Thursday, April 29, 2010

What I'm Reading Now....

Of course, I read a lot of the genre I write in--western romance, both contemporary and historical. I just finished reading a new mail-order bride anthology by Jillian Hart, Carolyn Davidson and Kate Bridges titled Mail Order Marriages. I just LOVE marriage of convenience stories and these three ladies have provided unique characters in unique situations for their stories.

I've already dived into Brenda Jackson's Hot Westmoreland Nights, a Silhouette Desire book and part of Brenda's Westmoreland series, having read Westmoreland's Way previously. The hero, Ramsey Westmoreland is just the type I like--tough, hard and so sure he's right that he inevitably jumps to the wrong conclusion to the heroine's delight!:) This is one I just might not be able to put down tonight!

And then I'm hoping to get to Madeline Hunter's new series books, Provocative in Pearls and Ravishing in Red (don't you love the titles?). These are Regencies (a genre I also like but, admittedly, not as much as the westerns) and Madeline writes riveting sexual tension. I recently took a workshop with Madeline and she gave great insight into character building--something she does so well.

Anyone read Steampunk? I'd like to read a Steampunk novel, which I understand is the Victorian era gone Jules Verne--akin to the old Wild, Wild West TV show if anyone remembers that. I'd appreciate any reading suggestions for this genre as it's all new to me.

Well, back to Hot Westmoreland Nights now to see just how far Ramsey can insert his foot in his mouth!:)

Monday, April 5, 2010

IPAD and My Technological Fear

I admit it. I'm not the most technologically savvy person around. But since seriously pursuing a writing career, I've come a long way if I do say so myself. Because I have had to. There's no IT division at my address. In fact, I'm now the most technologically savvy of the three of us--and this includes my teenaged daughter. Yup, we're in trouble in our household.

For hardware issues, I do have "a guy" who makes house calls to configure and repair my computers--all the while shaking his head at my (dumb) questions. Tom's a quiet guy and at first, he was taken by surprise (his words) at how much I talked--and asked questions. But--eventually, as I asked him to put on security suites, put up firewalls, network my computers and advise about an external hard drive, he's become comfortable with my (dumb) questions and he recently told me he admired my curiosity. And I'm sure he likes the work I've given him.

For my website I also turned to an expert, the fabulous Rae Monet after first starting on my own with a Bravenet account and a few istockphoto pictures to dress it up. No way could I make a site look as good as Rae does--money well spent in my book.

So my technological fear isn't about the computer or my web site. My fear runs deeper and the iPad is just one symptom. My fear is that I'm going to be left behind as technology goes through iteration after iteration. I mean how do you keep up?

I've had to learn some basic html to navigate MySpace, this blog, posting to Yahoo groups (if I want to include a cover of my book, for instance). I've had to figure out the ins and outs of facebook which they've made much easier than MySpace (no html required) but then there are all those apps to deal with. After facebook, came Twitter and figuring out how to link them all.

I've learned about Photobucket and posting photos to the web, and that includes formatting.
I've learned how to make a movie using windows movie maker for my book trailer. I still have questions regarding using Nero for these things, but when I get time.....

I've an e-reader so I can download books.

I've figured out how to link my twitter account and e-mail with my cell phone.

I've learned a lot of things--and I'm falling behind. I don't have a smartphone yet so "apps" are a mystery to me. And now here comes the iPad--a super iTouch--with thousands of apps--how will I make sense of them all?

And streaming video from your computer to TV--I'd like to do that--but how?

And what does it mean that the iPad doesn't use "Flash" so video viewing won't be as good.

I'm falling behind--and there's so much I'd like to know. For someone who still remembers walkman radios and land line phones, it feels like the universe of new gadgets is moving way too fast. Do you agree? Or do you want to share your secret for keeping up.