Thursday, May 27, 2010

First draft of the 31 "living book"

My web guys got me the first draft of the living book looks great. I'm really looking forward to posting Chapter One and getting the wheels moving again. I'll put the link for the next draft here, or it may be good enough to get going. Something by next week!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

One geeky step at a time...

Yep, that's me, sending my blog automatically to my Facebook. Of course, even my cats have a blog. (You think I'm joking.) If they can do it, so can I.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Meeting with web team

Today I'm going to spend the morning with my web development team, and we're going to spend some time on my sketches for the new 31 pages to show the book chapters. It will be a living book; this will be fun.
They've worked on enough of my crazy ideas over the years; I don't think this set of pages will be the toughest thing they've done for me!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mom and "31 Quilts" are in the Library of Congress!

Even while I hibernated, my mother worked, and created. And got the "31 Quilts" project into the Library of Congress!

Mom (aka Maureen Kampen) was interviewed by The Alliance For American Quilts. Their motto: .."documenting, preserving, and sharing". You can read the interview here and also read more about the interview project.
The interview begins, "Maureen, tell me about the quilt you brought today."
And it's Mom's quilt of Tobbie Walters. With photos! It's a photo of a quilt of a photo.
This beautiful quilt, by the way, hasn't yet been displayed as part of the 31 project. When I was on tour in October, I had Ronnie Deever's quilt, but the Tobbie quilt wasn't done yet. I haven't even seen it yet! Last I saw, it was still on Mom's design wall in her studio.
The recording of the interview is also archived. It would be tremendous to listen to it.
Mom, you're the best.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Back to work!

Whew, what a year. For all of us, yes? Well, let a new chapter begin! I return refreshed, after a Siberian winter of action and change. It's a good thing I love drama and surprise! Yikes.

Meanwhile, I have evolved a nice idea for how to move forward with the 31 Project, and how to get these stories in the hands of people who want--and those who can't bear--to read them. This was a big thinking exercise over the winter: What is the most high-impact thing I can do, that is sustainable, that I can do without a big team, and that gets the stories to the audience(s) I want to reach? I had to think through a lot of questions: Who do I want to reach? What does it mean to 'publish a book'? What medium will served me well? What do I want out of this? What can I do that is useful? Do I want to be useful? Do I want to just live my own life, take myself beyond "just survival" and invest only in living my own life?

Not a linear exercise! Chaos always makes me go back to the chalkboard and think primary thoughts like this. No wonder it takes me forever to clean a closet.

Anyway, in a nutshell, here's my plan: I want to place the book chapters online one at a time. (They are done, just sitting on my shelf.) Each will be fully elaborated over time. This means each chapter will have the photos, (filtered) reader comments, my comments, any relevant information about the woman whose story is in the chapter (such as "what she's doing now") (if it's a chapter with an interview), audio/video, etc. Depending on how linearly I post, which we can assume will be less linear than more, once the chapters are posted they will also be available as a full set... ie, as a book.

I believe this will be effective, and it will also be an extremely interesting process for me. These stories are very deep and true, and there's more to say than can be contained in a straight book. I'd like to work through this more complex construction, then see what book arrives.

I'd like your help, dear reader.

Next topics (this is a note to myself!): How readers can help. Target audiences. Who should hear these stories? Also!! Mom's 31 quilt interview for the Library of Congress.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Why I do what I do

Thursday at Indian Hills Community College: This is how it should be. When I shot this photo at 8:10 am, there were two classes swarming the exhibit. One class was 29 high school students (look for the kids with the neat black backpacks) taking college classes. Their assignment this day was to read all of the stories, then write about their reactions. The other class was around a dozen students at the college--just one of two classes the same teacher (Marcia Seddon) was bringing to the exhibit that day.
There was a need for Kleenexes. It was quite amazing.
Click on the photo to see larger view.

31 Voices Tour 2009: "More from the teachers..."

Here are a few words from one of the teachers who brought students to the exhibit. It was fantastic!