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In Total Darkness

May 20, 2010

For those of you who are curious as to why I missed last Thursday, you have Mother Nature to thank for it. My little part of Oklahoma, along with other areas of the state, were bombarded with storms. Tornadoes did develop as a result of these storms. I believe there were four in the Southern portion of our county. While some native’s homes were destroyed and lives lost, we were lucky to not be in the path of the Tornadoes. However, our electricity took a bit of a hit, leaving us in the dark sometimes. What does one do when the majority of modern convenience is not at your fingertips?

Lighting candles and grabbing flashlights are among the first times you search for after the power goes out. Once you have your guide, a phone call to the electric company is another item to be checked off on the list. But once you’ve done everything you can to expedite the restoration of power and help find comfort for your family then what? We have boarding games, decks of cards, and radios/TVs that run on batteries, but I opted to do a little editing by candlelight. How many of you have tried to edit and/or write by candlelight? It’s not an easy task, especially if you are someone who prefers a computer over pen and paper. With the downtime I had to think, I wondered how many writers these days take themselves offline and off the computer. No program to check spelling and grammar errors. Nothing to help you format your page. No copying and pasting paragraphs or sentences. Just you, a pen/pencil, a sheet of paper, and the ideas swimming in your head.

Andrea is not looking forward to a repeat of last week but hopes current storms are not as severe.
  1. May 20, 2010 4:48 am

    I try taking myself “offline” for an entire week at least once a year (I wish it were more often.)

    Writing by candlelight isn’t something I think I’ve done before but something I’d like to do. I still love the feel of my fountain pen flowing across the page. One of my best stories this year was originally penned in a cafe, with my fountain pen in a lovely exercise book I’d been carrying around for months.

    I lived somewhere for 18 months were no power also meant no water, which was even more terrifying and left you hanging for the electricity to come back on. But I agree – we do take our electricity and our modern conveniences for granted.

  2. adampb permalink
    May 20, 2010 5:48 am

    As a teacher I get concerned with the push for technology in schools. I hear the same arguments from more than a decade ago that the computer would bring about the “paper-less office.” It hasn’t happened and I don’t think that it will because there is the need for basic fundamentals: handwriting and communcation.
    When I asked my Year 11 students about reading a book or an e-book, the majority of them still prefer the physical object. However, this generation will be the ones who stand to benefit most from e-books and e-publishing.
    I love what technology can bring to me as a writer: connection, advice, community, ideas, yet at the heart of it all is the fundamentals: a story to tell. This can be done with pen and paper (still searching for the “perfect pen”) and all writing should be calligraphy; that beautiful script of handwriting AND in the words that we choose.
    I like Jodi’s idea of going “offline” for periods of time as we so easily let technology ensnare us and dominate our lives with pausing to question and validate how and why we use technology. I have no problem with using technology when the pros and cons have been thought through, as opposed to simply buying into the latest gizmo with a fruity association or a panoramic viewing platform.
    And on the subject of power outages, I recommend checking with the local hospital 9 months after a significant blackout. I have a theory that darkness encourages procreation. Candles, no distractions. Just saying.

  3. adampb permalink
    May 20, 2010 5:50 am

    That sentence should read: I like Jodi’s idea of going “offline” for periods of time as we so easily let technology ensnare us and dominate our lives WITHOUT pausing to question and validate how and why we use technology.
    *Editing Fail*

  4. May 20, 2010 11:10 pm

    I often go offline……. for I don’t have a system of my own…lol…….visit cafe for posting for my blog or writeanything. And that is why I often miss out Fiction Friday on the right weekday. Though my English is not so good, I try to identify the punctuation and spelling errors all on my own, and that’s probably the reason my posts have errors.

    Not in the recent days, but years ago I used to write in the candlelight and as I can recollect, it was really fun doing so. Much better focus could be made over the subject and the unique experience just can’t be written. Would love to do it again. You just forced me to think about it….,.

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