Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Clearing Online Hallways for Books

As a writer, I should embrace Facebook more, with it seeming to be the center of the social network universe. When I finish writing my second book and hopefully have a publisher interested, I will. I'll create a page for the book, I'll promote it widely, and I'll hope that that will bring in more readers.

But I don't like it much. I log in every day, I chat briefly with acquaintances, I begin my daily status updates, of which there aren't many, with "Good [morning, late morning, afternoon or late afternoon, depending on what time it is], life's pleasure seekers. What are your pleasures today?" I believe there should be bigger focus on personal pleasures and that's my way of trying to draw them out. But even though I scroll through the updates on my account, sharing a few funny captioned pictures, commenting on other status updates, and, in the evenings, seeing what t-shirt Teefury will be selling (futilely hoping that it'll be one of the t-shirt designs I've wanted badly for months now), I feel like it's the online equivalent of walking through crowded middle and high school hallways. Look here, talk to this person, avoid that one, try to cozy up to this one, race for this one, see what that one's up to, and make sure you get to class on time. The bell's going to ring. The latter today is about generally not spending too much time on Facebook, lest you don't get done whatever you need to do.

I wasn't very social in middle or high school. I had acquaintances, and my first girlfriend in 7th grade, but I never participated in those hallways. I just watched them in awe, how they could be so crowded five minutes before the bell rang and then just a minute before the bell rang, they thinned out quickly. I was more of an observer even then.

But now I have a choice. I don't have to get to class. And until I have another book to promote, I'm not going to spend as much time on Facebook as I used to. I still need it to search for certain people who worked on any of the Airport movies, or at least family members in some cases, but I can't fathom continuing to walk through those hallways, pretty much watching time become dust.

I decided on this because despite ongoing research for my book, I've been spending less time on the computer. Books have been the cause of this, and not only the ones I've been using for research. I started reading The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty yesterday, and finished it toward late this afternoon. I got much more out of traveling with Smithson "Smithy" Ide on his cross-country bicycle journey than I do with anything on Facebook. This is not going to be a soapbox declaration of how books are so much better than Facebook or more worthwhile than spending so much time online. I'm still getting a lot of use out of the Internet, not just with my work, but also learning more and more about New Mexico. For example, on another New Mexico blog I found, called I Love New Mexico, the blogger, Bunny Terry, also read The Secret of Everything by Barbara O'Neal and says, "Whereas “The Lost Recipe. . .” was set in swanky Aspen, “The Secret of Everything” is set in a fictional town (listen folks, this place is so Taos/Santa Fe you’ll instantly recognize it) in northern New Mexico." To learn that Las Ladronas in the novel actually exists in some form makes me even more psyched to eventually travel throughout New Mexico.

The point of all this is that I want to strengthen that deep satisfied feeling I have when I read books. I'm still debating whether to add The Memory of Running to my permanent collection, because it truly fills the soul with goodness, with a desire to maybe take a trip like Smithy's, but perhaps not so extensive. That wonderful, wonderful novel led into Brimfield Rush by Bob Wyss, caused by Killer Stuff and Tons of Money by Maureen Stanton, about flea markets and antiques. She mentioned Brimfield Rush by Bob Wyss, and I ordered it, along with a novel, Brimfield by Michael Fortuna that she also mentioned. Yes, I read about the real thing in Stanton's book, and am reading about it in detail in Wyss's book, but I want to see what a novelist sees about the biggest antiques show in the United States.

It could also be motivated by the fact that I have a massive load of books in my room that I want to read, but mainly, reading as much as I am right now, I feel like I can do anything with my writing, and I need that feeling to be ever-present. Plus, I want that feeling to be larger than the planet even during the times when I'm not writing a book. This is the best time to get back in the habit of reading often. Not that I don't read enough as it is, but I want it a lot more. It's also why now, I really only watch Jeopardy!, and The Big Bang Theory when new episodes air on CBS. I haven't even caught up on Smash since the pilot, and I only occasionally tune into The Good Wife, despite my previous enthusiasm.

I've always tried to step back into my book world in the past, but it never worked out with shows to watch on TV, spending time online, idly writing. This time, it'll stick.


  1. I hardly ever look at Facebook. It's like making small talk -- booorrr-ing.


  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you for turning off that damn word confirmation thing.

    More, more, more love,