Archive for the ‘WRITING’ Category


Monday, July 18th, 2011

Really happy to say that my hypertext story “Blueberries”, originally published in New River Journal, has also been selected for translation into Polish publication, been included in a doctoral dissertation, listed in the ELO directory, and a part of a new media college syllabus. Makes me itchy to get back to hypertext writing.
Just looked up the translation of “blueberries” as a title into Polish, and found:

czarne jagoda   (“jagody” means berries, and I thought “czarne” meant “black”)

jagody amerykańskie  (Since blueberries aren’t native to Poland this comes out as “American Berries”)

borówki (this one claims to be “Blueberries”)

czarne borówki  (Again, (“Black Blueberries”)

And this one’s my fave: “There is no human translation for that”


WRITING & REALITY?: A year gone, a year ahead

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Gone are the days when a Photoshopped Happy New Year! greeting will do on a weblog this last day of the year. Everyone seems to be listing achievements, successes, plans for the year ahead that will be both a challenge and an inspiration to bother working even harder next year.

2010 was a great year for me in the area of my writing. About 30 pieces published, including a hypertext and some images among the fiction. Might’ve even done better had I been organized enough to submit more work to more places. But the satisfaction of realizing a hope that you’re good enough to be published is both a blessing and a curse. You really need to keep up on it, not sit back and relax.

The highlight of the year has to be the coming-in-close in the Bartleby Snopes Dialogue Contest. No, wait–here’s the real thrill, winning the Eighth Glass Woman prize for “Wanderer.” Knowing so much more through Fictionaut about the writers I’m humbled to be alongside may be the biggest compliment and stamp of approval yet. These are writers, real writers. I feel like maybe I snuck in through the side door.

Anyway, my “list of literary accomplishments” is as always, on the “My Work” link. Beyond that, I wrote a story and made up an image every day for 100 days through the summer. I found myself listed in the Electronic Literature Organization Directory for the 100 Days Project of 100 hypertexts done in 2009. I’ve written a story each week for the 52/250 project since May, and will continue on that through May of this year. I wrote another 24 stories for another month-long project. All in all, I likely wrote about 150 stories this past year. Oh, and at the Tunxis 24-hour marathon in April, I produced a new hypertext piece.

Aside from writing, my other endeavors have not been as fruitful. I’ll learn, I suppose (and that’ll be a New Year’s resolution) not to keep knocking on doors that are closed to me. I’ve applied so many times for openings at a local college that they likely fear I’m a stalker.  Same thing with writing; I’m learning that no, my work doesn’t “fit” at all at some venues, and why don’t I believe them? Rejections are never happy things, but it’s senseless to set yourself up for a fall when your style of writing is not only not what they want, but their literary tastes simply aren’t yours either. That’s diversity. That’s a good thing. Focus and research is the key, as every writer is told and for some reason, it doesn’t get through until the bright light pops on with the newsflash.

So there will be some dedicated focus this new year so not as much time and effort is wasted. I won’t send my resume out to places I wouldn’t want to work just to punish myself nor hit on places I’ve been turned down at a dozen times. Same thing with the writing. Organization, whether by Tinderbox software or by Duotrope Digest, will be the very first thing I do.

Projects, yes, I’m planning some projects. Personally, a new business of sorts. In writing, learning–no really, spending the time and finally learning–to more easily understand and implement HTML5, CSS3, JQuery, audio, and visuals into my work. Not written in stone, but somewhat man-made concrete: a hypertext novel; a traditional novel; putting together and marketing an anthology of short stories; an online new media magazine; and work that I love to do, am good at, and will produce some bit of income–in that order of importance. In addition, getting back into reading and reviewing my literature collection of classics on a regular basis. Though I’ve in truth spent more time reading than writing this year; hundreds and hundreds of flash and short fiction and poetry over at Fictionaut and 52/250 and many online zines. They’re really what has honed my own edge of writing as well as offered hours of delight in reading.

So I close the old year with some successes, many failures, but knowledge that promises. I will make time for old friends, make myself try some new things, spend less time on social networks and give reality more.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, successfully satisfying New Year.

WRITING: “Come Blow Your Horn”

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

I’m honored and thrilled to have been named as the winner of the 8th Glass Woman Prize and am deeply grateful to Beate Sigriddaughter for offering this chance to women writers to give voice to women everywhere. I’m saddened by the inspiration for this story, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who is still facing the possibility of a horrid death under Iranian law. I hope my story, and the reputation of the Glass Woman Prize will bring attention to her plight and maybe help her in her fight for survival.

“The winning story for the Eighth Glass Woman Prize (US$500) is “Wanderer” by Susan Gibb. Congratulations, Susan, on a moving and important story. May it open eyes.”


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!

TINDERBOX: Building Blocks

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Okay, so there are only five stories written so far but the pattern of themes has already started to establish itself:

In first level writing and literature, we’re taught the dearth of plots and the general concept of “man versus man,” etc. What I think this series of summer stories may be based upon is struggle and the adversary determines the “type” of story, here separated by color and Adornment names of Self, Relationships, and Society.

There may naturally be additions made as time goes on, as a theme such as war, for example, may go under any of these but just might call for a new category such as Event, or Future, etc. Tinderbox allows for building into a cohesive whole and though I’m just beginning, I’m hoping that something doesn’t strike me halfway through as a better organizational layout. Things can always be changed, but not without a bit of effort, so I might just put some more time into planning at this early stage of the game.


Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Well it seems that I work better under pressure; there are a dozen unfinished stories on my desktop that have sat there for weeks with a sentence, a paragraph added in a fit of creativity. But inspired by both a piece of work from a fellow artist and the concept of deadline, I’m hitting my stride with a story a day.

Here’s where the building blocks of ideas turn into more than just concept into a solid form. Last year I didn’t have the expertise nor the time with Tinderbox to assemble the 100 hypertext pieces into a Tbox file. For this project, I’m starting out with Tbox and already have some general organization in place. The main thought, however, is to allow for various mediums that some of the stories may employ (hypertext, flash, image, audio, etc.) so that I do want that ease of transition that keeping all in Pages would not allow. I may use all html templates. This I can readily do in Tbox. While the link to the stories (100 Days – 100 Stories 2010) is currently a page on Spinning, this too may change with time.

Then again, half the fun of any project is learning how to get from A to B and so on, and raising more interesting paths along the way.


Friday, May 21st, 2010

Been playing in Tinderbox the last few days, trying to update the Literary Endeavors file with all current submissions–both straight and hypertext, stories and poetry–and it’s intensive. This is only because I’m backtracking with hundreds of bits of data from emails, spreadsheets, bookmarks and their websites, that have accumulated over the past maybe six months actively, though some of the info is on older stories and such that were sent out in spurts of ambition over the past few years, with years in between.

I’m caught up to a point that tells me a few things. One, the design of the Tinderbox file changes with the input; while I loved the threads of links from work to venue and luckily, was smart enough not to put return trails for all replies, a pattern established itself that proved itself to be the best way of keeping track of things at a glance at the mapview. This set a new method of linking submission to publisher.

What I’ve decided on now is to link from the story box to the venue via the publisher’s name, and including the name of the story within the publisher’s box. Doing it this way, I can see exactly how many and which stories are out there awaiting replies. When a reply comes in, the link is either deleted (with the date entered within the boxes) or turned into a happy bold red acceptance link from publisher to story.

Another thing this mapview tells me at a glance is that I don’t currently have much in the pipeline!

So here comes the next project on the agenda: to write, rewrite, throw away into the black hole, or send out, some stuff. The most important will be rewriting–and this includes the hypertext pieces that were done over last summer. It’s hard to find a home for a hypertext; so until these have been placed somewhere in some form, I discounted the initial idea of writing a hundred more this summer for the 100 Days Project. On the other hand, the discipline of a deadline worked for me…

Which means that while not a part of it, I’ll possibly be setting up a goal for myself to do X every day (for a grand total of 100 Xs) alongside the project–just outside the fence. What I’m thinking of now is either a hypertext poem (short and easy) or a short story a day, just enough to leave time for two other concepts I’ve been putting off–stretchtext and another flash piece or a movie.

And, of course, the garden, reading, and sitting around drinking wine.

WRITING: To The Beat of A Different Drum

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

(UPDATE: via Dorothee Lang (Blue Print Review), this most interesting echo of my own feelings: Jason Sanford, in storySouth — this may even call for another post.)

Just remembered that May is Short Story Month (no, I don’t know who started it) and since I made a conscious effort not to conform, I’m thinking of writing a short story a day throughout June.

This goes contradictory to my nature of editing and polishing (though some of my best published stories are those written on the fly). Last summer I wrote a story a day in hypertext for 100 days. While some are really good, the majority are eh and have more value as a learning of format and narrative than for actual story I think. I’m still working on editing them and this is a lot more time and work than I’d already put into them–probably an average of ten to twelve hours per story–originally. Particularly now, when there are several places on the hard drive and in different forms (Tinderbox, html) as well as the online version to update if a change is made.

So do I write my June away? Traditional or hypertext? Or should I just play with clay…


Thursday, April 29th, 2010

(NOTE: Realized that this will not be published until May so I’m making the images really small so as not to take away from the originals)

It occurred to me during last summer’s 100 Days Project that my tendency to work with Tinderbox in its Map View rather than Outline, Tree, etc. became an integral part of a story as I wrote. The visual effect of a narrative, as a writer, was not something I consider other than for imagery in the writing process whether it be poem or story and yet Dorothee Lang, of the Blue Print Review and Karyn Eisler, whom I’d met on this project, made that link.

Dorothee had emailed me about an idea for a hypertext poem she was working on, and with my Tinderbox program, I showed her how it would look in that format. From there and in working with Karyn, she layered the images and text into a piece that included the Map View and submitted it to the e-zine, otoliths, which accepted and will be publishing it next month in their journal.

WRITING & HYPERTEXT: More Marathon Produce

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

This in, a link to what Steve Ersinghaus had spent 24 hours working on at the Tunxis Art Marathon.