Saturday, December 20, 2008

so, yeah... the status of novelaborate.

Yes, I actually am being serious about Novelaborate. I know posts have been infrequent but here's why: I'm marinating on some ideas and questions I have about things, before this meeting I described last post, with Emil Kang, and before things really get rolling.

A few people, via Twitter and other blogs and e-mail, have shown interest in being involved, and after a little more time spent on getting people together, we'll talk for the first time about the actual story - the writing style, the way we go about co-authoring, etc. - and start the actual project going.

So for a bit longer, sit tight. I'll try to entertain with other things, but feel free to contact me or have your friends contact me at if you or anyone you know is interested.

And happy winter solstice, everyone.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A meeting with the master awaits

So I decided I needed more help with getting the word about the Novelaborate project out.

Again, for the uninitiated, check out the first few blog posts to see how I want to get people together collaborating on one work of creative writing.

I realized a few days ago, however, that I was not taking advantage of a crucial source of advice right in my own backyard of Chapel Hill. I have contacted Emil Kang, UNC-Chapel Hill Executive Director for the Arts and head of Carolina Performing Arts. Emil is the go-to guy for most any arts related queries one might have in Chapel Hill, and an extensively knowledgeable, authoritative source for me when I worked as arts editor at the Daily Tar Heel.

So at some point in January I will be meeting with him to seek his advice on getting the word out, as well as, I hope, some advice on the project itself, be that contact information for people who would be willing to be involved or get people involved, or anything else.

I will obviously update on this afterward, and it is not for a little while longer, so sit tight, but this might be one of the best opportunities yet to get this all going together stronger and faster.


And on a side note, please check out the Web site for PoetryAssignment, located at! Contribute your poetry today! It is already becoming a great community of poets who are sharing some wonderful work!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Some word games before I make word gains (I hope)

So the other day, a buddy of mine and I were talking on AIM about word games. We are both obsessed with them, they’re super time killers, etc.

So if you’re alone in your car on the drive home from work today, or you’re in church, or at a really lame concert (actually, no. Wow - that really would have to be one hell of a lame concert), you can try some of the ones we discussed. Some require other people (you have friends, right? Isn’t that what Facebook and Twitter and blogging are for?)

a.) Try to make a sentence (or several - go as long as you can!) by having one person say a word. Whatever letter that word ends with, the next word that the other person then adds must start with the same letter.

Example that makes little sense: (You can go quickly and make it ridiculous or slower and try and make a super long sentence. Person a in bold, person b in italics, person 3 regular):

Blogging gets so overrated daily! You understand dudes seldom make even nickels starting grassroots sites, so orate elsewhere!

b.) Try this weird rhyme scheme. It is a good bit more difficult game. Start with a two syllable word. That is your first line. Then follow with four more syllables on the next line, where every other syllable matches the corresponding syllable of the first word, repeat repeat repeat. But you have to make a coherent rhyme. See how far you can go!

Another silly almost nonsensical but good enough to get the point across example: (corresponding syllables divided by / for emphasis on structure)

Mu /sic
Can you / dance, Dick?
All men / who do / wear pants / and kick

Clear? Mu rhymes with Can you, Sic rhymes with Dance, Dick
Can rhymes with all men, you rhymes with who do, dance rhymes with wear pants, and Dick rhymes with the last two words, and kick.

It can take a while, but we actually did make a really good one. Just be prepared to not end up at all how you started!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sprucing things up

I changed a few things around on the header, in hopes that pretty pictures draw more people in. More general design/layout improvement will come tomorrow, once I get a faster internet connection. (On a crappy computer at home in Raleigh right now - surfing the internet is pretty much a waste of time.)

More importantly, though, when I get back to Chapel Hill tomorrow, I'll finally be able to meet up with a few friends and get input and advice on the entire idea. And in the coming days, as I mentioned earlier, all-out publicity will begin. Like I also mentioned before, I want to be able to hit the ground running (and running hard) within a couple weeks after students get back from winter break, and that will require lots of planning in the coming days... so stay tuned, as always, keep spreading the word, and thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your patronage...

City or State?

Here's some randomness for you, while I work on Novelaborate stuff...

After watching an intense Monday Night Football game last night (go Panthers!) I was thinking about where all the NFL teams are from. Why are some of the 32 teams representative of just a city, while others are representative of an entire state? I kind of explained it to myself this way (Keep in mind this is just the NFL... I can do other sports leagues, too, but for now, football...) :

Some states have more than one team.

NY: Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, New York Giants... You're okay.
PA: Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers... You're cool, too.
TX: Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys... Fair enough.
FL: Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers... Gotcha.
OH: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns... Yup.
CA: Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers... Mmhmm.
MO: Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Rams... Sure. (But your state sucks this year. Sorry!)

Some teams represent major cities with large populations, so that makes sense.

Seattle Seahawks
New Orleans Saints
Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins
Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions
Baltimore Ravens
Indianapolis Colts
Denver Broncos...

all OK, I guess. Some are more obvious than others, though.

Lastly, some states represented have relatively small populations, or at least their major metro areas aren't as large or as well known, so one football team per state, I suppose, makes sense.

Tennessee Titans
Arizona Cardinals
Minnesota Vikings...

That's okay with me I guess. Minnesota might be iffy.

That leaves three (in my opinion) oddballs:

Green Bay
New England

And why are they oddballs?

Green Bay Packers- the only team I'd say that is supposedly representative of one city, a city which is truly small-market and doesn't, at least initially, make sense. Green Bay? Is that even the capital of Wisconsin? I didn't think it was... Or am I wrong? If so, apologies. But what's so wrong with Wisconsin Packers?

Carolina Panthers/New England Patriots- the only two teams whose supposed area of representation covers more than one state. While the Panthers play in N.C., this isn't reflected in the name. Did they think "North Carolina Panthers" would sound too weird? I guess it is a bit odd... Who knows. And then New England... well I just don't know what to make of that. They play in Massachusetts. I guess "Foxboro Patriots" just didn't have the ring they were looking for.

Anyway, perhaps this post isn't even of much value. I was just curious. And now it's official... I only have a problem with three NFL team names. Not bad, I suppose.

Maybe I'll examine the NHL next. I am a big fan after all...

Monday, December 8, 2008

#poetryassignment has a home!

Check out this sweet new Web site, courtesy of @jeffreyoyler, for #poetryassignments. I'll continue to encourage anyone who's interested to start posting their poems! We'd love to have more friends join us!

Again, each assignment, one of us picks one word, and you write a poem that has that word in it. Easy as that! So check it out!

And... more Novelaborate info to come in a few days. Keep telling friends, please!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Somewhat unfortunate timing. Somewhat.

I'll be getting back to Chapel Hill on Wednesday and talking with a couple folks about doing non-electronic publicity for Novelaborate (fliers, word-of-mouth, etc.). Unfortunately, it's smack dab in the middle of exam time for UNC students, after which they'll all be headed home for break. Though I am aware of the fact that there are tons of creative minds in Chapel Hill that aren't enrolled at UNC.

But after round 1, we'll wait for students to get back and do another round of publicity. I'm also trying to get English dept. professors to send out e-mails to their listservs so students can check out the blog and wiki over the winter break. I'm hoping they'll be receptive to the idea.

If anyone has any flier/poster concepts, I'd love to hear about that. I'm coming up with a few on my own. Will post pictures after they're completed.