Monthly Archives: April 2009

The future of eReaders

I found the video below through a tweet from @newspaperman and it got me thinking of the advance of technology. I recently bought a Sony Reader (PRS 505) and have been following the reviews and critiques. I’ve been reading eboks for years, started on a Palm Pilot black and white, then a Zire71 and just graduated to the Sony Reader. I love it, I love the portability of ebooks, and am fascinated with the technology. There is, and always has been, a segment of readers, writers, reviewers, who say that ebooks and the readers will never take a significant, important place in people’s world. I disagree. To wit, I offer this video on cell phones. They said it would never take. Too clunky. Too difficult to use. Ha.

I love the geeky-looking computer user at the end. Those either weren’t supposed to take.

The new cell phone

Did you like this? Share it:

Fiction Friday >> Write Anything

[Fiction] Friday Challenge for April 10, 2009:
A dentist is stabbed while he waits in line at the movies.

The girl in front of him had a nice ass, and, bonus, when she turned to look at him and smiled, a great set of teeth. As a dentist, he appreciated good dentition.

The line shuffled up a few feet and he suppressed a sigh. What was he doing here, waiting in line to see the last chick flick when he could be home relaxing in front of the tube with a beer and some nachos? Tina, that was what. She wanted to see the damned movie and he’d agreed to go with her. So far, though, he wasn’t pleased. Yeah, Tina was always late, and he was holding a place in line for her but he had the feeling that she wasn’t going to show up. Damn the woman. Why did he always end up doing things he didn’t want to just because she asked?

A guy jostled him from behind.

“Hey, buddy,” he said, “back off, will you? It won’t go faster if you push.”

A growl, then a sharp pain in the vicinity of his kidneys. He gasped, reached for his back. His hand came back red. Blood. “What the…?”

Someone screamed.

Did you like this? Share it:

Fiction Friday >> Write Anything

[Fiction] Friday Challenge for April 3, 2009:
A married couple sets out on a six-month adventure, living on their boat while sailing from port city to port city. By the fifth city, they are thoroughly sick of each other and their relationship takes a serious turn for the worse.

“You left your goddamn pan in the sink again,” Lisa said. “Why do I always have to stow your things before we leave? It’s not like you don’t know everything flies around when we’re at sea.”
“The sink’s deep enough.”
“No it’s not.”
“Pull the lines, will you?”
“You also left your clothes all over the place.”
“I checked the forecast. No squalls ahead.”
“This boat is the size of Rubik’s Cube. You’re a slob.”
“You want the night watch?”
“Are you listening to me?”
“You’re the one who wanted the grand adventure. Now you have it.”
“Yeah. Dirty pans and litter.”
“Bitching and bad seamanship.”
“I can tie a knot as well as you can. Better, even.”
“The way you fold the sails is a disgrace.”
“If you helped me instead of giving orders, it’d be easier.”
“I need a drink.”
“It’s eight o’clock in the morning.”

Did you like this? Share it:

What’s up with men in TV Ads?

Whether it’s for a burger, coffee and doughnut, or a cable TV service, men seem to be increasingly portrayed as nerdy, geeky idiots. What’s up with that? Is this a reflection of reality or is it the dumbing down of society?

Do men recognize themselves in these ads, do they say “hey, that’s me, I’m just like him,” and rush out to buy the product? Are we all becoming less intelligent and this is the advertising world’s way of coming down to our level?

Or is it a reflection of our economic downturn? When you’re struggling to make ends meet, you don’t have time for introspection and philosophical discourse. Of course, ads have never been that high brow. Ads for soap, shampoo, or household products wouldn’t challenge a squirrel’s brain but these ads don’t have a story. The new ones do, and the script stinks.

Four years ago in an Opinion piece in New Mexico’s Daily Lobo, Luncinda Urlich protests the dumbing down of society:

At a time when the world is more complicated than ever before and human mental ability should be evolving right along with technology, we seem to be at a crossroads between the mental haves and have-nots.
We have discovered a new kind of ghetto, the unused mind, a true wasteland of space and time and a more dangerous weapon than nuclear missiles.

It seems to me that matters are getting worse, not better, and social networks are often quoted as demonstrating this.

What do you think? Have you noticed the same? Am I totally wrong? Do you have a better explanation? I’d love to know.

Did you like this? Share it:

Writing for a living: a joy or a chore?

Every so often, I get into a rut and wonder if it’s all worth it. Like today, where editing is almost as painful as going to the dentist. So I went back to an article I’d found in the Guardian at the beginning of March and reread what Al Kennedy said about the joy of writing:

The joy of writing for a living is that you get to do it all the time. The misery is that you have to, whether you’re in the mood or not. I wouldn’t be the first writer to point out that doing something so deeply personal does become less jolly when you have to keep on at it, day after cash-generating day. To use a not ridiculous analogy: Sex = nice thing. Sex For Cash = probably less fun, perhaps morally uncomfy and psychologically unwise. Sitting alone in a room for hours while essentially talking in your head about people you made up earlier and then writing it down for no one you know does have many aspects which are not inherently fulfilling. Then again, making something out of nothing, overturning the laws of time and space, building something for strangers just because you think they might like it and hours of absence from self – that’s fantastic. And then it’s over, which is even better. I’m with RLStevenson – having written – that’s the good bit.

It’s the “making something out of nothing, overturning the laws of time and space, building something for strangers just because you think they might like it” that make it worthwhile for me. It’s good to remember that once in a while.

To read more opinions about writing, here’s the Guardian article:Writing for a living: a joy or a chore?: nine authors give their views

Did you like this? Share it: