Archive for the ‘100 DAYS PROJECT’ Category


Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Was really happy to come upon a review of my work in the 100 Days Project of 2009, that is, the 100 hypertext stories.

While the review is in Polish by Mariusz Pisarski of korporacja ha!art and while I won’t make an attempt at translation here, running it through an online translator gave me the general drift of it. It’s complimentary and thoughtful and I truly appreciate the effort and time that Mr. Pisarski put into the article. It seems that he too writes in hypertext and that is something I’ll be checking out further.

Meanwhile, while I’m of Polish descent–my grandparents on both sides came to America in the early 1900s–I’m going to ask a friend of mine to translate into Polish my thank you note. I knew how to say thank you in Polish, but had to look up the spelling: Pan Pisarski, dziękuję.

TINDERBOX & 100 DAYS: Finale

Monday, August 30th, 2010

This is really the first time I’ve used Tinderbox as an organizational tool, although I have created projects after-the-fact, such as putting the 100 Hypertexts from last year’s project into a file and used Tinderbox to write the hypertext stories themselves. The map:

I’ve posted previously on this project but at this point, it has all the stories completed–126 of them (additional stories for another summer challenge above the 100 Days). The major visual sorting of the stories was for theme of Self, Society, Relationships, and Universe; Universe covering not only apocalyptic and such, but anything that didn’t clearly go under one of the other three main lines. For this I used Adornments so that I have an instant visual of the various stories.

Another important sort was for story length, or word count and for this I used Agents. While they are all under 1000 words and would be considered flash fiction (with the exception of a couple poems), for submission purposes, I decided to separate them down a bit more into three categories of word count that I recognize as popular cut-offs with the publications. Therefore, I have Under 300, 300 to 500, and 500 and Over.  I can, of course get more detailed simply by creating another agent, but the breakdowns as they are have already cut back on the number of stories I’d have to go through by two-thirds. Note that while I have the word count (as determined by Pages) in the text box, the Agents are solely responsible for counting it up themselves. Of course, additional data as described below is included in the count but I’m aware of that so can adjust.

The third major category was genre. While I don’t really write genre fiction, there are some breakdowns here that will help: Narrative Poetry, Mainstream, Women’s Fiction, Speculative, Magical Realism, Social Statement, and Humor. More may come up–I haven’t quite finished labeling all the stories yet–and some fit into more than one genre category. The way I’ve used the Agents for this is to have them collect by the word/s “Mainstream” for example, but I’ve typed this information into the writing space of the story:

While this method of using agents may not work for all projects, it was fine for this one, where the additional data included in the box did not interfere with the information. I’ll need to go though at some point and learn the strings to put into the agent or probably more likely, how to code the individual space itself to be picked up by the Agent.

In the above image, you can see another of the selections I’ve made. I’ve marked the stories “Favorites” (if I liked ’em) to ensure that those will be the first to be submitted. There’s also a Submitted Agent, and a Published Agent to keep track of the comings and goings of the story submission process. This is where I’ll be focusing through the next couple of months.

The final Agent is one that I used as an example of drilling down for theme. In this case, I had the Agent search for stories that held the word “rain” because I knew there were a few and it was just a test. Publishers of magazines often have theme-based story lines that they are seeking, so this type of Agent will be a more precise segregation based on theme, or even a particular word.

While I haven’t completely edited all the stories, nor have I marked them all for most logical genre(s), I think that as soon as that effort is done, Tinderbox will make the rest of the submission process streamlined and simple.

TINDERBOX and the 100 DAYS PROJECT: Day #75

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

What this Tinderbox map tells me is that I tend to write more relationship-based stories than other themes. What I don’t have yet (and it’s about time I did but I’m just so overwhelmed with writing right now) is have each story coded for genre, although I do have the easier, obvious ones like sci fi and magical realism done on the more recent entries. The Agents will be a huge help in September when it comes to start submitting some of these stories to literary journals. More on my participation in the project on Spinning.

TINDERBOX: Update on 100 Days Project

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Some minor changes from the last post, aside from the additional stories added–I’m up to fifty now. While I haven’t sorted them all out, I have agents set up for some of the genres, as well as stories set for publication and those I’ve started to send out.

Meanwhile, the setup that I have for the stories is to include an image with each. I usually end up taking a new photograph but can often find something from my files that I can use. If worst comes to worst, I depend on paper and pencil. Then comes the fun part, I make a dupe to cover my ass, then open up Photoshop and start to play. While no, I haven’t yet gotten completely over the filter gallery, I do know how to manipulate the effects to get an image that has the feel of the story.

Today I tried something new; layering two completely different images into one. Now that was fun and I’m sure it’ll come in handy in the future and it opens up all sorts of possibilities. Of course, the next ten stories are likely to be graced with these two-in-ones as I do tend to go overboard on new things.


Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Finally got some time and mental energy today to go back and tackle the Agents feature of Tinderbox. With another bit of help from Steve Ersinghaus, I found the problem that had me stymied for a while this morning in the code string. Right now, I’m working with the current (summer 2010) project for which I’m writing a story each day.

I’d already separated the stories by Adornments into four categories of conflict but there were many more ways I wanted to sort them. So far, I’ve only got 37 stories, but there are a few I know I’d like to submit at some point and one that has already been taken for publication, so “Favorites” and “Published” became necessary Agents. The other obvious sort, geared towards the literary market, are “Word Count” and “Genre” as this would help me narrow down style of story and word count restrictions to the particular magazine.  These Agents will also be integrated into the “Literary Endeavors” Tinderbox file I have nearly complete as far as entries, as well as last year’s 100 hypertext stories from the 100 Days 2009 project.

Okay, so I cheated a lot on getting the agents to work by merely entering the text “Favorites” for example, into the box of the item, above the story, rather than properly create Attributes. That’ll come as soon as I’ve got all Agents set up and working here, and before I use that information in the other two project. I’m psyched!

HYPERTEXT & WRITING: “And then there’s Maude…”

Monday, December 7th, 2009

As ya’ll know, I’m a stark-raving maniac when it comes to my love of hypertext fiction and that, teamed with my overbearing, hard-headed, determined to make people see it-nature, made for a rather unhappy and tormented artistic soul at best since I can’t always have my own way.

Persistence is key; persistence and insistence can swiftly become unbearable to those upon whom it is focused. Even with my own experience of hypertext (and IF I might add) being one of cursing and slamming fists onto keyboards (I’m small but highly volatile) I still sought an avenue that was gold-paved and happy-treelined and as invitational and welcoming as possible.

And then came Maude. Maude Nichols was the fun, learning experience of hypertext. It is not put-offish, it’s a humorous easy read, it directly relates to the reader, and it looks like it’s brought in some writers interested in the medium now that it doesn’t seem so scary.

I belong to an online writers community called Fictionaut and the writing quality there, I must say, is phenomenal overall (I’m in awe and feel like I’m reading the best of the best contemporary short story writers and poets around). I’m easily intimidated but what the hell, I threw in a couple flash fiction pieces I wrote specifically for posting and then a hypertext piece. The piece was The Perfect Woman (also, like Maude, one of the 100 hypertexts from last summer’s project) and got a bit of interest. A few weeks later, I put up Maude. Maude now has twelve “favs” to it and more importantly, the comments indicate that these seasoned writers like the medium; had fun with it; some even impressed enough to try their own hand at it.

I just love it.

HYPERTEXT: Placement

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Ah, just edited my crowning achievement, the two-space, three-word hypertext story #93 Challenge and Response.

Not much you can do with three words, they’d been wrung out to their lightest, unwatered weight. But there was something specific to the hypertext medium that could be done: placement.

As a dialogue, and one with conflict as its main theme, it became obvious that placement of the two (hmmm, just realized that this would be interesting if I added more boxes repeating the dialogue to indicate other speakers getting in on the conversation/confrontation, perhaps specifying by color the unique individuals–actually, could go up to the hundreds in repetition as the argument escalates, but meanwhile…) speakers would enhance and ground the two speakers. So back I went into the css and made one space <div id=”left”> and the other <div id=”right”>. This little tweak actually puts the speakers on two different sides of the screen/argument visually. It also adds action via movement, though I personally might find it annoying. But then, arguments are expected to be.

While I say that this element of enhancement to story is specific to hypertext, it’s obviously used in film and graphics as well. I can think of comics, for example, where two characters at odds might be placed at either end of the panel, or in separate panels, reinforcing other indications of heated argument such as text, punctuation (!), a few squiggley lines off the tops of the characters’ heads as possibly fuming, facial expressions, and of course, words.

Now I’ll look deeper into editing those three words, or maybe adding a few more speakers to the soup.


Sunday, October 11th, 2009

Hmmm. While I’m working on getting the 100 hypertext stories into a Tinderbox file, some little problems are cropping up–not unexpected.

Have slowly changed the individual Tinderbox story files to include a note box titled “title” (or “titlec” which indicates the column css for the last 75 stories, although I’ve since changed the css on the first, but wait–that’s another whole can of worms because I’d have to change an awful lot of links already online so while they’ve been changed online to the column100.css from the main100.css, the title boxes still say title as they did–and this has to be the longest rambling explanation I’ve ever posted).

While in doing this, I’m matching the hard drive Mac file to what’s online, once I put the individual Tinderbox files into another main Tinderbox file, it reminds me that there’s already a file called “title” or “titlec”. Well, yes. There are 25 files that contain “title” and 75 files that contain “titlec.” So?

So this: In the main Tinderbox file I’ve changed the title boxes to reflect their numbers, i.e., “title33” etc.

But what about the notes that are titled “sex,” “love,” “end,” and all the rest? I’m sure that in 100 stories in 100 days I’ve duplicated many, many note titles. I can be only so creative.

I’m sure there’s an answer in agents or prototypes which ties back in with the original goal of being able to export only a single note container and it’s babies (children) to the new land of promise. This is all being done only because I wanna somehow use some of these stories to publish to a new hypertext story website by the end of the year.

Much to think about.

HYPERTEXT: The Creative Process

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Last night I took part in a panel discussion at Tunxis Community College (Farmington, CT) on the creative process along with five other participants in the 100 Days Project.

While I focused on the creative process of hypertext rather than my work, I probably inadvertently did a disservice to the medium. In showing the underpinnings of Tinderbox and the technical process of export templates, css, etc., I likely made it look more intimidating rather than a welcoming way of writing. The final stories, with their color and drama may have been more impressive and inviting than highlighting the html or the mapping–despite the fact that I personally find beauty in the symmetry and freedom of the process.

At any rate, being a writer not a speaker, I had my talk all written out and complete with the few visuals, have it available here and as a permanent link in the sidebar: The Creative Process: A Blend of Skills

HYPERTEXT & WRITING: Creative Process

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

While I’ve still not recovered from the 100-Day project to get back on track with reading and reviewing literature here, tonight along with five of the 14 participants I will be presenting a brief talk on the creative process.

100day poster