Archive for June, 2016

Workshops A Rama

Since my last workshop, as unattended as it was, I’m thinking of other workshops I could do. I’ve always been disappointed how the local library has animation workshops for teens, but none for adults. Why can’t adults have a class on animation? I could use my livebinder animation page and the videos I made to show people how to make easy animations. If a teenager wants to come that’s fine by me, but I wouldn’t make it just for teens.

I’d have a workshop on open source software. There’s so much cool stuff out there that’s free to download – audacity, libreoffice, gimp, and much more. Tons more. A list is forming in my head. I’ve done a workshop like this at school for teachers, but others can use it as well. Then that workshop can branch out to how to use those various free softwares. I wouldn’t mind knowing more on how to use the libreoffice database. Hooray for youtube and the how-to videos. I can easily show how to use the rest of libreoffice. I’m pretty good with that as well as gimp. I use it interchangeable with Photoshop elements because each has their strengths and weaknesses.

Now to plan and make time for the workshops.


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Dear Hamish,

Thank you for your kind note. Me hoof is much better now. ‘Twasn’t bad afterall. I dinna even had to go see the veterinarian for it. I am sorry to hear about your selective hearing problem. I’m sure the twins all bribed the lambs at the school to pretend to talk and not say a word. Me Grandma said no oatie bits for the twins no more or they’ll rot their teeth out. Serves them right for stealing those oatie bits.

I had a horrible adventure with the person and it started off fine with a hike here and a sightsee there. I thought little when we drove into Santee State Park. ‘Tis by the gran loch Marion, the largest in the state. 550 or so miles of shoreline it has. The park has cabins out on a dock, over water. Very interesting.

As the trail the person wished to see was closed, she chose another one. It went down and over a burn, a creek they call it here, but we might rightly call it a river so wide it is. A bridge crossed it and we were on a bit of a peninsula bordered by two such creeks. Not a minute later and the person goes ‘oh’, and jumps. I freeze. There’s a splash. And another splash.

“Gators,” Pawnee whispers.

Oh, Hamish, me noodle legs go all wobbly and I fear I’ll faint, but if I do I will become a gator snack and there goes me wish to visit New Zealand and find me sweetie. Meanwhile Pawnee is drooling and probably would be drawing her bow if they allowed her to carry one in these parks. She’s often complained they do not. The person slides along, searching for gators, camera ready, but I sense she’s ready to run. The trail goes right past the alligator sunning spots, sandy bits along the burn bare of vegetation. How I get past I don’t know. I’m sure there are gator eyeballs watching me every step and thinking ‘taaaasssteeee’.

As you can tell I did not become a tidbit for the gators. The path curved inland and we moved away from the burn. Gators like water. I was safe. Or not. The path petered out and soon not bit of it was to be seen. It was go back or forge forward. Personally I would rather not face the alligators.  Of course I’d rather not be lost either. Once again I feared for me life.

“Are you lost, Aud? Are you?” That Pawnee Kitty was being a pest again.

“No. If I go this way we’ll come to the creek.”

Pawnee groans. “She forgot the first rule of not getting lost,” she tells me. She’s disappointed. “When you feel you are lost, stop, wait for help.” We look to where the person is marching.

“We’re doomed.” Now I will become a snack for something else and I wonder why I thought to even get out of bed this morning.

“Of course I know where we are.”

“Then why don’t you tell her, you silly ewe?”

“Found it!” The person dips down a slope. I run after and see the bridge. We are saved. I faint. When I come too, Pawnee is slapping my face, lightly, and is about to pour water over me head. A minute has passed and the person waits for us at the bridge pleased with herself.

And that was my visit to Santee S.P. We did see more of it, but kept good sight of the road. No more wandering off the path for me.

I’ll talk to you soon, in five minutes.

Your friend from the colonies,

Angus. McSheep.


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There are bulletin boards with flyers, lots of flyers, flyers of the missing. Have you seen this girl? Reward for information. So many girls missing and Noah is worried about them. He and his friends believe the evil behind the missing lives in the Pfefferbrau Haus, the local brewery, a creepy place owned by the two creepier Pfeffer brothers. Afterall, didn’t one of the girls show up in one of their vats? Then Ziggy shows up, a mysterious David Bowie-esque stranger. Noah thinks the stranger can help the girls. He thinks he can save his friend Evan from the monster. It’s all in the music.

This is set in 1983 in Portland, Oregon, during the punk scene. It discusses child abuse and how everyone sees, but does little. I don’t want to get involved. Maybe I didn’t see what I saw. Kids will relate to that.

I liked the descriptions especially JoJo’s record store. It brought to mind all the dingy records I’ve visited, the atmosphere of haze and tinge of danger, and the owners who were all characters, just a little bit different. Eclectic. When the author wrote about the nose ring, even I felt that and I don’t have any piercings.

Ziggy’s a character who you don’t really know whether he’s real or not. Is he David Bowie?  Is he a figment of Noah’s imagination? Is he someone who happens to look like Bowie?

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I have decided to write a historical novel. Someone told me of a publisher and an editor looking for young adult authors and they publish books on SC. This might be a way to get a toe in the door I thought. I’ve never written a historical novel before, not like this. I don’t think my western counts because you can still fudge on that. When you write a story set in Charleston in the 1800’s, people are going to be pickier.

It took me awhile to get started. First I needed to do research. That’s not problem because I like doing research. I found several books on the main subject and took copious notes. Getting information on the more subtle aspects of 19th century life got a bit more difficult. Two problems arose. One: I’m extremely anal when it comes to details and sometimes I have the mindset that if I don’t have the information I need no matter how minute, I can’t write. Two: Doing research when the local library has gone to the bookstore model of arranging books is a huge pain in the bootie. The last time I went to look for a book on Victorian era US, all the books on U.S. History were in alphabetical order by author. By author. (I repeated that on purpose.) That put the Cold war next to the Great Depession, Nixon was next to World War II. I complained. I told them I’d be doing my researching at USC (that’s University of South Carolina).

Problem One reared its ugly head when I started the story. But then I had a lightbulb moment. I’ll write and whenever I came to a spot where I had a question (How does a person wearing a bustle sit, what did people eat for breakfast, etc), I’d write a number on the side and on the back of the page in front I’d write the question.  This means I only write on one side of the notebook paper, but that is fine. Then I transfer my questions to the computer to print out. As soon as I can get to the university library, I’ll know exactly what I’m looking for and then I can incorporate the answers to the story in the next edit. So far it’s working. I’m be writing more observations as I progress.

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I gave, wanted to give, a workshop at a nearby library on places to see in South Carolina. Initially I wished to have the workshop on the Saturday in June at the main library when several workshops takes place. They had the person from the Department of Natural Resources give one two years ago. We only got as far as him explaining how the website works. Since the page doesn’t like Explorer or Firefox that did not help me in the slightest, but it was important to him, so be it. My talk was dependent on what the audience preferred and how much they’d traveled in South Carolina. If they were seasoned day-trippers we could compare sights to visit. If not, I’d give them ideas of resources to use and show pictures of the places I’ve visited to give them ideas.

Except the Workshop Saturday is for librarians only. Each must have certain hours to present to the public and this must be the last gasp before the deadline. That meant me giving my spiel on a Wednesday evening and since the library scrapped their bi-monthly planner no one know about my workshop. And no one came.

I am not upset however. It was what it was and I’m not about to give up on it. I will wait until the library has new means of promoting workshops, find a library that does do more to promote their workshop, or promote the thing myself. Since I have freebies (travel brochures), paper bookmarks, plus a Livebinder page with all my resources and the pictures ready to show, I won’t have to prepare much for the new workshop. Oh, I even made a little video.

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