Being married to my husband has stretched me in many ways (most of them good), including altering my sleeping and waking habits (not always so good). I’ve always been a night person until I lived with him. When we first started dating, he tricked me into believing he stayed up like me, and I don’t know how it took so long to realize that was all just for me. Now that we’re past the I need to know everything about you all at once! late night conversations, I realize that he is quite happy to be in bed before ten, and that his sleep is a precious commodity he does not like to give up. I am also the girl at slumber parties (not that I’ve had much occasion to attend them since the age of 13…) who keeps talking to you for sometimes minutes at a time before she realizes you’ve fallen asleep, leaving one of those sleep-deprived musings hanging awkwardly, with no certainty of how much the listener took in before drifting off. But I always craved that pillow talk, trail-offs and all, which means that sometimes, I will go to bed at ten just to have that sleepover feel once again, but then lie there restlessly in the dark after dear husband falls asleep at will (how do people do that?). Eventually, I will leave the room and fiddle around on the internet or watch something on TV. Night used to be my productive time, full of energy and creativity, but that requires the illusive second wind, which I tell you, can not be caught when you stop mid-evening for a false bedtime. This restlessness, along with the help of a mocha provided by a generous coworker this morning, brings me here to the blog tonight.
Since sleepovers are for sharing, I’ll share this video with you of my recent poetry reading. I feel a little shy — it’s one thing to read for a small room, another to share it here. But I imagine I’m not the only one who doesn’t like the sound of my voice on tape, so I’ll do it anyway. We were asked to speak about influence/the muse/inspiration, which is where this video begins.
Also, my dear friend from grad school, Bess Winter asked me to design a banner for her website. In addition to the final result, I wanted to share some of the other ideas I had, just for fun. Be sure to visit her website for the final results!
Design*Sponge posted a response to a NYTimes article today about online magazines. The article itself is thoughtful and thorough, but I just wanted to pull out a couple quotes that stuck out to me.
Many of the magazines featured in the article will run 30+ page spreads because they have a space to do so, but Grace argues that “Magazines are about projecting a level of quality, care and thought that comes from producing less content, less often” and I whole-heartedly agree. The standards of good editing should be upheld regardless of the platform.
That being said, the Design*Sponge article also recognizes that new platforms can and should mean adjusting your content accordingly. She writes:
To me that current format of flippable PDF magazines online feels like trying to force print into a web world. Where iPad magazine formats seem to be a more seamless blend of both worlds.
This is something I have thought about a lot. I feel really strongly that editors of online lit mags should at least consider the potential their platform has, and how that might affect the work they publish. I think they should actively seek work that couldn’t be published in any other format. That doesn’t mean all of the content needs to be some type of hypertext media (though hypertext artists have been primarily publishing on their own platforms for years now and it might be nice to bring attention to the amazing work they are doing) just that online mags are in a unique position to bring dynamic content to their readers in a way print can’t. So why not take advantage of it?
One step in the right direction is “Phone by Darby Larson” by Darby Larson that ran in issue 9 of The Collagist (also a good example of careful editing and curation). Some might argue that this could have been rendered in a print publication, but I don’t think it would have the same effect; it seems a natural extension of web viewing that compels readers to actively engage the text.
Are there journals you think could only exist online? What makes them unique? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section!
Recently, writer Michael Kimball visited BGSU for a Q&A and reading. (I just finished reading Dear Everybody yesterday, which I adored.) During his Q&A, Kimball talked about an ongoing project in which he writes a person’s life story on a postcard. He mentioned how the whole project started as a joke, but then took on a life of its own. Read the rest of this entry »