Tuesday, February 9, 2010

On the road again: TEDActive, day 2

Today began unfortunately early with a work phone meeting at 7:30 a.m., which, as anyone who knows me will tell you, is way too damn early for me. (Don't give me any grief about how it's much later in NC; I worked until the single digits Pacific time last night, so it was still early.) After a morning of work and then a nice lunch with Bill, I set out on my first TED activity: a tour of the huge local wind farm.

I had a very good time. We mostly sat on the bus and listened, but that was fine; our guide was incredibly knowledgeable and a good storyteller.

We got out twice. The first time brought me a bit of magic: We stood in the rain in the desert and listened to the wind turbines sing. I know the noise is not song, and I realize that even though it wasn't very loud, people who live very close to it quite reasonably probably hate it. I still found it magical.

On the second stop, we got fairly close to some turbines and had clear skies for picture taking. The first photo here is an example of one of the large wind turbines. The second photo helps put it in scale: note that in the first you barely even notice the truck is present.

One of my favorite terms I learned today is "wind gypsies," the name for the groups of people who travel around the country cleaning turbines and doing training. The concept is natural and obvious, but I wouldn't have thought of it on my own. Expect something like it to show up in a book one of these years.

Speaking of books, I continue to charge ahead on my latest, Children No More. Today, Dave finished his review of the second draft. He gave me many good points to consider, for which I am quite grateful. He also called it a very good and important book, for which I'm also grateful.

A few folks have asked me to explain The Big Red Binder. Here it is, sitting on a chair in my hotel room. I do my third draft by printing the book on three-hole-punch paper, putting it in a binder, and editing it with a red pen. Seeing the book on paper is somehow still different to me than seeing it online, so this draft takes advantage of that different experience. As you can tell from the second picture of TBRB, I make a fair number of changes at this stage.

On the fourth pass, I will key in all these changes and re-read key sections and edit them as necessary.

I don't think I'll need a fifth pass this time, so after the fourth, I will send it to Publisher Toni.

Earlier this evening, I wandered out of my room and followed the music I'd been hearing faintly through my windows. I ended up in the bar, where Jill Sobule and a band of TEDsters were playing. I caught the last two numbers, including the finale, "What the World Needs Now."

Wind turbines singing, people signing, magic.

As I head off to edit the book, here's a tiny reward for those who've bothered to read this far: If you click on any photo, you'll see a bigger version of it. Do that to the last picture, and you can read a still-not-final, don't-expect-it-to-stay-the-same (I've already spotted a word I didn't like and changed it), random page of the book; the picture is clear enough to make that possible. Enjoy.


Michelle said...

Whoa...wings and flippers instead of arms and legs? Cool. I can't wait to read more. Maybe you could send a page periodically to your blog as an appetizer.

Mark said...

They're really more like flippers for both; Jon was a bit disoriented at the time.

This will probably be the only time I post such a page. Sorry.

Glad you liked it.

Todd said...

I like the last line.

Mark said...

Thanks. Jon's about to learn that lesson very well.


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