When YouTube first showed up in 2005, I thought all it was good for was as a place to watch old band concerts, book promotion trailers, and old TV shows. Over time, my wife (who likes to repair stuff) found that almost anything you want to fix–from a complex shower faucet to a riding mower carburettor–has a how-to video on YouTube. My granddaugher, who’s into crafts, showed me that almost anything she wanted to make had step-by-step YouTube instructions. Heck, YouTube is now hooked up to our TV so we can watch old episodes of our favorite old shows.
I’m the last person in the family to embrace YouTube.
Case in point. When I realized I needed more info about the harness used in a packtrain, my print-oriented brain first led me to articles and then a couple of books about saddles, harnesses, knots, and panniers (for cargo). These articles/books had great drawings and were put together by people who still lead packtrains into roadless areas.
One thing that just wasn’t making sense to me was tailing a packtrain, that is, connecting each horse in the train via a rope to that tail of the horse in front of it. I couldn’t believe that in 2021 there would be a YouTube video showing how to do this. Now it makes sense. No, it doesn’t hurt because the rope leads rather than pulls the following horse.
Seeing multiple videos about packtrain harness has made it much easier to write the book even though I know the pros will realize I’m a tenderfoot with a recipe. I don’t know why people make these videos. Maybe they’re showing off their knowledge or maybe they honestly have skills that are fun to pass along. Whoever they are, I’m glad they show and tell the rest of us how to do what we need to know how to do.
So, guess what? If you need to know how to do something for a novel, there just might be a how-to video.
Malcolm R. Campbell
Publisher: Thomas-Jacob Publishing