Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.


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Smart Phones–Agony or Ecstasy?

I’ve had my smart phone for something over a year–it’s a Samsung, which means an android, apparently, even though I still think of an android as being a kind of human-like robot. Which makes an android phone kind of sci-fi and cool, I guess, so that’s one good thing about it.

My husband talked me into getting a smart phone because I spend a fair bit of time on my computer, which is in my office, and he knew a smart phone would be handy to check many things while I’m not in my office. And it is of course–oh so handy. Especially in the lounge-room beside my recliner. I can Google the identity of which actor we’re arguing over in the movie we’re watching, for example, without leaving my chair. I can check Facebook in the ad breaks, again without leaving my chair. Since I have 5000 friends there’s always something to look at. Every ad break.

My last phone was one of those little flip ones–cute and easy to carry around, but one thing I did want from a new phone was a good camera and I have to say I’m very happy with that. It’s at least as good as my actual camera which I no longer use at all.

My little flip phone, though, never caused me any pain. Mind you, I used it only for phone calls and an occasional photo. My smart phone has become something of an addiction and I don’t think I’m alone there. My hands, and especially my thumbs, have been hurting quite a bit and I’ve realised it’s the way I hold the phone when I’m texting etc., so now I’m trying to wean myself away from it. Instead of leaving it next to my armchair I’m leaving it on the other side of the room, so when I do want to check it I have to actually walk over there and I can look at it without picking it up! Does anyone else have phone addict pain?

My Red Dust Series and most of my other books are available on Amazon.com and Amazon.UK as both ebooks and print.

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What’s your favourite thing about the Internet?

I love Google–don’t we all? All the information you can imagine at your fingertips, from–where have we seen that actor before?–to what will we have for dinner tonight? I have a bookshelf full of encyclopaedias because–well, they look nice and besides I always wanted them. When I was growing up our encyclopaedias were a window to a world we knew very little about and a constant source of entertainment. (Yes, I was a bit of a nerd.) Now we have Google. It’s not quite as accurate of course and we do need to be a bit cautious about, for example, taking as gospel that those symptoms that kept us up all night can be cured with a visit to the Google doctor rather than the local GP. We also need to be careful about what our kids are reading and believing, but, all in all, I think Google’s brilliant.

I also love email and don’t know how I ever managed without it. If our Internet connection ever spits the dummy I feel quite isolated, as if no-one can get in touch with me and anything could be happening out there and I wouldn’t know! (As if no-one knows my phone number.) I love that I can send messages to my friends and family and that I can submit a story in minutes, anywhere in the world, without lining up at the post office and working out the cost of return post and so on. I can receive a short story to edit, again from anywhere in the world, and probably have it back on the same day. I do love email.

Since starting this blog though, what has really struck me and I absolutely love is the range of it all. WordPress allows me to see what countries my readers are in and, while the majority are in USA, (and, unfortunately, there’s no more information than country) some are from places I know nothing about and occasionally one pops up that I’d never heard of before–like Saint Kitts and Nevis! Heard of that one? Hi to my reader in St Kitts! So when that happens, of course, I have to get on to Google and find out a bit about the location. I’ve never been any good at geography at all but now I know that St Kitts is in the West Indies. I also know Jersey is closer to France than England and that it’s self-governed. All I knew about it before was some vague idea it was one of those islands near England.

So I’m learning my way around the world, in bits and pieces, about places I’ll never see, and I’d love to hear from you about your place–something a bit more than just Russia or just USA–whereabouts? What’s it like?

Inheritance is free on Amazon for the last time today and is already on the top twenty free list.  I’m going to be taking my books from the KDP Select program next month.