Monday, April 27, 2015

What's Next???

April 27, 2015

This is the 26th day after the 45th anniversary of the 21st birthday. 
Why would I want to tell my age?  Because I always believed that of the two choices you have in life... get older or (you know what), I choose get older and be proud of it.

Anyway I am on hiatus from "Black Nouveau" for a while because most of our studio crew is MATC students who had better be studying for the exams... and MPTV is into Auction Season.
Please buy something, buy lots of things, your support for Public Television helps pay for the show!

So, I am writing again and I need your advice.  Here are four story ideas I am working on.  Which one shall I tackle first?

1.   Camels in the Desert.  They story of how and why the U.S. Army brought camels to the Southwestern states shortly after the Civil War.

2.    The House in the Middle.  How two middle-aged women (you define that any way you want!!) who live one house apart but hardly know each other are brought together by an incident in the house between them.

3.    Bushville.  A Memoir in 9 Innings.   Musings about my childhood in Milwaukee during and around the time of the 1957 World Series.  (The Braves won)

4.    The Green Ribbon.   The story of a man, a woman, a family and a fire. A personal story of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York.

As you can tell, I have a preference for history and I love stories that can tell the reader/viewer (if they get put on video) something about the past that he or she did not know.

My favorite TV show used to be "Connections" on PBS that told the stories that linked today's society and technology with developments in the past.

So, cast your vote...!! I will pursue the idea that generates the most votes (or in this case) THE vote.  I also promise to give you acknowledgement when I get published.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Conversations that Matter

Didja ever have a conversation with someone and he/she asked you a question that stopped you short in your tracks?

I just did.

Yesterday, I talked with someone about some medical research. He asked me a question that I answered honestly without even thinking about it.

Then he followed up with a bunch of questions connected to the first question. By this time, I realized what I had said and tempered all my answers. But, he was the first person to ask me that question, and I guess I'm glad he did.

It all reminded me of how I question people during interviews and conversations for television. We ask the questions to which we need answers to match the subject of the story. Then we usually leave the conversation at that and move onto the next story.  But, sometimes I ask questions after the conversation that don't relate to the story directly... that is when I get the best answers.

During an interview of a mother of a Down's Syndrome son many years ago, I asked all the mandatory questions about his current situation and got all the expected answers for the story I was writing.  Then, when the "formal" part of the conversation had ended and my photojournalist was about to move the camera to shoot b-roll, the mother began talking about her fears for the future. She began to cry and tell me how worried she was about her son and what would happen to him when she died.  You can't stop someone when they are in an emotional conversation, you can just listen and not look away.

I was shouting to myself inside "I hope Dale is getting this!!!!".  He was. Still rolling and captured it all in a sensitive way. Kudos to all those PJ's who really know how to shoot, who LISTEN to the subject on the other side of the lens, and how to follow a situation without disrupting the atmosphere.

The unexpected is usually the most revealing and the most cleansing.

tech tales

Here is a rant against technology...

I had a great idea for a blog, but my access to this site was blocked because my "cookies" weren't right.

So, I followed the directions and by the time I got in to this page, I forgot what I was going to write!!!

Why, oh why, does technology have to get in the way of creativity??

Ok, I'm old (er) than most of you using these devices.  To you, they are second nature. But, to some of us, they are roadblocks to communication and true interpersonal relationships.

I need a new phone since Verizon is trying to bankrupt me and my whole family.  I just want a cell phone that 1- makes and receives calls, 2- sends and receives text messags, 3- takes pictures (selfies not necessary).   That's all... no data, no GB's, just a PHONE.

So I went to several websites to choose something new and got lost in the plans, rates, GB's and phone types to choose from.


I guess technology is passing me by... but at least, since I am reducing the time I spend looking at a screen, I will still be able to blink!.

Squinting Computer Users Blink Less