Brown River Queen cover art

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Video Blogging: The Future is Now?

Everyone is doing it.

No, not metabolizing oxygen or that other thing (hoarding great hoops of Colby Jack cheese).  I speak of the newest, bestest, most wonderful-est way to blog -- the video blog.

Now, once upon a time, making a video blog would be the stuff of nightmares. And even if you managed it, you'd just enrage your viewers, who were stuck with AOL dial-up and leg-warmers because I am freaking old.

But hey, in these whiz-bang hi-speed wireless broadband satellite wonder days, making a video blog (called a 'wentzencrapzenjammerzenhooplaflangbangbangduck' by the kids) is child's play.  Heck, it's so easy even I can do it.

My question, though is this -- should I?

And my initial gut reaction is thus -- NO.

Why no?

Look.  I'm pretty good with words.  People have even been known to pay for them.  That's because I can type them out, letter by letter and space by space, and no one sees them until I am bloody well ready for them to be seen. That might mean hours or days or even weeks of fiddling and re-writing and staring and sighing. But no one sees that part.

This allows me to create the illusion that I'm good with words.  Anyone can appear to be good with anything if you've got all the time in the world to work unseen on the presentation, right?

Putting my big fat head on video, though, that's something else entirely.

For one thing, there's my accent.  Now, I know everyone out there believes I speak in a James Bondish brogue, but I was born and some say raised in Mississippi.  I have an accent so thick it can, in a pinch, be used as a blunt instrument suitable for opening stuck doors or loosening frozen bolts.

Take the sentence "I'm going to the store for some milk," for instance.

You read that, quite correctly, as I'm going to the store for some milk.

But if I were to read that harmless little sentence aloud, it would sound like this:

Ahm goin' tu thuh stor fer sum beer.   Editor's Note:  There is no word for 'milk' in the dialect I speak.  

That's how I sound.  I can minimize my accent with conscious effort, but I cannot eradicate it entirely.

The Southern accent bit works pretty well if you're William Faulkner and you're writing about the American South.  People love it.  It's also a good mix with crime fiction, unless your books are set in New York (Nuhe Yoke).

But I write fantasy.  Some of it traditional, some of it YA, some of it hard-boiled detective stuff.  But it's all fantasy, and I'm just not sure people are going to find my voice compatible with the genre.  I don't want to present anything that will jar you, the reading public, out of the comfy little worlds I try to create in my books.

Which might well be a stupid thing on my part to even worry about.  It's the books that people like, right?  I'm not really a part of the picture.  What does it matter, who I am?  People read the words in their own voices, imagine things how they want, and that's how it ought to be.

But still.  I'm leery of the whole video blog concept.  So, if I do post a video blog one day, and I appear on your monitor as a square-jawed fit young man with a newscaster's generic Midwest accent, you'll know I've hired an actor.

Now I'm off to find some supper.  Good evening, all!

(Na-ow ahm awff ta fine-duh sum chitlins. Ya'll hav yorselves ah gud un!)


  1. Being a good ole Lousiana boy, myself, I don't think 'milk' is even legal in either La. or Miss.

    In fact, even mother's milk is usually heavily laced with Mad Dog 20/20 or some such.

    My first experience with this verboten liquid came when I moved up to the mountains. Nasty stuff, actually...

    Saintly Brees

  2. Saintly, I believe Mississippi will grant licenses to buy milk if you can prove A) you drive a Volvo and B) you promise not to ever *talk* about drinking milk. Not sure about Louisiana, but there's probably an exemption process there too, which I suspect involves alligators :)