In case you haven’t noticed, we’re thirteen years into the 21st Century. I kind of miss rotary dial phones and party lines. Goodness, what a great way to gather gossip on the neighbors. Now, you have to use those high-dollar, CIA microphones and sit in your car in the dark with night vision goggles to get dirt on them.
Only having four television stations was kind of cool too. Because let’s be honest, even with three thousand channels to choose from there still isn’t anything worth watching on TV. At least when there were fewer options you gave up quicker and moved on to more productive tasks. Now, carpal tunnel sets in as you keep the remote control buzzing from channel to channel. Okay, I do have to admit that I love remote controls. I was always relegated to the front of the living room to change channels and adjust the volume.
The good old days: bubble gum cost a penny (green apple was my fave!) radio stations played all genres and album covers were works of art. There was no such thing as a PG-13 movie and a G-rated movie actually meant you could watch it with your grandmother without dying of embarrassment. Remember the days when dropping the f-bomb at school or work would result in immediate dismissal?
Times change. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes for the worse. Personally, I think our children would be better off without all those dadgum video games and such. Then again, I don’t have kids. I can still distract my cats with a shiny ball of foil on the floor so what do I know? One of the changes I do appreciate, and am admittedly addicted to, is the internet.
I remember submitting my first manuscript to an agent. I printed out four-hundred pages of pure brilliance, bond them with a rubber band and went to the post office. Trying to explain to the postal worker that I needed to include a SASE was AWFUL. The poor guy was so befuddled. He couldn’t for the love of God or country figure out why the heck I had a bunch of papers to send to some chick in New York and why in God’s name she would send them back to me. That hassle lessened the thrill of submitting my novel, not to mention the fact that it cost me $45! Of course, finding the SASE in my mailbox a few months later really sucked. I had to PAY for rejection? Come on, really?
These days it is very unusual for anyone in the publishing world to request hard copies of manuscripts, which is one of the reasons OWFI in transitioning to electronic contest submissions. Heather Davis, TMI Mom and teacher of middle school Language Arts, is presenting a workshop on how to Tip Toe into Technology. She chatted with me a bit and here’s what she has to say about the workshop.
Q: “Tip Toe Into Technology” –are special shoes required?
A: No special shoes needed, just an open mind ready to learn about electronic submissions, organizing your electronic life and other extra technology tips and tricks for the beginner.
Q: What skills do attendees need to get the most out of this course?
A: I’m going basic, baby! I won’t tell you how to turn on the computer; I’ll give you that much credit, but I will walk even the most reluctant user through the best ways to get the most of his or her computer and other technology as a writer.
I’ll share technology vocabulary and give step-by-step instructions on how to submit your writing electronically, how to organize your writing electronically, and how to feel more comfortable with your computer.
Q: You think you’ve got what it takes to teach this workshop?
A: Yep, yep, yep! By day, I teach middle school English/Language Arts. I also have two daughters, one husband, two dogs and two cats. That right there demonstrates my patience. I use technology almost every minute of every day and have been known to even tweet in my sleep. Plus, when I was a lifeguard the summer of my senior year in high school, I attempted to teach my own momma how to swim. She did not drown and we didn’t kill each other. That’s the sign of a good teacher.
Q: Tweet in your sleep? In what other ways do you use technology?
A: I am a blogging queen supreme. I blog at www.Minivan-Momma.com and www.Chick-Wit.com. I am also an administrator and editor with www.OklahomaWomenBloggers.com. I cruise Facebook like a teenager on Main Street on Friday night (Heather Smith Davis—friend me!), and I tweet in my sleep (@MinivanMomma2). My husband and I have our calendars synched up on our smart phones (we’re still late to most events). I voice record my story ideas with my iPhone, and I have a total of five email addresses. Five.
Q: So, you’ve got quite the presence online—what do you do when you’re not in front of a screen?
A: My daughters are active in basketball, golf, softball and horseback riding. I also write a bi-weekly humor column for my local newspaper, Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise. My first book TMI Mom: Oversharing My Life was released in April 2013. My second book, Fooling Around, will be released in fall of 2013. I’m busy writing book number three. I’ve taught a couple of social media classes and blogging classes in my spare time as well. PLUS, I’m associate producer / director of the Listen To Your Mother-OKC show. Of course, I also like read and write.
Q: When people leave your session at OWFI 45, what do you want them to say?
A: I want them to be excited to get in front of their computers and to feel like they are ready to take their writing to the new levels that technology is affording a 21st century writer.