Sunday, 9 February 2014

Taking an internet holiday

Wow, two whole months with no posts! I bet you thought I was never coming back. I wondered myself. I've been so busy with work, and then I went on my biennial visit to the US... and somehow or other I ended up spending too little time on the internet to write blog posts.

All in all, it was good to take a break. It is too easy to waste time on the internet: looking for patterns on ravelry instead of knitting, snooping on the activities of acquaintances on facebook instead of spending time with friends, reading the opinions of ill-informed online commentators instead of picking up a good book or magazine.

Instead of working on my blog, I've been working on an anthology, which is going to be published as a real, physical book! There is going to be a web version as well, but most of my time these past few months was spent copyediting and typesetting (and chasing down late submissions). I know I'm going to have a much greater sense of satisfaction holding that book in my hands than I will have browsing through the online version.

I'll give you a sneak preview of the cover - apart from the text it will be all white, with embossed circles.

Over Christmas I took a break from work and spent a couple of wonderful weeks on the East Coast of the US visiting family and friends. My parents live in Michigan, so we end up spending most of our Christmases there. But I am originally and always an East Coaster, so I need a fix every now and again.

We spent time in NY, NJ (Atlantic City), PA (Philly) and DC. The weather was mostly typical of the region at that time of year - clear and sunny (there was a bit of snow in NY when we arrived and just before we left, but we got out before the polar vortex hit). And as usual, after a day in DC I determined to move back.

It is completely unclear whether or when that might actually happen, but it is good to know where you belong, even if you can't always be there.

Being on holiday, we spent time at the beach. We hardly ever go to the beach during the summer, but frequently end up at one during the off season. Winter is a good time to visit the beach, I feel, because no one else is there then. Also, beaches in winter fit in with my favourite apocalyptic-rust-belt aesthetic.

Atlantic City viewed from Brigantine Beach

old military installation on beach near Cape May, NJ. 

Coney Island

I spent hardly any time at all on the internet while I was in the States, because I was spending time with the people I use the internet to keep up with. Facebook is good, but face time is better. On the other hand, it is precisely because of the internet and facebook that I have been able to keep up with and find old friends. So I shouldn't complain about what a waste of time the internet is - I just have to learn to manage the balance of virtual and real life.