Keeping My Feet on the Ground by Deb Mia

Bear with me now: I’m having a moment.

An Earth, Wind and Fire moment, that is. Bars of “September” are running through my head, followed by “Got To Get You Into My Life” and “Boogie Wonderland.” And then “Let’s Groove” … ah, I’m having major flashbacks at the moment – you can almost smell the polyester.

Which brings me to my point (yes, there is actually a point to this post). I am feeling incredibly dated at the moment. Not very sleek or savvy, not to mention up with current events (and did you see my post on pop culture a few weeks back? Clueless). One of my girlfriends has “June 29” on her calendar and is literally counting the days. What’s happening on June 29? Apple’s iPhone hits the market. Do I know what an iPhone is (without having to Google it, though in truth the name alone is pretty self-explanatory)? You see where I’m going here. I wouldn’t be able to pick it out of a line-up.

It’s not that I want one (although my birthday is in a few months, hint hint), it’s just that I had no idea it even existed. It’s skipped about six generations from the last piece of savvy technology I had, the Sony Clio. And as I plug away at THE ALOHA DIARIES, I wonder how I can even write “contemporary” fiction when I’m so inept at keeping up with what’s “contemporary.” I feel like a fraud.

And then I remember what I love about the stories I write: the focus and development on my central character, my heroine, my woman-on-the-brink-of-a-major-transition. It has nothing to do with what she wears or carries in her purse. Those details are fun and fluff; the substance is in my character’s growth. How does she handle the unexpected? Who are her friends? What matters most and what is she willing to do to pursue it and then preserve it? How does the story push her to evolve more fully into who she really is?

Many of these themes are timeless – they may get recycled but they never get old. And for that, I am grateful.

8 Replies to “Keeping My Feet on the Ground by Deb Mia”

  1. Good storytelling is not about fashion or technology, it’s about people–whether they get their music from an 8-track or an ipod. Get groovy with your “clueless’ self and keep writing great stories!

  2. I feel fine about being so clueless about all the modern technology until I travel to a big city. Then I realize I’m way behind and thoroughly unhip. I don’t have an iPod. I don’t text. I barely know how to use my cell phone. And now there’s an iPhone? Egads!

    Thankfully, you and Danielle are right — good storytelling is about people, not what they carry in their purses.

  3. Putting too many “modern” gadgets in a story can also date it. But I do think you need a little bit of an idea what’s going on – I get so frustrated if a main character doesn’t have a cell-phone in a time of need. At the same time, I know some writers set their stories back to a time more familiar to them, when characters had to rely on themselves instead of technology.

  4. “Many of these themes are timeless – they may get recycled but they never get old.”
    Nihil novus sub sol – there is nothing new under the sun, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing worth creating or experiencing.
    “I get so frustrated if a main character doesn’t have a cell-phone in a time of need.”
    This can be frustrating, but sometimes the phone is ignored/off/lost/battery dead/no signal. Cell phones aren’t salvation in a tiny case; they can help a lot, but there are plenty of times when your party is unavailable, or you’re forced to rely on yourself and whoever else is nearby. And that is often a far more interesting story.

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