Hello Online World

An interesting thing happens when you unplug from the world-wide web–time expands. Yes it does indeed. Time expands in the sense of all the things you can explore OFFline. Consider what happens when you forget your cellphone and you don’t feel the need to answer every ringtone like Pavlov’s puppies. Oh the freedom from the ring, from the keyboard connected to social media, and everything in the info universe. It can be very liberating–and you realize just how much energy, effort and time you’ve been putting into communication technology. Having been almost constantly online since BEFORE Facebook and twitter were even imagined I discovered a real big break from it all was in order. It’s been the kind of break where I’m on the verge of needing to upgrade my cellphone so that it will ‘work’. Aside from personal connections I have not missed the world-wide web much. I don’t enjoy reading books online–but I adore reading. Writing online has its pros and cons. I’ve discovered that the best way to deal with writer’s block is to actually write with a pen/pencil on paper. Yeah, it works. According the research I suspect it’s because more of your brain is stimulated by using your fine motor skills when using a pen than with using a keyboard. Oh and there’s never a problem with power outages or viruses or hitting the wrong key and sending everything into nowhere-land. Yes, being offline has been very good for my writing. It’s also been good for reading, exploring music, and cooking. Virtual cooking leads to virtual food and that’s inedible no matter what it does to your salivary glands.

When you’re exploring books offline in a library setting interesting things tend to happen–to me anyway. For example, an oversize book cover featuring Virginia Woolf’s profile draws your attention to Stefan Bollman’s Women Who Write, a book of profiles of women writers. Reading Francine Prose’s introduction raises the question of what other women have won the Nobel Prize in Literature since the book’s publication. The answer to this query leads to 2015 Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster. I currently do not know where else you can read anything like this in English. Which leads in turn to the translator, Keith Gessen who is the co-editor of City By City, Dispatches from the American Metropolis. The essays therein present diverse perspectives on the American urban landscape–and they’re anything but boring.

I heartily recommend all these books for your reading table or tablet. Warning: Voices from Chernobyl may break your heart with its love stories. What happens to people who know nothing about the downside of nuclear energy when things go terribly wrong? This is an intensely personal record of what happens. Considering the world in which we live we owe to these people to at least make ourselves aware and informed. Because Blue Skies do not mean all is hunky dory in the radioactive universe. Note: this is also a National Book Critics Circle Award winner for General Nonfiction.

Dots:
~Virginia Woolf’s profile
~Women Who Write by Stefan Bollman, Francine Prose
~Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich
~Translator Keith Gessen
~City By City, Dispatches from the American Metropolis edited by Keith Gessen and Stephen Squibb

Please do feel free to share wherever these dots lead you.

Thanks for engaging here. Your time, energy and virtual presence is very much appreciated–more than ever before.

About Svetlana Alexievich:

http://alexievich.info/indexEN.html

Women Who Read Are Dangerous~~(select translation):

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/buecher/rezensionen/sachbuch/ein-buch-ersetzt-den-mann-im-haus-kuenstlerblicke-auf-lesende-frauen-1214751.html

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15 Comments

  1. slpmartin said,

    May 2, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    So glad you are well and reading. 🙂

  2. May 3, 2016 at 8:50 am

    This is such a good day already since you are here and I absolutely understand what you mean. Virtual communication has literally invaded our lives completely. Millions of people would probably kill themselves if a worldwide black-out would happen!

    • May 3, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Hello! I have considered the same thing about what would happen if people could NOT communicate via the current media venues. If there was a black-out I wonder if they’d even know how to send snail mail. Actually a while back I was in the post office and a young man asked me for help on how to properly address and stamp a piece of personal hard copy mail. It was so unexpected and unusual. He knew he needed an envelope and stamp but that was all.
      On another note: I also wonder what would happen if all the coffee drinkers could no longer get their daily coffee fix.
      Imagine the double punch of no computers/smart-phones and no coffee.
      Hmm–I think there’s some food for creative thought here. What do you think? 🙂

      • May 3, 2016 at 3:29 pm

        Indeed, only good that I learned to make coffee the old fashioned way without electricity I guess. Maybe some courses at a university would be helpful. Let´s apply right now 😀

      • May 3, 2016 at 5:16 pm

        Would these be courses in building fires and cooking over them? I’m in!

  3. May 4, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Hey and welcome back! Everything you’ve written, Eva, is exactly why I’ve avoided Facebook, don’t read books online, gotten a used laptop with nothing on it but Word and DropBox (to get it back to my Mac), etc. In the oh-so-fast world of being connected 24/7 I’m A-OK with being an anomaly. Whenever I do get published, that will change – have to change – I know, but welcome (back) to the world of the still living in spite of not being sooooo connected! Yeah, nothing like a nice, 3-D book in one’s hands, poring over actual cookbooks and clipped recipes – 3-D life is good! Glad you’ve been refunding yourself. 🙂
    p.s. someone not knowing how to actually process a real piece of mail – now that’s frightening!

    • May 5, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      Hello, hello, hello fellow 3-D lover. 😉 Actually, ‘refunding’ is appropriate in a certain sense. Hmm.
      I suspect that perhaps we live more when less connected via this screen to screen medium. I’m not smelling any flowers coming from this monitor or the hard drive. Are you? Hmm, they haven’t figured that out yet. I have written a story along those lines. Get published and share your talents!!!

      The mail incident was rather startling. I felt so bad for that young man who was nearly clueless regarding a task that a generation ago would have been taken for granted by nearly everyone. I suspect he is not alone at all. Perhaps such tasks should be included in the Common Core–which I hear ‘tests’ reading ability by how fast a child can read words with a stop-watch running. How very very odd–assuming the grandparent had the right of it.

      Excellent to virtually visit with you! 🙂 This is the Upside of our online virtual reality—connecting with people.

      Btw, what 3-D book are you currently enjoying?

  4. May 4, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Oops – that’s refinding yourself – thanks WordPress for that one. LOL.

  5. May 5, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I totally agree that a big upside of the net is to be able to visit with like-minded souls through blogs and such.
    Re: the mail – A sidebar to that is that where I live, and where the education is quite good, they are not teaching children script any longer. They have to be able to sign their name, but if I send a b’day card to my friend’s 9 year old son and include something handwritten, she has to read it to him. Just not the world we grew up in!
    So yes, almost finished “All the Light We Cannot See”, and then what? Hmmmmm. BTW, did you know in the boys’ cadet camps, the Nazis measured and recorded the blueness of their eyes and the blondness of their hair on a scale so as to indicate racial purity?
    I think I’ll be going for something a little lighter – maybe “Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children.” I own it; haven’t yet read it. Tim Burton is directing the movie – coming Oct. – and it looks amazing.
    OK – gotta go work! 🙂

    • May 14, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Hi. I’ve heard that they’re not teaching cursive writing anymore in the schools. I suspect that if you can’t write it, you might not be able to read it either. Hmm, all sorts of interesting consequences of that–possibly even including brain development via fine motor skill use. Not not just the world we grew up in, but a world increasingly dependent on technology to do basic skills. An odd sort of dumbing down isn’t it?
      Racial purity—there seems to be no end to such insanity.
      Have been exploring the Peculiar Children? Do tell.
      Very nice to see you.

  6. May 15, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    hello 47whitebuffalo its dennis the vizsla dog hay welkum bak gud to see yoo agin!!! hay i cud yooze sumthing wot mayks time ekspand i hav ben trying to git hold of wun of those watches like wot hermione had in the faymus dokyoomentry harry potter and the moovee wot is the wun ware hermione has the time watch thing or like the watch in the less faymus dokyoomentry the girl the gold watch and evrything however i hav not ben abel to find wun for sale or leese so perhaps i shud try the unplugging thing and see if that wurks!!! ok bye

    • May 18, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      A hearty Woof! Woof! to you Dennis. Good to lay eyes on you and your crew too. You know that time expansion thing is all inside your head, Dennis. Careful how you chew it. Ok. Hi.

  7. roos said,

    May 25, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    welcome back *_* i do the same now and than just leave the internet to create a balance in once life. My pencils and note book don’t leave me. Writing while walking with a computer, phone or other internet buzzers stops certain creativity, a certain feel, an attachment to place.
    We can have it both ways.

    • August 1, 2016 at 11:51 pm

      Yes we can, roos. I’ve found it very liberating to return to non-electronic pens and paper. And very stimulating too. Wonderful to hear from you. 🙂


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