Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Country Mouse

I live far away from the high-rise canyons of New York and LA.
I suffer from Boonie-fear about the whole business.
Crocodile Dundee and Forrest Gump might be able to operate in a sophisticated city millieu, but I'm sure I couldn't for any length of time.
The whole deals and wheels within wheels as outlined on industry sites, all the secret intelligence about the whos and whys, the magnuses and the magicians, the ever-changing newest, latest lithiums, hot and cold this and thats, make me feel like an ignorant, bumbling twerp.
Daahling, I don't think I could acquire the skills to be On Top of Things - and I'm not talking about bed.
The latest cool, awesome rush seems to be using a DVD to do Something significant and literary and meaningfully promotional.
Depeche mode.
Just when you think you've learned the rules, they change them.
You see, a computer sat in our house for TEN years before I screwed up the courage to touch it.
You know how bad it is when your kids are very proud of you for blogging, while they do everything with computers but terraform the High Tatra - and come to think of it, they probably have a program for that.
I'm a tech-idiot, permanently stuck in Senior Kindergarten, functional but illiterate; but thought I had learned just enough to make it.
But it's more than mere mechanical familarity with the machines of progress.
It's a sense that one's style and modes are passe, provincial, eccentric, out of date and definitely out to Publisher's Lunch.
That everyone else is running on high octane rocket fuel while you're chuffing like a kerosene lamp.
Lost like a Time Traveller.
Do any of you feel this way sometimes?
Or do you read this with a certain sense of deserved, but secret and smug, superiority?


Ric said...

Writing about one room school houses, feeding the calves, breaking the ice so the cows can drink,
I live the time warp, use the computers, but five years old and likely behind the times.

Flood said...

Sometimes I fight to keep up and then I just stay in a comfortable place until I feel like I am really missing something. Then I work hard to play with the big kids. Technology changes so fast, it's impossible to be top of it all unless you are the one making changes.

Bernita said...

Sometimes, it seems that the writing is the least component in the mix.
This was intended as a wry take on the associated functions,and the fears that bedevil us at times, not an exercise in self-pity.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Lost? Me? Ha!

Okay, well maybe just a little...

The publishing industry certainly manages to lose me quite frequently. I'll think "Oh yes, I finally have it -- the Secret! Now I'll be Successful!"

But then I find out that what Secrets work for one writer, don't work for others.

*sigh* At least, like you, I've finally figured out this blogging thing. I think. :-)

Bernita said...

You're way ahead of me, SW.
I cheerfully admit I'm an idiot - just hope it's in ways that don't count too much in this brave new world.

Bhaswati said...

How I relate to technical illiteracy. It's something I will never get past; I know that. The good thing is we have such generous techie angels floating about in cyberspehere, willing to make life easier for you, just when you are on the verge of tearing your hair over some weird (it is, for me) HTML code.

Bernita said...

That "word" makes me run screaming, Bhaswati.
If it weren't for my tech-child( children) I wouldn't be here.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I must admit, I had a chair and a whip *blush* that I used to keep at the ready. When the computer made me feel like an idiot, I beat it into submission...LOL...went through a lot of monitors that way.

But I'm like Flood...When techno things get too far ahead of me, I want to know how they work.

Lo and behold...I'm not scared of this thing anymore. In fact i've learned so many of the basics that I readily want to pass on what I've learned.

Sometimes people look at this techno beginner exuberance as being a snob...LOL...I actually had somebody tell me that I thought I was a they only knew!

Preview: Bernita I may have some very exciting news shortly! No.....I'm too old to have babies...that ship has sailed girlfriend!

Dennie McDonald said...

the big secret is to act like you know what you're doing. Doesn't mean you really have to. I am webmistress for three websites - I have no clue - but I am queen of the clueless so we're all good!

my four year old knows how to do things on the computer w/o being told what to do ... scary! (I'm sure he gets it from watching the others, but still....)

Dennie McDonald said...

BONNIE! - you can't leave us hanging!

Bernita said...

Other kinds of "babies" have long periods of gestation!
I do hope and pray.

kmfrontain said...

The entire thing is, for techie/computerish stuff, that you can get someone to do it for you, or learn to do it yourself. Back in the 80's, I took the latter approach and never turned back. If I can learn to do it myself, I do. This doesn't mean I'm habile, so much as that I keep at it until I get what I want.

But as for the big city publishing industry, I've kinda abandoned figuring that thing. It never made sense to me anyway.

Rick said...

I'm enough of a geek to use my computer for some serious cat vacuuming. 3-D graphics is my latest temptation, but I've also dabbled in writing sim programs and spreadsheetws for designing planets. There's nothing quite like creating a planet to make you feel like God.

One odd thing is that computer progress hasn't really affected writing much. My old WordStar was a better program in many respects than MSWord. The Web, now that's huge, but what matters is the content, not the bells & whistles they put on websites these days.

Bernita said...

I admire you all greatly for your initiative and internet abilities.
I fear the day when it will be expected we submit queries by podcast (if I have that term right.) or have a crew of extras do a video of the first five pages.

Carla said...

"I fear the day when it will be expected we submit queries by podcast"

Probably no need to fear that too much in the immediate future. Many places haven't even noticed email yet and still insist on queries by post. I believe carrier pigeons are considered passe, though.

Bernita said...

That puts things back in proper context, Carla. Thank you.
~ though I swear I saw a guy running with a letter on a stick the other day ~
I think I've been reading the wrong blogs and lost touch for a moment with the here and now.
I HAVE tossed out my quill pen, at least.

Ballpoint Wren said...

I always learn just enough techno stuff to get me into some major trouble. Especially when I try to help other people work through techno stuff.

Bernita said...

Bobbie, I can get into major trouble with simple cut 'n paste.

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Lisa Hunter said...

You're right, Bernita. I only noticed how high-octane New York was after I moved away. Even in Montreal, the amount of aggressiveness Manhattanites need every day just to keep people from cutting in front of them in line can make someone seem like Donald Trump here.

I have to remind myself all the time: "Don't finish other people's sentences." I still have that NY tendency to want to speed up every conversation. That may be why, as an editor, I'm known as Scissor Hands. I always want to get to the point and keep it moving. I'm trying very hard to learn the pleasure of lingering.

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