We're delighted to again welcome Karen Albright Lin to Chiseled in Rock!
Karen consults and edits for published and yet-to-be published writers of fiction, nonfiction, and book proposals. She writes in a number of genres and conducts writing workshops in various venues, including on cruise ships.
If you missed her previous blogs regarding Teaching through the Islands, you might enjoy reading them before this installment, as she first shared her preparations in anticipation of teaching classes while on board her latest cruise, discussed some of the downsides to teaching on a cruise, introduced us to new tablemates and the private beach on Moorea, how she was bit in Bora Bora, and then she described her first class while teaching en route to Fiji. Most recently she shared: Second Lecture enRoute to Fiji: A Great Storyto Tell,
Fiji but the !
(I won’t mention it, but I will), and On the Way to Wrong Port . New Caledonia
Karen Albright Lin:
Tahiti, Moorea and
Bora Bora had roaming feral mutts,
each seemingly related to the other with a hodgepodge of genes, eaters of
sidewalk scraps, more like dingoes than dogs, survivors.
One of the generic mutts rubbed against a bar patron, nobody’s fool. Snacks dropped. I watched it all, felt it all, through writer’s eyes. Over this trip I filled a spiral notebook. I also kept maps and the daily reports on where we were and what was offered on the ship.
I closed my eyes against the warm sun and thought back to the American Samoan lecture we attended. Jill, the destination speaker, was author of children’s and middle grade books about Australian history. We speakers get discounted access to the internet, and Jill admitted to us that she’d gone online the night before to collect her information and put together her presentation about
Her talk was entitled WHERE BOYS WILL BE GIRLS. Her lecture paid excessive attention to the fact that transgender or transvestite men are well-accepted in American Samoan Society. They dance in dresses alongside women. They are great wives because they are also strong.
The amount of time Jill spent on this subject told me she either thought it would grab the crowd and keep it in her clutches, that it was the most interesting thing she discovered in her research, or that she was shocked by or obsessed with it. A lesson to me as a speaker – be aware of how you distribute your time on specific areas of your topic. Too much on one point can either bore your attendees or make them wonder about your preoccupation. As when writing fiction, trust your audience. Assume they get it the first time, don’t over explain.
Attention back on my beer and bill:
Tisa tried to charge
me a second time for the first cocktail as if I’d be unable to figure it out
after that huge beer. I pointed out her
mistake. It was on her face, trick
exposed. She tucked tail between legs. Her deception left me with a bitter taste in
my mouth, bitterer than the local hops.
Wen surfaced and paid a 5$ fee for snorkeling—a fee not disclosed up
But it was made worth it by the blue starfish Wen had pulled out long enough to photograph. We caught another cobbled-together bus back to port, leaving a remarkable tree sculpture, the various dog breeds, and bitter hops behind us.
Thank you, Karen! Please join us on September 24, 2014 for "I Love Sydney! Goodbye to the
final installment in this series.