I ran into Digger Jerry by the front desk of the Anacortes Library. I said hello and walked over to speak with him while SIMULTANEOUSLY sending a photo from my cell phone to my Twitter page.
Frog Hospital was multi-tasking. Such a miracle. Digger Jerry and I got into a somewhat animated conversation about kohlrabis -- a most favored vegetable in his mind and in my mind as well.
Such conversation segued over to a story I had written about Mother Flight Farm on Fir Island. This twenty-acre organic establishment is where I was first introduced to the wonders of kohlrabi.
Digger Jerry knew of Mother Flight Farm himself and we both praised the owners, Glenn and Charlotte Johnson, for growing vigorous vegetables.
What happened next could only happen in a library. Someone walked up to us and asked us very politely to stop talking so loudly.
They were reading books! In a library!
Digger Jerry said he wanted to read books too, so he went off upstairs "to get lost in someone else's thought" as he put it.
Meanwhile, I had finished transmitting the photo of a kohlrabi from my cell phone to my Twitter page, and I felt triumphant.
Serious Discussion. Communication always requires effort. You need to first gain the attention of the person you wish to communicate with, and then you must have something to say ("content" to you children out there).
The Internet does not make communication easier or better. The Internet is a solution to a problem we never had.
I am NOT techno-phobic. I am techno-indifferent. One means of communication is as good as another.
Which is why you can often find me on Facebook ( go to "LaConner Views") or on Twitter ( go to "Frog Hospital")
Is there a lot of tedious nonsense on Facebook and Twitter? Yes, indeed, and it's much like the tiresome and endlessly boring stuff that people used to say in face-to-face conversations.
Human beings have been yawping about nothing for a hundred generations. Imagine two aborigines sitting around a fire in Australia five thousand years ago.
"Do you like to eat those frogs?"
"Nope, but I was hungry"
"So you could have ate those antelope bones?"
"Yeah, but the bones were over at Xhasi's camp and I'm mad at him because he borrowed my short knife and he won't give it back"
"So why are you and Xhasi always getting mad at each other?"
"I don't know, it just happens. Do we have to talk about this?
I just want to eat the frogs and go to sleep"
See? A boring conversation, but completely organic.
You can be boring in any language and through any medium.
Or you can be interesting, which is "having something to say."
Being interesting requires effort. Make that effort and you will make the world a better place.
Book News. Books are not going out of business, not in the least. I am sure of their enduring value and feel no need to promote or defend them.
You walk away from books because you get caught up in other interests, but then you come back -- because they are so awesome.
Frog Hospital Book News. The Frog Hospital book, Frog Hospital in italics, has gotten off to a good start. Sales have been brisk at the Next Chapter bookstore in LaConner. The book-signing went really well on Friday night. It's Lisa Nielsen's bookstore and she is a pleasure to work with.
I also spent three days in Seattle flogging the book. People don't know me down there, so this will take a little longer.
After Seattle, I'm going to take the book to Los Angeles.
Why Los Angeles? Because it's a honking big city with millions of people who read books, that's why.
You can buy Frog Hospital on the Internet -- cheap and easy.
For a signed copy, write a check for $25, make it out to Fred Owens, and mail it to Box 1292, LaConner, WA 98257. Or you can hit the PayPal button on the Frog Hospital blog for $25, but then you have to send me an email with your mailing address.
Kohlrabis Continued. Digger Jerry is upstairs someplace, lost in the stacks. We might have to send out a search party. He's a hard guy to find when he doesn't want to be found.
send mail to:
LaConner WA 98257