Setting The Skype Scene

Tomorrow night I’m meeting, via Skype, with the South Windsor(Connecticut) Public Library’s Murder and Mayhem mystery group. If you’re in the area, drop by at 7:30 for what promises to be a fun evening of book talk.

Since this is a video conference, I don’t have to worry about the drive time to the library (internet traffic shouldn’t be so bad). I also don’t have to shine my shoes, since my feet will not be visible. My preparation is different for this from-home visit to the library.

I’ve done a couple of practice runs with the library’s Mary, Carol, and Jason to make sure our audio and video connections are in proper working order. A tip to all Skype novices like myself: make sure your web browser is closed when you use Skype. You want your internet firing on all cylinders when you make your video call.

When I received the invitation from library director Mary Etter to meet with the mystery group, I immediately started wondering where I would sit for the event. “Where’s the best light?” I wondered. “What should be in the background?” I asked myself. My original plan was to use the guest bedroom where I could sit in front of a window and bookcase. Appropriate for a chat with book lovers, right? So I set up a table and my laptop and moved a chair into place. I sat, opened the computer’s camera, and saw a shadowy figure in the middle of the screen. My attempts to brighten the corner without causing a glare failed and I realized the setting wasn’t conducive to a good Skype session.

I considered other locations in the house. There is excellent light in the kitchen, but an oven and sink don’t make for a cozy background. The dining room felt too formal. I headed down to the wood-paneled family room and opened the laptop on the coffee table. Settling against the comfortable couch cushions, I liked the view presented on camera. All I had to do was move a big throw pillow away from the table lamp and voila, the lighting was perfect. With the arrangement of a few family photos on the shelf behind the couch and the “Welcome” sign hanging on the wall, I have a warm setting for my date with the South Bristol readers.

I’m eager to meet  the Murder and Mayhemers tomorrow night. I look forward to seeing you on my computer screen!

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