We adults live in a linear world in which we grew up with pen and paper and printed books and now wait impatiently (eagerly or with trepidation), wondering when digital is going to replace all of that. As if the flow is all one way and inevitable. But Josie lives in the world of now. In her world, people use fountain pens to write for recreation. They use phones to talk and text and email. They gather for family dinners and talk about their dreams and desires. Printed books and digital books are different experiences that nestle comfortably alongside each other. Live theater is as thrilling as a 3-D movie. Sometimes you sing and dance and sometimes you listen to your iPod.
Josie teaches me to live in the land of Now. To be grateful for the ways that I can reach out electronically without giving up nestling in front of the fire with a hardcover novel. When I read the debates between Kindle lovers and the devotees of printed books, I think of Josie and think that we are being very foolish.
Every piece of writing should tell a story. This is as true for a report for my boss … as it is for an essay that I may be preparing for print, or a tale about Josie that I post here. Same thing for any kind of a presentation that I might do for a conference: What’s the plot? Who are the characters? Where’s the dynamic tension? How do I want the audience to feel when they’ve come to the end?