Saturday, September 28, 2019

Another day closer to the Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium

Woke up this morning, after a night of fierce midwestern storms, and immediately thought, "I get to work on my Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium talk today!"

Over the last few decades, I've been lucky enough to speak in front of Sherlockian event audiences all over the place, usually once every year or so, which is an easy pace. It allows for a talk on something new each time, and keeps the fear of public speaking in check. This time is a little different, though. This time, I've been podcasting.

My podcast experimentation started with Sherlock Holmes is Real, a scripted bout of conspiracy insanity that seems to be leaning toward horror these days, then headed into The Watsonian Weekly, a sort-of audio magazine that's still figuring itself out. I don't promote either of these ventures nearly as much as I might, because a.) not in it for the money, and b.) like I said, still working things out.

And I may never be done working things out with the podcasts, which is half the fun, and which brings me back to my upcoming symposium talk. One very big part of podcasting is getting used to the sound of your own voice. Some big-time podcasters never do this, having the luxury of not having to edit their own stuff and listen to themselves. But for the little home-based operation, listening to yourself talk, while not ever really a pleasure, eventually becomes a positive thing. You start to become friends with your own voice, that strange thing that you might never have been on cozy terms with, when heard coming from a source other than your own head.

This will be the first talk I've ever done where I've recorded practices runs and listened to how I was saying what I was saying. This will be the first time I've gotten to hear my problem areas and focus on them, pound them into shape like a blacksmith pounding a blade, and see how much smoother I can make them. Not saying I'm going to be as slick as some speakers I've heard over the years. I heard Michael Dirda speak once and almost decided never to speak again. But, for me, the Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium should get a pretty decent me, I hope.

Not too worried about it. As the last speaker on the bill for the weekend,  I know that the audience is going to be a pretty familiar crowd after a couple of days together. A few folks will have to get on the road or to the airport early and miss it, as happens with Sunday schedules. My biggest worry is that either the audience or I might start to get "hangry" by my start time of 12:15. To paraphrase Bill Bixby or Mark Ruffalo in a certain role, "You wouldn't like me when I'm hangry." Probably going to have to see if I can get some donuts in there that morning.

Thirteen days, twenty hours, and sixteen minutes until the symposium starts, the website's countdown clock is telling me. Time to get happily back to work, hammering out some Sherlockiana.

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