Monday, July 26, 2010

Nothing makes me feel older than technology. Don't get me wrong -- I love it. I love unlimited information at my fingertips 24-7. I love my iPod, my phone, and my laptop -- I don't go anywhere without them. But I can remember what life was like before, and it seems like that wasn't very long ago.

I took a road trip to visit family last week. During the five hour drive, I flipped back and forth between satellite radio, which has three stations directed specifically at my musical tastes, and my entire personal music collection on my iPod. I also talked to a friend on the phone via Blue tooth, and my boys watched two DVDs.

Not too long ago, radio signals would have faded from city to city. I would have listened to two, maybe three carefully chosen CDs. I couldn't have talked on the phone because I wouldn't have had reception. My boys would have cried and asked 100 times, "How much longer?"

It is not lost on my that I'm writing a post on technology on a website it took me less than an hour to create. The Internet has flipped the switch from science to magic; it can actually read my mind. A few days ago I typed in the search engine "what to get," and by the time I got that far, the engine had already provided a list of ten options to finish that sentence. More amazing is that my exact question was the fifth down on that list -- "what to get an 8 year old girl for her birthday." I'm sure my niece will like the gift I picked out for her because three different websites told me she would. When my older nieces were that age, I spent hours browsing stores. I doubt I ever picked out what was cool to them.

That tangible difference, the memory of how things used to be, makes me feel my age more than my stiff knuckles and grey hair.

Writing update: I have started a new short story. I plan to finish it this week, but I am faced with the classic dilemma. Do I create a story arc for my characters, or do I let them play around with each other and see what happens?

Monday, July 19, 2010

We're at that odd transition, the summit of the summer. It's hot. The children are restless. We're having fun, keeping busy with park days, the library, the pool and the beach. I know it's all downhill from here. Soon they'll be back in school, and I'll be wondering where the time went. We'll all be glad to get back in the routine, but summer's great glory is the potential to sleep late and stay in pajamas all day.

The boys keep moving forward as always. Son #1 lost his second tooth last night. Son #2 can now touch in the shallow end of the pool. I, on the other hand, haven't done half the things I wanted to this summer. I haven't read enough books. I haven't called enough of my friends and family. I haven't finished writing any stories or chapters. I haven't seen many movies. (Thanks to Red Box I have at least caught up on a few. Shutter Island was pretty decent -- Remember watching Leo on Growing Pains? Who knew what a solid actor he'd become.)

So here's my kick in the pants, to myself. Call it my New Year's in July. I'm not letting this summer get away from me. I could add this motivational quote to my list up there, but too many people have said it for proper attribution. If you want to be a writer, write. To that end, I will post to this blog at least once a week. I will finish one short story, polished and ready to send out, by then end of August. Finally, I will finish the first draft of Novel #2 by Christmas. (Novel #1 is officially 'under the bed.')

Welcome to my first blog.

My blog title comes from Ernie's quote up there at the top: What amateurs call a style is usually only the unavoidable awkwardnesses in first trying to make something that has not heretofore been made. That pretty much sums up not just my writing, but my whole life.