Okay… true confessions? I’m only 53. Not 83. But kids today… So as I’ve posted before, I hired The Book Nymph PR to handle my Book Blog Tour (which is currently in progress – I’ll file my “report” when it concludes next week – the jury’s still out) but as we were talking, Kenya described a “Facebook Launch Party,” and it sounded like a good idea. So I said yes.
Now here’s where I didn’t know it, but an age gap rumbled down on plates… and tiny fissure crept along the crust of the top soil…
Kenya is of the age of “video gaming” – I’m of the age of television producers who scoffed when our nieces and nephews begged for a Gameboy… (stop snickering – if you even know what one is!) the graphics were hideous – “virtual reality” was a crappy animation with no story whatsoever. (Never mind that the gaming industry is triple what Hollywood did last year and it’s the new 800 lb. Gorilla). But back then, (when I was forming this misguided notion) I produced the first five media tours (I told you I did these) for the Xbox at E3 announcing the launch – yes it took that long to get it right before the actual release… they didn’t mind hitting reverse – love to have that kind of money to set fire to) But I digress… all that’s to say, gaming was something my friends’ little brothers and sisters did. And, being a woman, I never felt that I had to “hang onto my childhood” as a middle age adult (especially now that I could afford one) and join the youngsters on the couch with joystick in hand – for many middle aged men – this is how you say that you “still got it”.
In other words – if you didn’t grow up with joystick in hand, you don’t think that way… in fact you have no idea what you don’t know. And its also true vice reverse. Kenya had no idea, that I had no idea. So she could never answer my question,
“So how will this FB launch party thingy work?”
“Oh, you’ll be a natural at it. You just sit back and answer the comments that come in. You’ll be great!”
Right… and the fissure became a chasm…
Neither of us knew what the other was asking or saying. I follow directions to the letter and when things don’t perform as expected… it’s broken. Call tech support or throw it away.
When Kenya approaches a keyboard, she doesn’t have to read directions, she knows to interact with it and let it teach her how it performs, when it doesn’t respond as expected, she simply types something else, double pumps with a mouse click or right clicks-then-left-click-twice-then-right-clicks again… in other words, she instinctively hunts for what video game designers refer to as “Easter eggs” … and the kicker is she doesn’t even know she does it.
Which is why the chasm suddenly became the Grand Canyon… and right as the clock ticked 3:00 pm PST… and our FB launch party began… I got a pop-up window to the right of the FB page Kenya created for the event. It welcomed me (in her typing) and asked a question about my writing… and that’s almost all I remember cuz suddenly I’m seeing windows pop up AND THEN DISAPPEAR as soon as I see the question. When I am fast enough to click on it, it does take me to that posting on FB, but… since I now have 10, wait, 15, wait 20? Comments below it, the bottom of the window is hidden by the bottom of my screen… and the next question I click on, takes me to a whole new window – but I didn’t finish the comment I was writing – MAY DAY MAY DAY!
I’m starting to sweat – thesis like a game of Whack-a-mole... created by JIGSAW! My wife is riding shotgun on her computer and calling out the person and the question – but I’m still writing the one I’m on… who? Granny?
My Unofficial Grandma is even more lost than I am, and her comment is… I’m here, how does this work?
Not very well at this point. If I’m going to survive the next three hours, I better get good and fast! Okay hang on I don’t only direct live television with 20 or more cameras, I’m really good at it…
So I buckle down. My email in box is blowing up with the notifications from every comment – A HA! – A running real-time queue of everyone in order of their asking – perfect! I open up that window and use that to navigate to the various locations on the page where that question/comment was posted – but NO GOOD – FB opens a new tab each time WTF???? Okay – email good – but linking bad, got it.
I can still stay on track, and I resort to scanning the whole page like an air traffic controller at LAX on Thanksgiving day… in other words… I go “HOT.”
Suddenly I’m in the zone, “How long to write the book, writes MissyPolk43” easy to answer: 2 months to write 2 months to edit 1 month to publish “What’s my favorite genre? posts Writer2U”- easy, again: fiction to read, fiction to write, this is my first memoir… My wife gets into the swing to (despite her absolute aversion to live TV) and is able to answer some posts for me – she knows my answers better than I do, and she’s far more eloquent!
But then I get stopped in my tracks, when she says… “ConcernedMom posts, Any advice for a parent of trans child?”
As I pause and breathe – I can’t mess this one up, this is a serious questions and deserves a thoughtful answer… I get a text from my writing partner… My sister is in the party form NJ, she went to your website and your name is for sale… and the price goes up as your Amazon ranking climbs…
Amazon ranking? Gosh – that’s right – we’re doing this to sell books! And apparently we’re selling enough to rank, and… my domain name is on the block?
But what do I do with ConcernedMom? She’ll have to wait while dig into my domain issue – I got to my host as emails notifications start piling up with the balls I’ve taken my eyes off of, and sure enough – my website domain name is for sale… when I click on it – the one I registered is fine but some slick snaky bastard had been watching (or his algorhythm does it matter in this world – I still feel… I dunno, violated) but there it is – I buy the obvious variations that could confuse my readers and get back in the game…
Now where was I? Oh yeah, ConcernedMom! I take a breath and drop back “into the zone” (my heart – it’s best to never leave here but that’s what yoga’s for, right?) anyway… I realize what’s suddenly at stake here… despite the technology and the intensity and fever pitch of my mind… a mother’s heart. And her child. Just like me… and suddenly the canyon closes up at my feet. The chasm is instantly gone. Kenya and I are side by side…
I answer “ConcernedMom” that no two are alike – every child is different but the parents who are better at answering this question than I have one thing in common… they listen to their children.
We all could learn from that, yes?
At the end of the three hours, I felt like I just “cut to black” on the end of a live satellite feed. And as the adrenaline started to fade, I got an email from Kenya… congratulations, you’re at number 14 on the bestseller list…so tho' overtime I chopped off one of the hydra's heads two more grew in it's place... in my case both heads were better than one!
So… it worked… and it worked me. In more ways than one.
Blog Byline: Scottie Madden
Scottie currently lives with her love in a treehouse in the shadow of LA’s infamous “dirt Mullholland,” with their black dog Aria. When she’s not pretending that developing, writing and running television shows is anything other than a dream come true, (if they find out it isn’t hard at all, they’ll make us work!) she is cooking up some wild adventure in food for her friends and family.