The Possible Future

Flower in High Desert

Image by cobalt123 via Flickr

Nine Things That Will Disappear In Our Lifetime

Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part on how we adapt to them. But, ready or not, here they come.

1. The Post Office
Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.

2. The Check
Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with check by 2018.  It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks.   Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check.  This plays right into the death of the post office.  If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business.

3. The Newspaper
The younger generation simply doesn’t read the newspaper. They certainly don’t subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.

4. The Book
You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. I wanted my hard copy CD.  But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy.  And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience!  Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can’t wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you’re holding a gadget instead of a book.

5. The Land Line Telephone
Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don’t need it anymore.  Most people keep it simply because they’ve always had it.  But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes

6. Music
This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It’s the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is “catalogue items,” meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, “Appetite for Self-Destruction” by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, “Before the Music Dies.”

7. Television
Revenues to the networks are down dramatically.  Not just because of the economy.  People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they’re playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV.  Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds.  I say good riddance to most of it.  It’s time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery.  Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix.

8. The “Things” That You Own
Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in “the cloud.” Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest “cloud services.” That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider. In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That’s the good news. But, will you actually own any of this “stuff” or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big “Poof?” Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.

9. Privacy
If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That’s gone. It’s been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, “They” know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits. “They” will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again.

All we will have left that can’t be changed are “Memories.    And then probably Alzheimer will take that away from you too!

Author Unknown

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Free Ebooks!

eBook printing experiments

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Everyone likes to get things for free. If you love books no matter what format they come in then check out these sites!

  1. Project Gutenberg
  2. Free-eBooks.net
  3. Fictionwise.com
  4. Scribd.com
  5. Feedbooks.com
  6. Literature.org
  7. Open Library
  8. Bartleby.com
  9. Authorama
  10. Universal Digital Library at Carnegie Mellon University

In addition to this list you can also find ebooks at Google, Barnes & Nobles and Apple.

Happy Reading!

Storybook Software For Writers

manuscript

Are you having trouble keeping track of what your characters are doing and saying? Would you like to have each chapter grouped or cascaded for a better view? If so, you may want to check out Storybook. It’s a free software program for writers and it looks pretty cool.

I plan to download it and give it a try. I want to organize my manuscript and plan out my characters and what they will be doing throughout my story. I am only on chapter 3 of the manuscript and hope that I can organize everything before I really get into the meat of my project.

I’ve already written my outline and Storybook has a place for that too. With Storybook I supposedly can manage characters, scenes, locations and chapters. There is also a chart tool that can be used to track characters. Sounds like a pretty handy tool for writers.When you get a moment check out the site and give it a whirl. Let me know your thoughts.

Happy Reading & Writing!

The Writer’s Life with Author Mayra Calvani

           

Follow all 7 authors on their 6-day Virtual Book Tours and leave comments and you could win the Giftbox Giveaway from the National Writing for Children Center. Click here to keep following the tours.



Mayra Calvani

A typical writing day in my life…

7:00am: Get up, make breakfast, take kids to school.

8:00: Walk my dog, Amigo, while listening to podcasts on my iPod (I’m addicted to Book Bites for Kids and Publishing Insiders!)

8:30: Major dilemma! Should I make the beds, tidy up the kitchen, pass the vacuum… or WRITE??? Procrastination wins! Yeah, housework, my favourite! (Yeah, right.)

9:00: Sit at the computer. Stare at the screen. Stare at the screen. Stare at the screen. Scowl at the sign on my desk that says: “A writer is someone who writes everyday.”

9:15: Go to kitchen. Make a cup of tea. Writers and tea go together, right? Or is it writers and coffee? Oh well… Fight urge to grab a mini Snickers bar… Will loses. Go to computer with tea and Snickers bar. A writer needs her nourishment, right?

9:30: Drink tea, eat Snickers bar, check email. Stare at the screen. Stare at the screen. Stare at the screen. Scowl at the sign on my wall that says, “Leap, and the net will appear.” Starting to feel guilty. OK, that’s putting it mildly. Starting to HATE myself.

10:00: Just remembered: laundry, get dressed, buy toothpaste, brush Amigo… STOP! Take a deep breath. Tell my inner critic, Helga (I named her like that), to SHUT UP. Do a short meditation with affirmations. Yes, that’s it. Calm, calm. Write. Write. Write… Aaaah. Soothing. Time stops. The earth stops rotating. It’s the zone. No other place like it.

12:00: Happiness. Bliss. Get dressed and brush your teeth (finally!).

12:15-14:00: Lunch and errands, all the while listening to podcasts (otherwise they’re quite unbearable!).

14:00: Email, blog, Twitter, Facebook.

15:00: Call my mommy long distance (So I’m still a mama’s girl. Sue me.) Talk to her while critiquing somebody else’s manuscript. Talk to her while preparing interview questions for a guest author. Talk to her while editing my own story. She asks, “Are you listening to me? I hear the keyboard!”

16:00: Email, website, Twitter, Facebook. Email, blog, Twitter, Facebook. Head is spinning. Neck hurts. Shoulders stiff. Ouch!

16:30: Make dinner while listening to podcasts, get kids from school.

17:00: Back at the desk. Look at tower of books to be read. Ignore. Stared at mountain of books to be reviewed. Wince. Look at TO-DO list. Scream. Friend calls, “Want to do lunch tomorrow?” I say, “Nah. I’m a serious writer. I write. That’s what I do.” She says, “You’re antisocial. A hermit.” Email, website, Twitter, Facebook. Email, blog, Twitter, Facebook.

18:00: Dinner. After-dinner walk with hubby and Amigo (while planning scenes and hearing voices in my head). Hubby says, “Are you listening to me?”

19:00: Watch an episode of Columbo. I’m mesmerized. Sshh! No talking. Not even breathing, please!

20:30: Browse on eBay for Marc Jacobs bags, Chanel bags, Lauren Conrad’s clothes, Bare Minerals makeup I’ll never buy. Browse Amazon. Add a zillion new titles to my wish list.

21:30: Put kids to sleep, tidy up kitchen, take shower.

22:30: Cuddle up in bed with book and iPad. Email, Huffington Post, iTunes store.

23:00: Call my mommy. Exhausted. Fall asleep with scenes in my head… Mom says, “Mayra! Are you awake?”

 

How To Turn Your Book Club Into A Spectacular Event

 

 To learn about Mayra Calvani and her books please visit http://mayrassecretbookcase.com/