There's no doubt that huge leaps and bounds in technology have occurred since the publication of my first co-authored book in 1996. I now have a website, a Facebook page, am part of this One Potato...Ten Blog of children's writers and illustrators, participated in the Class of 2K9 debut authors, and the list goes on... Like many authors, I've put "google alerts" on my name and titles in order to stay up-to-date on reviews or mentions of my books and can even find out what libraries carry them and whether or not they're checked out, even as far away as Singapore and New Zealand. Without these advances, I never would have been involved in this marvelous, caring group of One Potato...Ten bloggers (some of whom I still have yet to meet in person). And even though I chose to "snail mail" invitations to my book launch party last September (instead of using Facebook or email), I did use the internet to design my invitations and even my stamps, using the digital version of my book cover--again something I couldn't have done 14 years ago for my first book.
As a writer, I embrace these technological advances, but I also feel a constant pressure to do more. One thing leads to another, and it becomes never ending. These technological advances become the very things that pull me away from my writing and my family. Finding a balance is the trick--one that is often hard to learn. This week hasn't been difficult finding the balance, however. With the birth of my newest granddaughter, Piper Drew Hemingway, and the care of her big sister, Aria, I know exactly what I need to be doing.