Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Everything Old Is New Again

My wife can't understand why I don't use my iPhone for more things. She reads her email on it, uses it for her shopping list, receives phone calls on it, and in general uses it for almost everything. I, on the other hand, use mine mainly for phone calls. I guess I'm like the man who would buy the Farmer's Almanac because he "wasn't farming as good as he could right now." I guess the march of time is leaving me behind...but that's okay. I like older, more familiar things.

Those who follow me know that from time to time I'll pull out from my collection some of the older authors and re-read their work. Don't know why I have this affinity for writers who are now deceased, but I've also noticed that what was written about fifty years ago could just as well be pulled from today's headlines. For example, Ross Thomas wrote about lobbyists in a style that could come from today's headlines. And the stories written by Robert Parker and Donald Westlake don't ever get old--even when I've read them several times.

In reading through some of these authors, I've decided that maybe my colleague, Brandt Dodson, was right when he said, "There's only one plot in all of these mysteries--two dogs, one bone." Maybe that's true. Have you found it to be so? 


Priscilla Bettis said...

I ALMOST agree with Dodson. I just finished a noir story that had three competing plot lines spiraling toward the same climax, so I guess it was three dogs, one bone.

Richard Mabry said...

When I first hard Brandt say that, I wondered about it--but the more I applied it to various stories, the more I saw the truth to it.

Patricia Bradley said...

I pretty well agree with it...the number of dogs may change, but usually everyone wants the same bone. lol

I'm like your wife, Ricard, and use my phone for everything! I've even been known to dictate a thought I have just before going off to sleep. Most of the time I can understand it. I know if I tried to write it down, not only could I not read it, I wouldn't be able to figure out what I was talking about. lol

Richard Mabry said...

Well, that brings to mind another axiom about dogs, and I guess I'm one old dog who doesn't really learn new tricks well. Thanks for your comment (and for trying to drag me, kicking and screaming, into the future).

Patricia Bradley said...

Richard, that reminds me of when I first started working in the abstinence program. My director, who was 5 years younger than I am, still used an overhead projector and transparencies. We were talking to kids who'd been using a computer since before they started school.

I was familiar with PowerPoint and created slides for our curriculum. She always said I drug her kicking and screaming into the world of computers. lol But the slides helped engage the kids more...we've moved on to videos now. And I didn't create them. But our nonprofit is still going into the schools talking to kids about making good choices.

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, good for you, dragging the director, kicking and screaming, into progress. When I was in practice, I usually was on top of all the new techniques--I just thought that retirement meant I could slow down and get good at what I already knew. Wrong.