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April 16, 2018: The ABC’s of Listing Heuristics

The H word I am now thinking about is heuristics. It means invention. Invention, in writing terms is the catalyst that gets the project underway. It is what follows the spark. It’s the original form that the project takes.

Some work off narratives, expanding here or there. Some doodle. Some cluster, some make outlines that are a form of list making. The list, this is a form of invention. Lists often beget stories. There are the stories that are told in supermarket lines, for example, related to the word milk. One might talk with another about the guy who in the dairy aisle opened the milk container and began drinking it, or about the fellow who attempted to smuggle it out of the store in his pants leg – the carton fell to the floor and broke open – a little kid yelled “busted!”

Or there is the story related to the list item (and this is for real) computer – fix.

My list here in Portland is very short, and this is about the only item on it. My problem is that I cannot, on my machine, get on the internet. As I understand it, I need to connect to a server. I am out of range of my own server, so I need to use Eleanor’s password to connect to hers. We tried, repeatedly, this has not worked.

We have both been frustrated by this. We are now putting our frustration behind us and moving along with our day. This, in dealing with technology, is key. I am okay, having now considered the situation, which is that I am able to type up my dispatches but not send them. I can send photos on my cell phone. I can make phone calls on my cell phone. I can access my power point presentation on the computer, so I will have this to work with when in Bellingham.

I have the feeling that this story is not over. My story will continue, and we will see how I deal. So, again, the heuristic here was the word computer and this was a spark – one that resulted in a story. This story could take on a life of its own, and be one that I tell repeatedly to others. And others might repeat it. Others might also identify with this story and come up with one of their own, a story or stories that go with the thematic thread that I have created, which is that there is an art to dealing with technology when travelling – and that abandoning ship and considering your other options when things go awry is the best thing to do.

Had I not written down the word computer and then contextualized it by putting it in story form, I would not have come up with the above.

There is yet another part to this story. It involves dealing with those who aren’t okay with one’s technological difficulties. Pete, at the distance, was unable to give an assist. And El was not able to give an assist. We all moved on. This was all any of us could do.

Next: 107. 4/17/18: The ABC’s of Listing I is for Imagination

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