Archive for the ‘PROJECTS’ Category

PROJECTS: 100 Stories

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

051509rI’ve decided to drop out of this summer project as far as doing a daily hypertext but as always, cheer on and support the Tunxis folks who will be involved in what promises to be a fun and creative endeavor.  It begins on May 22nd and you can follow their progress here: 100 Days Projects


Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Having trouble getting into the tangle of Paths and concentrating on writing in any form lately, except for blips of prose that are of the moment. Anything old seems just that–old and done already and uninviting to jump back into. Yet the new is just beyond my reach, the grapes of Tantalus, standing in a pool of words.

Maybe I need to read some hypertext and story just to get back in the groove. Maybe I’ve just lost my way. So first, of course, is to find the way to find my way.

PROJECTS: Hypertext this and that and the other

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Paths sort of stopped me cold from exporting it not only because of its unsophisticated structure but more because of its poor writing. But I do like the story concept a lot and so I’m going to spend some time on editing that and no doubt, will mess with the links and story hypertextwise as well. In other words, this is going to take some work before I present it properly.

Also looking into The Pigeon and The Shoe which I started last year, inspired by the Pittsburgh trip and Hypertext 2008. That’s got a nice idea behind it as well, all from an hour spent sitting in the park.

But there are other things that draw me too; short stories that may or may not be submitted before the lit mags close for the summer (shall I bother?); and for the first time in ten years, an idea for a novel that needs to be in that form. So there’s plenty to do, just have to get my enthusiasm for writing back into the driver’s seat.

PROJECTS: Where Would I Go?

Monday, April 6th, 2009

New story up by Steve Ersinghaus over at Media Play: Where Would I Go?

It’s a good one.

HYPERTEXT: Color Counts in Linking

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Even as I claim that I’m learning the purpose and impact of patterns of linking, I find myself going back and fixing, changing, modifying links to offset a sometimes itchy feeling that a passage may be better off linked to an earlier segment of story, a different lexia that returns the reader to a point in the story where he must stop and reread the information to understand it from a different angle.

What I am finding also is that there is a certain importance to the color of text links. Two things have come up. One is that the initial links can be more emphatic in color, more in contrast to the inactive text. This relevance of color tells the reader that there are interesting things to be found, the brighter color a present of sorts as well as an assurance that he will not overlook them by reading the entire space of the lexia before wandering away. I find this point rather important; I don’t know how others read a hypertext story, but I’ve learned to squelch that impulse to click on the first link I come to and instead read the entire text of a space before moving on.

A more interesting element is the ‘visited’ link, and here I find that a still obvious but more subtle color is a soft reminder that the reader can go back to places he’s been, and yet there is a way of knowing that fact so that he may choose not to do so. There is the careful selection by the writer (my apologies to Barthes, but writer here refers to the originator of the text) of particular words that refer back (and forward) to a portion of narrative that may be either enhanced in meaning or be offering an alternate view.

My hope is that I can transfer this positive experience in practicing on short short stories to the longer stories I’ll be writing in hypertext.

HYPERTEXT: Practice does help

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

I’ve likely learned more about hypertext link negotiation with the seven short stories I’ve worked on in the past few days than I’ve learned in writing more sprawled out, trying-too-hard-to-be-complex stories of the past couple years.

One of the clouds that hangs over my head in writing hypertext is the same one that rains on my hypertext reading; that I’ll get lost or lead someone else into a hole or that I’ll run them around in boring circles of reading the same thing over and over again.  With the short short form, it makes so much more of an impact when you come around to the same writing space again. There isn’t the fear of losing the main story line even when I’ve gone off the beaten track completely with these.

Steve Ersinghaus and I have done some of this kind of thinking before–emails that we sent back and forth, each adding a new plot or elaboration on a single story, though it was somewhat linear in form. Perhaps the collaboration of two minds working together but never working the same was the key there. Can’t wait to get this show of the 100 Stories Project going and with the addition of three more people and sight and sound and organization, it should be awesome.

In the meantime, I’m practicing my hypertext. Only problem is I need more short stories to hypertexturize.


Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Very good advice from A List Apart this morning on “The Elegance of Imperfection.

“It symbolizes a crucial lesson about craft: utility is not contingent on perfection of form.”

Even as I fight back the urge to twiddle and tweak till I’m left with a toothpick of story from a oak tree of words, I do realize that editing and going that one step further does most often improve upon form. Utility is fine, but I still can’t help but seek perfection–perhaps as a balance to more natural impulsive instincts.

In working on the 100 Stories Project (which I really shouldn’t be doing, I suppose, until the official start date), I’m playing with colors to stay on track with the project as a whole. It is important, of course, to have something set up prior to the opening bell since there won’t be time later to play when deadlines to produce are more important, but after practicing the hypertext, I had to play with the display. And, after two major rehauls in display just to find something inspiring to write in, there’s still that urge to look further to come up with the perfect playground. In checking out the suggested site, Kular, for color theme, I found this that I do like a lot:


In changing the css color values on a test, I neglected to change the headline colors from a lovely navy and while the values above came out subtle and soft, the navy text fairly popped with class.


Then, of course, there’s thousands of color combinations and I’ll have to explore further before I go changing things again. But the above–with navy text–may show up somewhere someday soon. Like maybe at the Spinning site that’s gotten boring for me.


Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Satisfied my colorlust once I learned how to put in total background color without blank spaces in bordered areas (in the html template, need to refer to css with a style note, though there’s got to be an easier way, and added 20 px top and bottom padding to the background-color notation) so I changed one of the four hypertext stories to this:

It just seems to inspire me when I’m working in color and that translates to better story. One thing I’ve also found in working on these stories is that I’m working with the Storyspace hypertext format more naturally than ever before. I’m not afraid to go back to the same writing spaces and I’m getting better at using that as an emphasis point and see how it changes the meaning the next time something is read, just for having some new information since the last time.

HYPERTEXT and PROJECTS: Layers that Surround like Members of a Band

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

So glad I agreed to join the 100 Stories Project. Last summer, Steve Ersinghaus and Carianne Mack dedicated their summer break from their usual campus duties at Tunxis Community College to put together an awesome creative collaboration of paintings and poetry as a challenge of one work a day for 100 days. Steve and Carianne are once again planning a project, with stories and visuals, and with the addition of John Timmons on sound and Jim Revillini on drums–no not drums, but the same base, the beat that sets the whole thing to blend in digital presentation. I’ll be expanding on story by offering an interpretation in hypertext.

Steve has already thrown out a few stories in preparation and to get with the idea, I’ve been hypertexting them on a 100 Stories Project Page (Link to the right) here until we have a plan for centralization. Officially the project will begin on May 22nd and run through August. It should be a fun process of learning and exploring creative ideas and interpretations pooled together towards a goal.


Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Harder this time making the transition from the straight and narrow to the mystery and fun of multiple choice.  That is, linear to hypertext. But deadlines loom and so all must be put aside except for those things that are topmost on the list of things to do.  The fascination of the mind, the reason Bonnie hung herself, and the lady who will be depended upon to save the people of her country each must wait till other things are done.