Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This is Sparta!

            Here I sit at my modest work station in preparation to work. Work is a curious word for what I’m about to do. I’m about to write.
            For the daughter of an office manager and a handy man who was raised with little more than was necessary to get by; the idea that writing is work is a rather new thought in this house. For some family members, it’s still a bit of a myth.
            They see me at the computer—whether there be a smile on my face or a frown—and they assume that I’m playing around. And truthfully, there’s a good chance I am. But what the family doesn’t seem to understand about the work of writing is that it is more than simply typing as many words into a document as possible.
            So, anyhow—like I said—I’m sitting here preparing to write and I fall victim to the stupid television. But you should give me a break because 300 is on and I mean, come on, Gerard Butler + loin cloth + never-ending abs? Yes, I’m a serious writer. No, I’m not a monk. Are there even lady monks?
                Moving on.
            This is what my evenings consist of—a delicate dance where I flip from typing at hyper speed and hoping that when I look at what I’ve written a week later that it won’t suck the big one; and then television. Or Google searching mermaid reproduction because it’s a matter of extreme importance. You see? I have serious work to do.
            And even though I’m not writing about mermaids, that search was valuable. As a writer, every search, every book, every TV show has the potential to teach me something. Or sometimes, for some strange reason, inspiration can strike. Whether it be an example of something that worked in a show or something that didn’t in a book; I’m always learning.
            There are times where sitting on the sofa, remote in hand, really is just a waste of time. And certainly not every fishing expedition on the reproductive aspects of the Merworld is helpful. Sometimes, I really am just looking up random crap. But then there are the times that I happen upon something that strikes a bit of genius in my heart and mind; and my stories are forever the better for it.
            I’m not sure how it’s happened that I can consider watching a film about a rogue Spartan King that looks like a comic book come to life work, but I have. And isn’t that what being a writer is—a curious amalgamation which somehow turns everyday tasks into inspiration which however unfathomably turns into words on a page which eventually become your book.
            Never have I set out on a stranger or more rewarding experience as I have in attempting to write a book or to call myself a writer. And hopefully one day, the family will get it. And maybe not.

                        See ya later,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Price of Technology

            So, I’ve been busy. Obviously, my “post a day” idea tanked. I’m not real sad about it because I’ve been off the computer and out living. I’ve been exploring local nature trails and going to the beach, spending a day in the city, and even reading actual books. You know what I’m talking about: the kind that you don’t have to read on your screen. It’s been nice to join the land of the living again; but I also recognize that I won’t ever finish this book if I don’t sit down and write it. So, I need to start focusing on the book and this blog again. So, I’m letting go of the “post a day” idea.
Oh well. I’m full of ideas. I’m not exactly crying over it. What I was crying over yesterday, though, was super lame.
            My Blackberry was down for the count.
            There’s a reason it’s called a Crackberry, folks.
            You see, my Blackberry has been my lifeline for the past year+ and until yesterday I didn’t think it was a problem. I use my phone for everything: gchat; web browsing; Word document editing; PDF viewing and editing; and about once a week I even write a chapter from my phone. It has a bunch of other features, too, which I don’t really use. Then of course, there’s the biggest thing—instant e-mail access. I’ve been known to check and respond to e-mail at 3am. No matter how deep asleep I was.
            So, yesterday I was freaking out. I had known for about a week that my phone was having some serious issues; so I brought it into the service center where they determined it’s a software issue and they’re sending me a refurbished one sometime this week. But after all that, my phone wouldn’t even charge. I was at the end of my rope.
            I’m not a heart surgeon or a solider; so really, I can miss a call, ya know? My e-mail isn’t life or death and yet, I sure was acting like it yesterday. My phone has since charged and is working well for now. When I got the stupid thing to finally charge and then turn on, you know what I found?
Absolutely nothing.
So, what was my fit about?
For now my phone is being replaced with the same model and that’s fine; but I’m going to have to do some thinking about what I should get this upcoming march when I’m eligible for an upgrade. Part of me wants a fancy new device and another part of me really doesn’t. What value does being able to check my e-mail at 3am hold for me?
There are obvious perks to having a smart phone. I can’t even tell you how many times being able to do a Google search has saved my hide; and I love being able to gchat with my friends when I’m bored; and having a full keyboard to type out a chapter is fabulous. But when do I just stop and smell the roses? When do I have a chance to just do nothing?
I can’t even remember the last time I just did nothing.
What is that anyway?
I feel like I’m constantly straddling two worlds: one where I want to be able to be “on” all the time and I push myself to the limit every day; and another where I can slow down and just enough a simpler life. There is definite value in being productive. And there’s inherent value in the simple things. And I think now more than ever, finding the balance that best suits you is tough. Sure, technology can make life easier; but then it also ties you down. We become dependent on the immediateness of it all.
I know that I have to find a way to simplify my life because the uber-connected rat race is not for me; but I still want the ease of access that a smart phone has to offer. I guess we’ll just have to see what I can do about finding a way to manage this.
And I do recognize what today is. I’ve chosen not to write about it. Maybe another day. It’s not that I think it’s time to move on or that I’m not thinking about it. The simple fact of the matter is that despite not being “personally” affected, this is still a tough day for me. So I’ll leave you with this—my heart goes out to everyone around the world who is still affected by the events that occurred ten years ago today; and a huge thank you to those who have dedicated their lives to defending our freedom.
Thank you.
                        See ya later,