Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cell phones

My mother has a cordless phone, it's big and bulky, and sits on the kitchen counter next to her analog clock. According to my twenty-eight year old son, analog clock tutorials are becoming very popular because most people use their cell phones to tell time.

I still remember a world where phones came with cords, but my daughter doesn't. She can text, talk, play games and listen to a podcast at the same time on a phone little bigger than her hand. The world is full of people texting, talking, listening to podcasts and showing people their virtual photo albums. When I go into work, you can bet I whip out my phone the minute someone shows me pictures of their kid, all the better to show mine.

We've gone from hand cranks to smartphones everywhere except contemporary romance. Most contemporaries are about twentysomethings, but the trouble is, they're not written by twentysomethings. If you're dialing "0" on your ten digit Jitterbug to talk with a live operator you might want to spend quality research time checking out current behaviors.

Memories are static. A contemporary happens now.

Everything we write is colored by our experiences and attitudes, and while it can be changed, sometimes it's unconscious. The person who doesn't use a phone isn't going to think of providing one for her heroine in the same way a writer's use of swearwords or her handling of controversial subject matter reflects her comfort level.

We are what we write, although that would probably be better as "we write what we are."

7 comments:

Hailey Edwards said...

You're right on the money with writing to your comfort level. I don't keep up with most techie trends, so you can bet the most I'll equip my characters with is a cell phone.

Unless it's important to the plot. Then I ask my mom. She hasn't matured past about the age of sixteen, so she's my go-to girl for the latest "it" gadget.

Jennifer Leeland said...

Good point. Of course, I don't write about twenty year olds.

deanna said...

Thanks, Jodi, for the books! I had forgotten all about them, until the package was there in my mailbox. The Ueland book looks basic and by an author with great confidence in her teaching skills, and the one by Sher is very Zen. I think I can find good homes for both, after at least skimming them, myself. You are great to remember and actually do what you say you will. :o)

jodi said...

lol, Hailey and Jen. Sometimes I wonder where my posts come from. :)

you're very welcome Deanna. I had them packed up for the longest time, waiting for a trip to the post office. Long delayed, I'm sorry. Funny how the closest things aren't always the places we get to fastest.

I liked the one by Sher. :) But it needs to find a good home. My bookshelves are getting full and it's time for another.

liana laverentz said...

All my phones are still cord phones. I give my number out very sparingly, so I figure if someone takes the time to call, I have the time to sit and talk to them. And I don't have caller ID, either. I like the surprise element of wondering whose thinking about me :) I suppose that makes me stuck in a contemporary :)

liana laverentz said...

That's *who's* thinking of me. Gawd. Where is my brain today?

Probably lost in trying to figure out the new Yahoo Loops format...

jodi said...

It is really ick isn't it? I've been ignoring the notifications. I really need to go check them out, too. :)