Out of Range

IMG_0673I’ve been out of range this week. Although we had to climb to almost 12,000 feet, we finally disconnected ourselves from dumb phone, smart phone, ipod and kindle. A strange but wonderful feeling. Liberating!  My lovely Florida sister spent the week with us and we toured the old haunts. She was last here in 1974 and, while a lot has changed in Colorado, the magnificent scenery remains the same.

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Above:  sunset near our house.

To the left: Rocky Mt. National Park.

Below: Hi- way 36 heading into Boulder, Colorado.

Next week back to pondering the synopsis for new novel. Until then, I’ve turned off my phone. LOL.

Where is your most beautiful view?

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Photos taken by Liz.

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Volatile Vortex

1194986475730032167air_stefan_bazelkov_01.svg.thumbV- After tonight, only four days to go! A to Z is a much needed exercise in discipline for me. I’m ready to start working on my new novel, thanks to this writing extravaganza.

I am an IT foot soldier on the front lines at a local community college. My coworkers, IT folks and professors, make sure computers remain our servants and not the other way around. We have two weeks left until semester end, and everyone is looking forward to the summer off. There is, however, an undercurrent of unease. For about two years now, software has evolved with pandemic speed and the hurtling vortex  of change finally caught up with us. Can we keep up? Will we wash up on the shore of progress, like some digital flotsam and jetsam? I’m not talking about changes to  the software, I’m talking about more and more new software, changes in the popularity of software and the looming power of the Cloud. These changes have profound effects on higher education.

And, to make it worse, the major software (Adobe CS6) we use in our classes has increased in price from $5,000 to $20,000 a year.12284211311154772712sheikh_tuhin_Label_Icon_svg_thumb Yes, you read that right. All the other softwares cost more now, a lot more. There may be a grassroots revolution brewing in freeware, but that’s a conversation for another blog.

These events make me wonder – how much new information can the human mind absorb before it balks? How many changes, adjustments, and slicker and better software can we afford? And, is this multitude of bells and whistles necessary to teach students the basics?

We’ll keep it current and cool with iMacs and Cintiqs but, really, how much fantastic new software is too much?

DISCONNECT

I was walking Abbie tonight, thinking about chapter two and three revision. When I read chapter two out loud last night, I was shocked.

 Ouch! The pages were covered with red marks, black pen corrections, and entire new paragraphs. I struggled to read, becoming increasingly dismayed by uneven pace, repetitive word use, and general chaos. There were a few pages that read well, even gracefully but, on the whole, the chapter was a mess.

I knew this was going to happen. I did. But, I still worried. Then, I remembered. These chapters were written over two years ago.  I was learning about writing in general and fiction writing specifically. The first ten chapters of the book limped along, each good sentence a struggle, each good description hard-won. Funny how the mind forgets the pain of creation and remembers only the triumph. (That’s why women have more than one kid!)

So, this is not a bad thing. And, after looking ahead in the course, I see that wise Holly anticipated my problems and has fixes for all of them. And, also, I understand I have learned a lot. The last ten chapters of the book have a confidence and style that gives me the “I wrote that” thrill. Using my current knowledge while revising the first ten chapters will close the disconnect of the past two years and unite the sections of my novel seamlessly.

I hope.

Stay tuned.