Three things I’m grateful for:

  1. Google. Let me count the ways. If you need a recipe, type in “recipe” followed by your key ingredients. If you need a map, type in “map” followed by the name or zip code of the place. Ditto weather. Ditto “define” followed by shunpike or conglobate or whatever word you need to define. There are so many other shortcuts to put in that little Google box–calculate, flights, hotels, phone numbers, you name it. Try some of your own.
  2. Google Reader, Google Images, Google News, Google Alerts and sometimes even Froogle. The hours of searching these engines save…the mind boggles. [Note about Google Alerts–this is not for faint-hearted authors. It will find all mentions–news, blogs, articles, etc.–of the phrase you tell it to search for, and send it to your e-mail. So if you set a Google Alert to catch your name or book title, gird your loins for the onslaught. Remember that people will say anything on a blog, even nasty stuff about you and your books. It’ll also catch people being nice–really nice. And the occasional oddity. For example, Google Alert sends me a link every time the other Susan Wiggs–a Vancouver teacher in a dispute over union dues–makes the news.
  3. …and their latest, which wickedly pleases my sarcastic side, “Let Me Google That For You.” Next time you get a clueless, easily-resolved question from a co-worker, type his question into the search bar and click any button. LMGTFY will then create a link to share, directing the co-worker to a page with a Google tutorial with his specific question. The tutorial ends with snarky, “Was that so hard?” and a list of the search results. Note: if you’re really exasperated, you might need to bump it up a level. Just don’t use that one on your mother.

What are you grateful for today?