Friday, January 27, 2012

Alternate 26 Poems Revealed

"Groovy!" "Shocking!" "Mesmerizing!" "Bless me!" say the critics as the poems of the Alternate 26 go online ...

Here's the link.

See? Didn't I tell you? Wonderful!

Cheers, Joan.

P.S. I'm about to head off on my semi-annual migration to hang out with my old mum in Canada, but I've scheduled some soothing place holders for your weekly delectation while I'm gone ... Breathe deep and enjoy.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

From "a" to "my" in an afternoon

Let me tell you about yesterday!

The 26 Treasures project has been part of the on-going celebration of the re-opening of the National Museum of Scotland, and yesterday was the day of The Alternate 26 writing workshop. The day we threw the 26 Treasures idea open to the public. The format was the same - each participant was randomly assigned an object to respond to, with a limit of 62 words to do it in. And the results were wonderful. I know, that's a pretty weak word, but I've sat here for ages trying to think up a way of describing pieces of writing as various as these were, as individual, as satisfying to hear, as fulfilling to be part of the process of (grammar aside) ... For now you'll just have to believe me, but sometime in the next week or so the pieces will be going up on the NMS website, and you can see for yourself.

One thing all the pieces had in common - besides wonderfullness - was the way each showed the writer grappling their object to them with hoops of steel (with the Bard's forgiveness). It was an exercise in moving from "This is an object" to "This is my object" - and I will never see the things written about in the same way again - or without connecting them to their writers. Many thanks to everyone who took part!

I've embedded the NMS video about the opening day last summer below, partly for your viewing pleasure, in case you hadn't seen it, partly because I wanted to show off that I know how to embed now, and partly because of the lad who said "I remember coming here when I was young ... that was 4 years ago ..."

The opening of the National Museum of Scotland from National Museums Scotland on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Unbound and 26 Treasures The Book!

Unbound - what a great idea! And now it's the home of

26 Treasures - The Book!

Have a look - see what you think - and if you'd like a way of having all the amazing 26 Treasures projects up and down the country (which I've been blithering about here and here and here ...) in a permanent form you can hold in your hand ... subscribe! We have 47 more days to get up to that magic 100% subscription level, and then the book can go ahead.

Huzzah for the voice of the people - if you feel the urge, please give it a shout!

Cheers, Joan.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

The Monster*, the Lichen and the Lad

New year! New camera! Many new buttons to grapple with!

I seem to be starting 2012 about a week later than everybody else, given that I haven't really started it at all yet. But any time now, the clitter-clatter of keys will resound once more in the house of creativity ... any time now ...

(Oh, and hey - this blog has made it to page 1 of the Wikio Top UK Blogs Literature list and page 2 (just) of the Culture list! Go Readers! Thank you very much!)

Cheers, and a Happy New Year, Joan.

* The Calvin and Hobbes fans among you may recognise a tribute here to Calvin's snow masterpiece "The torment of existence weighed against the horror of non-being". The rest of you may just think I haven't quite mastered the camera yet. Both would be true.