darling buds

May 3rd, 2013 | Uncategorized

Unfortunately, I am having to cancel some events I was scheduled to do next week, due to a family situation. On Thursday May 8, I was going to do a talk at BAM with the illustrious personal essayist Phillip Lopate. (Wow, didn’t know till I made that link that it’s some kind of dinner event! $55 with wine and tip included! Plus it’s sold out. Man.) We’re working on rescheduling this.

After the BAM event, I was planning to continue on to Boston, to do a keynote for the Women and Psychotherapy course, part of Harvard Medical School’s continuing education program. I was looking forward to meeting Janna Malamud Smith, one of the organizers. She’s a therapist and also a writer. Several years ago I blogged about her memoir about her father, Bernard Malamud.

So I’m not going to be able to do the Women and Psychotherapy event either, but I’m working on a scheme to deliver my keynote virtually–my talks are always essentially slide shows–so it might work to send a powerpoint file with a voiceover of me talking, that they can play for the audience.

22 Responses to “darling buds”

  1. Andrew B says:

    Alison, I’m sorry to hear the rough winds have not subsided. Best wishes to you and yours.

  2. Ellen Orleans says:

    I hope the family situation works out okay, Alison. We’ll keep you in our thoughts.

  3. JoAnne Lehman says:

    Wishing all the best to you in whatever your situation is. Still thinking about your recent visit to the U of Wisconsin and the lunchtime talk to librarians. We loved having you here!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Find a rather boring wall in your home, stand in front of it, and do your presentation. Then, embed it in your PowerPoint using Camtasia.

    If you want to spring for a little green screen which you can put behind you, you can sit down and do a talking head thing and then embed yourself into the PowerPoint, also using Camtasia (though PowerPoint, by itself, will sometimes let you do it).

    Camtasia is inexpensive for PowerPoint, if you don’t already have it. And, it’s not that hard to learn. I picked it up in two days, using the tutorials. It would be nice if people could see you as well as hear you. And, anyway, you do video all the time and have the camera.

  5. Thank you, my friends, for these kind words.

    Anonymous, I actually tried something like that. I use Keynote, actually, not PowerPoint. I just shot a short video with my webcam and inserted it into the powerpoint.

    But when I RECORD the slide show, a crucial factor here, there was this echoey feedback effect with my voice in the video clip. It seems like a kind of reductio ad absurdum…you can’t record yourself using the device on which you have recorded yourself?

  6. Rick Kisonak says:

    Sorry to hear about this rough patch; hope everything works out.

  7. ina says:

    Sending you strength and love. xo

  8. Alex K says:

    A week ago I flew from JFK to Pittsburgh — picking out, far below, the ribbon of I-80 — a few days ago I drove from Harrisburg up to Punxsutawney along 322, noting the signs for Bellefonte, admiring the dogwood, thinking of you.

  9. shadocat says:

    My ptayers are with you and yours, Alison.

  10. falloch says:

    BBC Radio 4 programme: ‘From Donald Winnecott to the Naughty Step’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01s7v7b
    Sorry to read about bad family stuff – for me, it’s when the Guilt Fairy emerges, and no amount of guilt-insecticide is useful. Hope you get through it.

  11. Suzanonymous says:

    Best Wishes to you and yours.

  12. katie Chetwood says:

    Some things are just more of a priority- I hope it all works out well for you and your family Alison.

  13. Eva says:

    Aren’t the buds darling? The kind on the trees and the kind on your blog, the darling buddies of the internet? I trust your family situation will resolve itself quickly and well. All the best.

  14. shadocat says:

    That was supposed to be “prayers’. What happens when you don’t preview…

  15. Jaibe says:

    It’s a shame to miss awesome and worthwhile things, but it’s just a sign that you spend so much time doing awesome & worthwhile things — everyone has life intervene, but not everyone has such great things going on between interventions.

    Tech wise, I don’t get the idea of recording, can’t you just send your keynote files to someone else with a mac (honestly, I think powerpoint can open the new keynote file format? But I wouldn’t trust it…) & then do a google hangout or skype & just say “slide” when they should advance? Maybe they can set up two computers to “hang out” with you — one showing the audience & one your screen so you can make sure they’re on the right slide?

  16. freyakat says:

    Hi Alison,

    Here are my best wishes to you for strength and equanimity in going through your family situation, whatever exactly it may be.
    We’re here for you — and, perhaps more importantly, you’re there for yourself.

  17. Kate L says:

    Best wishes to A.B. and her family. Back when I was giving a lot of scientific talks at meetings, I found that something William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan both did actually worked – write the important points of your talk on 3×5 inch index cards. Practice the talk with the cards in your hand for reference. You know you’ve got the talk down when you don’t look at the cards while speaking, but know when to go to the next one. I always carried the cards with me to the actual talk, in case I had to refresh my memory about some data during the actual talk.

  18. Anna in Albuquerque says:

    Best wishes to you and yours, Alison.

    At work, we’ve begun using GoToWebinar for virtual meetings. People can see and hear your image from your webcam while you run your PowerPoint. You can get a free trial for 30 days. Try it and invite your hosts to join the webinar. They can project it to the live audience. Easy.

  19. NLC says:

    Concerning giving a talk “remotely”:

    A while back, when AB was trapped in a blizzard I made some similar suggestions about how do some of these things.

    But at that time the problem was “merely” the weather.

    Now, all of the suggestions above are great (and should no doubt be filed away for future reference) but it sounds like the issues here are a bit more complicated.

    Surely Alison doesn’t need my advice about these things, but I think we all agree that, for now, the right thing would be to simply reschedule the talks and be where she needs to be for the time being.


  20. Wishing you the best, Alison.

  21. Cathy says:

    In the midst of family illness and tough decision making myself, I can truly feel for you Alison and send you my thoughts, prayers, and hopes.

  22. […] Alison Bechdel posted an update on her upcoming events. […]