Lazy Presenters

Tell me a story.

A nurse stands at the lectern.  She is an oncology nurse, specializing in breast cancer.  The point of her talk is how to follow the recommended guidelines for follow-up care, but instead of dryly repeating the information on the slides, she tells stories.  For every recommendation, she tells a story of success or failure. She talks of patients who not only live, but thrive after cancer, and of patients who live, but who, sadly, do not thrive.  She tells these stories from the point of view of the clinic she works at and, most importantly, of the clinic’s responsibility for the future of these patients.  The statistical probability of surviving breast cancer is high, but what about what happens after treatment?  Her stories do not end with the words, in remission. “Just like bras, cancer treatment cannot be ‘one size fits all,'” she jokes. At the end of her talk, the normally subdued audience of oncology nurses and doctors applauds wildly.

Another nurse stands behind that same lectern and… snore.  I don’t know what her talk is about.  I advance her slides as she reads every one, aloud, as if the audience is blind.  These nurses and doctors are there to learn the latest and greatest information about breast cancer, but most of them are barely awake. The nurse standing up there, reading aloud in a monotone voice, benefits no one. Teaches nothing.

Most of the talks are like that.  We on the crew joke about the number of people who can sleep sitting up with out falling out of their chairs.  We talk about the clothing choices of the presenters.  (Free tip: Women, if you are going to give a talk, wear a belt.  The transmitter for a wireless microphone is heavy, and it has to clip on somewhere.)  We talk to each other on our headsets and do our jobs of lighting and miking and projecting, to make it as easy as possible for 1500 people to hear and see one person.

But every once in a while – a speaker gets up there and tells a story – about real people with real problems and how those problems were solved, or not, using the information on the slide.  At those moments, even the crew pays rapt attention.  Yes, us, the ones wearing black, skittering around the edges of the stage, the ones paid to not be seen, we learn something from those talks.

Of the thousands of speeches I’ve sat through in the past ten years, it is the stories I remember. It doesn’t matter if the talk is about cancer, or bio-fuels, or shoes, or the most exciting new invention ever, if the presenter doesn’t tell a story, no one will listen, or care, or remember.

And you, reading this and nodding your head, you have heard this before.  And that is what makes me so MAD.  All those presenters know that too. But they don’t care. They are so convinced that the subject matter will stand on its own, they don’t take the time or the effort to craft a story around it.  It’s just laziness, and it pisses me off.  I have to sit though your boring lecture, and I have to stay awake because I have to, somehow, make you look good, despite your boring speech.

source: ydraw.com

Please, I’m begging you, turn your information into a story, make it personal, make it relevant. If you don’t – I might just, accidentally of course, set the speaker timer to zero, or fast forward to your last slide.

Oops!

Don’t worry, no one in the audience will notice.  They are all fast asleep.

Writers who don’t Write

douglas adams inspired "Hitch hikers guid...

The Google Doodle pissed me off this morning.  It reminded me that one of my favorite authors will never write another word for me. Of course, Douglas Adams has a good excuse for not writing anymore: he’s dead.Mad-Monday

However, there are a few writers out there who do not have that excuse.  My first case in point is Patrick Rothfuss.  He has written a three book series called The Kingkiller Chronicle.  The first book, The Name of the Wind, came out in March 2007.  In an interview done right after the book came out he said: “Well…. I’ve already written them. So you won’t have to wait forever for them to come out. They’ll be released on a regular schedule. One per year.”  Yeah – right.  You want to know when the second book, The Wise Man’s Fear, came out? March 2011!  In a blog post from October 2010 he said,  “My deadline looms over me, and the thought of having to finally let go of the book forever is absolutely terrifying.”  And here it is March of 2013 and I’m STILL WAITING for book number three. Let it go, Pat, just let it go.

English: Pat Rothfuss in full gnome garb
Pat Rothfuss(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My second case in point is Scott Lynch.  He published the first two books of his Gentleman Bastard Sequence in 2006 and 2007 respectively.  The Third book MIGHT be coming out in September of 2013.  It is hard, of course, to be pissed off at some one who is sick.  I remember checking Robert Jordan‘s blog for the year or so before he died – wanting to know when the next WoT book would be arriving, only to see over and over again depressing reports on his health, or rather, the lack there of.  I was still angry because I figured he’d get better eventually.  I was wrong.

Scott Lynch’s case is similar.  In a blog post in March 2010 he wrote, “I have been dealing for some time with bouts of depression, which have been bad, and ongoing panic attacks, which have been orders of magnitude worse– positively crippling.”  So a different sort of heath issue, but the outcome is the same:  no more books for me to read.  But he is still very much alive.

What is frustrating with both Mr. Lynch and Mr. Rothfuss, is that despite the writing problems – they both manage to do an awful lot of convention attending and book signings.  Both of you – go home and write!

Scott Lynch, Elizabeth Bear
Scott Lynch, Elizabeth Bear (Photo credit: peaslake)

I think it is better to stick with authors who are dead.  At least there is none of the waiting, and constant checking of blog post to see what is the delay this time. Unless we figure out cloning.  Hmm… there is a story in that…  But don’t wait around for it.  It might take me fifteen years to get around to writing it!

I will leave you with a funny video.  A song written by the good folks over at Geek & Sundry who understand my pain.  Enjoy!

Makes Me Mad: Fat USB Drives

Mad-MondayAnd before I can even get started, I have to mention another thing that makes me mad – what to call them?

  • Memory Stick or
  • Thumb Drive or
  • USB Drive or
  • USB Flash Memory or
  • Flash Memory Stick or Drive or ARGGGG!!!!

I’m in a strange position, I think, in that the invention of these little works of memory wonder changed my life.  Not possible you say?  Allow me to elaborate.  My job requires an awful lot of file shuffling.  Digitally speaking.  If you want to stand up on stage and give a professional talk, you do not want to be futzing around with a laptop and cables while a thousand people are waiting.  No, you give your presentation file (usually PowerPoint) to me and I run it for you. You and I communicate via a tiny little remote control device in your hand.  And don’t worry, I got your back, if you are nervous and your hand slips, I wont let you advance too fast. If you have problems with using a remote because your brain is all wrapped up around what you are talking about, I’ll be paying attention and I can just advance for you.  Basically my job is to make you look good.

Anyway, prior to thumb-memory-stick-flash-drives-thingies, the only way to get me a file was to either email it to me (not common – the email was a lot slower back then and stingier with big files) or to burn it on to a CD.  The idea of using a CD to move one file seemed so wasteful, that most of the time, this file transferring would only happen once, sometimes days before your talk.  All of this meant that I was the official keeper of your slides.  If you wanted to make a change you had to come to me.  That is no longer true.  Now you can keep making changes until the moment before you walk up on stage. Just toss me the little flashy-sticky-doodad, and I get it up and running on my laptop – as quick as I can.

And here is the point of this rant:.  When I need to get that file on to my computer fast, the size and shape of the drive-stick-thumb can make all the difference in the world. Seconds count.  I have two USB slots on one side of the laptop, and two on the other.  When there is only one free, a badly shaped USB-drive-flash means I have to unplug something.  Your over-sized, but visually adorable whatever is going to slow me down.

USB flash drive SanDisk
GOOD (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A USB flash drive in the shape of a piece of i...
BAD (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Felted Wool Squid USB Flash Drive
UGLY (Photo credit: Scott Beale)
thumb drive fail
A slice of watermelon??? Really?  ARRRGGGG!

So next time you are in the market for USB drives, just remember, what looks ‘cute’ right now might have me screaming in frustration when I have to actually use the darn thing!

 

Makes Me Mad: Charming Old Houses

Mad-MondayI grew up in a house built in 1885.  My parents tell me the heating bills were higher than the mortgage payments.  I loved that house for its spacious uniqueness, but I didn’t have to pay those bills.

After I married, my husband and I lived in a house built in the 1930s.  We struggled for years with an outdated heating system that woke us up with banging and clanking pipes all winter long.  During the summer, we had to remember to turn off the window air conditioner if we wanted to run the microwave. It had the cramped rooms and tiny closets typical of that era. We swore our next house would be better, and we saved for years with that goal in mind.

A few years later, we bought a house built in the 50s, then tore it down to the basement and rebuilt it.  All new framing, wiring, plumbing, heating and cooling, the best insulation, roofing and siding we could get.  It was the most perfectly designed and built house I have ever lived in.  I loved it… for all of the three months I lived in it.  (The already shaky marriage collapsed under the strain of a two-year long construction project.)

I moved to Philadelphia, and here I am in a house built in the 1800s again.  Right back where I started, spending more on heating than on rent.  The walls are actually colder to the touch than the windows.

People come to my house and they marvel at the odd sized rooms, large windows, spooky dark hallways, and dangerously steep staircases.  It’s just so charming, they say.

I hate this house.  I hate the dust and the cold and the mold smell that fills the air every time it rains.  I hate the inefficient heating.  The snow melts from our roof immediately, but I’m under six layers of blankets, huddled around the electric space heater, and wearing gloves to type this.  Charming is great and all, but it doesn’t keep your ears warm.

We moved into this house for the location and the price. And believe me, the rent is cheap!  We live in the absolute best neighborhood in Philadelphia.  Lots of great friends, shops restaurants and bars where everybody knows our names.

There are a few ‘new construction’ buildings rising up from old factories and abandoned lots all around us.  And lots of old ‘trinity’ style houses are being rehabbed into modern apartments.  It is incredibly exciting to see the way this neighborhood is booming.  (Recession?  What recession?) I only hope my landlord doesn’t notice how much more he could get for this place.  And that is the problem.  I can’t afford to move into one of the ‘new’ buildings.

I look up at them from the street and I look at the pictures on apartments.com and I dream of lower heating and cooling bills and of modern wiring and plumbing…  Someday…

Someday I will feel like I am moving forwards in time not backwards. Someday I will live in a place where if the thermostat is set to 65, it means the inside of the house is 65 degrees, not the air above the roof.  Someday I will get to live in a place a little less charming and a little more warm.

Makes Me Mad: Haters

Mad-MondayFrom the Urban Dictionary:

1. hater
A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person. Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesn’t really want to be the person he or she hates, rather the hater wants to knock someone else down a notch.

Susan: You know, Kevin from accounting is doing very well. He just bought a house in a very nice part of town.
Jane (hater): If he is doing so well why does he drive that ’89 Taurus?

What is wrong with people like the imaginary Jane?  I have a few of them in my immediate vicinity.  Even on the rare occasion that they must compliment something, it is tied to an insult.

What Jane says: Yeah, for a ‘student’ film that was ok.
What Jane meant for you to hear: Student films suck, but that was less sucky than most.

What horrible thing happened to poor ‘Jane’ in her past that makes it impossible for her to simply be kind?

I understand the temptation to knock down the things you don’t like.  I don’t like the Twilight books. BUT I’m not going to tell someone else that they shouldn’t read those books, or think less of someone for enjoying them.  The joy I get from a good read is like nothing in the world, I am happy for anyone who can also find that joy, no matter the source.

Who am I to deride the opinions of others?

When I start talking to someone else about how much I love Doctor Who, I don’t expect Jane to join in the conversation.  It would be polite, however, if she would refrain from rolling her eyes.  And I would really appreciate it if she wouldn’t stand up abruptly, stomp out of the room and slam the door behind her simply because the conversation has moved on to a topic she doesn’t like.  I did not whine and pout like a bored child while she spoke about her navel hair collection.

I want to include this additional definition of hater from The Urban Dictionary:

6. Hater
Anyone with an opinion.

Guy 1: Bro, I don’t really like Drake.
Guy 2: What!?! Bro, you’re such a hater!

(It’s funny because it’s true.  On a side note – the number of corrections I had to make in that entry is sad.)

Of course people should express negative opinions. What dull conversations we’d have if we didn’t disagree with each other once in a while. But we must express those opinions without being insulting.  I actively disliked the beginning of the first Twilight book, so much so that I stopped reading it and I will not read the rest of the books in the series.  If someone asks me for my opinion, I will say as much, and if they press for more I will discuss my reasons for my dislike.  However, if someone is going on and on about how much they love those books, this is NOT an invitation for me to say “I hate them. Oh and by the way, you’re an idiot for loving them.”

They are expressing their opinion; they are not asking me for mine.

You can hate anything you want to hate. And when asked, you can express that hate.

But only when asked. Or when writing a blog post.

Otherwise, keep it to yourself.

Nature is Yucky

I am not a fan of Mother Nature.

On a beautiful September morning, my usually homebody boyfriend suggests a ‘nature walk.’ This is early on in our relationship, when he is far more eager to entertain me and to show off the wonders of his city.

“A ‘nature walk?’ In Philadelphia?” is my politely curious response. (If he made this suggestion now, I would hold my hand to his forehead to check for fever or ask him if he double dosed on his med’s this morning.)

“Sure!” is his enthusiastic reply. “There’s a nature preserve, by the airport.”

Even as I am writing this now, so many years later, I can remember how ridiculous this sounded. Because it still sounds ridiculous. A nature preserve. Sandwiched between South Philly and PHL, the 12th busiest airport in the world. Impossible.

But he convinces me it exists, and I dutifully don my strongest walking boots, my thickest jeans, a long sleeve shirt and a hat and off we go.

The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge is immediately north of the airport just across I-95. It takes about twenty minutes to get there from where I live, near the entrance to the Ben Franklin bridge.

phlA picture says a thousand words, right?

Well, I am here to tell you, regardless of the inherent absurdity, from the moment we park the car, we might as well be a thousand miles away from civilization. It think it has to do with the trees. There are a lot of trees. Trees have an odd effect on me. They make me want to whisper. And tiptoe. (It’s because of all those fantasy books I’ve read containing vindictive trees.)

From the parking lot to the human refuge, I mean the visitor center, there is a winding path. You can’t see the visitor center from the parking lot. We are lost already.

Luckily for our relationship, my boyfriend thinks my fear of nature is hysterical. If he took me seriously, my gasps and overall jumpiness for the rest of the day might have become annoying. I might be writing a story about my ex-boyfriend.

We make it 300 feet to the visitor center without mishap. Inside the building, I relax. There are lots of books and things to learn all of which makes me happy. I hint, half-joking, that this has been a great trip, and maybe it is time to go find a restaurant?

My boyfriend gets a map, picks a trail, takes my hand, and we are out the door before I get a chance to convince him he is hungry.

To be honest – for most of the walk, I am fine. The weather is beautiful, as only a September day in the mid-Atlantic states can be. Squirrels scurry around in utter panic, making me think they know something about the coming winter that the rest of us don’t. And the birds are freaking fantastic.

Cover of "The Birds (Collector's Edition)...
Cover of The Birds (Collector’s Edition)

A word about my relationship with the avian kingdom. I saw the Hitchcock thriller, The Birds, at exactly the wrong age. Just old enough to understand the plot and just young enough for it to make an indelible impression. When I hear the sound of a bird’s wing flapping, I crouch into a ball and cover my hair with my hands. It is an uncontrollable gut reaction I’ve had all my life. BUT I have learned that wearing a hat is all the protection I need. My fear is entirely to do with the image of the birds tangled in Tippi Hedren’s hair.

So with my trusty hat in place I was free to indulge in my fascination with these unpredictable creatures. And they are fascinating. There is nothing in the world sadder than a bird in a cage. The very thing that make birds wonderful is their wings. What is the point of a bird that doesn’t fly?

Anyway – the best thing about the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge is the variety and abundance of bird life there. I am not going to list or describe any of them, because to be honest, I would only be quoting from Wikipedia and you can go there and look it up yourself. I don’t know anything about them, I just like watching them. I like all their strange shapes and sizes, all their varying levels of passivity and ferociousness. I could watch a hawk circling on a thermal for hours and never grow bored.

A Red-tailed Hawk at John Heinz National Wildl...
A Red-tailed Hawk at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, Pennsylvania, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We follow the trail and marvel at the bird life and the frogs and fish we see. We try to identify all the trees by using a guide-book we bought at the visitor center. We pass his father’s old binoculars back and forth and ooh and ah over the colors and shapes and crazy amount of cool naturey stuff there is to see so close to our city home.

We are thinking about turning back when my boyfriend suggests taking a path that is not on the map. I am feeling comfortable and I want to be flexible so I agree, and we walk the unmarked, unsigned, unpaved path for a little while. We come to a curve and my boyfriend stops for a moment to examine a large and ugly bug he sees on a weed.

And then I hear it. A noise. A large noise. I don’t mean a loud noise, I mean a noise made by a large animal. An animal that outweighs me. Somehow, at some deep level in that part of my brain that is still connected to our far distant apelike ancestors, I know the thing making that soft, shuffling sound is bigger than me, and I need to get away. Quickly.

I squeak. I rise up on tiptoe and start running back to the paved path. My boyfriend calls after me, “What are you doing?”

I yell back, “I hate nature!” It is my only coherent thought.

I’m not sure if it is his bark of laughter or my sudden flight, but we startle the doe and its two fawns who have been sheltering in the brush nearby and they bound across my path and disappear further into the woods. My LARGE animal was nothing more than a dear. Something I’ve seen in my suburban New Jersey backyard and as roadkill a million times.

It is ridiculous to hate nature, of course, humans are a part of nature as much as those deer are. But there is nothing wrong with liking the walls and roofs that keep the more uncontrollable parts of nature at bay. The wind and the rain and the birds. And the deer too. I like paved roads and paths. I like feeling safe and warm in my controlled environments.

I will never be a naturalist. I will never go on a camping trip. I even think the trees they plant and re-plant on my street are more annoying than pretty.  But I am glad there are people out there who do care about that stuff. Because, occasionally, it is good for me to go out there, into the wilderness, if only to remind me why I love the city so much.

Returning home from that excursion, I strip out of my bug and pollen infested layers and take a long hot shower. The shower is a hundred times more enjoyable than the shower I took this morning because I actually notice its heat and convenience.

It’s been a few years since that ‘nature walk’ and while I have been in other naturey type places since then, I don’t seek them out. I can appreciate them from a distance, and be glad they are there for the birds, and the deer and for the people who like that sort of thing. But I don’t need to go back. Not anytime soon anyway. Well, maybe this fall. Just to see the birds. But this time we will stay on the path!

A Commentary on a Comment

So I was reading through the Freshly Pressed page this morning and I read a post there called, “Letter to a girl I harassed.” I don’t want to link back to it, because what I am going to write about here doesn’t have a lot to do with what the author was talking about. (It was a good read though.)  My post has to do with the second comment on that post. A person pulled a certain line out of a young man’s admission of doing wrong and shined a non-contextual flashlight on it.

““I intentionally hurt people sometimes to make myself feel better.” That is terrifying. Would you rape someone to make yourself feel better?”

First of all: “I intentionally hurt people sometimes to make myself feel better,” why does that line terrify you? Are you going to say you’ve never done that? You’ve never had that biting comeback trip off your lips in perfect comedic timing? Really? I seriously doubt it. You’ve either forgotten or you are a liar. We’ve all done it. We’ve all said that really nasty thing, because we could, because it would make everyone, besides the recipient, laugh.

I remember a moment – I was in seventh grade – my ‘best friend’ had just gotten her first adult haircut. It looked weird. Not bad, just weird. Mostly because she looked so different from the way she did the day before. The other girls in the class started teasing her and I said something, I can’t remember what, that was so perfectly timed and worded that all the cool girls laughed with me, instead of at me, for the first time. It felt good. I intentionally hurt my best friend, and for a moment, it made me feel better about myself.

I would really like to know what the commenter thinks of herself? Does she believe she’s never intentionally hurt another person with words? Any of you who have never sinned – go ahead and throw that rock. I think it was incredibly brave for that young man to admit to having those thoughts, thoughts we all have. And you think he is terrifying. I feel very sorry for you as you must surround yourself with people who lie about their feelings all the time.

Second: Why, oh Why, do people go to the extreme potential of any statement? “Would you rape someone to make yourself feel better?” He was specifically talking about things he’s SAID. How in the world to you instantly jump from hurtful words to rape? Do you understand the horror the idea of rape truly conveys?  To infer that hurtful words ALWAYS lead to rape is wrong and just adds to the fear and distrust people feel towards strangers. I believe most people are mostly nice.   And that young man in particular sounds like someone who is insightful and cares, to some extent, about the feeling of others.  The same way most of us do.

But I know why you feel the need to go there: Dramatic Effect. It is the influence of reality TV. Obviously MOST of the world is too boring, living our calm, normal, occasionally nice and occasionally hurtful lives to be of any interest to you. You have to inflate an innocuous statement to grand proportions to make your point.

Well, I guess I can’t get mad at you for that. I just wrote 500 words about your 12.

*

P.S.  I feel a little cowardly, posting this here and not on the person’s comment.  But her comment doesn’t link back to a wordpress site – so it is basically anonymous, and anonymous commenters scare me. 🙂   See – there’s that fear and distrust of strangers I was talking about.

Got Time to Talk?

*cell phone rings*

Me: Hi!

Caller: “Hi, Jill. Are you busy?”

Old Fashioned Phone, before processing
(Photo credit: locket479)

Me: Well now, let me see… I have twenty-five people coming over for dinner in about an hour. I’m half way through cooking them a three course meal and the oven just caught fire. I have to clean the bathroom and fold three loads of laundry before they get here and I haven’t had a shower yet today. My mother just called and told me she’s bringing two dogs that she’s pet sitting for the weekend and that they need a special brand of dog food so I’ll pick that up at the store while I’m out buying a new front door to replace the one the burglar knocked down last night when he broke in and stole my purse. And lastly, my car is parallel parked outside my apartment and the parking authority lady is just now pulling out her ticket book.

***

ARG!  I just ANSWERED YOUR CALL, why are you asking me that question?!?

This is just a silly rant…

SWTOR Bounty Hunter (IMG_3681)
SWTOR Bounty Hunter  (Photo credit: chaines106)

I really, really wish there was someone out there in the world who liked to play MMORPGs* the way I want to play them:

1) Quests only: no dungeons or raids, I just want to follow a character through the story-line of the game.

2) No PvP*: I don’t want to fight real people – I want to fight NPCs*.  I don’t understand the appeal of fighting other players.

3) No crafting: feels too much like work.

4) Gear:  I really don’t care what kind of gear my character has. As long as it is the right level for my character – that is good enough for me.  And as an addition to this, I don’t care about buying or selling gear in the markets – too much work.

The thing is – I really like to play with other people, But the key word there is PLAY. It is a game, it is supposed to be fun.  When your game becomes an obsession and when you get angry at people who don’t take it seriously, then it is no longer fun.

I don’t want to just randomly hook up with strangers either – I want to already know who I am going to play with and more importantly – I want them to know me and my playing style and be cool with my giggling when the monster starts attacking and I start yelling, “run away, run away!”

I have yet to meet a single person in real life or inside the games who wants to play the way I do, and so that means I don’t really play anymore.  It is boring to play by myself.

And that is the end of this silly rant.

P.S.
Where I am:
SWTOR –  Shadowlands – main: Jilanna – Sith Assassin, alt: Vaunna, – Smuggler Gunslinger
WoW –  I’m sort of all over the place – been playing since 08′, never got a char past level 60 – I just get bored and start new ones

*Glossary for the non-gamer:

MMORPG – Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game – basically Dungeons and Dragons on the computer with strangers from all over the planet.

PvP – Player vs. Player (real people)

NPC – Non-Player Characters (not real people)

SWTOR – an MMORPG called Star Wars, The Old Republic

WoW – an MMORPG called World of Warcraft 

Over Complication

Hands at the Cuevas de las Manos upon Río Pint...
Deep symbolic meaning or kindergarten class?(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why do we need to attribute symbolic meaning to the creations of extinct cultures?

I have a picture of a squid, drawn by my five-year-old nephew. It is pink and squiggly but is clearly the thing that it is. Because he is a part of our current culture, and because we inherently understand the artistic thought process of a well cared for child, living in the United States in the 21st century, we don’t attach anything to the drawing beyond the obvious: Aw, how cute.

When I was writing a story about a Neolithic child, I stumbled around the internet to make sure I had my basic information correct, (namely that yes, there were people living here about 10,000 years ago and yes they hunted grazing animals with spears.) In my link-clicking, I wound up on a Wikipedia page about cave paintings, and what I noticed was how similar those pictures look to pictures drawn by my nephew.

But if you read the entries you will see entire sections on the symbolic nature of the paintings. Or rather, the symbolism attached to the cave paintings by the knowledgeable scientific types who study them.

One scientist, “interpreted the paintings as being hunting magic, meant to increase the number of animals.” Another states, “the paintings were made by paleolithic shamans. The shaman would retreat into the darkness of the caves, enter into a trance state and then paint images of their visions”

Really? Isn’t it possible that on rainy days the adults sent the little kids into the caves with the leftover paint and they entertained themselves the same way my nephew does now. Is it really any more complicated than that?

For December 3rd’s Daily Prompt, I came back to this post and reworked it with what I’ve learned in the last few months. I fixed a few grammatical errors, added a picture, relevant tags and links using Zemanta – which always feels a bit like cheating to me. =)