I’ve been a busy beginner-paranormalist these last couple of days. On Sunday afternoon, I gathered my ghost investigation equipment before heading out to Anoka’s Oakwood Cemetery. There, I practiced using all of my tools … except the digital voice recorder – which I forgot I had with me. The laser thermometer and the EMF meter are simple, seemingly foolproof, tools; I didn’t spend much time fussing with them during this dry run. I concentrated, instead, on overcoming my fear of my husband’s expensive camera. Once I tamed that, learning my son’s cheap digital video camera was a cinch.
Yes, I enjoyed spending the afternoon wandering the graveyard. No, nothing even vaguely paranormal occurred.
On Sunday night, I figured out how to transfer all the digital data I’d collected to the computer … and how to organize it in a way that makes sense to me. I went to bed pondering what I could do with it.
I spent the daylight hours of Monday learning Twitter … well, getting started in Twitter – I’m sure I have much more to learn. Tweet me: @RRudeParanormal, if you are so inclined 🙂
Monday evening, I settled in at the computer with a program called Windows Live Movie Maker. Determined to figure out how to make a slideshow, I took a deep breath and dived in. Seven hours later, I surfaced with this one minute and forty-seven second “movie”.
Yep, it has a typo. I would like to fine-tune the title. And there are a couple of time adjustments I’d like to make. (I don’t know how I failed to notice those problems in any one of the dozens of times I reviewed and tweaked the damn thing before hitting save – but I did.) I am, however, valiantly resisting the urge to go back in to make the fixes. Sometimes it’s best to just let. it. go. I am going to have to be very careful – I can’t afford to spend too many hours playing with this wonderful new toy if I intend to maintain a healthy writing practice.
Still, I can’t wait to go get more footage (maybe even of something interesting) so I can make better, stronger, longer movies.
A well-worn path runs around the circumference of the five-plus acre dog park we visit on Thursdays. From the dog-lock (double gate), my boxer-cross sighted his kind at the north end of the park. I unsnapped his leash and released him from his impatient heel. His paws kicked up a low cloud of gravel dust as he raced toward them. The pack he joined was ranging over the tussocks and slopes that bordered the path but, from my vantage point, I could see they never left the orbit of the cluster of owners who were trudging anti-clockwise around the perimeter of the park.
At first, I hurried along in my dog’s wake, trying to catch up to the cluster. The biting north wind stole my breath. When I paused to tug the hood of my sweatshirt from under my coat collar, a radical thought struck me: I didn’t have to follow the path. I could instead cut across the frozen but snow-less meadow, and meet the group after they swung southward again.
The dogs noticed me immediately, of course. For just a heartbeat, I swear, they considered. Then – led by my dog and a sleek German Shepard – they came leaping into the un-trampled grass. Even the smallest dog – a beagle I think – plunged in. He bayed as he chased his long-legged companions.
The canines didn’t come to me. They investigated an iced-over puddle, a prickly-looking bush and a big stick – which inspired an enthusiastic game of keep away.
Not a single human left the path.
It wasn’t long before the calling and whistling began. One by one, the dogs returned to their owners. Having crossed the meadow, I fell into line with my dog.
Tonight, I’m wondering why I did that.