Posts Tagged ‘PROJECTS’

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.

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.


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.