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Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Miracle of Google

A young man I know once said he thought Google was God: It sees everything and knows everything. I found his observation interesting, if somewhat irreverent. Certainly Google has become the go-to for almost anyone with a question.

Lately I've found I keep a window open on my desktop just for Google searches. My new work in progress is taking me places I need to understand much better, even including some where I've been and done. My main character, 16-year-old Marissa/Dulce, finds herself on a journey through the Amazonian rainforests of Bolivia, and even though I have been in those same rainforests, there is too much about them I don't know. Google knows it all.

What's the average daytime temperature in the rainforest? Google knows. What trees grow there? Google knows that too and can tell me whether the kapok, which is endemic to rainforests in some parts of the world, actually grows in Bolivia. (It doesn't, as a general rule.) What are forest remedies for topical infection? How tall is a mapajo tree? How does a pit viper hunt? What do you call the large-cat sound a jaguar makes? What airlines fly out of Santa Cruz, Bolivia? How do the jungles of southern Bolivia differ from the rainforests of the north? Google knows it all. Maybe there is something to the claim of omniscience after all.


As Dulce ventures farther and farther into her adventure, I will have a thousand more questions, and Google will be there for me, I love Google. Since my muse has gone rogue and begun to lead me on amazing side-road adventures I never expected to take, I am becoming ever more dependent on this marvelous modern know-it-all. It may never have a place in my heart or my worship, but Google will always have a place on my computer screen.


Susan Aylworth is the author of 14 novels, all available as e-books. She loves her northern California home which she shares with her husband of 46 years and the two spoiled cats they serve. When she can't be with her seven children, seven great kids-in-law, and 25 grandbabies, she loves hanging with her fictional offspring, the children of her mind. She also loves hearing from readers. Visit her website at www.susanaylworth.com or find her @SusanAylworth, at .facebook.com/Susan.Aylworth.Author, or on Pinterest.


Saturday, July 2, 2016

When the Muse Revolts!

For some time now, I've realized my muse has A.D.D.  She simply cannot stick with a single genre, but jumps about trying out new things. Still, with the exception of MAGGIE RISING, she has stuck largely with relationship stories. Of my 14 books, 11 are standard romances, and a  twelfth is historical fiction with a strong romantic element,.The others are a family story with a minor romantic theme and MAGGIE, a paranormal mystery which proves my muse also likes to play practical jokes.

This time she has really gone bonkers. I find I am writing a Y.A. adventure tale, one set in the Amazonian rainforests of Bolivia. What?!

While I'm not yet ready to share much about the adventure, I will hint at how it begins. Here is the first paragraph of my current draft:


The baby won’t stop crying. She’s been at it for hours. Not that I can blame her. She’s probably no more excited about spending the night in an airport than I am. Still, if she could quiet down and go to sleep, that might make it easier for the rest of us—some eighty or ninety people who are all supposed to be on the flight from Santa Cruz to Lima, the flight which should have left Bolivia five hours ago but has now been delayed at least until morning. Not that this should be a surprise either. In my few years in South America, I’ve learned that travel schedules—like traffic lights—are mere suggestions. I don’t know if I’ve ever been on any kind of public transportation that actually left on time.


Guesses, anyone? Can you tell where this is going to go? While I'm not sharing any more about my teenage protagonist's story--at least, not at the moment--I'll readily admit I am having quite the adventure just following my wayward muse into this latest undertaking. I have a hunch that the more I let her wander, the farther she is likely to stray. The future should prove interesting indeed.



Susan Aylworth is the author of 14 novels, all available as e-books. She loves her northern California home which she shares with her husband of 46 years and the two spoiled cats they serve. When she can't be with her seven children, seven great kids-in-law, and 25 grandbabies, she loves hanging with her fictional offspring, the children of her mind. She also loves hearing from readers. Visit her website at www.susanaylworth.com or find her @SusanAylworth, at .facebook.com/Susan.Aylworth.Author, or on Pinterest.