I had no idea what a blogfest was two weeks ago but in this exciting world of networking I will have a try at many things. So the first one? New connections. This blog is meant to be only about writing, self-publishing and the Sefuty Chronicles. My challenge is to endeavour not to stray too far off this path.
The Sefuty Chronicles, a work always in progress as the series progresses, has at its dystopian heart reconnections and new connections. As the struggle to reunite the survivors continues, as people have to learn to live with the manipulated people coming to help and live alongside them.
I have had a fascination with how people connect with each other, I suspect, all my life. Due probably to my own problems in this regard. I have dyspraxia; it is a condition where, within the central cortex, connections between neural pathways are weak or inconsistent. Somewhere between sensory information gathering, storing, and then the planning and execution of such, the messages don’t connect or not sufficiently to produce the correct results. Motor skills are the obvious problems presenting with this condition but social skills too are often frail. Mine are. Years of ‘people-watching’ to work out how to interact has resulted in working around the problems.
I spent many years working with the under fives and all of you who have had experience of these early years know it is a period of intense development when new connections are made, it seems like in the hundreds every day! Exciting times to be alive if a trifle exhausting for all concerned! During this time I also travelled extensively and fell in love with humanity and all its diverse and fascinating cultures and went on to study anthropology in my 40s. As with people and children, watching the connections was what drew me in, how they were made, how different cultures and peoples made sense of what was around them. How they connected with the world.
So where to start on ‘New Connections’? Well obviously the spangled web is all about connections. The beauty and the wonder of it, all those tiny millions making a gigantic whole, a new species of spiders that work ant-like for each other. It never fails to leave me amazed and bedazzled. Maybe the younger members here do not share this wonder but consider, I come from a time when a home telephone was an unheard of luxury. However the connectedness of the web is not the only connection I wish to write about.
I joined the network of social sites reluctantly a year ago because research had suggested it was the way to go in selling a self-published book. Hmm. I had, of course, read about Facebook and Twitter and amongst my elderly peers, heard the comments of ‘just mindless chatter about breakfast and trains missed’. They also said that about mobile phones when they appeared but what a boon they are! I dipped a toe, had an account with Facebook and Twitter and stood staring at them for the longest while. What to do? How to do? Where were these so called ‘friends’ to come from?
I watched; added people I already knew. Responded to posts. Followed leads which led to other sites. To other groups of like-minded folk. Slowly the list of friends grew. I found I cared about these strangers in their day-to-day lives. It ceased to become just a way to launch my writing but a meeting of like-minded minds from around the world. Pen pals without the stamps.
After a lifetime of stressful social intercourse I found the social networks relaxing and encouraging. The ‘delete this post’ button is soooo good for someone who has trouble saying what is ‘in’ her mind. (Quite often words come out in the wrong order and we all know the trouble that can cause!) I find in this fast-talking world I now have time to respond, time to consider. Great!
I have found these new ‘friends’ of mine are kindly, generous, supportive and helpful. As are humans in general. They laugh and cry with you. We may never meet and maybe it is not the general meaning of friends, but it is one interpretation of the word.
So in the last year in the interests of my Sefuty Chronicles publications, I have made new connections with many, many people. Through them I have been able to connect with many other new sites to aid me in researching a time I do not know. Many new sites which have helped me forward, such as those for e-books, new software to aid me in my endeavours, and, maybe even better, led me to new ‘friends’ and sites of new interests.
I am connected to the world to people in a way I never have been before.
(I have blogged about dyspraxia under the titles of ‘Look at the picture not the picture frame’ amongst other general subjects at http://www.didyoueverkissafrog.typepad.com/)