Monday, October 10, 2011

P is for Pickard: Nancy Pickard

Today I continue the Mystery Author Alphabet Meme with a guest post from long time favorite writer and friend Nancy Pickard. P is for Pickard.

Nancy Pickard has won multiple Macavity Awards as well as Anthony and Agatha awards, and she is as a 4-time Edgar Award finalist. Having written three mystery series, she is now writing standalone novels set in her home state of Kansas. THE SCENT OF RAIN AND LIGHTNING was a Macavity finalist for best novel of 2010.

Nancy Pickard:

P is for Facebook. P is not for Twitter. P is for blogging. P is not for Skyping. That's P as in "me," of course. I'm on the technology train--or maybe I should call it the Technology Transport--but I find that I have to leave some of it on the track. I just can't do it all, and some parts of it call to me the way some books do; there's chemistry, you know? I have chemistry with Facebook, I don't have it with Twitter. I like blogging, though not too often, but I can't imagine wanting to let somebody see me on Skype, considering how awful the pictures are. And they are, right? Unless you're an adorable grandchild, Skype is not flattering to most humans, and while I don't need flattery, neither do I need to look worse than I do in real life. I have spent a lifetime hating the telephone, so iPhones may never lure me, and I don't like putting speakers in my ears, so the iPod leaves me cold, but you will probably have to bury me with my iPad, because once rigor mortis sets in, you'll never get it out of my hands. I mean it. Especially if I die in the middle of a game of "Words With Friends."

I love books. I love ebooks. I love any kind of books, but don't make me listen to recordings of my own books. Even when they're beautifully done, I can't bear to hear them. Please don't tell the talented actresses who do them!

I love tv. I love movies. So what if a lot of them are drek? A lot of books are, too, and no doubt there are people who think that includes mine. Mass media is just that--mass, and it's impossible for it to be Masterpiece Theatre all the time, or even most of the time, and we're lucky if it is good some of the time. I'm fine with that. In fact, I feel lucky there aren't more shows as superb as "The Good Wife," because if there were, I'd never get anything else done.

Technology and I are at peace.

We are happy together.

I don't have to like all of it. Not all of it likes me.

I don't even have to disapprove of its footprint; I'd be hypocritical to do so, since my own footprint is probably Sasquatch-sized, if I only knew all the ramifications of everything I use and do and watch and play and type and read and wear and drive. If I were given a real choice of keeping all my toys or letting the third-world live longer and happier lives, I'd hand over my laptop.

But the honest truth is, I love all this playful stuff.

Which means that I do not like being reminded of Steve Jobs' mortality. If I could appoint gods, he'd be on Mt. Olympus along with Leonardo DiVinci and whoever invented 7-ounce bottles of Corona Lite Beer. I might also include the inventors of Post-It Notes, email, the internet, and Kleenex. But I'm worried about S.J. I'm worried progress will stop when he's gone. We'll go backward. Both fresh inventions AND style will disappear. The fun will go out of life. We'll be forever stuck with that bad casting of Miss Marple on Masterpiece Theater, and never see a better portrayal. Okay, that's probably going too far. I confess to exaggerating, but really, who more perfectly captures the spirit of creativity and the joy of newness than Mr. Jobs? Granted, he hardly ever looks as if he's having any fun, but he has sure given me some. <<< That was not meant to sound as personal as it does.

I'm not old-fashioned. I'm not sentimental. I'm not nostalgic. For anything. I much prefer the new "Words With Friends" game to the old Scrabble, for instance. The past? It's gone. Today? It's here. Tomorrow? Well, that all depends on what Steve Jobs has in the stockroom for us.

To sum it up:

P is for progress. I'm for it.

Now if I can only make some of it on this manuscript for my next book. . .


Bobbi Mumm said...

What a delight to read this blog! Nancy, be it with the help technology or not, you have given us all enormous pleasure through your novels.

On the topic of enormous pleasures I carry three pounds on my body that I attribute directly to your Genia Potter recipes. I'll call them my Nancy Pickard pounds. Seriously, thank you for what you do. You are a treasure.

Nancy Pickard said...

Oh, gosh, I wrote this before he died! I even forgot that I talked about him in this piece. RIP, Mr. Jobs.

Bobbi, thank you. Sorry about those pounds. Blame Virginia. ; )

Warren Bull said...

Each new book you write is an adventure to read. And I enjoy your blogs too. I hope you continue to type away for as long as you enjoy it. The end product, I mean, not the sometime swampy trudge through the middle.

Janet Rudolph said...

Thanks, Nancy, for guest posting. You know I love your work.. very thought provoking article.. and yes, I should have mentioned that you wrote it over a month ago.

Nancy Pickard said...

Warren, thank you. I hope so, too, for you.

Janet, it was spooky to read it now. Thank you so much for, well, so much.