Hello. I’m Jacob Sam-La Rose, and here’s what you need to know: I’m a published poet; I devise and facilitate projects for schools and other institutions, emerging poets, teachers, literature professionals and other creatives; I’m a geek for web technology and productivity; and I’m pretty handy with a camera. I exist in a few different places online – this particular site serves as my lifestream, an overview of what I’ve been doing on the interwebs. The content you see here is aggregated from:
- Jacobsamlarose.com (my professional face)
- Miscellany (my personal blog)
- Forthen&Evermore (my photoblog)
- Twitter (text messages to the world)
If any of the above sparks your interest, don’t be shy in saying hello (mail at jacobsamlarose dot com).
Mmm. Hayler’s project, itself a response to Mcguire and Maguire’s Theatre Book, has all the promise of a rather tasty series of essays on innovation in storytelling, digital literature and making. I happened to chance upon it while toying with the idea of an essay/presentation/workshop/syllabus on tools that complement the making of connections between seemingly disparate or incongruent ideas— defined by some as a foundational component of creative thinking. It’s a thread of thought that’s been inspired by Evernote’s context feature (I’ve been raving about this for ages now) that shows notes related to the one you’re viewing based on relationships determined by an algorithm. Also, by some of the more involved ‘related posts’ plugins that can be installed in Wordpress. Also, by some of the apps that represent your notes/data in visual form— Mohiomap and Bubble browser to name a couple.
I’ve written before about the kind of resistance I sometimes experience from writers I work with when it comes to technology. And I understand, I really do. But, as I’m reminded by the reference to Thoreau, these are all just tools. Some of us use paper and pens. Some of us use tablets and styli. Some of us use algorithms. At the end of it all, yes— practice/process is of interest, and can impact the work, but what matters is what’s made…
- –Steven Pressfield, The War of Art 6 Famous Artists Talk About What It’s Like to Overcome Fear and Create Beauty | James Clear
Hanbury Street, London
More teaching notes for poet-educators from last night’s session…
THIS. All kinds of resonance with thoughts on how photographic practise feeds my writing, how writing feeds my photography (which, admittedly, I haven’t practised with any rigour for a while now, but…), how coding can feed my thinking on writing and vice versa, and how everything can become a lesson that may be applied in a different context. Yes.
Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, La poésie comme expérience.
Without words, the remaining punctuation exposes a skeleton, a frame of thought, almost like a scaffold; containers of thought, all rhythm and breath. Thought percussion, perhaps? An exposition of the underlying phrasing of the idea?
A useful exercise for poetics, perhaps?
Supreme Blue Rose.
There’s a wealth of support for tracking physical activity out there at the moment. You can even create art from your daily wanderings/travels by doing little other than carrying your phone around with you. Recently, I’ve been having a quick look at tools for the Quantified Writer. There’s more to experiment with, but in short, if you’re interested, take a look at Word Counter and/or Jamie Todd Rubin’s Google Docs Writing Tracker (which isn’t limited to Google documents, but does require you to push files to your Google drive).
Word Counter is a Mac app that lives in the menu bar. You tell it which apps you want to track writing in, and it’ll count the number of words you generate in each, every day. It also offers a calendar view, and a per-hour graphic representation of the proportion of writing you did in each app.
Google Docs Writing Tracker is a lot more involved. The set-up may well scare many of you away, and I haven’t yet tried it myself, but once you’ve got it up and running, your writing stats are logged in a Google spreadsheet, as well as (optionally) emailed to you on a daily basis. Rather than focusing on apps, this set of Google scripts tracks the number of words in documents hosted in a folder in your Google drive. It’s flexible enough to track plain text files uploaded to that folder, and smart enough to calculate today’s word count for existing files and the differences from yesterday’s writing totals. The spreadsheet has split stats for fiction vs non-fiction writing (for those of us who write in other forms, customising seems fairly easy), and allows you to measure yourself against your own daily writing goals. But it does depend on your writing being in Google, and doesn’t work with .doc/.docx files for those of you who still write in Word. That said, if you’re tech-savvy enough to set it up, you can probably figure out how to automatically sync the writing you do on your desktop/laptop computer to Google through something like IFTTT.
"How much of your day is spent working to get better clients versus pleasing the clients you’ve already got? And is pleasing the clients you’ve already got the best way to get better clients? Is a better client somebody who merely pays you more, or are you selling your soul and selling out your career by taking someone today who’s going to put you in the wrong box versus choosing your own box to find the client who is capable of giving you the platform that you deserve…?"
Listen hard, lit professional…
- Robert Creeley, from A Sense of Measure (via John Estes: Works & Days)
Gemini here. Guilty as charged.
“If poetry demands solitude and introspection, then I am in trouble. I know too many gifted poets who…”
- Kwame Dawes, quoted in The Electric Poetry of Kwame Dawes | Diriye Osman
- Stephen Dunn, via Planning for Surprise: Writing and Teaching Personal Narratives | TriQuarterly
- Most of the page is still blank: An interview with Alex Epstein « Kenyon Review Blog
“There’s a hole in the side of the boat. That hole is never going to be fixed, and it’s never going…”
- Will McAvoy, The Newsroom (via charlestontucker)
Aisling Fahey, Young Poet Laureate for London headlining at Mouthy Poets’ first national tour date.