Technology and Pie Crust

I have a new, homemade, blog banner. It doesn't quite fit, does it?

This is the one I first created:

I REALLY had trouble making this one fit.


Resolved: 2009 will bring some professional techie help and a complete overhaul of my poor website, which has been built from the ground up by me (and one other kind writer soul who got me started), and shows it. It's eight years old this year, and it's time for a fresh, clean look.

I'm hoping to include this blog on the sparkly new website, and perhaps move everything over to WordPress: anyone have thoughts on WordPress as a blog/website? Anyone love TypePad better? I'm gathering opinions. I've gone about as far as a neophyte can go, using Dreamweaver and Blogger, and have reached the point of diminishing returns. I'm going to hire someone to help me move into the 21st century.

I have lived a mostly self-taught, hand-made life, and that includes my approach to writing. But there is a time and place for professional help. At several points along the way, I got professional help with my writing (thank you, Anne at RH, Liz at Harcourt, the HTGs, and Nancy Johnson at FCC, not to mention my colleagues at Vermont College).

Now I'm assessing the help I need technologically. I made a list: Website. Blog. And:

I'm buying a new camera. I've exhausted myself with possibilities and options, so much so, that I'm at a stalemate on which one. What's your favorite? I need a camera for sharp close-ups (all that food!) and low light. Great zoom and clarity is nice, too. I've been using a Canon A630 and have loved it, but need an upgrade now. It doesn't have to be an SLR. I just need great shots.

Next, I'm breaking down and buying an MP3 player. I listen to Sixties tunes all the time now, as I revise or think about what I've written, and I want something I can take with me on a walk up Stone Mountain, or to my pink chair at 4am when I go to work -- right now I'm using headphones with my laptop and downloaded music. I also want to be able to listen to NPR or the oldies station when I jump around on my tramp or walk the neighborhood.

So. A Zune. 4GB or 8GB? (I can't imagine needing more space than this -- I am not a podcast or movie or take-photos-with-me person, although I guess I could become one, and I always hear "buy UP" so maybe the 8GB for now...)

I want a Zune because of its FM radio, not to mention I like bucking the iPod trend (although I must admit I covet an iPhone... but will not buy one... now). And yet, after all the good things I heard about iPod possibilities in Lisa Yee's iPod University class... well, I may need to look into this more, at some point.

There are other techie goals on my 2009 list. I want to talk about social networking at some point. Those of you who visit my blog on the web (as opposed to receiving it in email or a reader) know that I use twitter to update you daily on what I'm doing, in between posts. I like this kind of communication.

And, I finally joined Facebook. After an initial nekkid-making moment that made me disable my account and cancel most of my "friends," I reinstated the account, and have found ways to make Facebook tenable and even useful (dare I say "fun"?)

And, railing against my hide-out instincts, I created a Facebook fan page. So far, I have no fans. But I haven't told people -- until now -- that the page exists.

So... I am learning, ever the student. I've been reading Publishing Talk on the web -- the intersection of books, authors, publishers, and social media. It's an interesting conversation and fits into another 2009 techie goal, which is to figure out where and how I'm comfortable using social media (like this blog, Facebook, twitter and more) and how useful it feels to the overall way I'd like to communicate.

I expect I'll be talking about this, this year, as a writer who wants and needs to connect for various reasons, but who is also a very private person -- such a conundrum. So I'm adding a category/tag/label to the blog this year for social networking.

I expect I'll be talking about some of my personal resolutions for 2009 as well, one of which is to master pie crust. Any thoughts on THAT? I hope I don't have to face the fact that I'm a pie crust loser. That would be worse than not figuring out Facebook.


  1. I use wordpress and I like it a lot. I have an in-house techie (hubby) so I delegate the upgrades, etc., to him.
    I LOVE my iPod. I have used it the video for school presentations -- it's smaller than a laptop, but larger than a jump drive.
    I also LOVE my Nikon digital SLR (I have the D70; hubby has the D200). The D40 gets really good reviews.
    That's my two cents. Oh, and for the neck, shoulder aches, consider popping for a massage. Come to think of it, hubby is pretty good on that, too.

  2. Deb--

    I have asked Anthony for camera advice as this is his area of expertise. Me, I've never been a fan of taking photographs (since they tend to replace memories for me), so I don't even own a camera.

    We need to be in the same place together and cook. I went through the pie crust phase and would be happy to go through it again with you, in person. The saying "easy as pie" comes from the fact that pie making was a daily task for most homemakers. I tried all the methods and have to say that the only way a contemporary human who works and only bakes occasionally can say "easy as pie" is if s/he learns the food processor method.

    But, really, let's put our calendars together and try to be in the same place (with a kitchen) for two days and just cook (and gab, of course)...

  3. Sarah -- I love the D40... don't love the price... but then, I'm not a pro, like you are. How ARE you -- I'm coming to Jackson this spring, would love to see you -- thanks for the recommendation for the iPod, too... I want to learn how school presentations can be done that way... amazing world we live in.

    D70? Will look. D200? Oh, sigh. :>

  4. Walter. Darling. I am in Santa Clara on Feb. 22. Let us Cook. And commune. And listen to Anthony's camera advice. I feel about video cameras the way you do about cameras... have never owned one. I like still photography, though -- I love the captured moment. xo

  5. My parents who are both slr users recently bought a canon powershot elph recommended by consumer reports. They wanted something that could take nice photos but wouldn't be so big and heavy. So far they like their powershot. Also, I have a friend named Julie Owen who uses the same camera and I love the shots she posts on her blog at She gets nice close-ups.
    P.S. Am doing fine in Jackson. Check out the blog at and you can see the gardening, knitting, quilting (writing some). Love to see you in Jackson this spring. I'll be at SpringMingle at the end of February.

  6. Sarah -- you are a domestic goddess -- at least a knitting, crafting, photography goddess. Love your blog.I won't be at springmingle -- traveling -- but hope to see you in March, in Jackson.


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