Archive for the ‘HYPERTEXT’ Category


Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

So, with decorations down and cookies frozen for the future, I’m turning attentions back to writing. And of course, to projects left unfinished or unpublished, or just untweaked into format as guilt overwhelms new creative genius.

One of those projects is a hypertext that needs a real nice Spanish guitar plunking. However, frustrated with rejections and reticence, I bought myself a) a broken guitar, and b) a gourd thumb piano:

Gourd Thumb Piano







I’ve no recognizable musical talent. However, I do possess both determination and an oblivion to failure.

Finally, it came to me: the first three bars: 1-1-3-3/1-1-3-3/1-1-3-4-3.

I’m sure I can fill 20 minutes or so from there.


HYPERTEXT: A Review of “Blueberries”

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Sometimes, you will read something you’ve written a while ago, a sentence, a phrase, and say, damn, that’s good. Sometimes you’re not even sure you wrote it. Where did it come from? How did you even think of it?

Even better, someone reads your work and brings up things you didn’t even see in it yourself.

Maya Zalbidea just sent me a link to a Psychoanalytical Interpretation of Blueberries which she had written up and published in Caracteres. I need to read through it again, but a quick read brought me up short. Her insight into the piece saw so much more that I myself, as author, wasn’t aware of putting into the story even as I wrote it. And now, a few years later, it makes me wonder if writing fiction in particular is done half with an awareness of writing and language skills and half with information stored in our minds through experience–often not personally our own but rather an accumulation of things we’ve seen, read about, heard about that automatically became important enough to save.

Do we make our own metaphors in our subconscious as we call these memories of information we likely would not be able to recall if asked? Is it just there and by some magical process brought to the forefront to find its way into our stories? Like the black bear as metaphor for my spouse (I suspect) that shows up in my dreams?

I’ll get more specific with this as I read Maya’s intriguing interpretation and may be able to make some links within my own mind as to the story, the characters, and my experiences. I can see very clearly how she came to her suggested conclusions by her exploration of the story. I may need to read Blueberries again to get back into that mindset, that place closer to whatever past data I must have drawn from. The pool of the mind. Fascinating.


HYPERTEXT: Fake Freedom of Choice?

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

On the TV cartoon series “Family Guy,” the writers chose to kill off a major character (Brian, the family dog) on a recent episode. The public uproar inspired media coverage and twittering and Facebook posts and pages to express not only (some) viewer outrage, but an attempt to reverse the event and its implications in the series.

Today I also noted that one of my favorite PBS shows, “Doc Martin” in its latest season (which is not yet available here in the U.S.) has chosen to write into the script an automobile accident in which a starring character is not killed, but injured. Here again, some of its audience is upset by the scene and is voicing that displeasure and shock. Some using as a basis for their opinion that it’s too real for what they expect as a comedic entertainment.

My question is this: While audience reaction is certainly the main goal of any art form, at what point does it interfere with the writer’s freedom of expression? His/her right to write what was in his/her head rather than to allow the reader/viewer to rewrite the script more to their liking? I remember a young woman in one of my creative writing classes whose critique was always focused on rewriting students’ stories to a happy ending.

When I first got into the study of narrative hypertext and the possibilities it offered I believed that the reader “wrote” the story by controlling his choice of links to wander different plots of story. As I wrote hypertext narrative, I realized that the original author still maintains control by the necessity of keeping the flow of narrative to whatever ultimate end or endings he has devised to his story.

This may be why hypertext does not have the appeal to a wider audience. People REALLY want control of the story, particularly when it is implied as it is by hypertext form.

What then, would make it more effective to meet the demands of today’s social media conscious and highly vocal reader? Shall the writer include specifics as to where the choice will lead? Should it offer the choices as did “Choose Your Own Adventure” Books so that the reader has the potential of making a more informed decision? As hypertext stories are written now, it seems that the highlighted word that offers a link to another area of story is still a mystery as to where it takes the character and the reader. The choice of word to offer as the link is often a clue (i.e., “local bar” versus “church” but even then it’s the original writer’s connection and not the reader’s.

It’s quite a dilemma. What exactly can we as writers do to upgrade our use of the medium to match the new audience of readers?


HYPERTEXT: Something New

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

Thanks to HtLit, just found two new resources for interactive storytelling.

Signed up for Storynexus and should find out shortly what that’s all about.

Downloaded HypeDyn, which looks similar to Storyspace from Eastgate (which I already have, love, and used much before I started writing into Eastgate’s Tinderbox instead). I’ll play a bit with this in the next week and post my thoughts on it here.



Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Well I bought a guitar, tuned it myself using this online tuner, plinked a few strings, tried to hold a chord, and once again came face to face with my own inadequacies.

So while I learned much about introducing audio into hypertext via Audacity and Garage Band, and, I learned how to transfer hypertext onto removable drives and installation on PC or Mac hard drives, this project is going back on the shelf again.

HYPERTEXT PROJECT 3: The multitalent needed for multimedia

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Still searching for a better instrument than the harmonica. Went antiquing yesterday and found three guitars, two autoharps, and a dulcimer. The dulcimer looked like something I could handle but it only had three strings out of five. One of the autoharps looked really promising but it was $95. Of the three guitars, the cheapest really didn’t have a great sound and when something’s marked “as is” and I don’t know what’s wrong with it, I’ll back off. Strummed a bit, but had to face facts that I really don’t know how to play a guitar and would likely be more disappointed with the plinking and strumming I’d be capable of doing in comparison to the original professional piece than with my harmonica-playing.

What new media does teach is that it is rare for one artist to be able to handle all three elements–words, images, and audio–well. New media, to be at its best, is unfortunately, a team effort. With my poem Recycling it was difficult to do the voiceover since my voice sounds like a munchkin when recorded. With the visuals, I ended up drawing each image that I couldn’t photograph (i.e., the earth, Mars, Poe, and Jesus Christ) and none is at its best.

And so my harmonica playing, well, it leaves much to be desired and am depending heavily on sound effects (like echo, which is how I “masked” my Recycling voice).

Tough to keep things original and strive for non-hokey.

HYPERTEXT PROJECT 3: Update on Audio

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Well, never heard back from the composer/guitarist as far as permission on the piece I originally nabbed off a music site so I’m taking the snippets off the pages though I will post a link to the piece on his site once I find something else I’m happy enough with. It’s certainly going to be hard to measure up to this piece, but being a writer, I understand copyright and artist control so there’s no way I’ll use it without express permission, nor come up with another original piece based on it.

And a friend who I did ask because I know he’s a musician and is a brilliant computer expert is unable timewise to help me out on this.

So it’s back to the harmonica for now.


Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Will burn the CD with the Windows C:\Program Files\abobWin\ and made another one with D:\abobWinD\ and will burn that one as well and see how they work on my PC.

Tried the CD with both versions on my PC with Windows XP an they both work with Internet Explorer. Not with Opera.

I suppose that means I’ve succeeded in my goal of putting working hypertext pieces on a CD for playing on Mac or PC, without the necessity of actually putting them into Program files (Windows) or the Application folder (Mac), as well as being able to do that, and run from a thumbdrive too.

However, there is much cleaning up to do on tidying up the paths, coming up with a more simple and universal path (may not need the double folder nor the “Program Files” or “Application” in the path, nor the drive designation). Also, need a method of opening the hypertext without all the other files there as a distraction, or an icon that’s obvious as the opening page–maybe the first page outside the folder, linked to the next page which is in a folder along with all the other pages and necessary images, jQuery files and folders, css sheet, etc.


Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Got a working CD made of A Bottle of Beer hypertext, but it won’t work yet in Windows, only Mac. PC needs a drive letter…or, I can burn the Windows version using the C:\path to try to fool it. Right now, it will open any of the pages, but using a browser, and calling it “D:/abob/etc.”

The other thing I have to figure out (besides how to make a harmonica sound like a soulful guitar) is a way to make an icon of some sort rather than all the files to start the program.

And, while I have the audio on hold for a couple days, I happened to notice the work I did on jQuery animation and may pick up on that again. I’m pretty sure I had the banner of flowers on one of the pages moving at one point. Tough when you haven’t worked with something for a while to try to get back into it. Particularly when the concept wasn’t perfected. As I recall, I couldn’t get the “banner” to remain behind the text box and move. That’s likely a case of setting up the css sheet.


Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

I’ve been on a Mac for about 5 years now and have never used Garage Band. It’s coming in handy now.

Will eventually delete all files using the professional piece that I’ve worked with so far, because obviously, without permission, I will not be able to use it anyway. It has taught me much in adding audio to text and visuals in html which should make it easier to incorporate a new original audio background. My harmonica playing will have to do for now and I’m about to record a longer playing session so that I can cut it up into tracks that suit the pages.

Also, after playing with the tune for a week, I need to get the original song out of my head so that I inadvertently don’t “lift” parts of it because it’s become embedded in my head!

Still not sure if I’ll post a link to the artist’s site and the piece I’ve been playing with; it’s beautiful and I’d like to share it for your enjoyment but then it might be harder to accept my harmonica as a replacement if I can’t get an original guitar audio. Sent out a request today and I’m crossing fingers it can be done.