How Do E-Books Change the Reading Experience? – NYTimes.com


The advantages of e-books are clear. E-books are immediate. Sitting at home in Pakistan, I can read an intriguing review of a book, one not yet in stores here, and with the click of a button be reading that book in an instant. E-books are also incorporeal. While traveling, which I do frequently, I can bring along several volumes, weightless and indeed without volume, thereby enabling me to pack only a carry-on bag.

And yet the experience of reading e-books is not always satisfactory. Yes, it is possible to vary the size of the font, newly important to me at age 42, as I begin to perceive my eye muscles weakening. Yes, e-books can be read in the dark, self-illuminated, a reassuring feature when my wife is asleep and I am too lazy to leave our bed, or when electricity outages in Lahore have persisted for so long that our backup batteries are depleted. And yes, they offer more frequent indicators of progress, their click-forwards arriving at a rapidity that far exceeds that of paper-flipping, because pixelated screens tend to hold less data than printed pages and furthermore advance singly, not in two-sided pairs.

Nonetheless, often I prefer reading to e-reading. Or rather, given that the dominance of paper can no longer be assumed, p-reading to e-.

I think my reasons are related to the fact that I have disabled the browser on my mobile phone. I haven’t deleted it. Instead, I’ve used the restrictions feature in my phone’s operating system to hide the browser, requiring me to enter a code to expose and enable it. I can use the browser when I find it necessary to browse. But, for the most part, this setting serves as a reminder to question manufactured desires, to resist unless I have good cause.

Similarly, I have switched my email account from the attention- and battery-consuming “push” setting to the less frenzied manual one. Emails are fetched when I want them to be, which is not all that often. And the browser on my slender fruit-knife of a laptop now contains a readout that reminds (or is it warns?) me how much time I have spent online.

Time is our most precious currency. So it’s significant that we are being encouraged, wherever possible, to think of our attention not as expenditure but as consumption. This blurring of labor and entertainment forms the basis, for example, of the financial alchemy that conjures deca-billion-dollar valuations for social-networking companies.

I crave technology, connectivity. But I crave solitude too. As we enter the cyborg era, as we begin the physical shift to human-machine hybrid, there will be those who embrace this epochal change, happily swapping cranial space for built-in processors. There will be others who reject the new ways entirely, perhaps even waging holy war against them, with little chance — in the face of drones that operate autonomously while unconcerned shareholding populations post selfies and status updates — of success. And there will be people like me, with our powered exoskeletons left often in the closet, able to leap over buildings when the mood strikes us, but also prone to wandering naked and feeling the sand of a beach between our puny toes.

via How Do E-Books Change the Reading Experience? – NYTimes.com.

What Now ?


This is the thing about being a writer. You can produce and get things all done and buttoned up and then you may be looking at 500 pages of your blood sweat and tears  only to realize you have no god damned idea what to do with the final product.

I am not an expert in this, am in fact a novice since I am just getting my book into that wonderful stage one could call a manuscript but I did find some resources that might help anyone else that , like myself , is getting to the point where your life long dream and your actual life are about to intersect.

New Literary Agent Alert: Jessica Negron of Talcott Notch Literary | WritersDigest.com.

Rihanna – What Now – YouTube

How


I am stubborn to the point of self-destruction at times. I am admitting that right out. I have tried very hard not to read a single book about writing because I do not (did not) want any part of my writing to be someone else’s words or thoughts. I think that a lot of writers may do this but this is ridiculous when you think about it. I think that if your doctor said to you, “I never cracked a book, I just kept cutting people until I figured out how to stop killing them” you would flee, possibly screaming, into the street and never look back.

I know that writing and medicine are not the same animal, but the same can be said of politics. Tina Fey, who I love like good food, said that politics and prostitution are the only professions where people try to convince you of how inexperienced they are as a virtue. I think that writers can sometimes be said to feel the same. I want, basically, to be talented and not taught. The problem is that the idea is idiotic, not to put too fine a point on it. I am not saying that you can’t be good if you never get instruction but the honest to god truth is that you can’t write unless you are taught something. How to read at the very least.

I love Stephen King. I want to admit that out right, as well. I think that he is one of the great writers and never-mind the bullshit that people say about anyone and anything that is popular. I think that the man is amazing, not because his writing is amazing but because it is not. Not always anyway. There are exceptions in his writing, Under the Dome is one. Misery is another and I think that the story “The Boogeyman” is almost perfect as a short (very short) horror story. I have it on audiobook and the combination of the writing and the reading by John Glover make it something I listen to like music, and like music I can recite it by heart.  I love the characters decent into madness as he tried to explain the truth that is impossible to accept and that you as a reader have to wonder if he is just a as the character himself states “ another goofy”. Perhaps, you wonder, he is a murderer and can’t admit it , like ( spoiler alert) another character in Strawberry Spring or if he is just trying to make sense of what makes no sense; all three of his children dying before they are three. I love this story and think that it is wonderful.

So you would think that knowing that one of my favorite writers was writing a book about writing (oh my god this sentence is going to sound crazy) about writing called “On Writing” would have sent me into mad gales of happiness. I would have been standing on the corner at 8:59 am waiting for the Barnes and Nobel to open and allow me to plunk my money down to find out how he does it.  You would, as I am sure you have gleaned already, have been very wrong. I saw that book as something terrible almost, like a magician telling his secrets and not just his but everyone’s. I did not crack that book, not once and I was high-minded about it. As you know when you have decided that you are doing something because it is the “right and proper thing” you are always right, right? Yes, and that is how people become terrorists. They decide that they are perfectly legitimate in their thoughts and words to the contrary are just jealousy, lunacy or some other y.

When I knew that the creepy and amazing Chloe Grace Moretz was set to play Carrie White  and the sequel to “ The Shining”  was coming out ( all near Halloween , also) I decided to read or reread some of my favorite King novels and among the books that I found was  On Writing at my local half off book store. I bought it because it was practically free. I am a sucker for a deal. Then I laid it aside and read my other books again. It wasn’t until I was reading someone else’s book, one about goal setting, and it was mentioned that I decided that it was time to at least try the e book.

I have to say that, while I am not done with this book, almost but not quite, I could kick myself for waiting as long as I did to read it. It is not the best book on writing, I can see that, but it is genuine and genuinely written. I think the things that make this book an actual good novel as well as a decent instructional manual is that it doesn’t think that it really is either animal. It is a memoir, it says that on the cover, and it is that. It is also a bit of a novel , telling a story inside it that is one that I had personally seen without having heard it outright until now; that there is a very damaged man that wrote many of my favorite books. One that has Daddy issues, was a drunk and a drug addict, has been broke and broken several times in life and that has never gotten completely over the abandonment of his father or the death of his mother entirely.

I say that not to tax Mr. King with anything just to say that most of that is true for most people and the idea that we have to be perfect to be great is not only foolish but dangerous. I myself have been fond of saying about my sexual self that I know where all my desires come from and I have decided that I don’t care and just enjoy the orgasms. If we are waiting for perfection to do our great work we will be waiting a very long time.  I know of a woman doctor who had her children while in medical school, on purpose, and when asked why she would do such a thing when she knew how hard it would be see said simply “when would it have not been hard? When I was an intern? A new doctor? I knew I wanted kids and that I wanted to be a doctor, and that if I waited for the perfect time to do either I would do neither”. That sums it up for me.

So I am reading On Writing and while I am not gaining any burning insights so to speak I am being reminded of those things that I needed to be reminded of, and well. That writing is for writing. Not for money or fame. You write because it is what you are meant to do. That you will not always write the best but you can try to write something that you would want to read. Have a goal in mind. Even if the goal is modest, having it will help you to accomplish. I myself have allowed Steve’s own to suggestion to be mine for the start. 1000 words a day. Which is satisfied today with what you are reading. Not long and not perfect but I hope honest and entertaining.

Clumsy


There are times when you find your self flat on the ground, having smashed your face into the pavement and all you can do it get  up, dust yourself off , pray you didn’t irrevocably damage yourself ,  ignore the laughter of strangers and just keep going with your day . This is not a metaphor, I literally fell on my ass today ,  or more accurately my face. I scrapped my face on the pavement .  I am feeling very poised and graceful today , I can tell you . 

The funny thing is , well first of all I do this at least once a year so this isn’t new , it really does redefine your day when you bust your ass. I mean no matter how cute you think you are a good fall with reboot the hell out of you . Yes you are still cute but you can also suddenly and without warning look like a complete idiot . And that’s okay . We all look ridiculous sometimes . You do not die ( hopefully) , and you will not be permantly damaged by most of them, you may be a little banged up ( I scrapped my chin…my lord I am sexy today!) but at the end of it you can probably laugh at it. 

I am reminded that one of my girl crushes , Jennifer Lawrence ( if you don’t know her , shame on you because she is awesome!) ,  had the wonderful  honor of winning an Oscar and on her way up the stairs she fell. She sat for a second and then recommenced and started back up the stairs to thunderous applause and a standing ovation  from her fellow actors and those lucky enough to get a ticket. Her response  was ” “You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell.”  Now , she can be that cool after flubbing a once in a lifetime moment, the I can not even being to be all butt-hurt over my falling in front of a bunch of strangers , and neither should you , if you ever do so. 

 

It’s been one week…


“Sex Life of Robots” | Michael Sullivan

“Sex Life of Robots” | Michael Sullivan (Photo credit: ceslava.com)

 

There is a book, perhaps you’ve
heard of it, that says if you are having trouble in your marriage
You should have sex everyday for 30 days. Without exception. You can’t be to busy, or to tired or to I’m thinking of divorcing this scumbag so I don’t want to fuck him…none of those things is an excuse. Everyday. Thirty days.
Now in those 30 days of sex bootcamp, there has to be some days where the sex is phenomenal; quivering , undulating flesh, orgasms that make you forget your own middle name, and that remind you why you married this person.
Contradictory to that are other days. Days when sex with this man or woman make you feel like…well like you are being forced to have sex everyday. Days when all you want to do is watch Himym and finally ,for the love of God ,know who this woman is!  And the sex is , kind of, blah.
I said that, and I’m apologizing in advance, because that is what I’m doing with my blog. Follow through is NOT my strong suit. If it were, you would hear people say things like ” did you read Brie Stoll’s last book?” Because that’s what I was born to do.
So for 30 days I’ll write. Sick, well, hung over, sad, happy, busy ,broke or whatever , I will write.
Some days you may read and think, that was good. Somedays you may read and think that’s awesome. Somedays you may read and think, not even close. That’s what the apology earlier was for.
I promise to try to bring you to a literary orgasm everyday . There will be days when you are already looking for the remote and wondering if there’s a nice juicy nurse Betty on somewhere. But I promise to do my level best to have as many days possible of “yes, yes, right there, oh, oh…I love you”… In the literary sense.

 

 

I love being a girl


Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon

Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I really do … I know , please , my feminist sisters don’t jump down my throat , yes I am a woman but I am sorry I love being a girl. Not a female. Not a woman. A girl. I love the feminine loveliness, the soft, the sweet. I love being a female , yes , but when I get ready  and have the makeup and the hair , cutsie poo and the sexy sensual beautiful things that I have and look in the mirror and I am truly feeling myself , I think , I love being a girl.

 

My proclamation is just that. I want to be allowed to be happy that I am a girl. I have a male friend that tries to throw lugs about women because of his own insecurities, about not having to do his hair, or not having to wear makeup. For the record, there are many men that are girls as well, and I am not just talking about being gay. Usher, the metro-sexual, and just your plain old pretty boys. And there are women that just don’t wear makeup and girlie clothes. SO… rude statement naturalized … but for those of us , like myself, who enjoy it , I also counter that I am not stuck with the woman I wake up to . I can sometimes suffer insomnia. When you go to sleep at 4 to wake up at 6, the women in the mirror at 6 looks like … how do I say this … death warmed over, twice.  When I walk out to people saying “you look rested”, ha-ha, I win!

 

I am a woman, smart, articulate, funny… umm…modest. I am also a girl, bubbly, and silly, unbearably cute …ummm…modest. Both are sides to me. They are parts that make me, me. They are the things that captivate those who know me into believing that the insecure pile of jello that I can be is this confidant grown up finally, and giving up my girl would not help, but hinder that.  If I had to stop having a crush on Tom Hardy, if I had to never go see another  Comic book movie alone ( yes I said alone ) , If I had to stop squealing when something made me really happy I would be diminished , my I would be smaller.

 

I think sometimes we are so quick to cast off out child self, not childish but child self, that we forget how to play, how to fun, how to dance like no one is watching, how to love a celebrity like we know them (not the crazy fanatic thing where we carve their names into our body, that is a sick child self and needs riddelin) just because they are awesome, and we lose the joy that was once inherent to our very nature. I realize that my girl and I are codependent as hell, we need each other. She lets me write and I let her scream for joy in the middle of the store  when she finds out Kelsey Grammar is playing Beast , my favorite X men character of all, in the middle of a store ( true story) .

 

I leave this long rambling prose with the following. Find your inner girl, or boy. I suggest Lego’s, they freaking LOVE Lego’s.

 

 

 

Free Fallin’


There are people in this world that have jumped from an airplane only to find mid-fall that the parachute didn’t open. While generally this spells death  for the person plummeting to the earth there are , on occasions, a person that lands and is found broken, bruised and badly shaken but nonetheless alive .

That person while recovering from the usually significant injuries has to , despite everything , feel like the luckiest son of a bitch in the world. You go into a free-fall , a jump from much higher than people die from and you live . You didn’t walk away . How could you? But the survival… the survival is all you could hope for and more.

Coming to Houston was me in free fall. I had little choice about what else I could do but I was definitely moving fast towards the ground and simply now , still in mid fall I have realized that I  can’t do anything to change the end of this fall.  now I am not saying that I am a victim of my fate I am saying that the choices that i made before now have shaped the movement  I am in  now . I jumped and while I couldn’t have predicted the lack of a parachute I had the choice to never jump.

I wonder if the people who are falling feel like I do now. In those moments , the beauty and splendor the earth all around them while they scream , prey or wet  themselves , do they also feel like this might be what I had to have happen. Would they choose to be at  home in whatever life made them feel like this was a good idea? I doubt that. I doubt that they would prefer to have never had the jump to avoid the fall.  I know that I would not .

Houston Day 8


I have needed to take a week to decide that I was going to in fact start this blog, so I start it where I am. Day 8.

I first want to  say that any resemblance this blog does, may or will have with “Sex in the City” will be purely coincidental.

By no means am I Carrie Bradshaw or Candace Bushnell    for that matter.  While I am a girl in the “Big City” I am not, looking for love, trying to find the meaning

Of life in the bottom of a Cosmo glass or living la Vida Fabulous. I may be slightly living “Mi Vida Loca”, learning Spanish and living in a little bit of a Barrio.

I am not in the city of my dreams, like Carrie that would be New York. I am not expecting to jump right into the job of my dreams or the man of my dreams(for one this Christen Bale is married ), if I was the human equivalent of any character it may be Laura Ingles Wilder, a pioneer woman in the west , fighting for the best life possible and writing it all as she goes.

I have moved to Houston, Texas from Eastpointe, Michigan because the job prospects in Michigan, for me anyway, were short on the ground. I want to be successful and just going along to get along was NOT getting it. So I went west young (WO) man and I am trying to be as positive as possible about this very scary new chapter. And you, if there eventually are a you, are invited to watch.

I will wrap up as I intend on wrapping up every day with my 2 loves and 2 hates about Houston.

  1. Love: Taco trucks: they are everywhere and the food is while not probably the BEST for you some of it is Amazing to the palette.

1.   Hate: The Transit System : I don’t have a car yet and the very IDEA that you can take a bus ride that  for 2 HOURS that would be a 25 minute car ride is the

Explains everything I HATE about it. It is winding and complicated, some lines have 2 or three routes that run down the same street and have the same names save one or two LETTERS and you will end up all the way in east hell. It’s not at ALL fair to new comers.

  1. Love: The Weirdoes:  I love the assorted fruits and nuts that live here. Trannies, the gorgeous “Is she or isn’t she “types and the putting that make up on with a spackle isn’t helping you Types. Coplay folks in dress up, Vatos with their tattoos and angry scowls masking the round lovely faces of Latin people. Beautiful Latina girls with big hair, or pink hair and piercings. And one short, skinny beggar woman, presumably a drug addict but she may just be homeless, that seems to be everywhere.

2.  Hate: I’m Lonely here.