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Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm Thankful for Technology and the Technologists

(First, I'll pause so my hubby, the computer guy, can pick his jaw up off the floor. I'll get back to him later.)

My blogging cohorts have been focusing on Thanksgiving this month. I couldn't have missed that it was November and Thanksgiving season because I work for a boss who has a calendar obsession. We have one hallway with about 15-20 calendars lining the walls. On the first day of every month, the calendar gets changed. The boss won't make coffee or copies, but he handles the calendar changing himself, which is a good thing. His staff finds his obsession a wee bit - strange. But far be it for me (of all people in the universe) to complain about someone else's oddities. Truthful, it's a personality quirk. I enjoy quirky people. Normal people make me nervous.

But, like I said, I've noticed that my cohorts have been sharing Thanksgiving thoughts and recipes. So I thought I'd follow suit, but with my own little twist because I'm such a twisted gal. I want to talk about something I'm thankful for. I could talk about my kids or my friends or family, but this year, I want to talk about technology. I'm very thankful for all those bits and bytes and for all of the talented folks who keep finding new ways to use them to revolutionize how we communicate.

Now, I'm not a techie person. My hubby would be the first one to tell you that. He swears that I think MS Word is the operating system for my computer. (What? You mean its not?) I don't get along with gadgets all that well. And the computer is sort of the King of Gadgets. But now my computer is different. My little Toshiba laptop and I, we have developed a beautiful friendship - mostly. But I'm so very grateful for all the talented geeks who "get" gadgets. I'm also convinced that gadgets "get" them. But whatever, without the geeks all of my books would be gathering dust on my hard drive.

Without technology and technologists, I'd be a storyteller with no one to tell my stories to. I am the sole female in my house. None of my men would ever listen to my stories. Unless there's an alien, blood, weapons and fighting, the men in my house aren't much interested. (To them, a HEA means one of the warriors survives and is stupid enough to go into another galaxy to tangle with entirely different aliens.) The rise of POD (print on demand) publishing and the advent of ebooks means I've been able to put my work out there into the wide world. Some of the folks in the wide world are romance readers. Boy, am I thankful for people who like to read about love and lust, second chances, new beginnings and a HEA where nobody gets eaten - okay, scratch the last part.

Like I said, I'm thankful for POD but I'd be more thankful if the royalty rates came down. If the POD companies would be a wee bit less greedy then writers could charge a lot less for books. That way, more people might get a chance to read indie work. But even if the POD people won't cut their rates - ebooks are the future of books and reading. And ebooks are an easy and economical way for me to get my words to the world. It means I can charge such a reasonable price that some smart readers will give my work a try.

So this year, I want to give a big shout out to the nerds and geeks in the big, wide world of technology. I'm very grateful to Amazon for the DTP crew who make my work available for the Kindle. I thank Mark Coker of Smashwords and his Wizard Bill the Magnificent. I appreciate the folks at Barnes & Noble, Apple, Diesel, Sony and Kobo who are kind enough to carry my work through distribution deals with SW.

Lest I forget, I did promise to get back to my hubby. I'm supremely grateful to Mr. Quack, one of the best graphic designers and all around geeky publishing wizards in the world. He formats my work for all the digital companies kind enough to carry it. He designs and creates all of my book covers. He designed and runs our website, Quacking Alone and this year he's even found time to get QA and me on Facebook. He does all of that while living with a strange lady who has her own vocabulary, renames restaurants and wakes him up by getting out of bed to get down some new thought for whatever book she's working on. All of that - and he hasn't killed me yet! Thanks for letting me live another year, sweetie and thanks for all the hard work you do to stand between your technically incompetent spouse and the digital world

I also appreciate all of the new friends I've made amongst the Marianne's on the blog and of course - I ESPECIALLY appreciate all of you who are reading this blog right now.

Mr. Quack generally wears the chef's hat at Casa De Quack, but my late grandmother whom all the grands called Mammy, had one dessert that she always made at Thanksgiving each year. I'm named after Mammy and this has always been one of my favorites. The taste takes me right back to childhood when Mammy let me lick the bowl. So forget counting calories, and give this one a try.

  • 1 box light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of walnuts (or whatever nuts you enjoy)

Mix sugar and eggs. Add 1 cup of flour and continue mixing. While mixing this, melt butter in oven in the pan you intend to cook in. Add melted butter and the other cup of flour to the egg mixture. Add vanilla. Mix. Add nuts. Pour into pan. Bake at 300° for about 1 hour. Allow the chewies to cool and then cut into squares.

So, now it's your turn. Tell me what you're thankful for this year.


Mary Anne Graham

Quacking Alone


  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Mary Anne! Loved your post today. And your Chewies sound delicious.

    I'm with you on the techy stuff! I'm probably the most backward person when it comes to the tech stuff. Unfortunately, my tech expert (daughter) lives in MI. She was trying to talk me through setting up my own wireless network last summer. Haven't done it yet though, still laying face down in dispare in a tech mud puddle! (sigh) I'm still trying to figure out how this all works when my internet company wants to charge me a higher monthly fee to change from DSL to wireless but if I buy a wireless router, I can have it for no extra charge? I'm also thankful for Best Buy's Geek Squad!

  2. Thanks for the recipe Mary Anne. I adore technology, though don't ever ask me to fix anything or tell you how it works,lol. That's my kid's job. Love my ereader, my HP computer that works like a dream, and my TIVO.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours

  3. Karen and Cathy: I find it interesting that one of you loves techy things and the other doesn't. Like I said, I have a theory that gadgets are sort of like pets - they know if you like them or not and if you like them, then they'll work for you.

    Cathy - I love my ereader too but it is a Sony which I think are the least complicated.

    Thanks for your comments and be sure to let me know what you think if you try the chewies.

  4. I'm with you on the techno thing. I feel like I keep running behind that fast-moving computer knowledge train, and never seem to catch up. My computer-unchallenged husband "fixes" things for me when I cry for help...bless him!
    Recipe sounds yummy...bring on the calories!

  5. What a great original post-loved it! I also appreciated the fact that you appreciate technologist 'cuz I'm a medical one-lol! But in my defense, I do run instruments that are anywhere from hundreds of thousands to a half-million dollars. However, at home I'm kind of a dinosauer-I STILL don't have a laptop, netbook, etc. and I am chomping at the bit for an iPad! I love technology too, but can't seem to keep up, especially with a DH who keeps discouraging my desires. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  6. 'Course I agree with M the Stephens. It seems like machines are sexist because more men "get" technology. But then, when I've almost lost hope - an exceptional lady like M the Strnad turns up. Computers intimidate me enough.

    I'd be afraid to breathe near any instrument that cost as much as those medical gadgets!

  7. I'm pretty techie, but my DH has me beat. Of course, he works in the industry so has an unfair advantage!

    What am I thankful for? What am I NOT thankful for? I have everything and everyone I need :-)

  8. I love the pictures you use and the clever way you incorporate them into the blog post. Like you, I appreciate the fact that I have techies to help me, as I am lost when it comes to doing much beyond type and save and print. LOL

  9. I like your style of writing and the 'yummy' you gave us. Can't wait to try it. Calories? Who counts them any more? Not me!


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