Lost in the Digital Age

I was lost on a long, unending road somewhere between Bossier City, Louisiana and Hot Springs, Arkansas. My atlas was falling apart, plus it was hard to read while driving, my gas gauge had already passed E, and my pre-paid phone had less than a minute remaining.

By this point, many of my friends had cell phones with service. I stubbornly resisted. Until that day. Then, I wallowed in regret, promising myself I’d follow the technology trend as soon as I returned home.

I remembered that afternoon as I read, with a chuckle, Pegg’s post below.

Lost in the Digital Age

by Pegg Thomas

I was born in the wrong century. I think I’ve known this since the cradle, if I’d had a cradle instead of the plastic crib my parents stuffed me in. I’ve always liked to do things by hand, to make things from scratch, to labor outdoors and feel the sun on my back.

Many years ago – for reasons too diabolical to imagine – I set a goal for myself to write a book. Mind you, this was back when one wrote a book. With a pen, or maybe a typewriter. I envisioned myself surrounded by stacks of paper, wastebasket overflowing, candle flickering on my desk making shadows dance across the dark-paneled walls of my office. If I had an office. Which I never did.

Lo and behold, then cometh the empty nest years.

That fateful day arrived. I picked up pen and put it to paper. Within moments I’d fully displayed my complete and total ignorance of all things literary upon that sorry tablet.

Instigate Plan B.

I fired up my desktop computer and started researching what it took to write the All American Novel. Several hours and countless cups of coffee later, I concluded that I needed to rethink this whole writing gig. Out went the pen and paper. Forget the typewriter and flickering candle. What I needed was social media and voice-activated software!

I took to social media like a pig to a frozen pond. When I came out of the spin, I realized that social media is – in point of fact – a large time sink invented to keep people from writing anything over 140 characters. I landed, with a bit of a plop, on Facebook, which seemed the most user-friendly, at least until someone invented sarcastic memes with pudgy little yellow people in them.

Now to the voice-activated software. Whoever invented this knew nothing – and I do mean nothing – about the vocabulary and speech patterns of the United States’ northern border. There was no way to get the blasted thing to stop correcting every “eh?” with “hey.” These are not the same thing!

Now I had a social presence and a software program that hated me, but I still didn’t have a clue what it took to write a book. Until one little nugget of information fell from the sky.

A book is a story.

There was no greater storyteller than my granddad. I spent most Sunday afternoons of my growing up years listening to him tell his stories. Good stories. Funny stories. Mostly true stories, although he’d been known to pull the truth out a little from time to time.

I picked up my pen. I found my tablet. I envisioned my granddad in his lawn chair with the frayed nylon webbing … and I wrote. I did it without social media. I did it without voice-activated software. I told a story. And I did it without a single gigabyte or hyperlink or spam blocker.


Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” Pegg’s debut story will be published by Barbour in April of 2017. When not working on her latest novel, Pegg can be found in her garden, in her kitchen, or on her trusty old horse, Trooper.


The Pony Express Romance Collection:

Nine historical romances revive the brief era of the Pony Express.

Join the race from Missouri, across the plains and mountains to California and back again as brave Pony Express riders and their supporters along the route work to get mail across country in just ten days. It is an outstanding task in the years 1860 to 1861, and only a few are up to the job. Faced with challenges of terrain, weather, hostile natives, sickness, and more, can these adventurous pioneers hold fast, and can they also find lasting love in the midst of daily trials?

A Place to Belong by Barbara Tifft Blakey
An Express rider promises to help fulfill Abigail’s dream to return to her childhood home. Jacob doesn’t trust him, but what other option does she have?

An Unlikely Hero by Mary Davis
BethAnn along with her little sister are running from a mistake and find security at a Pony Express station and love in the quiet affection of a shy Pony Express rider.

The Gambler’s Daughter by Darlene Franklin
Gambling debts drive Caroline Adams’s estranged father away from the Chelan Swing Station before her arrival. Can his replacement conquer the temptations goading them both to prove himself worthy of Caroline’s love?

Her Lonely Heart by Cynthia Hickey
Widow Sadie Mathewson wants to find love again. But when an injured pony express rider shows up at her station, love finds her in an unexpected way.

My Dear Adora by Maureen Lang
Chip Nolan must dispatch the letters his brother can’t after being left for dead on the Pony Express trail. One letter stands out, addressed to “My Dear Adora”— stirring Chip’s heart before he even meets its recipient.

Ride into My Heart by Debby Lee
Kimimela works at a Pony Express station where she struggles to cope with the death of her sister. When she’s kidnapped by gun smugglers, can her friend, Pony Express rider Gabe, rescue her in time?

Echoes of the Heart by Donna Schlachter
A mail order bride. A crippled stationmaster. No way out for either of them—except with each other. Can they surrender their hearts and find true love?

Abundance of the Heart by Connie Stevens
Unfulfilled goals haunt Fletcher and Mercy at a remote Nebraska outpost, but unexpected circumstances may offer a last-chance opportunity to pursue the dream of riding for the Pony Express.

Embattled Hearts by Pegg Thomas
Alannah Fagan escaped from a battle she wouldn’t survive. Stewart McCann left behind a battle he couldn’t face. Thrown together at Horseshoe Station, can they find something worth fighting for?

Contacts Pegg by email at twinwillowsfarm(at)gmail(dot)com, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, visit her on her website, or at QuidProQuills and ColonialQuills


About Jennifer Slattery

Novelist and speaker Jennifer Slattery, also writing as Jen Pheobus, uses humor, grace, and truth to inspire God's children to live abundant, Christ-centered lives. She does content editing for Firefly, a southern fiction imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and is a regular contributor to Crosswalk.com; Internet Cafe Devotions; Faith, Friends and Chocolate; and manages the social media for Takin’ it to the Streets, a ministry that serves Omaha’s working poor and homeless. She’s placed in numerous writing contests and her work has appeared in numerous compilations, magazines, and e-zines.
This entry was posted in The Creation of Story, writer's brain, Writer's Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Lost in the Digital Age

  1. Pegg Thomas says:

    Thanks for letting me share a chuckle on your blog. 🙂


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