Brilliant Read

I just read an amusing and insightful little number on Long Reads this morning. You can find the whole article here

Let me sum it up for you though….

Man leaves the internet, his cell phone, and almost all human contact behind to spend a week in a shack, no running water, no power, in the Scottish highlands. He finds himself on the edge of madness before he manages to embrace himself as a person worth knowing and spending time with.

I loved it. But then again for the most part, I love time without people. It was my birthday last weekend and people keep asking what did you do. I smile and tell them my husband took my son to the pool for several hours both days. This confuses people. But for me 3 hours of time all alone….magic. Two days in a row? Miracle.

My favorite line from the article is this one, ¬†“or else, in moments when dystopian visions of us slowly morphing into robots feel horribly prescient, staring dumbly at a screen trying to remember whether I had any reason to look at it other than to bask for a moment in its warm, comforting glow.” I could relate to this. I find myself checking my wordpress stats page several times a day to see if anyone read me, liked me, or commented. It doubles if I’ve asked questions.

Tomorrow I will be posting 6 possible author photos for my book. You get to vote. So why not practice the art of opinion now and tell me if you’ve ever gone without internet or cell phone for a period of time and how you coped or reveled in the experience.

“Anyone caught discussing books would be executed in the marketplace”

No, this isn’t from some dystopian novel I’ve started writing. laughing. File that under things that will never happen. It’s from the establishment of the Chinese nation, quite some time ago. My son and I have been listening to Story of the World, Ancient History while driving around lately. It’s good for him, he is happier to do the History lesson when we get to it in my lesson plan if he’s heard the CD chapter a few times already.

It’s good for me too because I hear little things that I hadn’t before. I know I have a degree in history but my focus was on Wars of the Twentieth century. I did take some ancient, Africa and Rome. But all my other classes focused 1740 forward.

So this morning when the CD was explaining how China was united by a ruler named Chin (hence China) who overcame multiple other warlords and maintained his dynasty by severe rule, I heard this bit about book burning and discussing books being punishable by death. And it occurs to me there are so many ways I could have died if I had lived in another time.

I went through a whole phase where if you told me not to do something, I did it, just to see what would happen. Luckily I live in the United States and it was the nineties, so I got told things like don’t get that tattoo (I have three), don’t get that piercing (I’ve had 6), if you don’t go to college you’ll never get a job (ha and double ha), you’ll never make it as a writer (still proving that one wrong), etc etc etc

Even right now I have blue and purple hair. House wives shouldn’t have multi colored hair. Shrug. Kiss it.

Ok, maybe it wasn’t a phase as such but a way of life.

So you can imagine if I was told “Do not discuss books in public.”

There I am on my quickly nailed together box (no soap boxes back then), speaking persuasively in favor of books: of what you can learn, how they can change your life, that a populace that can read will never be truly oppressed…right up until they cut my head off with an ax.

So there my head is, staring up at you from the ground, asking what are you doing that everyone or even just one someone told you, you can’t, you shouldn’t, you won’t…..