Laughter Really is the Best Medicine

Research can take so much time.  Not as much as it did in the olden days when we had to go to the library and search through the card catalogue and all. But it’s still consumes time.  Which is why I so loved the idea of the speech recognition program Dragon Naturally Speaking.  What a set up.  Just speak your info into the mic and it types it all out for you.  Such a deal! Fortunately, it’s constantly being improved.  First time I used my early version, I excitedly finished a whole day’s work on a book of meditations before it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to read over some of the Dragon-typed pages.  When I did, I was puzzled by all the references to Claude.  Who was he?  And how did he get into my manuscript?

That’s when I discovered the Dragon’s weakness.  He and I both speak English, but in two different dialects. Whenever I said God, the Dragon heard Claude.

And it got worse.  I wrote about my first published article, an interview with a scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project in all the molded court over. (What I said was “Alamogordo.”)  I wrote of the “rise of a consumer culture.”  Dragon heard “rice has come to sue Mereck’s culture.  It didn’t help that I was writing with international references.  Included were Mao Zedong (a mouse died young), Benito Mussolini (they need more linguini) and Hirohito (Here are the details)

Sometime I could barely figure out what I had really said.  For instance, Dragon vowed I had told him beavers built the church of Jesus Christ.  Say what?  It was “Believers” who built the church.  And though there surely was some truth in Dragon’s statement that the Israelites had laundered in the wilderness for 40 years, the word I used was “wandered.”  While it was pretty straightforward for me to say their journey must have seemed “unendurable,” Dragon was definitely wrong to change it to “an indoor pool.”

My first impulse is to state as my fourth truth: Never trust a dragon.  But now that Dragon and I are more able to communicate:

TRUTH #4:  Enjoy humor wherever you find it, and take  time to laugh!

BTW, I have grown to love my Dragon.  Even if I’m not in complete control.  Or as Dragon says, not in flea control.

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

~Nicholas Chamfort~

About kaystrom

Kay Marshall Strom, who am I? Well, I’m a traveler, a railer against social injustice, a passionate citizen of the world. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I’m a 21st century abolitionist who speaks out against slavery of all kinds. I am a beach walker and a gardener and the off-key singer of songs. I’m a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. Most people, though, know me as a writer and a speaker. So here is a bit more about that part of my life: Of my 43 published books, seventeen have been translated into foreign languages, and two have been optioned for movies. My writing credits include magazine articles, books for children, short stories, television scripts and two prize-winning screenplays. I love to write, and speak, about topics close to my heart. I speak at seminars, retreats, writer’s conferences, and special events throughout the country. And because I enjoy travel, I even speak on cruise ships. Because I don’t see how a writer can really reflect another people and land without spending time there, I’ve been trekking through India, China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Nepal, Sudan, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, Japan and South Korea, tape recorder and camera in hand, to gather stories from the world-wide family of God. Thanks to my “virtual friendship” with John Newton, 17th century slave ship captain turned preacher, I traveled through Ireland. In West Africa I toured an old slave fortress off the coast and saw a tiny set of baby manacles bolted to the wall. I was struck dumb. From that horror came a story question, and from that question, my foray into fiction: The Grace in Africa trilogy. Come join me as I travel and rail against injustice. Maybe you will choose to be a 21st century abolitionist too.
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6 Responses to Laughter Really is the Best Medicine

  1. B.J. Taylor says:

    Alas, we are never in flea control…lol!

  2. Jean Stewart says:

    Hilarious, Kay!
    Much like the responses I got from the Japanese junior high students when I “helped them” practice speaking English when we lived there in the early ’60’s. My heavy Atlanta accent didn’t help them understand me most of the time.
    Perfect advice: just keep laughing!

  3. martha marshall says:

    Dear ‘a mouse died young’, I’m enjoying your sense of humor and perspective very much. Since having my right hip replaced (arthritis) some days ago, I have lots of healing time to review and read your newer postings. (Is this a good medium for me in which to write to you?) I remember in the early days of McDonald’s drive thro, I’d get in the car line when I was feeling particularly open and adventurous. While my order always stayed the same, the meal in a bag rarely did. Lots of fun! How are your darlings and beautiful granddaughters? More later, ‘m needs more linguini’ and love to Dan

    • kaystrom says:

      Oh! Oh! A hip replacement? I had no idea! I’m so sorry for the present pain, so glad for the relief from future pain, so sorry for the alarms that will go off when you want to board a plane.

      I love it that you’re enjoying my blog posts. (Some of them. I won’t hold you to all of them.)

      Actually a better chit chat medium would be email, iPhone message, or–best of all–a phone call. I would love to talk to you! So much catching up to do.

      Love you!

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