Smart Houses

So I was watching an episode on hulu when a commercial for Iris Home Management System popped up. I was a little alarmed. I spent the next twenty minutes watching youtube videos on all the “smart house” options out there (I know Samsung has one too). Unfortunately I couldn’t find the short commercial from hulu, but at the bottom is a youtube link if you are interested. The clip I saw showed this smart house turning on the sprinkles and letting the dog out before the woman was awake. Then it turned the coffeepot on. I don’t remember what else.

Now there is one side of me that would get very excited at this. I imagine if someone offered me the opportunity to live in a smart house I might jump at it. I’ve always wanted to travel into the future! And I have to admit it would be extremely convenient to have my house make me coffee, turn my lights on and off when I need them, lock the door, and start my washing machine for me. However, my initial reaction was a little less positive. I’m not sure I want my house to stop being four walls and a roof and turn into my iPhone. Granted, I am very sentimental about houses. The ones I grew up in were simple wooden structures with tin roofs. 🙂 I think there are a million terrifying SciFi movies with artificial intelligence taking over the world for a reason (or at least people hacking into any and all “secure” systems). For instance, I’m definitely not an expert on how these things work, but what if someone was able to access my smart home network? They could have a lot of power of my family.

Any thoughts?

Keeping Options Open

One of the best things I’ve learned to do as an author is to keep things open, leave holes in relationships, and leave questions about the past. Early on I had this bad habit of stating everything straightforward, exploring all aspects of a relationship from the beginning, and tying everything up in a nice little bow. I like closure and definition. But what I learned is that there was little room for growth. I found myself having to constantly introduce new characters or running into dead ends with the plot. The ability to throw out hints and questions that I don’t even know the answer to is remarkably freeing! First of all, it makes the characters, plot, and setting more realistic. Second, it gives me so much material to draw off later! I love coming to a climactic moment and realizing I’ve already hinted at the solution sixty pages ago! It makes me feel clairvoyant. Obviously, that’s not what’s happening here.

I have learned so much about storytelling through practice, study, and real life experience. Due to a slew of failures, I have learned to second guess myself when writing a scene–especially if it comes early on in the plot. I have learned to detect when I am revealing too much information, or when the characters feel so comfortable that there is no room for growth. I pause and ask myself: how can these two have conflict? Do they really know each other that well? How can they learn from each other? I also credit my real life experiences. I have recently had a lot of opportunity to understand conflict and what really motivates people to behave the way they behave. It has helped my writing tremendously.

So if you are a writer I encourage you: even early on, write in some open ends. Throw in some hints, some implications, and some questions. You may not explore them later, but you may find them extremely handy when you are developing plot twists.

Some Former “Theories” About Space

I wouldn’t go so far as to call them “crackpots.” The universe is a little bit mind boggling at times and it can be difficult to make sense of. I have a huge imagination and I have had some crazy thoughts enter my head too!

I like the theory about the water vapor and ice because it makes me look at the world from a different perspective. It’s more mythological, and I do love mythology!

Real Life Heists…

I’m not gonna pretend that I don’t like a good heist movie!

Of course as a writer my thoughts immediately go to who these people are, why they did what they did, and the consequences that came after. 😉

New-Fangled Technology!

Wow, 2015! You make me feel like I am living in a science fiction novel.

Those of you who know me or have read my “About Me” page will understand this: I still wake up sometimes and wonder how I got here. My earliest memories are of me waking up to the sound of machetes cutting the grass. Now in my average day I find myself using technology I could never have dreamed of! I know that technology is advancing at a rapid rate even for those who have lived in America all their lives, but imagine if you literally spent your first few years in a village!

First of all there is the AC, which is on 24/7 these days because of the July heat. We did not have air conditioning until I was ten. Today I used the percolator to boil water for my coffee. A device you plug in to boil water? Electric stove, microwave, laptop, iPhone, DVD player, flatscreen TV…I had none of that growing up. And that’s just my day to day routine. Now think about how the world interacts, does business, does entertainment, and social media. It’s mind boggling.

As I launch this website I have been expanding my social media presence (I didn’t have much of one until now). I will say this: I never much liked social media for friendships, but I respect it as a business tool. I still don’t quite understand tumblr and flickr and how they are different and I know there are hundreds of social media platforms! It is a little overwhelming to create these accounts, keep track of them, and keep them updated. It makes me feel like an old woman!

But here’s to marketing and networking in order to do what I love!