Monday, August 31, 2009

I've been hacked! If you try to access my website right now, you'll get nothing but some !@#$ boast. I'm pissed as so far one reader has written -- she was trying to order a book but couldn't because of the $%^& idiot. How many lost sales will this mean?

And why me? Why my site? GRRRRR

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I orginally wrote this as a reply to Kassia's post at Booksquare, but got on my soapbox and decided it belonged here rather than taking up space in her comments section.

What got me started was this quote from her post: "The competition for books isn’t necessarily other books as much as everything else in life."

I remember the day after my daughter was born, I reclined in my hospital bed leisurely reading the Sunday paper. My doctor walked in, laughed and said, "Enjoy that paper. It's the last reading you'll do for a while." I laughed too, not realizing how prophetic his words were to be.

In the space of one birth I went from a reader who read several books a week to one who read NO books for the next ten years (unless Golden Books count). I just didn't have the time and when I did, I was too exhausted to do more than plop in front of the mindless TV and let it wash over me. Only in the past two years have my old habits crept back into my life -- my daughter is in college and my son graduates high school in one more year.

Do the math. That's SEVENTEEN YEARS of not buying books, not having time to read. Seventeen years of not supporting the publishing industry (well, except to write my own books and hope others weren't in the same predicament as I was).

And what happened to books in the seventeen years I was gone? The price skyrocketed! Talk about sticker shock! I was buying new books at $2 - $3 before. Now I have to troll the bargain bins to find new books under $10 and those are paperbacks that have been out a while. With one kid in college and another heading there soon...the price for a brand-new, fresh off the shelf book is too much money.

So where do I turn? Ebooks, of course. I can afford those, even if I can't afford a pricey reader. And that, in turn, limits my reading time to when I can get the computer. But computers have so many other cool things to do (like read Booksquare :) )...

No, the world isn't making it easy to read books anymore. And publishers aren't making it any easier.

"The competition for books isn’t necessarily other books as much as everything else in life." That sums it up pretty well. Thanks, Kassia!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

One week to go! I cannot believe how many times I've repacked my suitcase in my head. I don't do this much advance planning when going with the family in the car, but being limited to one suitcase, one carryon and a purse (which I normally don't carry) is driving me insane!

Why am I expending all this mental energy? Because next Tuesday my husband and I leave on a thirteen-day tour of Alaska! You should be proud of me, by the way -- I didn't put that last sentence all in capitals. Yes, I'm that excited!!!!! (I'll make it up in exclamation points)

The trip has a sad beginning. Last summer, my sister-in-law was killed while riding her bicycle. She wore a new helmet and had gone for just a couple of miles in a leisurely spin around some country roads. At one point a small truck passed her going in the opposite direction and she made a U-turn after it to head for home. Unfortunately, she had her headphones in and the music on and didn't hear the Harley coming up behind her. They collided and she was killed instantly.

She and my mother-in-law had long talked of taking a trip to Alaska. Always it was, "One of these days..." But with my sister-in-law's death, it was "never." My mother-in-law had lost her husband of over 50 years just a year and a half earlier and losing her only daughter so suddenly was really, really hard.

But she's stubborn, my MIL, and we love her for it. She beat leukemia and she beat this the same way -- with determination and prayer. As the beneficiary of her daughter's insurance policy, she felt terrible about taking the money, then realized she could make their trip come true in a very real way. So in one week, my MIL is taking her remaining two sons and their wives (of which I am one) and a niece to Alaska to commemorate her daughter's life and desire to see Denali.

So there's some bittersweetness to this trip. On the down side are our memories of a life cut too short (she was just 40 when she died). On the up side are our memories of a vibrant life that played hard, laughed often and gave more than she asked for. It is the latter that we celebrate on this trip.

And so I will go back to agonizing over whether I really need that third pair of shoes and which blouse goes best with that skirt (which one will roll up smallest!!). And with every item I pack I'll think of Michele and smile with tears in my eyes.

Play safe everyone. Please.