Friday, April 12, 2013

Unplug and Read Hattie Ever After

Hi. My name is Katherine Sokolowski and I am a bit addicted to technology. With Screen-Free week coming up, I need to own up.

Amount of TV Screen time I have per week – likely one hour. Pretty good, right?


Amount of laptop time I have per week (typing, Tweeting, Facebook checking, emailing, blogging, etc.) – likely four or more hours a day. Or 28 hours a week. LORDY! (And it would be more than that; I’m on longer on the weekend.)

So, here are my resolutions for Screen-Free Week

1 – No TV at all. (Should be easy)

2 – No blogging. (Harder)

3 – Limit of one hour per day on my laptop/ iPad. (Hardest)

What will I do?

1 – Read as much as possible.

2- Find my journal again. Write there.

3- Spend time with my boys outside.


In light of Screen-Free Week coming up, I interviewed author Kirby Larson about her thoughts about screen time.

When you were a kid, what was your favorite Screen Free activity?

READING! And reading in bed. And reading when I was supposed to be doing my chores. And reading when I was supposed to be doing homework. And, of course, playing outside with the neighbor kids.

Do you feel like you have a good balance of screen time with other parts of your life?

(Deep breath) I will be very honest here. This is something I struggle with. Because I write at the computer, I am in front of a screen nearly the entire day some days. I do not think that's good for anyone. Luckily, I have Winston the Wonder Dog to drag me outside at least twice daily for a walk. I am trying to do a better job of balancing this aspect of my life. 

Do you plan on participating in “Screen Free Week”?

As long as writing time at the computer doesn't count, it sounds like a great thing to try!
What do you think would be the hardest part about going screen free? Are you looking forward to it or dreading it?

Well, it will probably kill me not to know what all my Nerdy Book Club friends are talking about. But imagine all the extra reading time I'll be able to fit in!

When was the last time you went screen free for more than 12 hours?

I can't even remember. (I guess I need this Screen Free week more than I realized!)

What is your writing process like? When you are writing, do you use a computer or do you begin by writing by hand?

As I mentioned above, I write at the computer. My handwriting's too awful to write by hand. I do, however, revise by hand. I think it's easier to catch things when I read a hard copy of a manuscript with a pen or pencil in hand.

Do you think going screen free will help budding writers get their creative juices flowing?

We can always hope! I would think spending time outside, in nature, or going to a museum or playing a board game with the family would go a long ways to restoring and refreshing the creative mind.

Finally, your character Hattie (Hattie Big Sky, Hattie Ever After) doesn’t have to worry about having too much screen time due to the time period. What items would Hattie have had to balance in her life like we do with screen time?

On the homestead (Hattie Big Sky), Hattie's day was filled with chores -- even getting water to wash up or make coffee involved work. "Free time" would have been a foreign concept to her. When she goes to San Francisco, in Hattie Ever After, she still has a full day with working to earn money to pay for her room at the hotel, to buy food, to buy some stylish city clothes. In addition, she didn't have access to automatic washers and dryers, or hair dryers or microwaves so nearly everything she did would take longer than it would for us. She lived in an era when leisure time was set aside for Sundays -- church, a promenade and perhaps dinner with friends. I think she would be quite dismayed to know how much free time I have. . .and how much of it I waste! 

Thanks for coming by, Kirby!

To celebrate Screen Free Week, I'd like to giveaway a copy of Hattie Ever After.

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 4/12 to 11:59 P.M. on 4/15. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward.