Thursday, July 23, 2015

Just Thinking...

Just thinking about how the story I am working on seems to be taking forever. I've been busy with other things and sometimes just can't get into it. But I still work on it when I can. It is in the realm of fantasy because there are some elements not seen in our world, and it is a continuation of a previous story. Maybe part of the problem is that the people are young people, rather than characters closer to my age. I sometimes do wonder how our own young people think. Finally, I'm starting to think that I've got to an age where my experiences are so far removed that people born from 1995 on have no way to comprehend the world that I have lived in. My own maternal grandmother was born in the 1860's, and she was around until I was about 8 or so, I think. Of course there were no televisions, cell phones or computers, not for many years. Those are now the framework of our lives, like it or not. I feel that I can understand other people, of various ages, having lived through those ages, but I don't think they could understand me, not having had those experiences. It is a somewhat lonely feeling. Imagine if we all lived to say, 200?  I've never been to a rock concert and I must say, I really have no desire to. I'm sure that it is exhilarating, the pounding music and electricity in the air. However, I would really prefer to sit quietly and listen to music! I love the sound of Rogers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter and many more, who wrote singable, danceable music. But if I would say that, of course, I immediately become too old to understand anything, to understand how awful that music is and how pitiful I am to think anyone could listen to it. I'm sure that this is what young people were saying to their elders through the ages. For some reason, though, I never thought that way, I liked any kind of music. I still don't much care for the way songs were sung in the 1920's - they sounded odd to me. But I understand that maybe the recording technology helped to make them tinny and maybe played them too fast. That, of course was popular music, not classical music. Anyway, this is all to say that trying to get into people's minds is not easy. I have to think about why they think a certain way. What makes something popular, why are some things hated, some things loved? Human nature, you gotta love it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dog Days of Summer

The title relates to Sirius, the dog star and its relation to the sun, actually. I always thought of dogs lying around in the heat of July and August. Take your choice. What I have been noticing lately is nothing to do with dogs or stars or sultry days. It is how few people are good at speaking on YouTube!

I really enjoy watching YouTube to get information about various things. Some few people are really good at talking and demonstrating. I think they are better when they do have an actual object to talk about. It's when the person begins talking to introduce themselves and explain what they are going to talk about. It seems to go on and on. Sometimes they are hard to understand for some reason - I mean they either have accented English or mumble or drone. Not everybody is a good speaker. Thank goodness for those who delve right into the thing they were going to say! And a few breaks are good.

What is even worse is to be sitting in a meeting and have speakers who go on and on.....and on. The last one I recall went on for over three hours and I think that was the one that made me vow not to go to any more of this type. The chairs were metal with a thin covering and they began to bite into my posterior. Torment! Some people are just not good at public speaking. It almost seems that those are the people who get up and insist on doing it! The worst offenders just ramble on as though the audience were hanging on every word. They take a long time to get to the point. I'm the kind of person (at least I am, now,) who just wants the facts, some nuggets of information that are useful. I really don't want to hear a long anecdote about how you did this or that, or your uncle did it. Not unless you have the genius of Sid Caesar or Jackie Gleason (and they are not with us anymore.) Once schools had a subject called "Elocution," (actually before my time), but I believe this was to teach students to speak clearly and properly. A very useful trait.

It makes me think of how writers also need to "get into" their subject and not also go on and on needlessly. It's something that is called "information dumping." We are advised to write active stories. It's a gift and not every writer has it, but maybe, just maybe, we can learn to be better at it. I surely hope so. I very much admire writers (and speakers) who have mastered this.