“I wanna reach out and grab ya,” to quote Steve Miller. After watching snippets of the new Apple Watch launch and the excitement it created, I think this should be the slogan of the electronic age. The tidal wave of information, music, literature, films and games accessed electronically is only missing the grab of a personal web arm to direct our gaze in the direction of the perfect match and not everything else. I’m sure they exist but people like me have yet to make their acquaintance. Eventually, when we have the strength of courage to chuck out all of our cameras, land phones, radios, televisions, books and maps there will be a desperate need for hand holding as we follow Alice down the electronic rabbit hole.

It took $24 dollars in stamps and a kind rejection letter to make me review my attitude toward non paper books. Thus began my first foray into the e-publishing world with a patient friend (observe: hand holding).  The process started about a year ago when I attended an introductory  seminar to working with the new medium by seasoned author, both in print and electronic form,  Nicola Furlong.  Like a Medieval peasant encountering Gutenberg, I longed for someone to interpret the esotericism of this strange thing.  Enter Laurie who joined me for a private seminar where we were able to grill Nicola and launch the project. Finally yesterday, Laurie and I were both feeling a tad excited at our work session. After comical wranglings with tasks like trying to find a copyright character (which incidentally, you don’t need), and opening documents that don’t want to open, we have come to a point where we have a cover page, a new short title, an almost text ready book, downloaded illustrations and an ISBN number. Yee-hah! The endless joys of non-optional learning…

My daughter has also entered the electronic world but for her, it is music. Liz and friends have started a label and Cosy Father, as her one person band is called, has a CD you can download for a donation (shameful parental promotion here) or just have a listen to by clicking on the link. Lucky for me, I actually enjoy her music to the degree that I often find her songs lingering in my mind, so you might too. (I have a friend who can’t listen her way through her son’s entire heavy metal CD.)  Liz tells me that e-recording is the way of the future as it evens out the playing field for everyone. She also told me that there is a huge market for limited new pressings of vinyl which makes me think that we humans will always be drawn to the aesthetic qualities of art such as clumpy oil paint, antique vellum pages and old sepia photographs.

Luddite that I am, I find myself getting excited about some of the possibilities that exist because of  e-magic although I won’t be buying an Apple watch.  And until we are offered free power and no chance of an outage, I’m keeping my shelf of books.



Happy Old Year!

What a busy time of year September is! It always feels more like the new year to me than January 1st does.

The end of summer in Canada usually means the end of the freewheeling outdoor lifestyle of lazy days on beaches, in gardens or hiking and meals enjoyed al fresco with relatives and friends that often have the time to connect only while on holiday. Sad to see it end but also somewhat of a relief to return to a schedule and plans for the new school year, theatre season and maybe a diet and exercise regimen because there is still time to lose a size or two and fit into that great New Year’s outfit.

I usually preserve the last of the garden’s bounty (not necessarily my own) so that we can enjoy the taste of summer peaches and salsas come the dreary days of January. This is the time of year too when I lose interest in nursing along my scraggly flower baskets and dream of smelling exotic flowers in some far away escape this winter.

The outdoor furniture gets tucked up and the flip flops get put away. This year my challenge is to dig out our winter footwear from the higgledy-piggledy mess of the garage size storage unit in which all our worldly possessions are stored. That mammoth task will engender the even bigger task of pulling out a pile of items we need to sell or give away.  Now that my spouse is looking at live-aboard boats for our next place of residence, forty boxes of books and a piano seem extravagant even to me.

Because the year seems to stretch forever until next summer, and because I hate endless gray and rainy days, I decided to buy lots of entertainment tickets to break up our progress down the darkening tunnel to the shortest day of the year.  We’ll be laughing, singing and emotionally moved on a regular basis until Christmas at least.  (I just realized that we didn’t need to pay for all that therapy when the kids still lived at home and provided it for free.)

I’ve taken baby steps toward healthier living too.  And oh, aren’t the planning stages of diet and exercise so edifying!  I refuse to keep any more clothes that I don’t fit into – besides where would I store them all on the new boat/residence?

I thought about classes at the local college as well but unfortunately, my work schedule gets in the way.  I’ll have to self educate with books and cds from the library. Hopefully, next year at this time that won’t be  problem. Until then, Berlitz, bring it on! Kalos se vrika!

There is comfort in the change of season. Quiet evenings with a book or knitting by the fireside beckon. The possibilities of new friends and new directions in education or projects tempt us like new wine. Even though fall signals the end of the exuberant extroversion of the outdoor season there is renewal in the review and reworking of plans for the interior life. Happy Old Year!