“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.