I have a secret fear as a writer. I’m afraid people will read what I’ve written and say, like Homer Simpson, “Well, DOH!”
But one person’s “DOH!” might be another person’s “Aha!” So when this Homer Simpson fear comes up, I do my best to put my big-girl pants back on and write something I’m hopeful will be helpful to some people.
In the meantime, it helps me to remember my second year as an oboe performance major at Indiana University, when a well-known oboist came to teach the summer session. In our first lesson together, he surprised me by asking me to tie an oboe reed in front of him.
This was highly unusual. It’s true that the first step of making an oboe reed is to tie the parts of the reed together. But that’s just the overture: the real performance is the scraping to get the reed to play. I was perplexed, until I learned there was a method to his madness. [Read more…]