stethoscopes (100 words exercise)

I love the feeling of a stethoscope pressed against my chest, breathing in, breathing out. When I was younger I wondered what the doctor could be listening for inside the hollows and nooks of my body. I’m not sure I dared to imagine. Even in a doctor’s office, I found it soothing: the gentle pressing and inhaling, exhaling and pressing again– covering my chest and then my back, my abdomen. Then the weight of the stethoscope being knocked under my knee-cap as I watched my leg pull itself awake. The weight eased around my body and the cold metal felt quiet.

Workshop #3 Exercise: A History of Glass


1. Memories associated with glass
2. Facts about glass
3. Feelings you have about glass
4. Questions having to do with glass.

In five minutes, write a piece (whatever form whatever genre) entitled “A History of Glass,”using one from each column.

Workshop #2 New York School of Poets Exercise

Happy Leap Day!

Today Kyle will post our first prompt for an out-of-class exercise, but I also thought it would be useful/interesting for us to see one another’s results from the workshop exercises here as well as on our individual blogs. I’ll add another post with Workshop #3’s exercise.  We’ve also had a friend from UCDavis added to our blogroll as she has done this first workshop exercise (found the prompt on bgexperiments).   We might well have others join us!

Add your result as a comment–I’ll start us off.

Here’s the original prompt:

1. Write a question.

2. Write down the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the following:
Day of the week
Time of day
Body part
Means of transportation
Article of clothing
Song lyrics
Street name
Children’s toy
Historical event
Rock group
Thing you find in a hardware store
Musical instrument

3. Another question.

In five minutes, write a poem opening with the first question, closing with the second question and including as many of the responses to the words as possible. Think about how to get from the first question to the second.

Five minutes.

What Can An Art Class at Another College Teach Us in Our Writing Class?

The Spore Collective Manifesto

I wonder what we as writers can learn from following the experience of this sculpture class at the University of Mary Washington.  Check out the student blogs, too, as they reflect on the experience. What do you think?

Looking Ahead to Creative Nonfiction

Take a look at UNIT TWO and be ready to ask questions on Thursday.

Just Another Day in Creative Writing Class

Collaborative Narrative Exercise


More Multimedia Madness

I am doing a thesis on Anne Carson (if you haven’t read her, run to the bookstore Right Now), and I just read an interview (by Melanie Rehak at the NeW York Times Magazine, 5-26-00) about a project she did with students at the University of Michigan:
“At Michigan, she and her students created an ‘installation opera’ based on the life of a medieval French mystic named Marguerite Porete, who was condemned and burned at the stake as a heretic. Carson wrote the libretto…and one of her students composed the music. The opera itself was interactive in ways that can only be described as 21st century. It consisted of seven rooms that corresponded with the seven sections of the libretto. Attending the opera meant walking through these rooms in sequence- in order to experience Porete’s life from the moment she was arrested until her death. One room not only had no walls, but also required visitors to put on headphones attached to portable CD players to listen to the appropriate soundtrack. After the rooms were dismantled, the opera was preserved on a Website. “

How’s that for collaboration and multimedia! It’s amazing what people come up with in terms of conveying meaning through music, sound, lyrics, and even space itself. Of course we might not have the time or talent to compose operas in the next week, but it is interesting to think about space as a medium. Have a great carnival weekend and good luck getting your creative juices running!

Link to the Blog Conversation with Filmmaker John Bresland and How-to for the

If you’re interested in reading the discussion Abishek had with  The Seinfeld Analog filmmaker, John Bresland, over J-term,  check out his post.

For those of you thinking about creating a hypertext piece on your blog, you might want to explore the resources mentioned on wikipedia. Look closely, too, at the hypertext pieces I assigned for this unit, thinking about how and why and when links work.
Here are my super-simple-hypertext instructions:

1.  Once you have mapped out your layers and links, post your first screen (the entrance into the hypertext) as a PAGE (instead of what we usually do, writing POSTS).  This will make a tab at the top of your blog homepage with the title of your hypertext and ensure easy access to your piece long after you have moved onto other units.

2.  If you want to link to a  Flickr image (you can create a link within a Flickr image) or some other off-blog site, use the little chain link in the editor above your text box.  Highlight the word(s) you wish to serve as link, click on the chainlink and then supply the URL of the site.

3.  If you wish to link to another window/screen/post you create here on your blog, create a new POST for that material.  Scroll down until you see POST TIMESTAMP in the righthand sidebar.  Click on it and then plug in a date from January 2008.  Doing so in effect buries the post within your blog, so no one will come across it unless they click on the link in your hypertext, which will send them to the appropriate post.

If you  wish to create a clean-looking post, you can de-select Allow Comments and Allow Pings over on the sidebar under Discussion.
Questions?  I will be in the Wilson Media Lab tomorrow (Friday) at 1:00 to give a quick iMOVIE workshop and to answer questions anyone has about the project, the technology, the course.  If I don’t see you there, I’ll see you in conference next week.  Enjoy Winter Carnival and remember what great fun it is to play writing games–much better than standing out in the howling wind to watch a ski race, yes?

Words and Dance

Class today made me think of this ballet by Lightfoot/Leon, “Shutters Shut.” You may recognize Gertrude Stein.

Tutor Sessions…

GROUP 3/Alex:

Hey group 3 (the best group). Here are the times for your tutor sessions. First come, first serve. Edit this post to add your name below (or post a comment). If no times work, either switch with a classmate, or we’ll work out another time to meet. Each meeting is for 30mins.
Thursday 2/21 (juice bar)
3-3:30 Gregg
3:30-4 Kyle
4-4:30 Tony

Friday 2/22 (juice bar)
2-2:30 Doug
2:30-3 Eleanor
3-3:30 Chris

GROUP 1/Maddie:

Hey there GROUP 1 (meeting with Maddie) I can’t wait to see what you’ve done! We will meet in the grille downstairs on either wednesday or thursday. GROUP 1 sign up slots:
Wednesday, 2/20
3:00-3:30 Mikaela
3:30-4:00 Kelly
4:00-4:30 Sean (will be late)
Thursday, 2/2
1:30-2:00 Matt
2:00-2:30 Carolyn

GROUP 2/Katie:

And last but not least, Group 2 (working with Katie). I posted on my blog, but it will probably be easiest to do this on the motherblog. (Although feel free to range over to my space, too; there will be another copy of this post up as well.) I know I originally proposed Monday as a time that might work, but I’m starting to think it might be a little too early in your thinking about the multimedia project. (Though, if you’d like to meet up then for brainstorming, let me know!) So instead let’s go with Tuesday and Wednesday, in the Juice Bar area of the Grille:

Tuesday, Feb. 19

2:30-3: Simone

3-3:30: Laura

Wednesday, Feb. 20

4:45-5:15: Alicia

5:15-5:45: Clare

5:45-6:15: Lois

See you all soon!