Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kicking and screaming into the, uh, twentieth century.

To Valhalla (no, not that one, the one in New York) and to Portland (no, not those two, the one in Connecticut) for, respectively, my sixth appearance at the Young Authors Conference for high school students and my fifth appearance at the Unicorn Writers Conference for anybody.

This year, they fall within a couple of days of each other, and I decide it's about time I went hi-tech. Well, hi-er tech, but that's not hard when in previous years I've managed with a flip chart and a blown-up Peanuts cartoon mounted on a giant piece of foamboard.

My presentation to the young authors is called "Just Shoot, Stab, Strangle, Smother, or Poison Me: Writing the Murder Mystery." For the older punters, it's "The Top Ten Things You Need To Know About Writing a Murder Mystery."

(No mystery about where I nicked that idea. And imagine my embarrassment when at the presenters' dinner I found myself sitting next to the former head writer for "Late Night With David Letterman."*)
The presentations aren't the same, but there's a fair bit of overlap, so I decide to put them both into PowerPoint at the same time.

How do I know it's time for this leap forward in technical wizardry? When 12-year-old Secundus looks at me with scorn and announces: "Nobody uses PowerPoint these days, Dad."

Nifty, huh? And the pie chart appears with a circular wipe!

*It was homage, Joe.

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