It’s Sunday morning 5-April, 2020. The day is beautiful outside. Charles has asked me to write the blog while he finishes a face mask. Happy anniversary to Mary and John, belated Birthday to Shaaron, early Birthday to Susan, Melissa Louise, Corin-Cameron.
I look out a window to the sunshine. in a couple of hours, Charles is going down to make lunch. “Soup’s on.”
The shut-in time is pretty normal for us as we have worked from home office for several years- telephone, email, computer internet discussions. We are not anxious or fearful, just prudent. Today, we will likely take multiple short walk with face masks in place and avoiding other people.
This blog has morphed into a rant on “Creativity versus Technology.” The Left and Right brain.
We are missing the beauty of Spring with waves of flowering trees, staged flowers as crocus, daffodil, hyacinth, camelia, magnolias-Japanese and Southern, flowering cherry and fruit trees, massive pink and white and yellow displays. Even the Scotch Broom on the hillsides, which is a weed in this part of the country. Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Dog Wood are yet to come.
We have been inside, except for the occasional walks around the block. Our household has been in lockdown, a.k.a ”shelter in place,” since March 17th when our third member stopped going to play tennis with social distancing. As the youngest person [ha, over 60] he went to the grocery around March 20th and tried to return books to the closed public library- the slot was taped over.
For household entertainment, we make puzzles which take over the dining room table. Each of us have a different technique. All of us contribute to finding the straight edges which Charles puts together as the starting point. Then we work on color, shape, or area.
It’s a little strange, not going to a coffee shop about three times a week to chat with a group of 6-7 friends. That was our purely creative time. Our coffee shop had announced that the building was being leased to someone else and they were closing as of March 30th, so we had started looking for an alternative site. We had just found a small doughnut shop which would fit the bill for companionship just about the time that our state closed down restaurants except for drive-throughs. They don’t have a drive through. I doubt that they will survive as they were a family owned, single site just getting going for less than a year.
We have stayed busier than ever. Get up, have breakfast discussion amongst 3 people rather than 5-6 companions, then off to separate computers for work.
I find myself going technical. Charles is writing first draft on a new novel, but also splitting his time to an Amazon marketing push for our other novels, specifically in our Lunarian- Ennea Chronicle series. We view our stories as alternate history or universe, but finally have embraced Science Fiction (Sci Fi) epic adventure. We think that we have broken through to reaching on-line readers.
We are at a critical point in a new story. Charles is trying to print out a draft in 6” x 9” format [75 x 22 cm] on normal size page so we can get an idea of the story length on the written page. It was a straight-forward process. He rants at the newest update of the word software which makes this action impossible now. We both rant at software designers who make changes which have no purpose except to bow to the dumbest of the users who only know one size of paper. This type of change just sucks the creativity out of us. The word software over-rides the printer software. He has found that he has to print the smaller format to pdf and then print the page. The spacing is wrong; it’s a waste of our time and energy. We happen to think that our time is too valuable to solve an artificial problem which didn’t need to exist. We thought differently forty years ago, but not now. It’s time for me to see the rough draft for shear creativity and a moment of epiphany—our collective “A HA – OF COURSE.”
We know that we are growing old. Not that we fight “change,” but that the “change” is no longer progressive. The “change” is making the world more opaque and it takes longer or more steps for the same result. We embraced “change” in the 1970’s to affect a revolution in sand-blasting and industrial painting to move towards a re-cyclable medium- water – and a minimization of waste.
I’m off topic- Creativity versus Technology. My challenge yesterday was attending “Zoom©” meetings, which I have done several times this week. I was just the attendee, not the organizer. The workshops were advertised, the links were on the page. Then each leader found that attendees needed a meeting id and/or a password. This was different from the day before. Someone at “Zoom©” had changed the software. I finally just listened on a phone link to one workshop. I didn’t have the capacity in a few minutes to solve an artificial problem which didn’t need to exist. Neither the leaders of the workshops nor myself are novices to teleconferencing. I just remind myself to test the teleconf software before I use it as an organizer in the future. Be Prepared.
But that experience sapped my creative writing mood for the rest of the day. This is not the covid-95 doing, it is a collective movement towards dumbing down OR more-and-more security levels? I remember the days when I could type faster than the computer and software; only ASCII characters. Now I type faster because there is so much overhead in the software. The appearance of the words has overtaken the meaning of the words.
I look out the window to the sunshine. Charles is going down to make lunch. Back to creativity this afternoon after the lunch break and a little walk. “Soup’s on.”