Tag Archive for: Milkman

The Mother of Invention

By Kathryn Lane
Writers are always combing
through ideas for stories. We take in a lot of information and through our
individual creative processes, we select the characters, plots, themes, and
settings that we bring to life. Great authors, like Arthur Conan Doyle and Margaret
Mitchell, invent characters, such as Sherlock Holmes and Scarlett O’Hara, that endure
over time. Then there are authors who have penned novels that have changed
society. A few examples are Homer’s
Odyssey, Cervantes’ Don Quixote,
Toni Morrison’s
Beloved, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Margaret
The Handmaid’s Tale, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series.

For most writers of mystery and romance,
we don’t look to change the world. We intend to entertain.
But COVID-19 has changed our
world. When I read or hear the news, I realize we have a plethora of ideas that
can and will influence our work. For example, in mystery novels, a detective might
attend a funeral service to glean information through observation of the
attendees. Now that funerals have gone virtual, will that detective be able to
gather information by watching the service on-line? Instead of seeing the
interaction among the mourners, the video feed will limit the view of the
gathering and the detective’s ability to catch suspicious nuances.

has ushered in hi-tech innovations, such as a bar “The Crazy Gypsy” in Seville,
Spain, whose latest hire is a robotic bartender. One android bartender can
serve hundreds of beers in an hour. If this innovation is widely adapted over
the next decade, gone will be the days of human bartenders conversing or
scaring customers in a movie or T.V. series. Think Moe in the Simpsons,
Sam Malone from Cheers, or Lloyd from The Shining.  

Besides hi-tech applied to daily
life, this pandemic has also brought a return to low-tech yet wonderful traditions,
like the milkman who leaves containers of fresh milk, cheese, and
organic fruit and vegetables near the front door. Now the milkman can be blamed
for love affairs, fathering children, witnessing crimes, or even killing
Innovation is great. Without it,
we’d still be in the stone age. What I worry about is the loss of human
interaction. Kids’ birthday parties and graduation ceremonies becoming drive-by
events. My husband and I watched a video stream as our grandson “drove-by” to
pick up his high school diploma. To me, it was sad that we could not be there
in person and celebrate after the ceremony. But as we watched the students
drive by, every single one of them was smiling and looked happy.
Crises are the mother of
invention, as the saying goes. The world will adapt. And so will we. Since I’m a
person who enjoys the “personal touch”, I was elated when a friend, Shana
Fabio, stayed in touch not by using Zoom, but rather by sending cards through
regular mail, such as the watercolor she sent us. We were touched to receive this
beautiful hand-painted card, showing family members. A card I can touch, place on
my desk, and admire. I love it!

Who is your favorite fictional character?
Kathryn’s books –
The Nikki Garcia Thriller series and her short story collection – Backyard
All available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082H96R11
About Kathryn Lane:
Kathryn started out as a starving artist in oil painting. To
earn a living, she became a certified public accountant and embarked on a
career in international finance with a major multinational corporation. After
two decades, she left the corporate world to plunge into writing mystery and
suspense thrillers. And she says she loves what she’s doing these days!

Sherlock Holmes: Photo credit: dynamosquito on Visualhunt.com / CC

Robot: Public Domain

Used with permission from the Fabio Family