Tag Archives: apps

Fall Into Winter Mix

Some highlights from the mix I’ve been listening to at work lately. This music feels like late Fall and early Winter to me. I hope you enjoy.

For some reason I have a lot of dreams about the Northwest Passage this time of year. Luckily (oddly), Pentangle, Josh Ritter, and Stan Rogers share my fixation.

  1. “Falling Rain” – Alexandre Desplat, from Sie Jie soundtrack
  2. “Urge for Going” – Joni Mitchell
  3. “Rain and Snow” – The Be Good Tanyas
  4. “Lord Franklin” – Pentangle
  5. “Hard Way Home” – Brandi Carlile
  6. “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” – Fairport Convention
  7. “The Lakes of Canada” – The Innocence Mission
  8. “Cold Outside” – Ruth Moody
  9. “I Still Miss Someone” – Mary Chapin-Carpenter, Dar Williams, Shawn Colvin, and Patty Griffin
  10. “Another New World” – Josh Ritter
  11. “Pastures of Plenty” – Solas
  12. “Season of the Witch” – Donovan
  13. “Things That Scare Me” – Neko Case
  14. “Northwest Passage” – Stan Rogers
  15. “It’ll End Too Soon” – Crooked Still

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Duotrope

I don’t know what rock I’ve been living under but I only just learned about Duotrope. It’s a “free* resource for writers that primarily offers an extensive, searchable database of current fiction and poetry markets.” (So, yes, a little like the Poets & Writers database.) If you’re interested in submitting your writing to literary journals and magazines, it’s worth checking out. You can create an account to track your submissions, as well as view average acceptance stats (although beware that the stats are skewed thanks to voluntary responses.) It’s also a handy way of bookmarking journals you’re interested in who aren’t currently accepting submissions and tracking contest deadlines.

So, take these words to heart and, with Duotrope’s help, join the game!

* For now, at least. A donations tab alerts you that they’re struggling to make ends meet.

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Filed under Klickitat Recommends, The After Hours Writer, This Business of Writing

You can now support your local public library by purchasing e-books in Overdrive

Was zooming through the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (the consortium the Ann Arbor District Library uses to provide e-materials) recently when I noticed something new: there’s a new “buy it now” button associated with each e-book. Several different on-line purchasing options are available (corporate and independent) and the sale is said to benefit your local library. What an interesting way to generate revenue!

Initial screen (Overdrive)

Pop-up window that appears when you select "Buy it now" (Overdrive)

Looks like a library signs up to become an affiliate in order to take advantage of the program. From what I’ve read, revenue is applied as credit to a library’s account, which can be used to purchase future titles.

Overdrive Press Release

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Some more thoughts on erasure poetry

In March I taught a workshop at 826michigan about erasure poetry. That workshop, which I called “The Poetry of Absence,” was inspired by a post I’d published here on Klickitat a few months earlier. I wanted to report back and share some tips with you, in case you’d like to hold a similar workshop or program. As always, please credit me if you do happen to use my ideas, especially in a professional context.

I’m happy to report that the workshop was a success! We had a lot of fun and some fantastic work came out of the session. I was shocked and humbled that complete silence fell over the room when it came time for writing. Pretty awesome.

The basic format of my workshop (90 minutes):

  • Getting Started (15 minutes):
    • Pages of “raw material” and art supplies were on the tables when students arrived.
    • I explained what erasure poetry is, illustrating points throughout with a few images in a PowerPoint:
      • Definition:
        • Process for creating erasure poetry
        • Duality: artifact/art object and a written document
        • Unique nature of erasure poetry: An editor of the Poetry Foundation’s podcast, Off The Shelf, describes the white spaces in erasure poems as being “more loaded” than in regular poetry. The parent text will always be just out of sight, even when we look for it. Maybe the text will bend in ways we didn’t expect.
      • Possible directions for erasure poems:
        • Tree of Codes, Jonathan Safran Foer: die-cut “erasure” story of an entire book (The Street of Crocodiles)
        • Political commentary (Janet Holmes’ The ms of m y kin—poems about the Iraq War cut out of the text of Emily Dickinson’s Civil War poetry)
        • Thematically/experimental interpretation (Yedda Morrison, visual artist and poet, erased all evidence of humans from the text of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, leaving only natural imagery—rivers, rocks, trees)
        • Spur of the moment/gut instinct (Newspaper Blackout, Austin Kleon – adapts newspaper articles to kill time on his morning bus commute)
    • Together, using Wave Books’ on-line erasure poetry website, I led the class through the process, creating an example poem with feedback from the class. (Note: We didn’t actually get to do this because of technical difficulties but, if I taught the class again, I’d plan to do this.)
  • First Free Write (15 minutes)
    • Encourage students to create their first poem (or more, if they finish their first one).
  • More Things To Try (5 minutes):
    • After most students appear to be done with their first attempt, pause to offer new suggestions (different brushstrokes, trying to connect words in different ways – i.e. with lines or “speech bubbles,” incorporating color), again with examples in PowerPoint or by demonstrating on the whiteboard. (Note: This is the second to the last slide with all the images and no text.)
  • Second Free Write (25 minutes):
    • Ask students to create another poem (preferably more, if they have time) with a new technique.
  • Wrapping Up (10 minutes):
    • I offered suggestions of what more students can do with their poems: Start a story? Link several poems into a short story? Is it possible to make images or patterns with the words? Etc.
    • Ask students and facilitators if they have ideas. Brainstorm together other materials to experiment with (i.e. textbook or newspaper article with pictures – how do the pictures change the way the poem is read?)
  • Presentations (20 minutes):
    • I ended the class with students presenting their poems to one another.

Some general tips:

  • Wave Poetry has a fantastic on-line erasure app on their website. I used their public domain readings as the bulk of my source texts. You can do this by viewing the image as a PDF and printing them off. Alternately, if you happen to be teaching in a computer lab, you could always have students use the app on the website (as intended by the creators). A poem I wrote using the app.
  • On a whim, I grabbed a stack of the (free) campus newspapers to use along with the Wave Poetry cut-outs. They were a big hit! The students really responded to the chance to cut up the newspapers. (Granted, it got a little messy.) If I teach this workshop again, I’d definitely include newspapers (if they still exist in the future, that is.)
  • It’s probably a good idea to hold this workshop in a well ventilated space. The marker fumes get a little thick.
  • If you’re interested in learning more, I highly recommend this Poetry Foundation podcast, “Writing with an Eraser.”

Happy erasing!

P. S. I’ll be teaching another found object workshop on May 19th at 826. Check the workshop page for details and to sign up.

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Filed under Adventures in Tutoring, Professional Practice, Story Starters, This Business of Writing, Youth Literature in the Wild

They might as well have called it Time Busters

I’m sorry to report that my productivity took a nosedive this past weekend. And the Apple App store is to blame! I discovered that you can buy hidden object games for your Mac! Hence Sunday became a blur of “Just one more level!” and “Is it really 2:00 already?” and “Oh dear, I need to eat something.” In other words, Sunday was awesome. Apologies to my deadlines and those who’d wish to interact with me.

My first purchase was the excellent Snark Busters: Welcome to the Club. Highly recommended if you enjoy puzzle games and steam punk story lines. Points for having a female heroine. Pity she shrunk all her shirts in the wash.  Appropriate for middle grade to adult.

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