Well, I wrote my letter to the Melbourne Writers' Festival outlining all the reasons why they should include a forum on digital writing (in particular, weblogs, of course). I actually printed it out and put it in an envelope, too, because it seemed more genuine that way, and less like harrassment. I then dug out some stamps and looked at them worriedly. I can't remember if stamps have gone up, but I suspect they have and so I put an extra one on too. It was all quite nice- all that tactility. I rather think I might write another letter one day soon.
I'm not sure what the response will be. I remember the first couple of times I went looking for weblogs I thought they were all dreadful and it took a determined effort to keep searching until I found ones I liked. But of course, once I did find them, I was converted. Let's hope the MWF will be too.
I found this** on the Flash Forward 2003 competition site. It's quite a satisfy feeling to turn the virtual pages of the book (although it does need a sound effect). However, I couldn't help thinking that it's rather strange that we're still imitating print mediums. Still, I suppose in this case it's really more of a gimmick than a serious method for delivering information.
I have often accused Petite of being a follower of the Slow Food movement; a charge which she has always categorically denied. The topic came up again yesterday at work, when a collegue who I've long suspected of being a Slow Foodie, admitted to sun-drying her own tomatoes. So, to get the issue clear once and for all I've made a handy checklist of Slow Food characteristics. If you recognise more than five of these as being things you do regularly you are in the high risk category.
1. Make own stock as a matter of course and always have some frozen in the freezer
2. Soak pulses overnight rather than buying them in a can
3. Use soaked pulses to make own hommous
4. Bake own bread (and do not use a bread-maker that you can set the night before)
5. Make own museli
6. Sun-dry tomatoes in oven
7. Make own black bean sauce
8. Stew fruit
9. Own and regularly use a mortar and pestle for making pesto, rather than using a blender
10. Make own pasta
Hmm. Just re-read the entry I wrote about the festival last year (sorry about the weird formatting- not sure what's happened to that neglected blog). I've been thinking about that thing Don Watson said about the diary entry being the opposite of a phonecall. Interesting, and definitely true of the traditional diary, but not true of the blog which has phonecall aspects to it, I think, especially when there is a comments function attached.
I was thinking about writing a letter to the Melbourne Writers' Festival today suggesting that perhaps they could include a session on Digital Writing (or Writing in a Digital age or whatever) for this year's programme. I was thinking that they could have a panel with some webloggers (maybe a lot of webloggers) and other writers who publish most of their material online- be it fiction, journalism or academic writing. If anyone has any recommendations of digital writers they think would be good as part of a panel discussion, in particular local writers, let me know.
I'm not sure if they will go for it anyway as their programme often seems pretty conservative, but it's worth a try. They may well say that MWF is not the right forum for discussing digital writing but it seems odd to me to not have a single session on this topic, especially with the current popularity for weblogs, for example.
Petite and I attended a session last year on diary-writing and while I wasn't exactly expecting them to talk about weblogs, to say that "people who type don't keep journals" was rather bizarre.
I must admit to rather liking the look of Sophie Dahl's new book; The Man with the Dancing Eyes. The illustrations are like a cross between The Little Prince and a David Hockney drawing. The promo website for the book is very brief, but lifted beyond the ordinary by the use of some minimal animated gifs.
Inevitably... Dr Pepper attempts to make use of the meme quality of blogs to launch a new product.
Marketing: Flogging on a Blog However, the blog itself (ragingcow.com) is so painfully contrived that I doubt it is really going to do them much good.
The project that La Spin has been working on for the ABC is now up and running. Go and look at the excellent animation too. La Spin helped write the lyrics to the theme song, storyboarded the animation, designed the characters, directed the animation, made the coffee and many other things.
Good Things About Being Back: 1. sleep in own bed
2. see loved ones and reassure them of one's status as alive and well
3. do not have to bargain with moto driver whenever I want to go somewhere
4. less cabbage in my diet
5. mosquitoes back to their rightful status as irritating but not deadly
6. no longer centre of attention when doing the most mundane of tasks (eg: crossing the road, scratching mozzie bite)
7. able to eavesdrop on passing conversations and people on trams
Bad Things About Being Back: 1. Melbourne is cold and grey
2. do not get to use my five words of Khmer on anyone anymore
3. cannot drop into Beautiful Shoes to have lovely little slingbacks run up for an upcoming soiree
4. no spectacular ruins to admire (except my sunburnt face)
5. no longer centre of attention when doing the most mundane of tasks (eg: crossing the road, scratching mozzie bite). Do not stand out at all
6. currently experiencing a backlog of Sunday nights combined into one giant Sunday night.