Tag Archives: internet

Extreme Writing Challenge #59: “www [dot] com”

One quick word before we get into today’s challenge and story:  please take a second to check out my recently-launched author website, www.hopemccain.com.  I have an additional blog there I will use for all of my non-challenge posts–meaning Impossible Words will now strictly be my stories and challenges, and all other writing/reading-related content will be posted on my other site.  🙂

Today’s challenge is tied in to the theme of the story:  Every sentence contains at least three W‘s, and the story contains at least ten unique words beginning with com


Wendy was sure she couldn’t handle one more day of teaching old geezers how to use the computers their kids forced them to purchase. Admittedly, it was comical to watch their bony fingers hover over the keyboard while they searched for the letters they needed. Greta was the worst, scanning the keys once for twenty minutes looking for one labeled Enter.

Every day Wendy heard a new complaint she could add to her ever-growing list. These windows are too small, these keys aren’t wide enough, the click of the mouse is too loud. It wouldn’t be unreasonable for her to show up at work dressed for combat. These old wrinklies were whinier than a room full of toddlers.

And yet, all Wendy had to do was say the magic word. She’d tell them, “Now I’m going to demonstrate what you can do when you log on to the internet.” The complexities of technology that so far baffled them were nothing compared to the World Wide Web. Wendy opened a website, always a different one, and chuckled at the reactions. Jaws dropped and eyes widened during the ooh-ing and ahh-ing from a titillated crowd. They might as well be witnessing Halley’s Comet, they were so awestruck.

The web always stirred up the room until it felt ready to explode with commotion. The women wanted to shop and the men checked sports statistics and read the news and then griped about it. Wendy was proud to awaken them, no longer comatose in their dusty recliners and shouting numbers at the television while watching The Price is Right.

That’s why Wendy kept coming back when she longed to run for the hills. To share with these seniors the best part of life they’d been missing—where else would she find such satisfaction? With the few years they had left on the earth, they deserved the chance to enjoy the magical, wonderful internet.

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Google Knows the Truth About Me

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Write what you know.” If you haven’t, I’ll just assume you’ve been living under a rock and will also not know what Google is, rendering this post utterly meaningless to you.

I’ve always thought it a stupid concept to write only what you know. A serious writer, in my opinion, uses what they know as a basis, but researches what they don’t know and combines the two to make a story. Maybe not for every story. But limiting oneself to writing only what is known is a waste of a gift.

Having said that, I’ve spent a lot of time researching. Thanks to the trusty internet, it’s possible to find everything—and I mean everything—I’d ever want or need to know when I’m filling in holes in an idea for a story. It was only recently that it occurred to me just how disturbing of an individual I would seem if a stranger were to look at my Google history. Some of the things I’ve researched (and mind you, this is only a small sampling) are:

  1. How to embalm human body parts.
  2. The cremation process from death to ashes.
  3. Is it legal to abandon a newborn baby?
  4. Where is prostitution legal?
  5. Different types of small handguns.
  6. What happens when human flesh dies and rots?
  7. Prison layouts.
  8. How much OxyContin causes an overdose?
  9. What are the most powerful prescription pain killers?
  10. What happens to a child when both parents die?
  11. Reconstructive surgery for victims of NF (or flesh-eating disease).
  12. Quick murder methods other than shooting or stabbing.
  13. Art made out of body tissues and bones.

When my dad read my Impossible Words book, he made the comment that he was shocked at the dark, eerie, disturbing concepts in some of my stories. Everyone I know views me as that sweet, innocent young woman who thinks only of fresh-baked cookies, clouds in the shapes of bunnies, and bright, yellow daisies. Yet give me a pen and some paper, and you wouldn’t believe what sick stuff pops into my head.

This is probably why I like to write. I’m only violent when I kill spiders (which is self-defense, really), I don’t do drugs, and I get queasy at the sight of blood. Yet my Google search history would lead you to believe otherwise. Writing allows me to tap into that part of my brain that is otherwise hiding from the evils of the world. It’s awesome.

Fellow writers, what kinds of creepy stuff has come up in your research?

Methinks that deep down inside, we’re all a bit disturbed.  (Source:  http://www.lightweightfunny.com)