnie and Clyde's crime spree story, will be released in the summer of 2018. Please learn more about Jenni's books at jennilwalsh.com.

Author: Jenni L. Walsh

Jenni L. Walsh spent her early years ​chasing around cats, dogs, and chickens in Philadelphia's countryside, before dividing time between a soccer field and a classroom at Villanova University. She put her marketing degree to good use as an advertising copywriter, zip-code hopping with her husband to DC, NYC, NJ, and not surprisingly, back to Philly. There, Jenni's passion for words continued, adding author to her resume. She now balances her laptop with a kid on each hip, and a four-legged child at her feet. BECOMING BONNIE (Tor Forge/Macmillan, 5/9/2017) is her debut novel that tells the untold story of how church-going Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s. SIDE BY SIDE, telling Bonnie and Clyde's crime spree story, will be released in the summer of 2018. Please learn more about Jenni's books at jennilwalsh.com.