Pages:

Last one to leave, turn out the lights…

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
-Samuel Beckett 

For 10 years (1999-2009) I ran a moderately popular website and mailing list called Metaroar - dedicated to spreading the word about poetry and live literature events and opportunities in London. It started as a bcc’d email to a group of people I bumped into back in the late 90s when I was making an effort to attend every poetry or spoken word event I could find. Someone always wanted to find out when the next gig was, so I took email addresses in exchange for a promise to keep people in the know. The first few hand-crafted messages went out from an AOL account (that has long since been mothballed), based on whatever I’d heard was up and coming. And it grew from there.

Fast forward a few years. The mailout spawned a website, with a direct email subscriber-base of over a thousand people, not to mention some fairly respectable web stats. No ad-supported revenue, no funding, just an hour or two a day, and some extra time at the top and tail of each week to research and queue content. I stepped back from Metaroar late 2009 (for a number of different reasons - that’s another blog post), though the site’s been available since then like an old, abandoned building. Yesterday, I turned off the life-support. The account that the site lived on was up for renewal, and it made no financial sense to maintain it. I archived databases and squirrelled through directories, Wordpress backups, defunct installations of forum software, orphaned pages and all the different versions of the site - wading through all the code that accumulated over the years. And really, it was like wandering through an old house I haven’t visited in years. Of course, the code, the data, doesn’t quite capture the ideas and vision that existed in between. They remain like ghosts. 

Halfway through drafting this, it occurred to me that it’s an elegy of sorts. I learned a lot from running the site, beyond all the mechanical skills that came with managing a website, listings service and brand from top to bottom. And there’s another lesson here - something about letting go. I spend so much time bouncing from project to project, I (and when I say “I”, I’m also speaking to a bunch of people who share my particular array of type ‘A’ proclivities…) rarely allow myself the time to appreciate the significance of any individual enterprise - and if it’s tough to do that when I’ve got something right, it’s even harder to do that when I don’t think I’ve nailed it. I’d be lying if I said I’d made peace with what I’d hoped the project would achieve and I’ll admit, I still regularly think about setting something up in it’s place. All this time, I’ve kept a light on in the window, just in case I ever wanted to come back. But really, it’s well past time to move on. 

Aug 25

RT @ScrivenerApp: WordPunk article on what tech genre writers and editors use in their day to day writing/editing lives http://bit.ly/a0C3T2

RT @ScrivenerApp: WordPunk article on what tech genre writers and editors use in their day to day writing/editing lives http://bit.ly/a0C3T2
Aug 25

Most Listened To (Week Ending 2010-8-22)

Most Listened To (Week Ending 2010-8-22):
  1. Mount Kimbie (38)
  2. Sepalcure (35)
  3. Cecilia Stalin (26)
  4. Andreya Triana (15)
  5. Daisuke Tanabe (14)

Powered by the popular Last.fm/Tumblr pipe by JoeLaz

Hm. It took me a minute to get there, but dubstep finally took control of my playlist last week. Digging Mount Kimbie hard. Andreya Triana? She’s up here courtesy of a Mount Kimbie remix of ‘A Town Called Obselete’. As for Cecilia Stalin - find her versions of Afro Blue. For a piece of music that’s been covered a zillion different times, she’s put a couple of interesting spins on.

Aug 24

“…photography is inherently a fiction-making…



“…photography is inherently a fiction-making process. Don’t speak to me of the document; I don’t really believe in it, particularly now. A picture’s not the world, but a new thing.” - Tod Papageorge

(Quote via Alex Soth, via A Photo Student, via La Pura Vida

Aug 24

Yes, I know it isn’t Friday yet. But you really should follow @Meryle11, even if only for her #studentwatch. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Yes, I know it isn't Friday yet. But you really should follow @Meryle11, even if only for her #studentwatch. Go ahead. I'll wait.
Aug 23

"“Whatever,” I protest, “my life is extremely interesting and varied.” “Like hell it is. As soon as…"

'“Whatever,” I protest, “my life is extremely interesting and varied.”

“Like hell it is. As soon as you turn off this alarm you are going to check your email just to see if someone sought to contact you, or to discover if your little username was mentioned anywhere on the Internet last night. No?” Alfraser smiles slyly. “And then, between now and your return to this mattress, your life will be dedicated to tapping your soul into this informational machine of screens, messages, databases and images.”'



- Inventing a Planet » Blog Archive » To This Day, Reverently Bow
Aug 23

“I have spent my lifetime taking photographs. The…



“I have spent my lifetime taking photographs. The photograph fulfils my deep need to stop things from disappearing. It makes transience less painful and retains some of the special magic, which I have looked for and found. I have tried to create order out of chaos, to find stability in flux and beauty in the most unlikely places.” Dorothy Bohm

(Note: aberrations in the sky, courtesy of the window I was shooting through. My Photoshop-fu isn’t up to the task right now…)

Aug 23

Language vs Reality?

Dear Nathalie, 

You challenged me on the “pondering the relationship between language and reality” idea I tweeted back in June, linking to a post on Tim Reilly’s ‘Language is a Map’. Okay - so language doesn’t alter reality as such, but it can alter our perceptions of it, which is at least half of the argument. If our thinking can be described as the body of a river, our system of language is the riverbed that determines its course. If I can teach you (as in the universal you - ‘vous’) my language, then perhaps I can, however briefly, change the way you see the world. Isn’t this the potential of the best literature?

(Inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s reference to the language of the Wintu of north-central California - a “cultural imagination in which the self only exists in reference to the rest of the world” - and the recent Radiolab podcast on Words that I keep yammering on about.)

Aug 22

The path to becoming excellent is messy and ambiguous. So sayeth Cal Newport. http://j.mp/cylJjE

The path to becoming excellent is messy and ambiguous. So sayeth Cal Newport. http://j.mp/cylJjE
Aug 22

"I have more questions than answers. The children’s book illustrator Dick Bruna said, “If you put…"

“I have more questions than answers. The children’s book illustrator Dick Bruna said, “If you put very few things on a page, you leave lots of room for imagination.””

- Turning Point: Aga Luczakowska - Lens Blog - NYTimes.com
Aug 21

Okay, let’s see what’s next on my todo…



Okay, let’s see what’s next on my todo list… 

garfield minus garfield

Aug 20

Ahhh… I’ve got creator-buzz. Golden glow, adrenaline on steady flow. You know when you’re in that zone? Time to pwn.

Ahhh... I've got creator-buzz. Golden glow, adrenaline on steady flow. You know when you're in that zone? Time to pwn.
Aug 20

23.58, and I’ve just remembered why I shouldn’t write press/marketing copy. I obsess over the words. 100 words, gazillionth draft. Facepalm.

23.58, and I've just remembered why I shouldn't write press/marketing copy. I obsess over the words. 100 words, gazillionth draft. Facepalm.
Aug 19

"The man who merely at rare moments has this creative impulse and expresses that creativeness through…"

“The man who merely at rare moments has this creative impulse and expresses that creativeness through perfection and technique, surely you would not call him an artist. To me, the true artist is one who lives completely, harmoniously, who does not divide his art from living, whose very life is that expression, whether it be a picture, music, or his behavior; who has not divorced his expression on a canvas or in music, or in stone from his daily conduct, daily living. That demands the highest intelligence, highest harmony. He may express it on canvas, or he may talk, or he may paint; or he may not express it at all, he may feel it. But all this demands that exquisite poise, that intensity of awareness and, therefore his expression is not divorced from the daily continuity of living.” -Krishnamurti

- (via lapuravidagallery)
Aug 19

Every time I have my camera out, we have a little back and…



Every time I have my camera out, we have a little back and forth. Mum likes to pose and present her best face, I want to catch her just as she is in the moment. Hope she likes this one.

Aug 19

An open hardware 3D printer that you can have in your home? Today? For only $500? Be still my beating #sci-fi heart… http://ow.ly/2rN6H

An open hardware 3D printer that you can have in your home? Today? For only $500? Be still my beating #sci-fi heart... http://ow.ly/2rN6H
Aug 19

I hear that Twelve South’s Compass stand for the iPad will be in Apple stores through Europe by month end… Nice! http://ow.ly/2rbr4

I hear that Twelve South's Compass stand for the iPad will be in Apple stores through Europe by month end... Nice! http://ow.ly/2rbr4
Aug 19

Results day for many of my students… Wishing you guys all the best…

Results day for many of my students... Wishing you guys all the best...
Aug 19

DBA Further to the biodegradable pens – DBA does a biodegradable…



DBA

Further to the biodegradable pens - DBA does a biodegradable extensible notebook set, which ships with pens included. Reminiscent of my all-time favourite (New Yorkers with any reasons to send me gifts, take note) - the linkable three-level StartHereNY notebook. Wearing my stationery geek-cred with pride.

Aug 18

‘The Magician and the Snake’ by Mike Mignola and his daughter (7) – the most heartwarming thing you’ll read all day… http://bit.ly/bxS93c

'The Magician and the Snake' by Mike Mignola and his daughter (7) - the most heartwarming thing you'll read all day... http://bit.ly/bxS93c
Aug 18