Saturday, September 17, 2016

TWIC: civilizations, maps, teaching, archived children's books, paradox

Guy Gaveriel Kay is a Canadian author who fist achieved success with his Fionavar fantasy series, an adult cross of Lion, Witch and Wardrobe with Middle Earth. I liked them as a young adult but I am uncertain if I would now. I am afraid to find out how my taste in books might have changed.
Here is a 17 minute interview with him where he discusses civilizations on the edge.
Here is a playlist of twenty videos on how to draw fantasy maps. The videos range from eight minutes to over an hour in length with most of them around fifteen minutes.
Nanowrimo has a series of 'plot doctoring' advice articles. The first one I became aware of is #9, building a strong plot.

The article explains these essential scenes in the image (which has been cropped. if you want to see the cut out three scenes in the bottom third, follow the link).
As an educator and would-be creative-ist, I have read much of what Sir Ken Robinson has to say.  This post is about outdoor education rather than his more typical public fair about creativity but I still like it and want to spread the word. Again, I have trouble connecting this with my blog's theme, but it is worth noting:
He lists five reasons why taking learning outdoors is a good idea:
Nature is a powerful resource.
Children can learn through practical hands-on activities.
You can tap into children's curiosity.
It is a social experience and children learn from working together.Learning outdoors is fun.
Another one for educators more than of a purely creative article: Ten tips to use Powerpoint better. Here is part of number seven:
What does it do?
This feature allows you to remove the background of images.
How does it work?
There is a lot of information about how background removal works. Try thistutorial from or this tutorial from
Select your image and go to the format ribbon.
Click on the remove background icon on the left-hand side of the ribbon.
Parts of the image will now be highlighted in purple.
Resize the shape of the box to the edge of the image.
Click on mark areas to keep and your cursor will turn into a pen. Click on image to create a point or draw a line for areas to keep.
Click on mark areas to remove and your cursor will turn into pen. Click on image to create a point or draw a line for areas to remove.
Click on keep changes and anything in purple will disappear.
Note: Click on reset image on the format ribbon in order to restore the background.
How can I use this as a teacher?
This feature is ideal for creating for collages, posters and general graphic design in PowerPoint.
6000 children's books are now archived at this site online.
I have thought of residencies for artists as ways to recreate the historic patronage system.  A wealthy person or group funds the work of an artist. Wikipedia tells me I have it mostly right:
Artist-in-residence programs and other residency opportunities exist to invite artists, academicians, curators, and all manner of creative people for a time and space away from their usual environment and obligations. They provide a time of reflection, research, presentation and/or production. They also allow an individual to explore his/her practice within another community; meeting new people, using new materials, experiencing life in a new location. Art residencies emphasize the importance of meaningful and multi-layered cultural exchange and immersion into another culture.
I bring this up because one writer is getting extra time to work on her project and has only one distraction, but it is a big one! From the Vancouver Sun:
Rebecca Moss is the British artist stranded on the Hanjin Geneva owned by the Hanjin shipping line that filed for receivership Wednesday. She was on board as part of the 23 Days at Sea Residency organized by Access Gallery in Vancouver.
The Hanjin Geneva is now somewhere off the coast of Japan near Tokyo. It cannot dock because ports around the world have barred Hanjin ships over concerns that include the payment of port and service fees.
How has the news about the bankruptcy changed any routine you might have had on the Hanjin Geneva?
Before the news, there was always a feeling that we were moving in a line toward a horizon, and there was a real sense of purpose. This was reflected in the way I approached my day — I had knowledge that I had a certain number of days left and I was trying to plan to execute my ideas accordingly.
However, now it feels more like we are a slowly drifting island, a feeling that I am sure will intensify when we actually drop anchor. I have found myself wandering more and feeling more in the present — taking each moment as it comes and not knowing when the end will be.
Via Boingboing
The idea of a residency still interests me. Here is a list of 26 such residencies from last year. I think all or most of those in the US. This list from Aerogrammestudio is more international.
Struggling to write does not mean you are not a writer.
Honestly, I’m nervous that I can’t live up to the promise “writer” seems to convey. Writing doesn’t come easily for me. There are times it flows, but sometimes it feels like trying to wade through sinking sand.
Like so many others, I fall into thinking that putting words on paper always comes effortlessly to a certain segment of people, who therefore deserve the title of “writer.” If you struggle to get your meaning across in the written form, the thinking goes, you must not really be a “writer.”
But if that were true, who among us would be worthy of the title? Sure, words come more easily to some people than others, but natural wordsmiths still have to work hard to master their craft. And even the most seasoned writer knows the feeling of agonizing over a sentence or deleting two-hours-worth of dull paragraphs in frustration.
At Quora is a thread with lists of places that will pay you to write.
The author of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies is being sued because his work is not creative enough.
In the complaint, the publisher claims that Grahame-Smith’s latest manuscript was not original enough and pulls too much content from the original public domain work.
I enjoyed P&P&Z and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, but I can't say how original the former work is.  I am one of those philistines who hasn't read the original.

No comments: