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New Reading Habits

A month or so ago, I went in for an eye exam. I’ve worn glasses for over thirty years, so you would think that I would be better about getting them checked up on by now. I’m not.
While the overall verdict was that my eyes are as good (and bad) as they have been for years, the eye doctor expressed some concern over strain due to my heavy screen usage. The dialog for that went something like:

“How long would you say you stare at a screen during the day?”

“Minimum 12 hours, unless it’s a work day, then longer.”

“Oh god…”

While it’s true, there’s no way to lower that number too much without a drastic career change, I realized there were a few things I could do. One of the biggest changes I could make with actual impact was in my reading habits.

It should be no shock that you can usually find me with a book at hand. In fact, since I bought my first first generation kindle (used) “back in the day,” I’ve had a Kindle – or Kindle app – at hand at all times. The reason has always been two-fold. One reason is the sheer convenience of being able to read and buy books at any time of day, any place. I dread that void between books, gladly grabbing anything I can to fill it until I get a hold of something more permanent. Owning a Kindle has fed that need, and fed it well. The second factor, if I’m being honest, is that I’m lazy. As of a few years ago, reading on the Kindle meant it didn’t matter which device was at hand, I could pick up where I left off. Only have my phone handy? No problem. Have a Kindle at home and in my bag and keep them in sync? No problem. But I also realize that isn’t helping my eyes. Whether e-ink displays  cause the same strain is the subject of much argument. But the simple fact is, given the plethora of Kindle app/fire devices at my disposal, I can rarely guarantee that it’s an e-ink display I’m using anyway.

Which isn’t to say that I’ve abandoned Kindle books all together. I’m crazy, but not a fool. What I have done, though, is begun to make a more concerted effort to read paper. Is it helping my eyes? I’m not sure. But I’m learning that Kindle books don’t save me any money. In fact, it may cost me more, since I will more willingly buy – and abandon – an ebook, whereas paper, even though it costs roughly the same, I am more likely to see through to the end and be more discriminate in the purchase of. I’ve even gone so far as to join the SFBC. If I’m going to be reading the books anyway, I might as well get a decent discount on them, right?

The irony of someone that writes book in this day and age, with an eye towards digital publication, should have a preference for reading paper books is not lost on me. But, we are cursed to forever live in interesting times it seems.


[EDIT] Thanks to my love, who pointed out the autocorrect mistake of “rights books” vs “writes books” in the last paragraph. Granted, I am all for the rights of books to exist, but that probably wasn’t my intent there.

The not even close to being a NanoWriMo update update

Maybe it’s the absence of pressure now that I’ve conceded that I can never finish NanoWriMo this year. Maybe it’s the beta copy of Scrivener 3 that landed in my lap late this week.

Come to think of it, it’s probably the beta that turned the tide.20161127_094853

As I sit here on a Sunday morning, I’m on track again with this YA novel I’m writing. Not on track on the sense of “it’ll be done before December 1,” but on track again in the sense that words are issuing forth from my fingers in sensical and meaningful ways, crafting an adventure for the reader to engage in. Feels good, let me tell you. The novel is still very much in it’s infancy (I haven’t even hit the 10k mark yet), but my progress towards the end of the week has been very encouraging. I felt a fire I haven’t felt in a long time burning within the story keeper of my soul. My fingers, long disused and no longer in shape for the task of hammering out words fast and efficiently, are sore. But – and this is key – they did not fail me. They kept up as best they could with the narrative playing in my head, producing a volume of words.

And, as promised – I have not shaved yet, and will not until this novel is done.


I know I should be writing, but Pokemon

[peg-image src=”” href=”″ caption=”Getting ready for our Sunday afternoon Pokemon game at the comic shop. My first attempt at a Fire/Water deck.” type=”image” alt=”20161113_142421.jpg” image_size=”5312×2988″ peg_single_image_size=”w640″ peg_img_align=”right” peg_gal_align=”right” ]I know I should be writing (and I have, earlier), but this afternoon is our weekly Pokemon game down at the comic book shop. I wouldn’t have foreseen this a few years ago (Pokemon? Not for me!), but we try to go every week, and we usually have a great time. I feel like this gives me a chance to bond with the younger two girls in a way I wouldn’t normally get. We go, we play a game (sometimes against each other, usually not), we usually don’t win all three rounds, but we have fun. Before the game, we spend time trading and trying to build our decks up better, and after the game we come home to dinner and to regale Mom and their older sister with the tales of battle and victories nearly won, if only…!

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