I've started off the new year by getting myself a couple of new pieces of technology that I've been resisting for some time--a Kindle eReader and an iPod Nano. I also have a great new set of Oracle cards, thanks to the lovely Rebecca Elson (who always knows which ones are best, because she reviews them for her fabulous blog The Magical Buffet
I confess, I'm a bit of a Luddite
. I'm not big on gadgets (I still don't know how to text on my new cheapo cell phone, although in part that's because I can't get reception at my house, so I only use it on rare occasions), although I do have three computers (a desktop and two laptops, one huge old one for editing and the smaller one I'm typing on right now) and a 4 or 5 year old Galaxy tablet (which I got for when I travel, and mostly use to play Words with Friends...).
My old stereo died years ago, and I have mostly been playing music on my computer, since that has the best speakers--Altec Lansing, which I discovered thanks to my father, who is NOT a Luddite--and my portable CD player which is huge, has crappy speakers, and eats D-cell batteries like they were M & M's.
In truth, I don't listen to music a lot in the house, although the car won't move unless there is some kind of tune playing. I blast fun music while cleaning, and I like to have music on outside when I'm gardening, but otherwise, I like the quiet. Still, it was getting frustrating to move to parts of the house where I could barely hear the computer speakers, or drag the portable battery-eater out to the garden. And *any day now* I am going to start going to the gym. So the iPod Nano seemed like a good idea.
Also, my new Honda Fit has a place to plug one in, which seemed like it would be a lot easier than carting tons of CDs around. Ill let you know how it goes, since I'm still figuring out how to download music onto it, and I haven't even tried to play it yet. [See Luddite, above.]
The Kindle came about for two reasons. One, lots of my favorite authors and writer pals are putting out some of their books, novellas especially, only in eBook form, and I was missing out on them. I have a Kindle app on my computer, but I really
don't like to read on the computer, since I spend so much time on it anyway, and the laptop is banned from the bedroom. I have downloaded some things onto the tablet, but I never did end up reading them there (among other things, you can only adjust the type to four different sizes, and to change pages you have to swipe the screen with your finger, which eventually aggravates my tendonitis).
The other reason I finally broke down and got the Kindle is because I've been having problems with my eyes for months, which despite all efforts by my wonderful eye doctor (including multiple prescription changes and an attempt with extra reading glasses) has resulted in major eye pain whenever I read or use the computer. [Yeah, I know. That's only about 90% of my day.] I was hoping that being able to adjust the print size would help, and that meant getting some kind of an eReader.
I didn't want to spend a lot of money, since I would still much rather read in paper form, and I wanted something lightweight, for when I was lying in bed. The basic Kindle seemed to fit the bill.
I've only been using it for a week or so, and I have mixed feelings about it. It is definitely pretty easy to use, even for the technologically challenged like me, and I can make the font as large as I want to. But I really
don't like the grayish background, which I find difficult to read against at any time, but especially at night in bed. Dammit.
Has anyone else had good experiences with other eReaders they can suggest? I don't particularly want to spend the money on a new tablet, since I only need something to read on.
The last new--thankfully LOW tech--goodie is my Conscious Spirit Oracle Deck
, a Yule gift from my pal Rebecca. Written and beautifully illustrated by Kim Dreyer, this deck is one of the coolest ones I've seen. I've been using it as a daily guide of sorts, pulling a card every morning and saying out loud whatever is on it as an affirmation. I also try to be mindful of whatever comes up, as I walk through my day.
For instance, today's card was #24 (Third Eye Chakra), which says: I see the wisdom of my higher self and apply this wisdom to my life
. How cool is that? [I liked them so much, I immediately ordered a set as an early birthday present and sent them to my friend Skye.]
I've also been thinking a lot about this blog, and what I want to do with it in the coming year. I've considered making it a bit more personal...obviously, I spend a lot of time talking about writing and magical work, usually in the context of my own life. (And y'all get to hear about fun stuff like rat incursions and kitchen floods.) But I tend to be a fairly private person, so while I often share my life, I don't usually talk much about how I feel, or more personal issues.
And to be honest, I'm not even sure it that is something people would even be interested in reading about. (Seriously--I'm BORING.)
So you tell me: what do YOU want to read about here in the coming year? What are your favorite bits? what do you want more of, or less of? After all, I really write this for you, my readers.
Oh, and before I forget! The new Llewellyn book, The Witch's Broom
is ON SALE now, and available for preorder. Once it comes out, it will be $15.99, but Amazon has it priced at $11.99, in case you want to get your copy ordered now. *happy author dance*