Sunday, November 17, 2013

Catching up

Lately I've been wishing I were one of those people who could just spend the evening watching a bit of tv before going to bed at a decent hour.  I'm sure I could do that if I tried, but it just seems so much easier to manage to stay up late pursuing all these other interests that ultimately leave me feeling rather cranky the next morning.  As my body and mind revolt at the sound of the alarm clock, I imagine what life would be like if I'd just watched Strictly Come Dancing or X Factor and gotten 10 hours sleep.  If you do that, let me know what it's like...

Last weekend I meant to write because I had a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head following a day at Mumsnet's annual Blogfest.  Alas, I came home after a busy day of networking, listening, and feeling a little bit embarrassed at my lack of research, ordered a burger for dinner, and went to sleep.  The next day, still no blog posts emerged.  For that I can entirely blame Twitter, a place where I don't very often go, and now I know why.  Many aspects of Blogfest were about how to get your blog more attention, through social media avenues like Twitter.  Twitter and I, well, I've just decided we're incompatible.  It's like the time-sucking effect of Jewelbox, but without any prizes, rewards, or next level.  Actually, that could be quite a good app (someone's probably done it): a screen that appears after you close your Twitter app that would say, "Congratulations, you just spent 27 minutes scrolling!  Would you like to open Twitter again and see how many tweets have appeared in the time since you closed?  Because there are probably a lot, and I bet you could spend another 33 minutes if you wanted to round out a full hour of your life lost!"

I'm probably being harsh, but that's kind of what it feels like to me.  Anyway, that's ok - I now know I'm ok with not being there.  We were nearly late to school on Monday morning because of my pre-shower technology time, which is obviously not really acceptable.  So I made a vow that I'm going to leave my phone nowhere near my bed overnight and not check anything - news, email, Facebook - until everyone is dressed and ready to go, and only then if there's time.  Matt's much more disciplined about this than I am, so he's kindly let me move the actual alarm clock (actual alarm clock, these things could be obsolete in like 10 years!) to my side of the bed.

One of the highlights of the day at Blogfest was a panel discussion on "Cracking yarns and tall tales: how to tell a better story".  One of the panellists was Lionel Shriver, most famous for We Need to Talk about Kevin.  I had read and enjoyed that book - enjoyed it for the literary force it was, not for the subject - but I hadn't really investigated her or her background.  When she started talking, though, I had a quick check online and discovered she's from Gastonia, just about half an hour from Hickory.  Who knew?!  [well, Wikipedia did, which is how I discovered this].  Everything she and the other panellists said was wonderful, including "If you don't love it, don't post it."  I'm afraid I'm sometimes guilty of not following that advice.  They mentioned that in writing, you really want to make sure your audience's time is worth spending on reading what you wrote.  As if I need more guilt without worrying about you, my dear reader, and whether you think a post is worth reading!  Just kidding, I want you to get to the end and think that it wasn't a waste of your time. 

But if you don't, there's always tv instead.  I hear it's a great way to spend an evening...!  :)

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