Driving down the mountain today, through a cold, light, misty rain, it occurred to me that it would be difficult to take someone snipe hunting these days.
When I was a teen, living in a very small town in Northern California, snipe hunting was a rite of passage boys inflicted upon one another. I'm sure it varies from town to town and region to region. But for us, the snipe was a small bird that lived on Burney Mountain. One leg was shorter than the other, so the snipe was only able to travel around the mountain in one direction.
Which is why it could be caught.
The legend went something like this: If you go into the woods in the middle of the night and face west on the north side of the mountain (or something like that) you can lure the snipe into a bag with a flashlight, helped along by calling the bird's name over and over again.
Of course the plan is to get the initiate into the woods and leave them there alone for the night.
Sometimes the trick actually worked.
Try and do that today. The first thing victim does is go to Google or Wikipedia. Both give away the joke.
This leads me to think about writing contemporary novels in a world where technology changes dramatically every year. The novel I wrote six years ago has cell phones, but not smart phones. Tablets don't exist. Social networks and information sites aren't as wildly pervasive as they are today. Even texting is much less common. If I start submitting that story again, do I leave it as it is, or do I update it to fit the time?
Then I start thinking about stories that could be centered around a piece of technology. A mystery writer could create a plot with a Garmin in its middle. Nothing is known about a murder victim except the last ten locations saved in a Garmin. And the hunt is on!
What about novels I'm outlining right now? If it takes me two years to write it, how much will have changed by then?
I suppose one must simply write in the time chosen, and not drive themselves crazy thinking about what may or may not change from "The End" to "The Agent".
Still, that Garmin idea might have merit. Feel free to steal. I don't write mysteries.
Thanks for reading, off to write!