Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Texting While Driving

I remember when they passed seat belt laws in Texas. I reluctantly got in the habit of buckling up. But it was a good thing, and if the law weren’t in place today, I would still buckle up. After all, it makes the possibility of my surviving an accident so much higher. It helps me, and my passengers who also buckle up, be safer. So while my buckling up may not do much for you, it’s good for me, and I’m happy to oblige.

It's odd that we have seat belt laws in 49 states, drunk driving laws in 50 states, yet there are very limited texting while driving laws. To me, texting while driving more resembles drunk drinking than it does seat belt usage, and should be treated similarly.

Seat belts protect passengers, but they do nothing to prevent accidents. Texting while driving endangers passengers and causes accidents (like drunk driving does). So it seems weird that most states have a law that requires you protect yourself (seat belt), but they don’t have a law that prevents you from injuring others (texting). Or if there is a law, it’s limited, such as no usage around a school zone or with passengers in the car under age 17.

Also odd, almost everyone I talk with agrees that texting is bad while driving and claim not to do it. Yet it only takes a few miles down the road to see that’s clearly not the case. People text and drive a lot! What can possibly be so important in that 160 character message to risk lives?

I wonder if some day there will be a law completely banning texting while driving? Who knows, but in the meantime, I can tell everyone I know not to text and drive. And I urge you to do the same. Texting while driving is bad for everyone, and not only endangers the lives of those texting, but the innocent victims that are hit as a result. And sometimes the accident is so bad, that even the seat belt isn’t going to save you.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Short Story - Signs of Love

A year or so ago, the Humble Fiction Cafe (HFC) writers group had decided to do another group project in which we would all contribute short stories to a book, with those stories centered around a fictional place called Moot. A spin-off, if you will, to our Split book of short stories, but with a completely different theme.

The town of Moot was an odd place, with occasional supernatural occurrences by the lighthouse. Moot, by the way, was not on the ocean, but had a rather large lake outside the center of town.

Without enough group enthusiasm however, the project quickly died (and unfortunately so has HFC for all intents and purposes), but not before I drafted a story. I thought I would share that story here. I hope you enjoy.

Signs of Love
A short story by Sheryl Tuttle
Click the link above to read the story

Friday, June 1, 2012

First of the Month Book Review - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had heard that The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson was a bit slow in the beginning, and it is. And it never turned into a serious page-turner, although it kept my attention sufficiently. The book demanded focus in order to keep the numerous Vanger family characters straight, and honestly with my disjointed reading intervals - stealing a few minutes here and there - and the author's switching from using first names to last names, I found myself getting some of the characters mixed up at times.

The story is about a journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, who investigates the 40-year old disappearance of a wealthy Swedish scion with the assistance of Lisbeth Salander, who is an investigative prodigy/computer hacker (and the girl with the dragon tattoo). There are interesting twists and turns, and a lot of violence, so it's not for the faint of heart.

Along with a slow start, I felt the ending dragged also. Once the murder mystery case is resolved, the novel continues with a wrap-up of sub-plots, and there are just too many remaining pages of reading after the central story ends.

Overall, I liked the story well enough, but it didn’t live up to all the hype.