29 October 2008

A Personal Blog is Art

A Personal Blog is Art, or so says Lani Geison of Blogging Personal.

The matter has been hotly debated, but I'll say that it's art, as well as practice, process, and personal expression. It's by nature a multi-media art, linking illustration and writing, or photography and poetry, or sound to text. (Has anyone experimented with sound? I'm waiting!) And that is why I'm so pleased with the results here with my Advanced Creative Writing students.

Recently I've been talking to a couple friends about how to publish their blogs. This is a strange concept because of course a blog is already published! The blogger command options are either "Save Now" or "Publish Post"--make it available for the whole wide world to see. But we're definitely in new territory, new territory brought about by our new age of Aquarian brotherhood and instant communication, courtesy of the cool technology. In this way, this semester we've created a community of published authors.

For the past two weeks, I've encountered a little techno-jam to the effect that sometimes my notes to students cannot be sent. Blogger Bleak Down. So I've gathered the wholly random notes and some links to help you all in exploring and getting a handle on each other's work.

To begin, in Reviving the Forgotten, Kally did something I wish everyone did more often. She opened a dictionary. Her post begins:

"The word prompt is defined as: "to move to action, to assist by suggesting or saying the next words of something forgotten or imperfectly learned." I find this Merriam Webster definition to be extremely relevant to the context within the poetry prompts. These are in fact exercises used to revive images stored in the memory, in order to complete a work."

Great points, I took it a step further and investigated the etymology of the word prompt. (Etymology is about all I use dictionaries for lately.) According to the Webster's New Universal here in the adjunct office, the roots range from "to incite" to "to distribute" -- both of which seem wonderfully relevant. For doesn't a prompt act to incite us to ideas, to writing? And isn't writing a sort of distribution--of mental materials and sparks?

Jezmarie, in her blog, First Timer...Be Gentle, has posed a crucial question re: description: This is truly the question of the class. I have a few ideas naturally, but I would love to see a few more responses from the rest of the class. (Okay: I would say that it's really important to slow down. Often, my first thought about a person or place is a cliche--and that is not helpful. So I need to think past the cliche and really look at the situation--the person, the problem. Also, I want to make sure I've got the senses included. The tangibles such as smell and taste and temperature along with physical description. Those help to guide me to a fuller, richer picture, which is what I'm trying to convey--desperately trying to get the images out from my mind into your mind--the magic process of imagination.)

That's enough for now, I suppose--though of course it isn't, it's never enough. I trust you are all reading Joyce and re-reading, too. Rereading is the only way to rejoice over Joyce....

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