Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How to give a Presentation .... Cue the Meltdown


Last Thursday was a bit of a breakthrough day as I would be giving a talk about the book I am writing.  This had been scheduled earlier this year at the Herman Melville House in Troy, NY (actually Lansingburgh - I still maintained that Troy is occupying the village where I grew up and has been for the past 124 years, but someday we shall throw off the shackles) and I'd worked damn hard with teaching notes, visual presentations, and my decent communication skills to make a 1 hour talk about Herman Melville, and his association with Lansingburgh, Presidents Chester Arthur and Theodore Roosevelt, and murders and conspiracies, that is, a halfway decent novel.

          Herman                                                 Chester                                                     Theodore

My wife and I arrived a little later than planned (thanks to my shortcut) and the room was filling up with interested folks, most of which I (gratefully) knew.  So after some hellos and hugs, I set upon setting up my Mac with the projector provided by the sponsors, but after some minutes of attaching A to B, it became apparent that it was not going to work, much to the consternation of the org's President who finally threw his hands up and said "It's a Mac. I don't know what to do." The part that made me go Hmmm was that I had sat in the audience here two weeks previous when another speaker used a Mac with no problem.  Sabotage? my bipolar mind asked.  Did he not like me?  What was going on? Making me look bad deliberately?

At this point, the MS leader, Captain Fatigue, stepped into the center ring, and announced the reason it was not working was because I was tired, very tired.  I had been putting in hours on this presentation more from my days at my old job.  I knew, of course, that I was dog tired. Even driving to the site in Lansingburgh using a "shortcut" which seemed to my wife as completely out of the way, I was telling myself to just get through it.  Get through it.

I would have to talk it through.  Fortunately I had a lot of support from friends in the 30 seat room and I stumbled my way through looking at now useless notes and the dragging info from my lesioned brain before Captain Fatigue and Sergeant Bipolar could hide the stories in a brain file labeled Great Kale I Have Eaten.

So I made it. And since that night I'm still slowly recouping energy.  I've started a writing class (three hours Tuesday night for eight weeks) and I need to write stories while continuing the Herman tales.

I hear about marketing and appearances and signings, and I've talked with writers who do a lot of it. Before I get serious on any of those subjects I need to finish the story.  But hyping will be a tough road because the energy that I admire in other authors as they succeed in this area is just not there for me.  Local? Sure.  Big time? Probably not. I will not get better.

Pace myself.  Isn't it odd that pace in Latin is peace? I enjoyed the talk despite the problems and the positive reinforcement never hurts.  Believers can lift you up.  Now I have to make sure I keep up with it.  I will start when I open my eyes tomorrow. Maybe.

Thanks for the 10000 views.  I'm going to move back and forth between this blog and one on writing.
Writing the 1,391st Greatest American Novel in a decade or less! Please take a look should you wish, and my thanks for your support.


And Herman Melville and President Martin Van Buren thank you too...

Monday, October 13, 2014

That's it. I've turned the TV off. Goodbye 21st Century.

Four minutes ago I turned off my TV and bid farewell to "Gotham", the Fox Network's take on the early days of Jim Gordon, ace detective and eventual Commissioner of Gotham City's Police Department, and partner with Batman on the perpetual crime spree going on in that fictional city, which is just down the road from Metropolis, and a hop, skip and a jump from Starling City (Arrow) and whatever place the Flash is from.

One problem for me is that we've got like a 10 year wait before The Bat shows up.  Bruce Wayne is about 12 years old.  He appears like a smart kid, but he's still getting over the murder of his parents by person or persons unknown.  Yes, he lives in Wayne Manor with Alfred the Butler.

See, the problem is also, I'm 58 years old.  Now I've seen every Batman movie, and only 2 make the cut for me and they are both the Joker films.  Even they make me a little squeamish.  I've got both films on DVD and I've never watched them.

When you're a kid of the 1960s...This is Batman....

and Robin, of course.  And the comic books, any of them before 1970.  Yes, I am old, as noted.  I also repeat myself.  I have brain lesions.  And I am tired of seeing people killed off in unique ways with no fuss (tonight on Gotham, a city councilman and his aide were killed by having a dart shot through their eyes, and another councilman [the last one I saw anyway] was stuffed into a trash can, doused with gasoline and lit up like a torch).  Now that's entertainment.

Look if I want that kind of fun, I can watch ISIS videos.

Which brings me to The Walking Dead.  For four years I saw every episode, it was must Sunday night watching (or Monday morning watching with coffee, cookies, and my wife off to her job).  I would settle in and watch this:

And then watch everyone who was still alive run away, or, if that wasn't an option, watch Sheriff Rick and the gang stab, crush, hammer, burn and everything else to what was stumbling around the countryside just looking to feed on human flesh.  Yum.

Until I noticed last season that I started to be more interested in the how than the what.  How did they make that zombie do that? How did they work that cave in? I became far more interested in that then the story, which is just, well, silly.  Maybe I'm just in a phase with my little bit of energy that I need to place it the major presentation I've got coming on Thursday.

More on that later, but for right now I'd like to have The (baby) Penguin meet the Governor in a pit that's surrounded by zombies and say, OK boys, lemme know who wins and turn the set off.  You can send an e-mail.


I can not help but notice that we are over 10000 visits.  Thank you.

Right now I will join my wife and watch funny shows.  I hope they are.