When I look at the main problem in my electronic life right now, it’s passwords. Once upon a time a six-letter word constituted some form of security (or we were persuaded that it did), now it’s 8 – 20 or a mix of upper and lower case or letters and numbers or symbols or specifically no symbols and so on and on. I guess I would be less impatient if an IT consultant hadn’t told me recently that they’re all actually rather useless – a hacker with intent could break my super-duper letters+numbers+symbols code within minutes (or did he say seconds?). Meanwhile I have a mini book’s worth of interesting combinations…
At the same time I’m astounded at the increasing sophistication of what can be achieved on the techno front by someone like me who until just recently was too downright terrified to own a mobile phone. Recent success in finally uploading Splashtop 2 to my computer and to my Asus e-pad now means I can view (and work on) my entire desktop remotely which will come in very useful on my research trip to Spain end of April. I’m also getting to grips with a new Sony camcorder. Thanks to a tip-off from a lovely new friend at a recent writing Masterclass I’ll get a chance to use this in a digital storytelling workshop on Saturday put on by the City of Stirling and presented by West Australian digital film producers and digital media educators Janine Boreland and Liz Sideris. Check out this link:http://chroniclestorytelling.eventbrite.com.au/ And if that goes well, folks, I’ll upload my first crack at this new genre to my site for your feedback.
If it looks as though I’ve swapped writing for the cyber world, not so. All this is a means to an end with a double aim of (a) learning to swim along with technology as an alternative to drowning in it, and (b) continuing to explore beyond traditional publishing boundaries. It’s preparation too for my upcoming field trip to Spain – Madrid, Toledo, Jaen, Granada – the on-ground research for my next historical novel on the last Moorish ruler of Granada, the man who made a deal with the enemy to vanquish an even greater enemy in his own father.
All this on top of a fabulous February with Perth sparkling on all fronts – the Festival, the Writers’ Festival, talks, interviews, workshops, plays, concerts, movies, dinners. Perth, Dullsville? It doesn’t have to be. As a guest of my daughter Tammy’s consulting firm – Tammy Tansley Consulting – I attended a great breakfast with the lovely Maggie Beer. What an inspiration that woman is. A terrific life story and a magnetic energy. (And what an inspiration my daughter is too. Below is her blog on the speech she wrote for International Women’s Day. http://www.tammytansley.com.au/blog/international-womens-day-lessons-i-have-learnt.html#.UUFWtaV1BUS) My favourite session at the Writers’ Festival this year was Robert Dessaix interviewed by Rosemary Sayers. Quick wit, great conversationalist. I woke up in the middle of the night laughing. He is as he writes and it was a privilege to be in the audience. I had another stroke of luck early this month with the Masterclass mentioned above which was put on by the UWA Institute of Advanced Studies. Again I was fortunate to get a place and again it was another terrific day run by author and Oxford professor Kunal Basu. Check out his website at http://www.kunalbasu.com/profile.php
But better get on with the job. Please keep the feedback coming. Until next time, keep safe.