To unplug or not?

Recently on Novelmatters I posted about how much I struggle with the presence and demands of social media. You can read the post here. But I realized that this has been a problem for me for decades — even before the Internet and cellular phones. Here is a poem I wrote over 25 years ago: TIMES In another time I might have been A lonely person.  Yearning for the company Of human voice and thought, I might have invented reasons For  why a neighbor, many a country mile away, Should come to see me, just To visit, make some jelly, salt a ham, Boil some lye soap. We’d share the news the mailman didn’t bring, or forgot; And part resolved to keep our bonds more firm. Between our visits, I would save scraps of cloth – Just any pieces that would make a...

How a Library Helped Save Me

The Ernie Pyle Memorial Library Albuquerque, New Mexico A recently- discovered portrait of the famous WWII journalist Ernie Pyle is his last:  a photograph taken just moments after his death.  The body that housed all those words lies still and immortalized in black and white. Ernie Pyle housed other words in a very literal way – words that meant survival to me, long after he was gunned down by a Japanese machine gun on a Pacific Island in 1945. When I moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico as a ten-year-old girl in 1962, I devoured the written word. From the time I was a toddler I had wondered at the magic of black marks on white paper and determined I would solve those mysteries; and once I learned to read I was voracious.  Previously living in the raw-boned...