Have you met Google Talk?

I have to admit: I’m on it all the time, whether I want to be or not. It’s the main way I write my novel AND talk to my kids all at the same time. Sort of like major multi-tasking.

I’m getting used to having the little screen pop up in the corner of my novel, and I can dash over to it and type a few lines, and then go right back to my book without ever having to click out of anything.

But the other day I was there, typing away to Allie, when suddenly my computer started to sound like a phone ringing.

I jumped back.

And then there was Allie’s voice, COMING OUT OF MY COMPUTER. She was saying, “Hello?” and she sounded as baffled as I was.

“How is it that we’re talking to each other instead of typing?” I said.

She didn’t know. Except that it turned out that her baby, Miles, was sitting on her lap, and then he leaned over and pressed a button on the computer, and suddenly we understood what that little “Call” box was referring to.


We felt a little ridiculous when we realized that this had been available to us all along–times when we foolishly used the telephone to communicate, for instance.

“The BABY figured this out?” she said.

“Yes,” I said. “Get used to it. Children always know more about modern technology than their parents do.”

“But, Mom,” she said, “he’s not even eleven months old.”

They learn fast these days.


P.S. I tried to tell my friend Alice about this amazing happening.

“Allie’s voice came out of your computer?” she said.

“Yes, after the sound of a ringing phone. Allie’s computer had called my computer, don’t you see, and then we could talk to each other.”

“How did the computer CALL another computer?”

“Well, who knows? There’s a button you click on.”

“No,” she said. “No. That didn’t happen, and it’s not true, and I can’t hear about it anymore.”

“Well…” I said.

She took a sip of her wine. “But I’ll tell you another amazing thing,” she said. “My son was visiting over the weekend, and he used his CELL PHONE to check his email! Did you know people could do that??”

Yes, I said. I’ve heard of that.