We live in an ever changing world where technology races ahead at the speed of light. How's a girl to keep up with all the advances? I read an interesting blog just yesterday on this very subject. Ruth Glick who writes as Rebecca York posted an excellent blog that is certainly worth a visit. In her blog, Ruth tell about a lecture she attended on modern technology. There are many useful tidbits of information in her notes on the topic.

I recently completed a romantic suspense manuscript that had lots of references to technology used in security, some of it I just made up. But in researching to get the facts right, I found some of the stuff I'd "made up" really existed!

Another issue we need to keep in mind as we create our stories is the difference between life today and life ten or twenty years ago. We must be sure not to let our work become dated by references to obsolete technology.

If you have questions about cell phones, ipods, mp3 ,or any other modern gadgets, just ask any teenager! Teens today are so good at texting they can text one handed from inside their pocket or under the desk. They have created their own language with short cuts and buzz words specific to their culture.

Our world is changing every moment of everyday, we can't afford to get caught in a time warp unless it is part of the plot! Recently I read about scientists working on a transporter like those used in Star Trek. Life is certainly getting complicated. If you'd like to read Rebecca's blog here's the link: http://rebeccayork.blogspot.com

19 comments

  1. Mary Marvella // March 5, 2009 at 7:54 AM  

    Morning Scarlet,

    I have been known to "make up" technology that was actually available in the real world.

    I don't text or twitter and am barely adequate with a cell phone and a digital camera. I have to get my daughter and more savvy friends to erase the accidental photos of the inside of my pockets and my car dash.

  2. magolla // March 5, 2009 at 8:41 AM  

    Great topic, Scarlet!
    I wrote an RS that featured a mansion with 'high tech' security. I talked to hubby (IT dude), and he sadly shook his head and informed me that my 'high tech' was severely behind the times!
    The tech world moves so quickly that by the time a new whatever is marketed, it is already out of date and close to obsolete.

  3. Edie // March 5, 2009 at 9:24 AM  

    My life revolves around my email and computer, but my characters are hardly on theirs. I avoid mentioning technical things in my books -- especially because I'm a technical klutz.

  4. Barbara Monajem // March 5, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

    Heh. Yeah, I always ask my kids for help when it comes to new technology. It's not just that they usually already know -- they seem to have an instinct for how something will work even if they haven't used it before. Comes of growing up in the age of personal technology, I guess.

    In my story Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil, quite a bit hinges on some photographs. Between the time I wrote it and the time it got accepted for publication, quite a lot about the photography world had changed. Nowadays, most people have digital cameras, and we don't rely on photo shops for printing purposes anywhere near as much as we used to. I felt compelled to change some stuff just to make the story feel more timely.

  5. Pamela Varnado // March 5, 2009 at 11:59 AM  

    Scarlet,
    You are so right. Nothing dates your writing more than outdated technology. I have to constantly remind myself of that fact. My age shows whenever I go to purchase ink for my printer. I keep referring to ink as a ribbon. Now, that went out with typewriters, though some people still use those today.

  6. Arkansas Cyndi // March 5, 2009 at 2:14 PM  

    You are so on target...sometimes I read about inventions that I cannot even imagine. I saw the story about transportation (like Star Trek). I think they more one particle so far, but it's a start. And remember when Dick Tracy's watch was a two-way communicator? Now, cell phones, etc.

    And the way Digital Photography has changed so many things!

    Great topic. I'll have to tap some of y'all's brains when I need some technical "inventions"

  7. Scarlet Pumpernickel // March 5, 2009 at 4:37 PM  

    MM,
    I know exactly what you mean, I've taken quite a few lovely pictures of the inside of my pockets.

    Scarlet

  8. Scarlet Pumpernickel // March 5, 2009 at 4:39 PM  

    Magolla,
    You are so lucky to have your own private IT dude! They certainly come in handy sometimes, don't they!

    Scarlet

  9. Scarlet Pumpernickel // March 5, 2009 at 4:40 PM  

    Edie, I understand completely! However, sometimes it is unavoidable. At times like that I usually ask and 8th grader!

    LOL

    Scarlet

  10. Scarlet Pumpernickel // March 5, 2009 at 4:43 PM  

    Barbara, that is definitely one draw back to today's changing technology. A computer can be out of date by the time you take it home! Kids are definitely the first line of defense in keeping up to date.

    Scarlet

  11. Scarlet Pumpernickel // March 5, 2009 at 4:44 PM  

    Pam, been there, done that! Makes me feel about two inches shorter than a fifth grader!


    Scarlet

  12. Scarlet Pumpernickel // March 5, 2009 at 4:46 PM  

    Cyndi, isn't it amazing all those new fangled sci-fi contraptions that are now a part of daily life!

    Scarlet

  13. Beth Trissel // March 5, 2009 at 8:18 PM  

    So true, so true. My 19 year old daughter and soon to be 12 yr old niece are my technology experts.
    Interesting post. Thanks!

  14. Mary Ricksen // March 5, 2009 at 8:27 PM  

    I should know half as much as a teenager does about technology.
    Anyone have a teen to rent to me?

  15. Nightingale // March 6, 2009 at 1:58 PM  

    Good reminder. I was thinking the other day about whether you dial a phone anymore. Like do you dial a number on your cell phone?

  16. Scarlet Pumpernickel // March 6, 2009 at 5:09 PM  

    Beth,
    You are lucky to have technology savvy teens to help out! I rely on my 17 year old cousin to help me when the going gets tough!

    Scarlet

  17. Scarlet Pumpernickel // March 6, 2009 at 5:11 PM  

    Mary R,
    It's never too late to learn! At least that's what I keep telling myself. If we can bribe them into showing us, then we can adapt and become techno geeks too!

    Scarlet

  18. Scarlet Pumpernickel // March 6, 2009 at 5:14 PM  

    Linda,
    On my cell, I can call without dialing. One way is to press the pre-programed one digit code for the number. The other is to use voice commands. Call home, will activate the phone to call my home number (or it would if I had it programed correctly! LOL)

    Got to use that in a manuscript sometime! Do Vampires use cell phones? Or do they communicate telepathically?

    Scarlet

  19. Joanne // March 9, 2009 at 9:01 AM  

    Hi Scarlet,
    Very pertinent blog. My 14 year old daughtger is an Ipod and cell phone and texting wizard. She even sets up my bluetooth for me.