Print Books are just Superior

Through a combination of daily Bookbub emails and the android kindle app, I’ve started reading some books in ebook form. I haven’t read many yet, because even shorter ones can take me months to finish. I read several books at once and, generally, I’m more likely to reach for physical copies than the kindle app. It doesn’t inspire me to open it.

It might be partially because of my device. Maybe when I inevitably get a true ereader (or a tablet, more likely), with a screen that displays something more like a real book’s full page, it will improve the e-reading experience. That said, I still think I will forever prefer turning a page to swiping a screen.

Ebooks might be more practical at times, certainly. In the sense of the paper it saves, more environmentally friendly. On a long trip, you could bring a large collection of books without taking up much space in your luggage. And the content is the same–but the reading experience simply is not.

I feel like print books welcome me into the story. They draw me in and ask me to stay a little longer. Having something to hold on to allows me to believe that in some way or another, the story is more real. The tactile connection is important. Ebooks are cold, distant. They don’t care about me reading them.

Perhaps it is the very fact that physical books take up space–owning them is more of a commitment. Maybe it’s a generational thing. When I was a child, computers were much less a part of daily life and e-books were not yet a product. I grew up on print. I can’t help wondering if this convenient but impersonal form of books is going to create a generation (or many) that do not understand the importance and magic of reading. That makes me sad.

I don’t really care that much what kind of paper print books are made of. If they find a better, more environmentally-conscious material for physical volumes, that would be fantastic, and I would fully endorse making books in the greenest possible way. I also believe that good books cannot be a waste of paper.

However the process changes in the future, I ask everyone–publishers, consumers, printers, etc.–to consider the wonder of print books.

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It’s a Page!

At long last I have an Actual Writing Update!!

 

…Barely, but still. It’s there.

Ok, so here’s the minuscule detail: I started a new story, which I am imagining to be a short story but could possibly turn into a novel, depending on the plot I actually come up with (which I haven’t figured out yet). I wrote barely more than a page (about 600 words, I think). It was good to write and it reminded me that I am actually good at words! Who knew!

I did, I guess, but I often forget that.

The story is based on the glass globe I talked about in that video on my youtube channel. If that makes you curious, there’s a link in the sidebar there.

 

All right. I know it’s not much. But it’s pretty much the only fiction writing I’ve managed to do for months, so I’m still happy with it. …not happy enough to post it, however. It’s much too rough for that. If I EVER manage to figure out my schedule, I’ll be trying to write more often.

Five Things Friday

Five story beginnings. I don’t have the time or energy to write five whole stories, but maybe the start will be good enough. As you read these, please keep in mind that they haven’t been edited. The stories aren’t really formed. If you would like to comment, the most useful thing for me to hear would be which beginnings make you want to read more.

 

Thanks, enjoy!

 

One

Some said they saw its beginnings as the sky darkened the night before. Still, no one seemed prepared, that morning, to offer any explanation for what they found. Fifteen centimeters deep, a thick grayish mist hovered over the ground. If they looked very hard they could still see the outlines of their feet, which had disappeared below the ankle as soon as they stepped outside.

It was a little bit cold, although not as damp as expected. It was startling, certainly, and made them rather nervous, but as more of them ventured beyond their doors, they found that strange razor-toothed creatures were not waiting below to chomp on their feet. So they went about their days.

 

Two

I knew the dream was strange, but as soon as I began to wake I forgot it entirely. I was trying to hold on to the shreds of its images as consciousness rose, to no avail. Giving up, I turned over, opening my eyes slowly to the soft light of morning. I had no idea what time it was, as my phone was the only clock available near my bed, and it seemed to have shut off during the night. Sure that I had overslept (although I couldn’t remember where I was supposed to be), I groaned and stretched and braced myself for standing.

In the cozy, bright kitchen–but not too bright, I just let sunlight come in and skipped the lightswitch–I brewed up a pot of coffee. I was too tired to notice what kind, but I made sure to measure it out correctly. If my coffee was undrinkable, the whole day would be ruined. Something was strange that day. I was trying to figure it out, but nothing came to mind. Perhaps, after my coffee…

Some time later–still had not found a clock–I was sitting in the sun-drenched, spacious, clean living room, coffee on a coaster, halfway through my plate of eggs on toast, when I realized, quite abruptly, that this was not my life.

 

Three

She had killed the vampire. She was still alive, still mobile, and she had taken care of business.

That was when she really started to panic.

 

Four

Rain fell steadily, just enough to make the ground a little slippery as I trotted along the sidewalk in my heeled boots. I had forgotten an umbrella. That is, there may have been one in my bag, but I couldn’t stop to dig around in there. I glanced back quickly, and sped up just a little. I was sure he wasn’t following me. Almost. But he had been there for ten blocks.

 

Five

In the end, everything looked fine. He sat on the porch, sipping tea from a chipped old mug. A magazine lay open on his lap, but he was not reading it. Instead, he stared at a photograph on the table beside him. The people in that picture looked happy. He thought they looked happy. They were not smiling. He tried to remember what had happened.

It was like trying to catch a fish with his hands. He could touch the memories, but they would not stay. One after the other, they slipped from his grasp and swam upstream.

Weren’t we happy? he thought.

The tea was getting cold. He had gazed for too long.

 

****

 

So there you go. Five intros. Or intros to intros. I have no idea if I’ll continue any of these. Which was your favorite? Tell me! Vote!

 

 

Writing Update!

Want a little snippet of info on what might be coming up? Watch THIS…

 

 

And if you’re interested in reading more, consider poking me about these projects once every week or two. Sometimes I need to know someone else is actually waiting for me to do the writing, and it’s not just me.

 

Last but not least, check back tomorrow morning for a Five Things Friday post. I’ll try to make it a really good one.

If Only I Could

Well, first, I would stick an extra Saturday into this weekend, hoping it would give me time to really get things done. But I never use my time well, so it probably wouldn’t be a good idea.

I wish I could blast off into the sort of life I really want. Everyone tells you how hard life will be, but no one can ever seem to say it in a way that prepares you. No matter how well you think you know how it will go, you’re always underprepared.

I have dreams, man. So many dreams. The larger dreams of course have always been there, they don’t change. But sometimes other dreams pop up and they’re sticking. Some of them might not be possible, but others would be…

  • I want to have clear, perfect skin. I already drink plenty of water, but I suppose I could eat even more fresh fruits and vegetables… but yeah. I want to look in the mirror and see my face without constant, strategically placed blemishes.
  • I want to get a nice digital camera to take artsy pictures with. Not for doing real photography. That would require special lenses, and developing equipment, and all sorts of stuff that I don’t think I would be willing to invest in (at least, not any time soon). But if I could just take some good pictures, with a camera that works better than the crappy one in my phone, maybe I could show you what I see.
  • I want to actually sit down and read the Poets and Writers magazines that have stacked up since I started my subscription. I’ve rarely been really into reading magazines, so even though I’m really excited when they arrive, I tend to put them off to the side and then they don’t get read.

I would let it all go, and maybe I could walk into the sunset at the end of the movie, the big confrontation behind me, the bad guy defeated. Ever wonder, at the end of those movies, whether it really ends there and the cowboy can just go about his business in peace, or do you think another old western outlaw will show up before too long?

I would tell you. But I don’t like to think of what might happen…

 

If there was a crystal ball of some kind that could just give me some idea of where certain choices would lead, I would take a look. Sometimes not knowing has a paralyzing effect. I guess the devil you know… you know the rest. Or, rather, the adequacy you know, the good things about now, are not worth giving up for something that might leave you behind square one. Or something like that.

I feel as if I don’t know how to write anymore. I have too many thoughts, and none of them are properly distinguished from one another, so when I try to get them out, other ones come along with it, like trying to pull out a leaf and instead taking the whole vine. And asking for help? Please. Do you know me at all?

A Story in List Form

To Do

1. Pine and long. Whine and/or weep internally.

2. Get this camera sorted out. It’s true that no one has a digital camera that runs on AA batteries (except me), but remember how much you liked taking pictures of things?

3. Say what you mean. Mind-readers are so much less common than you think.

4. Dye your hair. Nothing will change.

5. Sigh

6. Sit and watch the rain. This one might take a few days, but it will happen. And there will probably be lightning!

7. Remember which Hindu god is supposed to be the remover of obstacles.

8. Perception is most of experience.

9. Do not buy coffee tomorrow.

10. Ice cream is in the freezer.

11. Try to keep that cat from climbing your legs.

12. Try not to feel.

13. Realize that #12 will never happen.

14. She walks in beauty like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies,

Beauty is before her, above, and below her,

As the swan in the evening moves over the lake,

Water, water everywhere,

Oh, you pretty things, don’t you know

I am not there. I do not sleep.

Gliding

Flying through a storm, the bird came out with an injured wing. The glossy black feathers stuck out in odd directions. Pain made her woozy when she flapped. Nor could she safely land – without both wings to guide her down, she would surely acquire further hurts. She did the only thing she could think to do, and let the wind carry her for a while.