Saturday, July 12, 2008

There May Be Text On My Phone, But I'm Not Texting

More often than usual at work, I find myself with my cell phone open and right thumb getting a strenuous workout. My coworkers and any strangers who happen by, believe that I am texting to-

A) A friend.
B) The Missus.
C) A mistress.

Before you think that as a writer, I am projecting these thoughts on to them, note that I've heard remarks and wisecracks mentioning just these possibilities. To be honest though, the actual answer is none of the above. I am typing in (thumbing in?) plot points, lines, poems, gags, and whatever else comes to me at that particular moment.

Now mind you, I only log in a few notes here and there. I've never done more than a page or two of actual content, tops. The screen size and 3,000 character limit per "note" tends to hamper any greater aspirations of writing a cell phone novel (keitai shosetsu), like they do in Japan.

Check out the International Herald Tribune's article on the proliferation of these novels and their perceived effect on Japanese culture.

We don't have keitai shosetsu over here and while it has done over $82 million a year in Japan, I'm sure that American publishers have looked into it and rejected it as a viable form for here.

What we do have is Crime Wav.

Seth Harwood came up with the idea of podcasting crime fiction. He teamed up with Aldo Calcagno and Jason Andrews to bring fine crime fiction to your iPod, MP3 player or computer. Next time, instead of having your brain boil over in traffic, on the subway or in what seems like a never ending could be listening to neo-noir.

They even managed to kick off the very first installment with "Must Bite" by Vicki Hendricks, author of the 2008 Edgar Award Nominee "Cruel Poetry."

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