Riffing on Books and Life – Arts & Sciences Literary Blog by interactive new media author & artist Terry Bailey

30Aug/09

Some thoughts about my previous new media riff post on The Next American Essay – and the democratization of writing

How about if we all were required to create something after we read a book?!

The interactive multimedia (Flash) animation I posted below is an experiment and a work in progress. I hope you will check it out and feel free to comment!

New media lets me express myself and experiment with all communication forms - image, animation, sound, music, video - as well as traditional text. I was fascinated, for instance, by Susan Griffin's essay about Red Shoes not just because it is a great and interesting essay, but because I had a personal relationship with ballet and with the story of the Red Shoes; I allowed her story to jetison me to thinking and creating my own liteary (new media) piece about the story. I will add additional chapter riffs to that piece as time goes by in addition to continuing my reading diary and new media journal here.

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23Aug/09

Riffing on John D’Agata’s The Next American Essay

New Media Riff On Next American Essay

This interactive new media file is too big for me to post here on the main blog page. Go ahead and click on the animation text title above, and it will take you to a page housing the piece.

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14Aug/09

Contemplating Jonathan Safran Foer at Vroman’s in Pasadena

Terry at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena with Foer's book

Terry at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena with Foer's book

Foer grew up with computers, computer games, the WEB, video games, desktop publishing; it is not a great surprise that when he sat down to write novels, he was influenced by his exposure to new media, and made use of pictures, stories told from different viewpoints, typography design and graphical interfaces.

I’m back on Colorado Boulevard reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. This time at my favorite bookstore, Vroman’s. How few independent bookstores are left? Brick and mortar ones? I buy books here often, even if they are a little more expensive than online sources, because I want to keep Vroman’s in business. They host book readings, have this great little café where I am reading, outside again, today. Touching the books before buying is such a delight. Rubbing shoulders with other book readers. Sometimes I grade papers sitting on their patio sipping an iced coffee, and people say to me: “What a great idea! Why didn’t I think of that instead of sitting at home in the dark?”

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7Aug/09

Pasadena Thai Lunch with Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Terry lunches in Pasadena with Foer's book and Thai salad

Terry lunches in Pasadena with Foer's book and Thai salad

What better way to start my new media book riffing than with a Thai outdoor lunch in Pasadena  and Jonathan Safran Foer's wonderful book, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - a book that stands on the cusp between traditional text writing and the multimedia books of the future.

I took myself to this Thai lunch on August 5 - immediately after posting my success at uploading my second blog post, changing the template from the default one and figuring out how to back up my database. It was a beautiful day in Pasadena, so I treated myself to Thai beef salad at an outdoor cafe, and took Foer along with me. I had the patio to myself, as you can see. This restaurant is a couple blocks east of Old Town Pasadena central. I hear that Old Town has become a famous tourist destination. When I first moved to southern California, not that long ago, I was warned to stay away from it! Winos and vacant buildings and riff raff.

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5Aug/09

Book riffs coming soon!

I will be placing my new media book riffs in this category as soon as I get the entire blog set up. Today I added a gravatar picture. Okay, so I should probably be reading a book rather than playing my guitar, but it does go along with my theme of riffing - which is a musical term I used because that is what I am going to be doing here - improvising on books. Also I selected a custom theme from the WordPress rather that the default blue one. This allows me three columns, which I will need. I don't much care for the blue text, but it will be a while before I learn how to really customize my look. For now we can work with this one. Next visit I will start adding media and my book riffs! Oh that RSS feed at the top right is not active yet, either, and the green is all wrong. If I knew this template designer, I would tell him/her not to mix blue green with olive green. (update note: I found the image file for the RSS feed icon 8-9-09 and changed the color to an olive that matches the template). Must teach tomorrow - back in a couple of days!

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2Aug/09

Hello world!

Welcome to Riffing On Books! I gave myself the goal today to set up this blog - I did it! Over the following days, I will get through the second half of my how-to book, change the theme, add categories, figure out how to add Flash and video, and begin to add content. This blog will host my new media riffs on books - not book reviews or stuffy book analysis, but new media pieces and essays that I am inspired to create by various books I read. I wanted to host it on my own domain, so that is taking me a little longer to set up than if I had just loaded it at one of the blog hosting sites. Hope to see you back here lots once I get going! - Terry

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Filed under: Reading Diary 2 Comments