I decided to walk instead of drive to the drugstore. What I had to pick up wasn't heavy, and I could count it as steps in my exercise plan.
It's not a long walk, only about 20 minutes each way and there is a nice, wide side walk that frames a five lane street.
On the way back, I was walking the same direction as the traffic, so I couldn't see what was coming. I became aware of how fast the cars moved, how loud the traffic was, and how a narrow strip of grass was all that separated me from several tons of moving metal. This was especially true when a truck passed, waifing mechanical wind exhaust my way.
A horn blared and I jumped.
I felt very small, insignficant and vulnerable.
It made me wonder if any of the drivers had ever walked along the sidewalk -- or even noticed that someone was walking there. Turning my gaze away from the street, I noticed a small space of undeveloped land that still is a home for wild plants (and probably some animals, though I didn't see any).
Perhaps that is a bit like life. We can drive swiftly past so much of nature, so much of humanity, while fixed on our lanes of pursuit.
Or we can expand our point of view and for a short while, become pedestrians.
And the same with writing -- if you want a character to have an epiphany, or an unlikely change of view -- perhaps they need to be a "pedestrian" for a scene or two.
Thanks for reading! If you have comments, please post them.
I was reading a post (on LinkedIn) about Switerland's referendum on a guaranteed minimum income. The article mentioned it was a development needed for future societies -- when robots and Ai have taken all the jobs.
A scary thought.
What are people going to do when all this technology takes over the functions people previously performed?
Sounds like science fiction? Maybe a story starter?
Maybe not -- if you look at history, there have been many changes caused by advances in technology, some with good effects and some not so good.
Like the printing press -- might have put scribes out of business, but accelerated education, so more could read and it increased the demand for writing
Industial revolution -- craftsman and women replaced by machines, created jobs that were less skilled, but lowered the costs of goods
An extension of that was Henry Ford's assembly line. It increased production and Henry Ford saw they he needed to expand the market, so he increased wages and the demand fueled the rise of the auto industry.
Later labor unions further increased wages and benefits as well as working conditions. The 50's and 60's saw prosperity in the middle class -- roads, great schools and other things were built.
Then computers -and later, PCs - began doing many repetitious tasks that had previously been done by clerks.
The Internet was developed, giving people (like me) access to an audience.
Blogging, (ruined journalism, some may say). Self publishing flourished, and the rise of "free" created new business models and ways of marketing.
Now artifical intelligence is here. There is software that already writes press releases and other types of regular reports. Software that writes code.
Where is this all going? What are people going to do?
Ray Bradbury had an uncanny forcast for the future with his walls of television and people walking around with shells in their ears. ( And sports obsessions.)
What would he say now? Any new Bradburys out there?
Let me know if you've read any forward looking sci-fi recently.
And thanks for reading.
As a kid, I always looked forward to visits to the library, where I'd wander through the stacks, relishing the choices like a person with a sweet tooth at a desert buffet. I still do that, but now with all the ebooks available, I often find myself searching online at Smashwords.com for independent authors or on Amazon for convenience. With all the books available, sometimes it's hard to select a book to read!
So if you're looking for some book recommendations, here are a few:
Just for Fun
Any Witch Way But Wicked, by Amanda M. Lee ****
I found this book on a free Book Bub deal. It's Book 2 in the Wicked Witches of the Midwest series, set in a fictional town in Northern Michigan (Hemlock Cove) with a family of witches that manage to get into all sorts of trouble. It's light reading, with a fast moving plot, snappy humorous dialogue and a mystery that finally unravels in the end. I'd read another in this series.
In Tune with the Times
Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides *****
This strange and unsettling story is told with bits of humor, intelligence and insight. The story recounts the "roller-coaster ride of of a Greek American family in an odd but believable story of Cal Stephanides, raised as Calliope. I read this several years ago with a local book club and in addition to being a gripping story, it was also my first insight into the problems a transgender individual faces.
Animal Cracker by Andi Brown ****
I try to support new authors whenever I can. I received a review copy from Andi after messaging her on Twitter. It's an enjoyable book -- the author leverages her non-profit background to create a believable setting and the characters are quirky and well developed. The story begins as Diane, the main character, takes a new job and has to deal with the narcissism of her boss. It's quick reading, humorous and has a happy ending.
Have you read a good book by an independent author lately?
If so, please add it in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
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