The Flaming Sonic Boom (TCWT)

This post came upon me like an eager puppy with a jet pack– not unpleasant, but it arrived a bit too quickly.  The prompt for this month’s TCWT blog chain is this:

“What are some of the coolest/weirdest/funniest/most disturbing things you’ve researched for a story?”

To be honest, I don’t remember.  I often forget the results of my searches just after closing the browser, prompting a second search that may just stick in my head long enough for me to write about it.  But the wonderful thing about Google Chrome, run by that bunch of evil spies, is that it saves every single part of your history.

Really, the only one I can remember (before we go running through my history), is researching how aluminum foil burns, and at what temperature.  The idea was to figure out if aluminum foil would melt under the fire (literally) of a flamethrower.  I still haven’t managed to get the answers I needed.

One thing I find as I search through my history is this: I give my own blog a lot of views.  This is mostly used in replying to comments, trying to remember where the conversation was going before I say something completely off-topic.

Most of the search terms I find have been for blog posts– researching the real meaning of Deus ex machina, whether to use “more awesome” or “awesomer” (since my spell check says the latter is incorrect), and whether or not my potential spam commenters’ organization is real.  (It turns out that comment was legitimate, but it looked at the keywords of my post and wrote something directly opposite what I was saying.  I spammed him anyway.)

For stories, I mostly research definitions.  Even though there will be a microscopic edit later, it’s unwise to write something you don’t mean, like “equestrian” referring to riderless horses.  If at all possible, never seem like an idiot.

All in all, however, I tend not to search that many things, especially concepts.  Famous people of whom I wish to make fun– yes.  If you will die after hanging upside-down for too long– yes.  The universal repercussions of creating a flaming sonic boom?  No.  If you’re writing steadily, the last thing you want is to research physics– that can wait until the second draft, unless there is no second draft (which is occasionally the case).


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30th – (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain)


75 thoughts on “The Flaming Sonic Boom (TCWT)

  1. “If at all possible, never seem like an idiot.” Yes, yes…someone who wants to seem like an idiot is definitely an idiot. Unless they’re a spy undercover or something.

    Liam, you love threatening to spam people and actually spamming people waaaaay too much.

    Nice post nonetheless.

      1. True. You couldn’t let anyone dirty up your “pretty” blog, could you now? That would just be embarrassing.

      2. I was kidding. I know they don’t. Just another reason not to leave it there. They break your policy in TWO ways!

      3. Threatening to hunt us down and set our blogs on fire is not by forcing us, true, but it is persuasive. 😉
        Though, that’s not the reason I reply.

      4. Aren’t you glad you don’t have something really important in that comment policy? This is the second thing you’ve forgotten.

      5. Yeah, Robyn, it’s a very good thing. 😉

        And I’m guessing you reply for the same reason I do. Because I don’t exactly care if Liam tries to set my blog on fire, and you don’t have a blog to worry about, so…

  2. . . . You thought “awesomer” might be a word? I am slightly disappointed. Although I do acquit you on the grounds that I myself looked up just that thing when I was about twelve, just to see if I could annoy my teacher by legitimately including it in a school essay.

    I’m also somewhat surprised that you haven’t researched some more amusing things. I’d thought “Fathoming Egression” and the Phils would demand some odd one-time searches . . .

    1. Yeah… I’m disappointed too. I just recently got the hang of effect vs. affect. It was the noun/verb thing that finally got it cemented.

      I make most of it up. I searched for Manfred to see if there were any pop culture references I could spoof for that party, and I found Lord Byron– but other than that, I mostly go on my own brain power. Sorry to disappoint. (Anyway, if I searched Google for the language of talking rocks, I don’t think anything would pop up.)

      1. Sure, that makes sense, if you don’t add in any of the other forms to either word in. For example, lay is also the past-tense form for lie. So, now, technically, lay can be used for either one, depending on the tense.

        It’s just all around confusing.

      2. Know thy tense. That is all. Laid is the past tense of lay, and therefore it has an object. Lay is the past tense of lie, and therefore has none. I can see how it would get confusing if you were writing present tense narrative, but that’s just another reason not to do so.

      3. Heh heh, don’t worry – I’m just the same. I’m rather lazy, so most of the time I tend just to use my brain, or work around the thing. Sometimes research is fun, though. Especially when it’s just really, really odd.

      4. Germany! I live there! Well, I say “live” – my family are stationed there at present. It’s a great place. Any idea of where you’re going?

  3. Awesomer? That’s…that’s like saying “funner” is a word! I’ve never used either of those words seriously, only jokingly. It’s more awesome and more fun to say it accurately. Well….in my opinion.

    Actually, that makes me sound like a very boring person…

  4. But awesomer IS a word…silly spell check. I think it might have been at the Gaffers brew and thus can no longer think properly…

  5. I wish it was.

    (P.S. My ipod can’t figure out how to directly reply to comments that’s why this reply is way down here. Sorry!)

      1. Good post! I can’t really think of anything else to say, so [insert witty comment here].

        Oh, other than I did the same thing with effect/affect. Learning the difference between the verb and the noun made a big difference.

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