Is Technology Killing All Things?

The world is shrinking– with more and more new technology the world is becoming closer knit. But is the world shrinking because it is killing all our stuff and maybe even killing us?

First the decline of Barnes & Noble and now the largest chain of bookstores, Borders, is closing. They could not compete with Amazon’s massive online presence. And Amazon is now selling more e-books than paper books.  Brett Arends of Market Watch warns us The bookstore massacre is coming. Not only are things like books, book stores, and cds disappearing, but cell phones may be fatal to us and other creatures!

The world is abuzz about a study (see original study) in Switzerland claiming that cell phones are killing honey bees.  Now others are saying that while the radiation may harm them, it has not been confirmed that it is killing them. Here’s a neutral view: from cnet news  which calls for a more conclusive study.

Do Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer? I had heard it was conclusive, but this article says more study is needed as in the case of the bees. To find out how much radiation YOUR phone is leaking see Get a Safer Phone.

Here’s my tongue-in-cheek reaction in a poem I wrote about the Kindle and other e-readers when they first appeared.


Empty Margins Rekindled

by Wynne Huddleston

We’ve come a long way—from feathered quills
to ballpoint pens, typewriters to computers;
from paper to laptops, and now, from books
to e-readers. It’s wonderful! At the touch
of a finger you can open an e-book in the new
computerized, iPhone-sized reader. Who

wants to hold a thick, new book, and have to
hold it in both hands to press it open, caress
each page as you turn it, mark your place
with an old envelope or an emery board,
and smell the newness… then have to put it
away on the shelf next to your treasured
photos, keepsakes and trophies. Who

likes the feel of ink staining permanence
as it flows like blood from their veins? Who
wants to hold in their hand a freshly sharpened
number 2 pencil in order to write? Who

wants to drag it across a waiting, virgin
white page, and have to erase or mark through;
scribble rhymes in the margins, draw arrows
and circles for what to move where, and, oh, dear,
check spelling with a real dictionary? Surely no
one wants to rekindle those days… do they?

© Wynne Huddleston

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Do it “Write”

So many people tell me, I want to get published, tell me how. I give them the link to Part 1 of my series on Poetry Submissions (which also works for stories).  Often it boils down to this: the right time, the right place, with the right poem or story. If you are rejected it might not be because it wasn’t “good enough,” but simply because it didn’t fit that particular issue or the theme of that issue. Some things to check to make sure you get it right:

  • Read a previous journal or sample if available. This will give you a feel for the style they prefer–rhyme, free verse, spoken word, confessional, etc…
  • Also check the genre–such as fantasy, dark, experimental, or general.
  • Make sure you follow the guidelines. Sometimes editors are very picky about this and will throw out a submission that did not follow their rules.
  • Obviously you should check when the issue for which you are submitting will be published. For example, don’t submit a poem about winter when the issue is coming out in July, unless the theme is on winter.
  • If your work is not accepted, read it again to see if there are any mistakes. Submit somewhere else suitable using the guidelines above. If it is rejected 3 or more times consider revising it, remembering to “cut it ’til it bleeds,” and “show don’t tell.”
  • Finally, don’t give up! You’ll eventually hit the “write” time, the “write” place, with the “write” poem or story!