Tag Archives: kindle

2011 – the New 1984

It’s a new world out there.  Last week I opened my Amazon account to find out that as a Prime Member (I like the free shipping) I could borrow books for free, up to one a month. That’s a nice little perk.  A few months back it was movies that I could watch for free.  This morning visits her local library web site to find that libraries have hooked up with Amazon and you can now borrow eBooks online.  I feel like I’m being seduced by Big Business.  It’s hard to resist when they offer me up literary and entertainment bonbons like that.  I know they are sucking up the little guys, and yet they make it so easy to use, so easy to accept… and how delicious the toxin is going down!  It’s rather like a Twinkie, only at least, by reading I’m getting some nutrients with my poisons.

People are taking to the streets to protest the Corporations, and I’m behind them 100% and yet… can we have a world without Big Business?  Can it seriously function if everything is small and compartmentalized?  Just think of the scale of economics.  I guess I don’t mind Big Business providing me Kindles and iPhones as long as the big boys aren’t calling all the shots, holding all the cards, and whatever other cliché I can throw at you to describe their greedy corporate antics that are… well self-destructive and short-sighted.  These new captains of industry are robber barons, but they’re robbing from their own coffers.  Who will buy their crap if they destroy the very middle class that supports all this investment, manufacturing, and innovation?  Do they really think they can just switch to the other rising economies and keep on raking it in?  With global warming, over-population, and wars and revolutions every where, it ain’t going to happen like they envision it.

Like the ancient Anasazi in the American Southwest we will all collapse from a dearth of resources, like water, to go around, and this time on a global scale.  The center might move temporarily to China and India but they’re rising fast on a faulty model, and they are already showing signs of strain. The fat cats that rule Washington now, they may die rich, but they will not leave anything to the next generation, and I’m only talking about the old ones.  The young robber barons will see it all go to shit in their own life times.  So it’s time to get money, corporations, and Wall St. out of our political process:

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I’m Just a Rambling Man

The writing has been kind of slow for the last week.  There has been a 50% improvement in the chaotic conditions of my family obligations, but finding that still eye of the storm is still proving to be difficult.  As soon as I feel like I’m close to it I get caught in an updraft and find myself hurtling away at impossible speeds from what I would really like to be doing.

That said – I have mastered some plot threads that needed tying together.  My iPhone, unlike the previous clunky yet small Blackberry, is proving a bit of a helpmate.  I was able to download a pages app for it that allows me to edit the most recent chapter on the go.  I don’t foresee any solid writing time on it unless I get the keyboard that I mentioned in the last post, and I am waiting for my finances to improve for that, but I can edit, add ideas, and not lose rolling trains of steamy thought.

One of my plotting solutions involves a famous historical character, Harry Houdini, who has now gained importance in the novel, and thusly I am forced (oh what terrible pain and joy!) to read the recent bio of him that I got.  Sadly it is not available on the Kindle… wait, it wasn’t but maybe it is now… let me toddle off and check…

Back. Ah, wonderful.  I feel like a walking, talking, typing advert for the iPhone, but I am a convert.  So I have downloaded the Kindle app to my phone, and my copy of the Houdini book is now there, on the page I was last reading, and I’m ready to snatch minutes from my workday to learn all I need to know about the amazing magician, contortionist, and escape artist.  Amusing note on the side: on my wall, by my desk, is my Houdini Action Figure.  It was a gift from one of my relatives – the same year I gave them one.  We exchanged.

Ok, well I was away from this for about an hour because my cat pissed on the laundry again.  It’s such a joy to be able to add the mental and emotional and maybe physical aberrations of an animal you swore to look after and love for all his days to your list of distractions from writing.  Mostly he’s been urinating on the wife’s things, seems he’s pissed off at me now too.  I am also hearing about the chores and programming/design tweaks I need to make at Pan Historia… it never ends.  And just when I have the list all organized, and all the things I have to do on it, I’ll head to work for nine hours, because that’s how I pay the bills.

Tune in next week to find out more about how my iPhone helps me to conquer the madness of modern life, and enables me to write a novel in the middle of it.  Or not.  You choose how you distract yourself from your own writing.

Perhaps you might join a revolution?


The Electronic Book Revolution: A Personal View

This year my offspring gave me a Nintendo DS for Christmas with the little mini Zelda adventure on it.  I admit I’m having fun.  I also like the size of the contraption and the little stylus to control the action by touching the screen.  I’m enjoying it so much that last night I had an amazing thought: if I like this little gizmo so much how would it be to read a book on one?  Or something similar as I have no idea what a Kindle or Sony Reader looks like or any other electronic book reader.

Now if you knew me and mine you would know incredibly revolutionary this thought is.  I may have been one of the first people on the planet to own a computer, but I only succumbed to either a laptop or a cell phone this last couple of years, and only this morning did I become the proud owner of an iPod for the first time in my life.  It was an anniversary gift.

I love books.  I love the weight, the texture, the feel, the scent of them.  I love the way that the black ink print looks on the creamy or yellowing pages.  I love paper.  I love the musty used bookstore smell of old paperbacks.  I love the artwork on the cover and I love to handle books and I love the look of a wall full of bookshelves full of books.

Replacing all that with a little handheld electronic device?  Can I enjoy this?  Will it satisfy my aesthetic sensibilities and my sensual pleasure in reading?  More importantly how tangible is it?  If I were to publish my novel would I feel like I have a book out if it was just puffs of ethereal pixels that I can’t even see?

When I consider all these things, my Luddite self battling with my geek self, I remember that the vast majority of my authorial outpourings have always been published electronically and these days I do the majority of my reading online.  Where is the difference?  Furthermore how many trees could I save and how much easier to move without fifty cartons of books to hump around?  Could I just reserve for my book collection art books and reference?  The old beautifully bound book of poetry?  Perhaps paper books become works of art in of themselves and the rest can fit on my electronic reader.

Of course the wheels of change can move quickly, or it might be a while before I take the plunge, but the thought is there and the journey begun.