This week's writing exercise is actually some tips that I found via Hit Those Keys, which is an excellent source of information for writers. (I've been pondering a recent post that she wrote about the effects of writing directly into Dreamweaver rather than in plain text first, then pasting it into Dreamweaver afterwards. Interesting, because I think that the medium does definitely shape the output.)
Lisa links to a piece about shitty first drafts. It's a very comforting piece to read, rather like someone stroking your hand and saying "there there- even real writers hate what they do."
What I'm not so sure about is what you do when faced with shitty second and third drafts. I have a number of stories on the go at the moment, and they are all flopping around on my desk, gasping for air in the most distressing manner, refusing to die, but not really living either. It's very dispiriting. I can't seem to write more than a paragraph before it becomes turgid and hakneyed. Maybe this is why I like writing in blog format.
This is kind of cute. You put in your URL and find out what ads would be relevant, were you to, for some reason, decide that this was the way to go. My URL brought up links to hiking sites, writing ezines and flash tips. Not bad judgement, really. There was also a link to a Melbourne flower shop, which is a little weird as I don't think I've mentioned flowers particularly on the blog. I did buy two bunches of jonquils last weekend as they smell so fantastic (even to me with my bad olifactory capacities) so maybe the ap knows me better than I know myself.
I'm going to put an abstract in for the Into the Blogosphere collection. It's due on Monday so I've been trying to get my act together over the last couple of days to get something done. I'm thinking I'll focus on the visual aspects of blogging, hoping that this is something that not too many other people will do, although I'm tempted to extend it so it covers creative writing too. It's this idea of blog as visual journal or notebook that I keep coming back to.
This is my draft so far:
The Weblog Studio
While the majority of weblogs are currently text-based, there are increasing numbers that include visual material. For some, this may be as simple as uploading a photograph, but others use the format as a digital version of a visual diary. This paper will investigate the possibilities offered by the Weblog as a centralised location for recording and publishing visual ideas. It will compare and contrast the weblog with the traditional concept of the artist’s journal and the studio and will investigate the ways in which visual materials can be, and are currently being, used on weblogs. It will draw on specific examples from current weblogs, including the author’s own.
Mortensen and Walker’s description of weblogs as being a way to “trace the flight of thought” is an apt metaphor for the blogging process and this approach is of particular use to the visual artist. Like a journal, the weblog records the steps along the way, with the focus often being on the process rather than on the finished product. Moreover, the weblog can function as a disciplinary exercise for the artist, who quickly finds that a regular readership expects regular updates. This, in turn, can develop into a resource for others.
Clusters of bloggers with similar concerns will often form around a resource, and information is exchanged, ideas fostered. This paper will discuss the effects on the artist of working in this “open studio” type environment, where discussion and instant feedback is often a feature.
I can't believe it's taken me so long to having a good look at FWAK! Animation, even though one of the directors, Lili, has even left comments on this site. Shame on me.
Go there, go there now.
And if that weren't enough, Lili even provides tips for drawing in Flash which are excellent and which I intend to put to good use. (infact, I liked drawingtips01.html so much that I changed the address to see if drawingtips02.html would yeild more tasty titbits. But no... not yet, at any rate...)
Went to the opening night of the Melbourne International Animation Festival last night at ACMI with La Spin and it was most enjoyable, not the least because Sensei the non-drinker gave me his drink voucher which I rapidly redeemed for a glass of sparkling. Thanks for that Sensei.
The festival runs for about a week and there are lots of great pieces playing. The programe is online and strongly recommend seeing the Australian Panorama on Saturday. Fiona Dyson's piece "Violin" is amazing as is Susan Kim's piece "Mother Tongue." Well worth seeing.
Apparently the corporate blog Is catching on. This article looks at people at the head of corporations who have begun blogging rather than people lower down the scale (who would only keep a work blog if they had to, I imagine), but also looks at the things that might cause potential nervousness in a company considering going this way.
I am walking home and there is a little kid walking along in front of me, with his father They’ve just come out of the cinema. He’s a black little kid, and he’s wearing entirely black clothing too. He has mini dreadlocks. On his hands are enormous plastic hulk hands and he is dancing around of the footpath, punching the air with the prosthetics.
So we went for a hike yesterday, in the Murrindindi state forest. The hike was organised by the Victorian National Parks association. Eight people, one of whom we knew, the rest strangers. Two men, six women. Thieu whispered to me "I'll have to tell my single male friends about this."
It rained pretty much steadily, but I had Thieu's incredibly attractive camoflague waterproof pants on, and my gortex jacket so I was toasty warm.
Towards the end of the walk, we stopped to admire a waterfall and eat some chocolate. One of the women turned to the group and said "Is there something in my eye? It feels like there's something there. " We looked at her and there was blood all around her eyelid. Thieu peered in but couldn't see anything- perhaps a branch had scratched her as we pushed through the path? It is scary to see someone bleeding from the eye- especially in the middle of the bush. It is impossible to not start thinking about blood clots and stokes and other dire possibilities.
The woman dabbed at her eye with a handerkerchief and something fell out. We all looked to see what it was. A leech. It lay on the ground, and we watched it forming into various punctuation marks on the ground- a full stop, an exlamation mark, a question mark. It must have been hidden under the woman's eye lid and dropped off when it was fat with her blood. We could see puncture marks at the corner of her eye, as if it had come to drink at the milky pool of her pupil. I imagined it attached there, like a crazed eyelash, writhing and wiggling as it fed.