Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches

Posts tagged “coffee talk

We have entered the timeline

I’ve started a new job. For those of you at home keeping score, that’s three I am currently working. Every Monday is about a 16 hour day (10am-2am), as I have a conference call for job #1, web maintenance for job #1, social media updating for job #1, organizational compilation for job #3, coffee slinging for job #2, and continued research for job #3.

Did I mention I have a hard time sleeping? I figure I might as well be doing something.

Anyway, to prove to boss #3 that blogging is not nearly as hard as most people like to pretend it is, I’ve decided to make another push on my blog and keep it updated. No more hypocrisy!

As research for job #3, I’ve been reading people’s blogs. This is usually limited to the people I know. I’ve started to notice a weird trend that is a little bit haunting.

I can see the moment I entered their life.

But, that’s not all.

I can see when I started having an influence on them. I can see when our conversations went from meandering coffee talk to brain worm. I can see where inside joke shifted to social media moment. I can see the moment I went from “that quiet girl” to “she’s super smrat”.

Facebook introduced the Friendship Pages back in 2010 where you could track your interactions with all your friends. I remember when I made friends before Facebook. It was a dark and fuzzy time, much like Kansas before Oz, but I digress. Some people have challenged the Friendship Page as another level of stalking, and yes, I suppose, if one is chaotic evil, that might be something they would employ, but is there something to be gained by pulling up the (Internet) history of every friendship? Can we measure the impact we have on people?

It’s scary. Can a blog post from four years ago incite an emotional reaction, even retroactively? Are we putting too much of ourselves online?

Go with me on this one: there’s a robot uprising.

While the whole world was confusing Cleverbot into becoming the lowest common denominator on the intelligence scale, the great robot overlord is out there compiling data (in this scenario, I might actually be the robot overlord). We tell Pandora what kind of music we like; we tell Amazon what books we like; Pinterest is the best way to discover someone’s true interests. Before you take this the wrong way, I’m not saying we should abandon sharing and the Interwebz before the robots begin the uprising by distracting us with cat videos. I’m more interested in the idea of social evolution.

Based on what people post on social media sites, I have the ability to know someone on a level that sometimes only a therapist will see. I can watch a lifetime unfold in a series of once a month book reviews. For someone who spends time deep in the philosophical mire of modern day society, I can’t help but wonder: as we make more of ourselves available to other people, do we become more selfish?

I admit I started this blog with the hope that my friends and family would have the opportunity to stay up to date with my wanderings and musings. After college, when you can’t just head down the hall to Heidi’s room or walk over to Banana Bread Cottage, there’s a sudden void that you want to fill. So, I started this blog with the cynical and acidic tone that my friends would be familiar with. Then, as I tried to pursue my writing career, I was told that I needed to write a blog that agents and editors would find appealing. That approach didn’t really work for me. I went back to the friends and family meanderings. Then, I get a comment from someone I don’t know.

I was shocked.

I mean, not that I’ve ever written anything that I wouldn’t want other people reading (that stuff ends up in the draft box). It started to change me. Suddenly, I was hyperaware of everything I put on the Internet. Who was my Internet self? Do people like the truncated Internet version of who I am? What could I say that everyone would want to hear in order to get more traffic in order to-what? What am I even doing? Who cares about how much traffic I get?

But the selfish thoughts were there. I’m slowly getting over them; slowly getting back to my attempts to just write what’s on my mind and be human, not a persona or a product.

I’m not Kate 2.0. I’m Kate .4.2.1. I’m still in beta testing.

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Book Breakdown: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

I haven’t done one of these in awhile, mainly because I’m now an “official” reviewer for Fresh Fiction (bomb diggity!).

What that means for you is you’ll have to go there for my more timely reviews. I’ll see if I can keep this up (I’m working two and a half jobs, so cut me a little slack).

Onward!

I’m a quick reader. I average about 250-300 words per minute. This is not speed reading. I read and process every word on the page. Look at it this way: If you talk the 10,000 hour rule of expertise that was laid out in Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, I am an expert reader twice over. At least.

But, I digress.

Every once in awhile I come across a book that makes me want to read slower. It’s like good chocolate. You want let it rest on your tongue, melt down, let all the rich flavor come out in order for you to savor just how good it is.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is good chocolate.

Book Breakdown

(like it’s so good, it’s bad for you)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

This is one of my top books of 2011. I should put a summary here. I just don’t think it will really do it justice. Let me try a cut and paste for Laini Taylor‘s website.

“Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers–beautiful, haunted Akiva–fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?”

While it seems that angel/human/devil has been a trend in YA literature (minor-trend? subtrend?), this does not fall into that category. Taylor constructs a parallel world where these creatures are actual species and tribes, unconcerned with acquiring human souls. Instead, they are locked in a war. One race fights for freedom, the other fights for vengeance. Karou was raised by a chimaera, Brimstone, who spends his days collecting teeth for mysterious reasons.

Karou is his errand girl, a human girl collecting teeth. For her troubles, she is granted scuppies and shings, a currency that can be traded in for wishes.

There is something about this book that is carnal and violent, while still being subtle and beautiful. The ending has a winding quality as memories unravel, circling back upon themselves to reveal the new and the known.

The world is complex. The voice is liquid. I’m going to defer to the ladies at Coffee Talk for this one.

This book is like buttah.

First Ten:

In the first 10 pages, Karou’s ex-boyfriend ambushes her on the street, revealing that Karou is impossible to scare. Immediately after, he shows up in her art class as a model. You know. In the traditional sense.

There is no better way to show how narcissistic (and possibly sadistic) someone is.

The way Karou handles the situation is quite satisfying.

Unfortunately for you, I borrowed the book. If not, I would have had some sort of giveaway, but, alas, it is not mine to give. If you’ve read it, let me know what you think.