TNL meets Rambling Librarian

I met the Rambling Librarian last week.

A rambler he ain’t. But he is one rockin’ librarian. The guy does all sorts of things – draws, composes music, reads like there is no tomorrow and top of it all does a pretty good job at facilitating and teaching.

I was at NLB Academy learning how to write for the new media. It was a nice, cozy class. RL gave quite a few good examples.

I like the story of the broken links and how it was a treasure hunt of sorts. That killed me. Which brings me to a point RL made.

His point was say something without saying it. Using imagery, symbols. We have to admit that even in this new age of sledgehammer approach, the age old use of visuals and suggestive subtlety is a whole lot more effective and … beautiful.

Ask yourself. If you have to create something – the first thing that comes to mind is – “I want it to be beautiful”. Whatever it is – a piece of writing, a sketch, a jingle, a card for a friend, a table setting, an outfit, etc. There is that sense of aesthetics in us that rises above all else when the word “create” pops in our head.

Whether what is created is beautiful is another story.

This good friend of mine (and she is reading this, I am sure) and I have this nasty habit of checking our Cringe-o-Meter. It measures the cringe-worthiness of a piece of art. How is it measured? By the goosebumpy feeling we get. How far our skin crawls. Oh yes, it is thoroughly and absolutely subjective. That’s why we can’t patent it.

Anyway, we keep all our measurements private. Not so nice -lah. We don’t normally dissect the piece to bits but I suspect our main criterion is subtlety and the use of imagery.

So, RL, you are right. Sledgehammer begone! Don’t tell it but show it. Subtlely.

  1. Ruby Seng

    I don’t get goosebumps; I think I vomit slightly in my mouth. Just kidding. I get a quick reflex action of my throat constricting, and my pupils dilate with horror. If it’s quite bad, I believe wrinkles will appear on the forehead and my mouth will purse. LOL.

  2. The Naked Librarian

    Vomit in mouth, constricted throat, dilated pupils, wrinkled forehead, pursed lips – check. Am adding these indicators. This would be in Cringe-o-Meter Ver 2.0. Ta.

  3. Hello TNL! Aiyah, something wrong with your blog’s comment feature… I submitted a comment but didn’t get published, heh. Anyway, wanted to say that I’m glad you found the course useful. Although I think I’m not that good an instructor, ‘cos obviously you didn’t quite apply the thing about hyperlinking (JUST KIDDING!). Seriously though, I only found your post after Kenneth Pinto (who works in NUS… you must know him since he probably had a hand in setting up NUS blogs) alerted me to your post. If you’ve linked to my blog, chances are higher that I’ll know about it. Or just email me lah! 🙂

  4. Yes, TNL and I know each other. 🙂

    About hyperlinking, I’ve failed as an instructor too, ‘cos I mentioned it during a blog course that TNL attended.

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