What’s the story behind this trailer trash?

Last weekend, on yet another road trip across the lovely state of Nevada, we saw one of the more interesting sites I’ve seen in the desert.  It was a fence (maybe), but not just any fence, a fence made out of old single wide trailers and dying RV’s, literal trailer trash.  There is a story behind this fence, though I’m not sure what it is.

If fences are built to either keep unwanted people or animals out, or if they’re built to keep wanted animals or people in, what, exactly, is the purpose of this one?

Or is it not a fence at all? Did somebody just decide to line up their old trailers to keep their trailer trash orderly?  It’s not really surrounding anything, functioning as a fence might, so is it even a fence? I’m not sure.

When we first saw it, my husband and I started laughing and I asked him stop to photograph it.  He kept saying, “What? Stop? Why?” By the time he understood that I wasn’t kidding, we were too far past it to photograph, so we had to stop on our way home.

I’ve been thinking about this fence all week.  Generally a fence is built serve some sort of purpose. If you’d like to read a funny tale about gates and fences, check out the short fable titled “The Vigilant Rabbit” in David Sedaris’ compilation of modern tales, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary.  The entire book is funny and entertaining, but in this particular tale, the gate represents power and the gate keeper’s ability to control the movements of the other forest animals.  The problem occurs when the power hungry rabbit forgets to build the fence around the gate, and the gate does nothing to keep out the riff-raff.  This trailer fence reminded me of the gate in the David Sedaris story, a valiant attempt to serve some sort of purpose but one that doesn’t make it, by a long shot.

Visually, this fence is fascinating too as it sort of meanders across the mountain’s base.  Perhaps its actually a giant sculpture.  I’ve been considering what this would look like in a quilt.  But I’d have to figure out the story behind the fence for that quilt.  I wonder how could I tell it through fabric?

One happy, or possibly annoying, result of writing or any creative endeavor for that matter is continually thinking about stories and possibilities. What is the story here? Any ideas?

And the winner is . . . NOT YOU! Deal with it

I’ve spent this weekend like I spend a majority of my weekends, watching kids compete. This weekend I watched my Speech & Debate team competing Friday night and all day Saturday, and then on Sunday, I watched my own son compete in the final day of a hockey tournament.

When I got to the hockey tournament, all the other parents asked me how my debaters did.  Did we win? How many trophies?  That’s all anybody cared about.

Late Sunday afternoon as we drove home while the rest of the country watched two football teams compete, I listened to my husband ask for at least the hundredth time, “who the hell did the hockey schedule this year? Why was there a tournament TODAY?  It’s the SUPERBOWL!”  He banned all radio or access to anything that might give away clues as to the game’s outcome as he and my son had  recorded it and wanted to pretend to watch it in real time when we got home.  Despite the fact that he’s a devoted Cowboys fan, he wanted to watch the game, to see who won the season.

I did cheat on my husband’s rules a little bit as it is a five hour drive home, and I checked my twitter feed.  I found out that the commercials are great and some people found Madonna’s half time show tasteful and well done while others found it boring and lacking in Madonna swag. My verdict?   After finally watching halftime at ten o’clock last night, it was a little dull.  I also found out that I follow people on Twitter who cared about the game about as much as did . . . not much.

More than anything, I find it fascinating how obsessed our entire culture is with competition.  For many, winning really is everything. Even if you’re not into sports, the nation is currently obsessed with who is going to win the republican nomination.  Competition is virtually impossible to escape.

As a coach one of the most difficult skills I’ve had to coach kids on is not how to improve their speaking skills, but rather how to lose.  When they lose in real life, they don’t just get “another life” to start the game again like they do in their favorite video games.  They don’t have any idea how to lose despite living in a society which values competition almost more than anything else.  In some ways it’s unfair.  In many youth sports, the motto is “everyone plays” and a score is not kept.  I get that little guys should just play for the fun of it, but then we send them into a world where they compete, they lose, and they are expected to know how to deal with appropriately.

My team has come a long way on this front as have my own kids.  They know that if they need to pitch a fit after losing, they better do it off by themselves where nobody else sees it.    They know to congratulate the winner, hold their heads up, know they did their best, and no matter how painful, paste a smile on their face.  They need to show some class: no showboating if they win, no hysterics if they lose.

As a coach who hates losing as much as my team, I’ve had to learn to do this too.  It’s really hard.  Winning is much more fun, and it’s also what keeps us going.  We hear about businesses that fail or writers who got hundreds of rejections, but then we hear about that one business that some kid developed in his dorm room and is now worth billions or that one story that a woman wrote in a café with her infant son in a stroller and we think, “if they can do it, maybe I can just achieve a half of one percent of their success,” and we keep going.  Competition does that for us.  It drives us. Even though somebody has to lose, somebody also has to win.

While I’m not sure that turning everything into a competition is the best approach to life, I still want to win in the publishing game and the business game, and I’ll keep trying, holding my head up and pasting a smile on my face if I need to until I do achieve the levels of success I want.  I’ll get there someday, even if I lose a few times along the way.

And in case you’re wondering, my speech and debate team won eight trophies (six in speech and two in debate), and the hockey team went 2-2, placing third overall.  I’m guessing you know how the superbowl ended up.

Scissor Slut

Yes, they actually come in a velvet lined box. Diamonds do too.

I’m a little bit crazy about my good fabric scissors. In fact, I guard them kind of like how Rumpelstiltskin guarded his name, and like good old Rump, I get a little crazy when somebody steals my scissors and potentially ruins their magic.

There are paper scissors all over the house, but for some reason, occasionally one of my kids will grab a pair of my good fabric scissors to cut wrapping paper or some chunk of cardboard they need to decorate their science fair board.  They don’t quite understand the ensuing meltdown.  “Geez mom, they’re scissors,” they’ll say as I snatch my prized scissors from their hands while screeching, “Oh my God!  You didn’t actually cut paper with these did you?”  I clutch them to my breast as if I have just rescued a child from an oncoming semi-truck or a princess has just guessed my name, while they stare at me like I’ve completely lost my mind.

What they don’t understand is that my quilting scissors are sacred.  They really are just scissors, but there’s something about cutting fabric with a really sharp pair of shears that just . . . satisfies.  It has a certain sound and feel that dull paper scissors could never hope to replicate.

I have all kinds of fabric scissors, probably far more than are actually necessary, but I love all of them.  There are the little scissors that look like a bird with a long beak for snipping threads, rag quilt pruning shears, small ones, pinking shears, and classic fabric scissors.  This doesn’t even begin to touch the variety of rotary cutters sitting in a basket on my cutting table. I have every size available, and in some sizes I have a choice between regular and ergonomic handles.  I need every single pair. Really, I do.

Delicate applique pieces require my super sharp small pair that easily cut around tiny flower petals.  This task cannot, under any circumstances, be completed with a rotary cutter or , God forbid, regular, dull paper scissors.  Well, maybe it can, but I’m not trying it.

I choose which rotary cutter to use depending on a variety of factors.  If the fabric is thick, I need the big ones.  If I’m going around a curve, the little tiny one is absolutely necessary.

My shiny silver Gingher scissors are a must have for larger applique shapes.  I also need them just in case I ever decide to sew an actual piece of clothing ever again.  They are absolutely required for cutting out patterns.

I actually saved money from my food budget in college to buy these scissors.  I needed a dress for some event that I can no longer recall.  The only way to afford the dress was to sew it, so I borrowed a sewing machine and saved for the fabric and pattern, only to realize that I had no way to cut it all out.  I vividly remember riding my bike to the fabric shop and investing in my still favorite pair of scissors.  I think they cost $35, which was roughly half my food budget for the month and a significant investment at the time, but since I still have and love them, I feel like I’ve gotten money’s worth.

As I think about my scissors, I wonder if it’s not the scissors that I love so much, but the beginning stages of a project that the scissors represent.  The cutting stage of a quilt is the beginning, creative part, the playful part, my favorite part.

Funny that I also “cut” when I write, but that kind of cutting comes at the end of the process.  Sadly, the delete button on my keyboard doesn’t quite give me the same excited feeling as when I’m cutting fabric for a project. In fact, I kind of hate cutting my writing, but I think that’s another post.

Reflections on 2011

In 2010, I spent the last day, December 31, 2010, journaling and creating a mandala that I posted in my writing area.  I’ve spent this entire year, looking at it everyday.  I’d never actually set goals for the year in such a concrete and specific manner, and as I’ve spent time during the last two weeks of 2011 reviewing and reflecting before looking ahead to 2012, I have to say that I’m happy with what has transpired over the last year.

My happiest accomplishments during 2011:

  • I started this blog in March, posted twice a week with great regularity until late this fall when my job and mom duties made life crazy.  I also got brave enough and after a few months and some encouragement from a new writer friend (thanks Susan) to link my blog to Facebook where people that I know (other than immediate family) would read it.  That was a scary day for me – not sure why it was so scary, but I overcame it and now I’m okay with whoever reads it, or not.
  • I wrote 70,000 words in a novel with the working title, The Overlander’s Daughter.  Just writing that title makes me happy.
  • I applied for and received a new passport which will help me fulfill travel dreams.  I haven’t needed a passport since I was fifteen, and hopefully, after a 17 year hiatus from international travel, I will need one in the near future.
  • I made it to almost all of my kids’ soccer and hockey games.  I love watching them play.
  • I visited the Redwoods which I’ve always wanted to do.
  • I started and completed three full quilts – Megan’s fairy quilt, my Man quilt, and Haley’s denim nightmare quilt.  I also finished six Christmas table runners and started a scrappy block quilt. I have it all designed, but it’s currently in my WIP pile along with my hand quilt, a beach themed quilt, and a block exchange quilt.
  • I participated in the Willamette Writer’s Conference and learned a TON about writing, the writing industry, and publishing.
  • I ran a 5K.  I wanted to also run a 10K but was unable to find one that I could get to on a free weekend.  Having my own kids in sports as well as my own coaching responsibilities tends to keep my weekends full.  In fact, I had to miss the first quarter of one of Haley’s games to finish my run.  I’ll keep the 10k for next year I think.
  • I read Writing Down your Soul by Janet Connor.  It was a great book that inspired me to write three to six times a week in my “Soul Journal.”  This has helped me to clarify what I want and who I am.  It also helped me to feel much calmer and more grounded each day.

One thing I haven’t included on the above list is the awards my Speech and Debate team won which we’ve definitely earned or those accomplishments with students in my classroom.  Those aren’t accomplishments that ring true to me right now, maybe because I’ve been so focused this year on writing and moving forward in other areas.  I am ready to move on to adventures that excite and inspire me.

As I look over this list, I’m pleased, and I think its okay to celebrate what I have accomplished.  So often we focus on what we didn’t do or fail to accomplish.  In fact, its been surprising to me how many people have blogged about how ready they are for 2011 to end as its been such a bad year.  One lesson I’ve learned and been able to appreciate as I’ve gotten older is to take time to celebrate what we do accomplish and achieve, even if they’re small or seemingly insignificant.  Taken altogether, as I look at my list, I can say “I’m a writer,” and overall, 2011 has been a good year.  I’m excited to see what 2012 will bring.

9 Reasons I Miss my Film Camera

This little roll of film made getting pics so much easier.

Last weekend, my husband asked for one picture, a single lone shot he took.  When I went to get it off my camera, I discovered that every single picture I’ve taken over the past year and a half was still on the memory card.  Oops.

It took me an entire afternoon and evening to get the pictures onto my computer, sorted, labeled, and edited.  It has taken the rest of the week to get them uploaded onto a web site, so I can order them. As I’ve dealt with all these digital images, I’ve been thinking about all the reasons I miss the days of film and negative strips:

1)  I take far too many pictures with a digital camera.  It never runs out of film, and I can just delete the bad shots which makes taking 1000’s of pictures easy.  With film, every image cost money to develop, so I was much more particular about the shots I took.

2)   It takes hours of precious time to deal with my overabundance of digital images.

3)    I can no longer shove a roll of film into an envelope, drop it into the Kodak box at the grocery store, and pick up the developed pics a few days later.  The photo people took care of everything, saving me lots of time.

4)    Editing bad photos merely entailed tossing the crappy ones in the trash, the actual can underneath my desk, not a virtual recycle bin on my desktop.

5)    Before I get an actual picture, I have to upload them to my computer, sort them into folders, edit them, and upload them to a site before I can order them.  The other option is to take my memory card to Wal-Mart on a Saturday with every other person in my small town and wait in line to use one of their machines to develop my shots.  Neither of these options is quick or ideal.

6)   I no longer have film canisters lying around to store random odds and ends or make to fill with something for a quick baby rattle.  The only ones I have left are the ones my husband’s grandma gave us full of the different State Quarters.  Did you know that a film canister fits a stack of quarters perfectly?  I’m not sure my kids even know what those handy little black canisters filled with
quarters were originally used for.

7)   I now have a phone that takes pictures.  When we used film, my camera was the only “device” I owned that took pictures, and I didn’t carry it everywhere.  I have far too many opportunities to take photos which I then have to deal with.

8)   Did I mention that it takes far too much time to take organize and print digital images?

9)   In the next week or two, I will receive 800+ photos in the mail, a huge amount.  In the happy days of film camera, I got my pictures in perfectly manageable bunches of 24 or 36, depending on the roll of film I had purchased.   After my monster order arrives, I will have to spend another hour or two sorting and filing all these photos, getting them ready to put into an album, so we can actually enjoy them.  Isn’t that the point?  I won’t get started on the amount of time it takes to put them in albums and write about them.  I can’t blame that problem on digital cameras, though, so I’ll leave it alone in this post.

Perhaps my problem is not the camera, but the fact that I love photos.  I enjoy taking them, putting them in albums, writing the stories behind them, and looking at them.  The only real solution here is to abandon photography altogether since I seriously doubt film cameras will ever make a comeback, and abandoning photography is not a solution.

Maybe I should just deal with my photos more frequently than every 18 months.  I think I’ll try that.

Tragedy – No More DIY Costumes at our House

I miss these days.

Today is Halloween, I will be heading off to teach high school English dressed like I normally do which, according to my teen age daughter, is boring.  All of the high school students will also be dressed in their normal clothes: jeans (pulled up or down to varying degrees and with varying degrees of “fashionable” holes), sweatshirts, and t-shirts.  Anyone who dresses up in costume will be sent home to change.

Why? You might ask. Does the administration not have any sense of fun?  They do, but not this day.  Let me explain.  If you’ve gone shopping for teen or adult sized costumes anytime in the past ten years, there’s not a whole lot for guys and all the girl costumes are some variation on a stripper theme.  You can choose to be a stripper nurse, a stripper witch, or sexy stripper pirate chick; you get the picture. The sexier, the better.  It’s not just the girls, boys push it too.  If given the opportunity to dress up, they’ll often stuff balloons down their shirts and become some sort of scary fantasy woman with breasts that would make any normal woman tip over, literally.

Two weeks ago, my daughter and I were in Wal-Mart looking for bright tights.  We found them, right next to a much larger assortment of fishnet stockings. It seems that if a costume isn’t sexy, it isn’t a costume, and hormone-laced high school kids love this.  Hence, the sad ban on costumes.

This makes me miss the days when I spent hours constructing costumes for my kids.  My favorite ever was the rose bush costume.  My daughter was two, and I made her a pink jumpsuit with leaves on it, and then she donned a bonnet to which I glued a bunch of fake rose petals.  She looked like one of the babies in an Anne Geddes calendar.  One year my son was a skeleton, and then on Oct. 30, he broke his foot.  We got to put a break in his costume “bone.”  Another favorite was his 4th grade costume.  He went as Bo Duke of “The Dukes of Hazzard.”  We dressed him up in a plaid shirt and cowboy boots, and I got to curl and feather his blond hair.

I spent hours at my sewing machine making a tiger costume, a dinosaur, a ladybug, and an itsy bitsy pumpkin outfit to celebrate their first Halloween as infants.  I think I still have most of these costumes in a box in the garage, or my sister has them in her basement.

Every Halloween, the kids would get all dressed up for school and then parade around the elementary school gym to the tune of “Monster Mash” before the class Halloween Party which consisted of as much candy and goodies as the room mom could get the other parents to donate.

This is all over.  No more monster mash parades or class parties, and I’m guessing my participation in creating their costumes is over as well. Though there will be dress-up days at school for Homecoming week, its just not the same. They won’t dress up again for Halloween until they leave home, and then I may not want to know what sort of costumes they choose.  I’m fairly sure they won’t dress up as an adorable a rose bush or broken skeleton.

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

A few weeks ago, my husband’s aunt sent me a handwritten letter.  I will be honest here – when I first received it, I opened it up, felt the thickness of the folded up yellow sheets, and inwardly groaned.  I wanted to have enough time to sit and read the entire thing without interruption, but when was I going to find that?  I carried the letter with me for several weeks shoved in my purse or my backpack, but I never got to it during the work week.

I finally found the time Saturday afternoon, and when I finished reading the letter, I felt a huge sense of loss for all the letters I haven’t received or written since email, texting, and facebook appeared in my life.

She had written a ten page thoughtful reflection on one of my blog posts.  She questioned some of my points, reflected on others, and shared several personal stories my words had inspired.  Though nothing sentimental existed in the letter, I almost cried when I finished reading it.  It was heartfelt and addressed to me.  It was more than just a blog comment or a status update.

Two years ago, I finished a giant project compiling all of the old family photos, letters, and memorabilia that my dad and all of his ancestors had saved since the late 1800’s.  In the boxes of stuff he  gave me were stacks of envelopes rubber banded together.  There was one faded and yellowed letter from Dutch Harbor, Alaska.   My pregnant great grandmother had written to her sister in law in Idaho after following her husband north where they sought their fortune in the Yukon gold rush.  She discusses the trials of living there while he worked out at the mine site.  She also lists all the prices of the fruit that had just come in on a boat and her excitement to have some fresh fruit.

Another letter came from my great grandfather to my grandfather congratulating him on his impending marriage to my grandma (the baby born in Alaska).  There were many letters documenting my father’s life from 1956 when he left home to go to college through the mid-eighties.   My grandmother, my Dad, and my mom all saved our family’s written correspondence, so there are letters my Dad wrote to his mother as well as  her responses.  In one series of letters, my grandmother was quite upset at his lack of correspondence.  I never knew that side of her, so they were funny to read.  There are also letters my grandmother had sent home during her travels with my grandfather, and letters my sister and cousins had sent to her.

As I organized them, I laid them all out in chronological order.  These letters provide a fascinating glimpse into all of our lives as well as our nation’s history.  Some of the letters included newspaper clippings with reflections on what was happening.  They are a treasure.  My kids won’t have such tangible evidence of our daily lives.  Perhaps in this technological era they won’t miss it, but the fact that they might not even be aware of their loss saddens me more than anything.

Gary’s aunt reminded me of all of this as I read the first true letter I have received in years. I plan on responding, hopefully sooner rather than later.  I will write my letter by hand on the stationery that I’ve had but neglected for years, address the envelope, and put an actual stamp on it.   And I will save her letter, the old fashioned way, in a shoe box or a drawer.  Maybe she will save mine and someday somebody can go back and read them.  Maybe they’ll learn something, or maybe they’ll throw them away.  But either way, a little piece of me and a little piece of her will be on an actual piece of paper somewhere and not a hard drive.  I like that idea.

The Taste of Fall

Fall brings with it Halloween, falling leaves, football and piles of unripe green tomatoes stacked in our windowsills and piled in bowls on the kitchen counter, all rescued from the impending first frost.  Some of the tomatoes ripen enough to eat or can, but many never make it that far.  Instead, they turn into fried green tomatoes.

I never knew this was an actual food and not just a catchy name for a book and movie until I married, and we planted our first garden. My husband grew up eating these little treats every fall when he helped his grandfather harvest the garden.  I apparently led a much more sheltered life and grew up without ever even hearing of a fried green tomato until the movie came out in 1991.

Now, every year in September before the first freeze, my husband brings in a box full of green tomatoes and reminisces about his Grandpa.  The first time he brought in his box, I thought he’d set them in the window to ripen, but he didn’t.  He cut them up, fried them, and gave me one.  I had never even seen a sliced up green tomato much less a fried one, and I had never tasted anything quite like it.

To make them, my husband slices them about a quarter inch thick, dredges them in seasoned flour, and fries them up in a little butter and oil.  He then salts them like French fries right when he pulls them out of the oil and serves them either plain or with a little ranch dressing on the side.  Sometimes he spices them up with some Tabasco, but I don’t care for that.

I’m not sure how to describe them other than they’re acidic but sweet with a bit of tangy-ness.  They’re yummy.  Now that I’ve eaten them every fall for the past twenty years, that is what they taste like, fall.

I don’t know that I ever realized this until I started writing and became hyper-aware of such details.  What does fall taste like? Smell like? Feel like?  These are the kind of questions I’ve been asking myself, and this past week, I answered one of them.  One thing fall tastes like is Fried Green Tomatoes.

Fly Season

Every fall, fly season opens.  Unlike hunting season or the holiday season, it is not a season I look forward to.  The nasty pests congregate in groups,  slow, disgusting and fat, and then they magically multiply.  How do they get into my home in such droves?  I have screens on all the windows; I don’t leave the doors open all day.  I clean my house, and I do not live next to the dump like the Ewell’s in To Kill a Mockingbird.  I can only imagine poor Mayella’s fly problem.

Last week, I left a spoon on the counter that I had been using to stir some soup on the stove.  When my husband went into the kitchen, no less than six flies were on that spoon.  Eeeeewwwwhhh!    Even he was disgusted.

This is a problem that happens every fall.  Starting around the beginning of September through the first or second week of October, the flies come in.  At no other time of year do they behave like this.

Several years ago, my son went on a fishing trip with my Dad.  For the trip, my son used my husband’s fishing creel to store his daily catch.   Each evening, they would take their catch and clean it, except for one lone fish.  Somehow my son, who was around ten at the time, didn’t reach all the way to the bottom of his creel to collect all the fish on the last day of the trip.  Instead, he packed to go and shoved his fish filled creel into his duffle bag, with his clothes.  When he got home, he unpacked and set the creel, with the now rotting fish inside, onto a shelf in the garage.  When I started his laundry, his clothes smelled especially fishy, but I just figured it was because he was ten and had been wiping his fishy hands on them all weekend.  I washed them in hot water.  Problem solved, or so I thought until something began to smell in the garage.

This was the middle of July, and the stench kept getting worse.  Finally, we had a family “search the garage for the stink” party.  Lucky me, I was the one to find the creel.  I opened it up and peeked in only to be assaulted by a sight from a horror movie and an even worse stench.  Flies had found the fish before I did, and maggots covered it; they crawled up the sides of the creel, in and out of the half rotted trout.

I, of course, did what any self-respecting woman would do:  screamed, threw the creel on the ground, and ran.  Then, I got to be a mean mom and make my son go take care of it.  This only entailed picking it up with a shovel and depositing it into the garbage as we decided that we would rather get another creel than try to clean that one out.  (I guess that makes us typical Americans living in a consumable society, but that’s another post.)  I wasn’t touching the maggots filled creel regardless of how wasteful throwing it away was.

That’s the only time in my life I’ve seen maggots up close and personal.  For that I am thankful, but that leads to the question of all the flies.  Maggots are fly babies.  If I never see the babies, where do the adults come from?  In truth, I’m not sure I want to know the answer to that question.  I do know, that this is the only time that I can’t wait for really cold weather to get here, decimate the fly population, and put a solid end to fly season.

Dragging my Feet into eBooks

EBooks are here, and apparently they are here to stay.  I have embraced the internet, digital music, my ipod, smartphones, email, blogging, texting, and all kinds of other technological advances, but I haven’t yet embraced the digitized book.  If the “e” stood for excellent, I might be sold, but it doesn’t.  It stands for electronic, and since anyone can publish an eBook in minutes, how can I know if they’re any good?  I like the idea that a traditional book has had more than a few people read it, work on it, and edit it before I spend my money on it.

Apparently this makes me old-fashioned, but as of now, I’m okay with that.

I am also a book store junkie. I love digging through giant book stores, small used book stores and even the local thrift shop to find literary treasures, and I can spend hours there. I adore the stale smell of stacks of old books as well as books with old gift inscriptions inside the front cover.  I lose this experience with digitized novels.

When I pick up a book, I know how to decide if its one I want to read. I look at the cover, read the back, read the front page, and read a page or two in the middle. I check the font and the amount of white space on each page.  I have no idea how to do that electronically.

I am overwhelmed by the whole idea of Kindles, Nooks, the Motorola Xoom (is that zoom?) and the Sony Reader. There’s even a Kindle DX. I thought that might play games like the Nintendo DS, but apparently it’s only a larger version of the regular Kindle which makes me wonder why they didn’t just call it the Kindle XL?

The world is transitioning to eBooks. Two years ago, none of my students had e-book readers. Now, there is one or two in each class. Students bring their eReaders, and I check their progress in percentages. On Monday, they might be 17% done. On Wednesday, 24%. That’s weird.

If I ask how long their book actually is, what do they say? 100%? Um, ya.

Perhaps there is a page count feature on an eBook reader, but I don’t know since I still haven’t succumbed despite some friends’ valiant efforts.

Everyone who has one loves it, and they tell me all about how great they are. The world is heading that direction. Borders’ demise is a sure sign of it. I’m sure eventually I’ll succumb, but I’m dragging my feet and hanging on to my piles of paperbacks for as long as I can.