Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Do You Skype? Uhhhh...

A radio host wants to Skype with me. I have no idea what to do and twenty-four hours until the interview.

I do know that the software program Skype, recently folded into Microsoft, has been a grandparents’ tool for years. Instead of settling for a weekly telephone call, my friends have been visiting with their children and grandchildren face to face. All they need is a camera on each computer.

I installed Skype on my laptop when my son and his family suggested it, but somehow we have never used the program together. Now I have an opportunity to become proficient. Fortunately, the radio host isn’t interested in seeing my face; after all, it isn’t television. He wants to use “audio only.” That’s fine with me. I find the camera on my laptop harsh and unforgiving. I couldn’t really look like that!
Skype can't be that hard, I thought as I went in and set up a profile, complete with a picture I uploaded from my files. I sent my Skype name to a friend, who then called me using the program. “Hello there!” she said brightly, as her Skype photo enlarged on my screen. Thrilled to be connected, I answered. And then I heard the sounds of silence, and I don’t mean the song.
“Hello. Hello?”
Nothing came back.
I don’t know what happened to the connection. My friend had to leave for an appointment, but she promised to Skype me again later. My mind was all aflutter as I noted the time slipping by.
And then, sitting here all by my lonesome, I realized that the Skype interview isn’t the one tomorrow; it’s the one scheduled for late November. Whew! Relief is too mild a word. This week I have many things to do, and learning to Skype wasn’t supposed to be one of them.
But where is my mind?
I’m still learning to roll with the punches. I want to follow others’ advice to “have fun” during these initial months of author events, and I am. Each signing, each trip, each interview is exciting. Once I’m there, I love it. Sometimes, though, there is such a learning curve.
Here’s my new plan for Skype. Before the November interview, I’ll be visiting my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. I’ll corner them and have them teach me. Annie is eight; she probably can Skype rings around the rest of us.

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