I Believe In The Power Of Print

What can I say? I’m the sort of traveler who brings a multitude of books on any plane, train, or automobile trip. I need my pop/vacation fiction; I love reading “normal books. I need my serious, highbrow fiction; I need something spiritual; I need something educational. The e-reader lured me with its light, slim build and its capacity to house an entire library.

But when I saw an e-reader for the first time, my paranoid reaction was primarily fueled by 1960′s science fiction. Have you ever seen the episode of The Twilight Zone where a librarian in a future society is declared obsolete and sentenced to death? Being a grade-school girl spent an inordinate amount of time in libraries, I was scared out of my mind by that episode. I had nightmares, in fact.

How, I wondered, could books, of all things, be declared obsolete? The Christmas that my dad gave my mom an Amazon Kindle as a gift, I believed I had finally seen how books could slowly be eased out of our society. Like those poor Mafiosos who join the Witness Protection Program, books would disappear quietly, and nobody would notice they were gone until it was too late.

My Review of The Book Thief

I’ve decided to start reviewing books here–at least for as long as it’s spring/summer and I have enough time to read whatever I darn well please. If you find yourself wondering what to read next, give Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief a spin. 

I bought my copy of The Book Thief at my favorite bookstore in the country–Village Books(Fairhaven, WA–an unfortunate location for me; I’m lucky if I make it there more than once in a year).

At once poetic and straightforward, hilarious and tragic, Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief  (despite the desperate circumstances of its setting) is bound to bring about a strange and unexpected nostalgia for childhood; for those innocent years when you believed nothing truly horrible could ever happen to you, or your friends, or loved ones. This nostalgia does not lose its value even as the innocence of the book’s young characters begins to slowly unpeel.

The Book Thief tells the story of  Liesel Meminger who, at the story’s outset, is illiterate. Nevertheless, an inexplicable compulsion leads Liesel to steal a book left lying in the snow beside her younger brother’s fresh grave. As it happens, the book is entitled The Gravedigger’s Handbook, and from it, Liesel will learn to read.

You Have 995 Days Left

On December 22nd I began the “101 things in 1001 days” challenge – so far so good although I just remember I skipped breakfast and that’s one of my things not to do… I’m just gonna pick a few out and say why I’m doing them, and hopefully you can share some of your “things”.

Do more volunteer work -Right now I am involved in helping people prepare for the GED test, I do chat with them and answer emails once a week when they take their online GED classes. But I want to do more, I would like to increase my work with MyCareerTools, and be active at least 3-4 times a week.

Spend 3 hours a day with my mum for 365 days (0/365) – I live with my parents so seeing my mum isn’t a problem, spending time with her is. Sometimes I forget that my dad works nights and isn’t downstairs keeping her company, so while I sit up here procrastinating to the best of my ability, she’s downstairs on her own. And it makes me feel bad. 3 hours a day may not seem a lot but once I’m down there, it turns into 4, and then 5 etc. So yeah, mum time is the key.

Blook, doing it right next time

How should a fiction writer use the web? Should I limit myself to the plain text? There are powerful reasons to do so. Art thrives in boundaries. A communication needs a channel that both the writer and reader can understand. In a way, boundaries are a common comfort zone.

When these limits are breached, the readers are not really sure of what’s going on, nor the writers. I don’t think anybody is yet sure of what this whole online fiction writing would turned out to be; if it finally turns out to be something.

Cinema, before Eisenstein and Chaplin was not meant to be an art. Just an amusement for the less cultivated. I believe online fiction writing is passing through the same process; only more complicated. You could use a blog, a newsgroup, a wiki, twitter, a social engine or even combine all those resources together. And then there are text, photographs, video, interactivity, links, comments…

Thursday Haiku: Shadows by millions

I gave up my star

For sand, dust, pebbles, rocks, corn

Shadows by millions

You know one of the things kaizen is good for is increasing the quantity of your production. In my case I was quite concerned about two things: how much time I should run and how many posts I should publish.

Somehow, I was envisioning slowly raising both counts. Which is good. Problem is, where’s the limit? Kaizen is about continuous improvement, right? Yet does that mean a continuous increase in production? The question seemed a challenge to kaizen, indeed to any productivity method or system until I realized a simple truth:

It’s productivity, stupid, not production.

Mastermind group: choose your own personal government

When I was a kid I had no imaginary friends; I have an imagi-Nation. The Sovereign Duchy of Borgonnia. You see I was born in Tenerife but lived in Gran Canaria. So what, you say? So there is an unhealthy rivalry between the two islands. Living in Gran Canaria I was always the chicharrero (”fish eater”) and when I went to my grandparents’ island on Tenerife I was the gofión (”gofio eater”) or even the traitor.

The great todoodlist experiment.

Have you noticed I’m a todoodlist affiliate? Seen that withe and blue square box to the right? Some weeks ago I bought the ebook. My first impression? Well isn’t this nice?

Todoodlist = To-do list + Mindmap

That’s the todoodlist in a nutshell, and what captivated me in the first place. I knew mindmapping since my seminary years. Then I used the technique to help me understand Philosophy, Theology and prepare essays. Later as a high school teacher I used it to prepare classes, and even for presentations. At both tasks the mindmaps were successful.

So I liked it enough to choose it to be one of the firsts products I’d promote in my newbie blog.

Study like Descartes, 4 easy ways to understand it all.

So, who was this René Descartes guy?

Oh, just one of the boys who invented science.

Hmm… so his method gotta be hard, serious stuff, just look at that face. I think I’ll pass.

Fear not my young apprentice, they are only four simple rules anybody can use. One of the good things about René is that he believed good sense was available to all. Anybody can become a scientist, just by thinking the right way.

Rule 1: Do not accept anything as true, unless you have no doubts about it. In other words, make sure you have understood everything. Now, if you haven’t, then note down  your doubts.

Rule 2: Split those doubts up in as many simple parts as possible. For example let’s suppose you have trouble making sense of the following paragraph of the US Constitution: