"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Monday, July 16, 2012

On Fire


It’s a mysteriously foggy morning. The lowing of the cattle carries through the mist and the sun is at bay, like a banked fire. There is garlic to dig and tomatoes to trellis. But first there’s time for a cup of coffee and contemplation while the fog burns off and the landscape emerges.

I’m on my porch now without my sister, she of the musical voice and many words, now at home in a place far away. She of long but infrequent visits, the muse for whom the ink flows, the bubbling brook from which is drawn the angst of regret and the exhilaration of creativity. The visit is over and we plan for the next. The time in between main events is like a lull in the storm, the days we don’t remember, and the people we forget.

I received a Kindle Fire for my birthday. Thus have I entered the age of the electronic reader. I like it. I didn’t think I would.  My siblings got together and made it happen. They think a writer should not be without an electronic reader. I think they're right, as always. I'm the middle child and just try to get along.

About the Kindle: it’s slick as a whistle with color and amazing graphics and a touch screen that is easy to navigate. It’s the gateway to words I can download fast as a hummingbird, even my own. But unlike the hummingbird, I can hold it and keep it.  My first free download was Monsters of Templeton, and then I found Ramona, the tragic love story that takes place in California when it belonged to Mexico. From new releases to lost novels, the Kindle will find it. Some of these treasures are even free. But now I wonder, because I'm suspicious about our new electronic world, can someone with devious intent track what I read, what I highlight and hesitate over? What I return to and the words I look up? Not to spoil the moment, but I'm just saying...I’m old school, a pencil and paper kind of gal.

But I’m not afraid to try new things and while it will never replace the paperback novel and the hardcover treasure, I can see there is a place in my reading life for the Kindle Fire. This is what surprised me: I was reading in bed and evidently deeply absorbed, because at the end of the page,  I lifted my hand to turn it. Yet another occasion to laugh at myself. With the Kindle, you tap the bottom right hand corner to go forward and the left to go back, or you can slide the page with your finger.  I’m still trying to turn them.


13 comments:

Anne Gallagher said...

I love your imagery of the cows in the fog. Very thought provoking. As for turning pages on the Kindle, yes, I giggled because I too would probably do that if I owned one.

Steven J. Wangsness said...

Great! Now you can read my book for free! http://www.amazon.com/TAINTED-SOULS-ebook/dp/B0071FEJ7M

I still prefer paper myself.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

"the sun is at bay, like a banked fire" Whoa! That's beautiful imagery. I was sitting there with you, staring at the muted landscape and feeling the emotion.
Can't wait to read your stories someday on paper or Kindle. :

Jemi Fraser said...

I was suprised how quickly I become used to my kindle. I read a ton on it now - and my ipod touch as well. Never thought it would happen - but they're great. Enjoy!

Frances Garrood said...

(Conversely, I sometimes tap the side of a paperback to turn a page, forgetting it's not a Kindle.)

Welcome to the club, Yvonne! I held out for some time, but now feel that books and the Kindle are not mutually exclusive. I enjoy both (not, least because as a writer, I know my books can be available at really affordable prices). Enjoy yours!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Anne,
Thank you. I'm glad to see you back!

Steven,
I will! That's the greatest thing about this. So many people I know have books out only in electronic form. So I will and then I'll get back with you. No promises but I'll try to do a review. You might want to nudge my memory in a few weeks!

Tricia,
Thank you so much. That means a lot to me, that you want to read what I write. I hope to soon be in print.

Jemi,
I know; me too. They're handy little gadgets, that's for sure. Thanks!

Frances,
Oh! That's funny! I hope I don't start tap-tapping. People already think I'm crazy. You are another author I now intend to download.
Thanks!

Anthony Duce said...

I love the writing. The first two paragraphs. What a wonderful description of a morning. Happy Birthday. What neat gift. I’ve been looking at them, but haven’t yet made the plunge, nor have others on my behalf…

Lydia Kang said...

I don't have a Kindle, but I have an iPad and it's lovely for reading. Still, in my heart I do like solid books better. :)

Jayne said...

Yvonne- such a lovely piece of writing here--the fog, the cows, the banked fire, your sister visiting. Very peaceful.

I'm old school like you. I like a hard-spined book and paper to dog ear. I haven't gone the Kindle route yet. Still uncertain about it. My daughter has one and I can see it's benefits. Still, at the end of the day, I want to cozy up w/pages of fragrant, leafy words. Glad, though, to hear you're enjoying your new gadget. :)

Yvonne Osborne said...

Tony,
Thank you. If others hadn't made the plunge for me I'd still be paperbound.

Lydia,
Me too. This is neat but it doesn't replace book in hand; it's just another format for reading. The speed of the downloads astounds me. Thanks for commenting!

Jayne,
Thank you so much! I love your description of a book: fragrant leafy words. I'll always have those.

Pet said...

Funny, the same happened to me last Christmas. It ended up being much nicer than expected. Still I love books, but it is a nice little thing to have.

Talli Roland said...

Must admit I absolutely love my Kindle. It took a book or two to get used to it, but now I actually prefer it to paperbacks.

Al said...

I have to say I am very tempted to try a kindle.
We can't get the Kindle Fire down here.
The "touch" is the best Amazon sells down this way.