Intersection of Fiction and History

By | Creativity, Storytelling, Writing | 2 Comments

Fiction and reality often intersect in interesting, surprising ways. Actual events merge with the imagined; invented stories draw on and feed back into history. In many ways they’re obviously distinct and identifiable; in other cases differentiation becomes impossible.

Such relationships and dichotomies — experience versus invention, reality versus invented stories — came vividly to mind after seeing a deftly-acted and well-written play, Red Velvet, at St. Anne’s Warehouse a while back.

The play was based on the life of a nineteenth century black actor; but half the characters were fictional and much of the story was invented and interpolated, the known biography providing a framework within which the playwright could project her own beliefs and experiences and emotions, upon which the director and actors could layer their own interpretations as well.

I’ve thought before that it might be worth trying my hand at some combination of creative writing and journalism — writing something at once spawned from the imagination and rooted in historic reality seems like a fun and interesting challenge. Read More

Surfing the Contrails of the CODEX Hackathon

The true value of a hackathon isn’t the output of a weekend’s work — it’s how the experience changes your perspective.

By | Education, Media, Technology, Writing | No Comments

I recently attended my first ever hackathon — and the effects have lingered in surprising ways.

CODEX, hosted this winter at the MIT Media Lab, has a unique literary bent: it’s billed as a community of folks who want to imagine the future of books and reading.” As someone excited about technology and storytelling, libraries and information, design and education, I found the premise to be right up my alley — a perfect first hackathon if there ever was one.

On my bus ride from NYC to Boston that cold January morning, I thought a bit about what to work on, how to spend my time wisely and make the most of the experience. I didn’t entirely know what to expect.

Looking back on the experience, it wasn’t an unmitigated success according to how I thought hackathons were supposed to work — I didn’t leave with a mind-blowing product built, or an instantly-formed new network. But reflecting further, I did get a lot out of it, in ways I didn’t necessarily expect. Read More

Writing 750+ Words a Day for 365 Days Straight

Thoughts on Building — and Quitting — a Daily Habit

By | Creativity, Writing | No Comments

When I first set out to start a writing habit, I’d never consciously written on consecutive days, let alone kept a streak alive.

What was The Thing that Finally Motivated me to Write Daily? A strange, delightfully masochistic thing called NaNoWriMo. This, too, was something I’d previously observed from afar. It’s a yearly event, a monthlong writerly self-challenge (every November) the one and only goal of which is 50,000 words towards a novel, in 30 days. It requires rapid accumulation of words — at least 1,666 per day, on average — to meet the goal.

In early fall of 2013, I toyed around with both potential story ideas and the idea of submitting myself to the challenge. I’d always loved writing, but aside from a few short film scripts hadn’t much practiced my hand at fiction, and I thought it would be fun to try. Read More

Mission Statement

By | Life, Writing | No Comments

Hear ye, hear ye! On this day, a blog is born.

But first, a preamble—to briefly address an implicit set of questions you may be asking, namely, what’s this all about, why did I decide to start writing, and what are my hopes and expectations for the site moving forward:

I created this site (the first iteration of my personal homepage; somewhat traditional; much an experiment) for a few reasons: to showcase my personal and professional creative work, to offer a point of ingress for anyone who might want to hire and/or collaborate with me, to begin the gradual process of building (manufacturing, yes—but I hope organically!) an “online presence”, to share potentially interesting things with those few people with whom I share a wavelength or two. But most importantly: to hotwire a portal into my brain, expose its workings, and therein work to improve it.

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