Technology: is it making your writing easier or standing in the way of your creative side?
Like my new author photo? Yeah, me too. It's from earlier this month at the Tucson Festival of Books and Life-Size Characters. Seriously, you couldn't walk through the festival without running into one costumed and copyrighted figure after another. There were Star Wars characters, including the requisite storm troopers and a very convincing and fetching Princess Leia, kids' book characters, and the entire McDonalds cast including the Hamburglar and Grimace.
McDonalds, it seems, was a major sponsor of the event. In fact, we parked right next to this van in the Author Parking Lot:
As far as I know, the McDonalds folks haven't authored a whole lot, other than hearty defenses of their products in the face of never-ending criticism from nutritionists, including the delightfully earnest "Tools for Health Professionals." Awww, Big MacD, I don't mean to hate on you; you know I've been a fan from way back. C'mon, I never abandoned you, not even when everyone else was going all Eric Schlosser on your ass.
Sorry, I'm a little cranky...it's been a month and six days since I had a Diet Coke, and I miss them, despite my brave and continuing determination to resist the evil. So I've had to stay out of fast food joints.
Have you noticed yet that I'm avoiding the subject? Okay, okay, I'll come clean: talking about technology makes me feel dumb. I'm a late adopter. I never have any of the cool stuff. I wait until it's trickled down to eight-year-olds before I try anything. Don't get me wrong, I rely on my iPhone and netbook and kindle as much as the next person, but I'm definitely among the last to catch on. I figure it'll be another year or two before I can try Scrivener or MacFreedom even though I definitely see the benefits. I'm like a scared little kid at the top of the cliffs - i have to wait until everyone else has jumped before I can go.
The ironic thing is that I studied computers in college. Really! I have a degree and all. But I was really bad at it. And I even knew it at the time, but in my stubbornness I believed there was something admirable in the struggle. It was like voluntary Sisyphusism, wherein I imagined I was ennobled by choosing the most tortuous path.
Wow, was that ever a mistake. There followed many years of laboring in misery of the COBOL and Novell varieties. But that's ancient history. I managed to shake it off and now I get to do what I love every day, and I hire incredibly smart people to take care of the technical stuff. But I still carry the sense-memory of those bad days around with me - an involuntary shudder whenever I cross paths with technology.