Tag Archives: Books and Writing

Background notes on Letters from Russia

In prep for a chat on “Write Now! The Art & Action of Letter Writing w/ DJ Snail Mail” on Free Radio Santa Cruz’s about my Letters from Russia project, i jotted down some a bit of backstory which i’m posting here lest i misplace and to share with others with interest.  So, … here ya go …
I started writing LfR while at an Evergreen College week long course “Poets and Philosophers Discuss Love and War” at Lake Crescent, WA. I had prepared with much reading about the historical context so i could make the story accurate. I then charted out the philosophical topics to address during Herni’s political transformation and personal journey.

I wrote each letter separately, handwritten on different papers and different writing instruments and only taking a piece or two to keep the letters brief and intense. Each letter was written while out on a walk/hike (so i could be in character a bit i suppose) and i didn’t edit from the original letters at all.

I also sketched/painted that summer to fill out the story and help me visualize his world and support the letters by replacing some visual narrative – and finally bound the original letters and paintings in a wood/hemp book. (a few are at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncleweed/tags/lettersfromrussia/)

I lived overseas (Japan, Micronesia) quite a bit pre-Internet so am an enthusiast of printed letters and papercraft (I collect paper ephemera from trips).

I’d very much like to find someone with some deeper historical knowledge to give a read to see if there are glaring historical
inaccuracies – though i am sure on the dates and locations – before distributing it more.

Letters from Russia to Appear on “WriteNow” on Santa Cruz Freak Radio

CountrysideReceived a lovely note from DJ Snailmail who creates a show (with her colleague DJ Anon) on Santa Cruz Free Radio called “WriteNow! The Art and Action of Letter-writing” expressing an interest in reading my Letters From Russia project.

In case you missed it … LFR (Letters from Russia (.pdf)- war & love epistletory discourse) is written as a series of 14 letters and a “declaration” ostensibly by a cobbler in Napoleon’s army in Russia 1812, to his lover in Paris. It evolved into multi-medium art project with a series of illustrations, paintings and papercraft all bundled in a handmade book of hemp and wood and twine.

Campsite from Letters From RussiaAnyhow, here’s more about the show – i’ll be on to talk about using letter writing a a literary device and the process i used and philosophical underpinnings and inspirations of the content.

“WriteNow! The Art and Action of Letter-writing.” The program explores the art, value and action of letter-writing, basically all aspects of letter- writing, specifically snailmail and handwritten letters. It’s on Tuesdays from 8-9pm on Free Radio Santa Cruz (101.1FM and streamed at Freakradio.org).

And i’m a sucker for civil disobedience, ergo:

In full disclosure, Free Radio Santa Cruz (FRSC) is a 100% volunteer collective and we do not make any money in this effort. FRSC has been on the air for over ten years without an FCC license. freakradio.org/about.html

Oh Brother – this printer is mighty

brother in a mighty boxAlong with some other local blogger/indie media/creative types, I am testing one of Brother’s new laser printers. I am someone who loves making stuff since ditto machines to working at K!nko’s for three months so i could scam the colour copier after hours. 65lb, 4 colour, duplex laser printerThusly i am stoked to be testing a 65lb., full duplex(!), full colour(!), laser printer.

Among other projects, I’ll be making some photo wall collages (mounted on black museum board) me and the sweetie have been meaning to make for years.

Then (excitedly) make some bound and fully realized versions of my Letters from Russia (.pdf) war & love epistletory discourse book (which, incidentally, i’ll be discussing on Santa Cruz public radio soon) which included some drawings, painting and such which never made it to the digital version.

Campsite

If i get really productive, I’ll finally create a printed, illustrated version of the Uncle Weed’s Red rock Adventure (.pdf) – eco-minded edu-tainment for all ages.

Uncle weed illustration

Yes there is a book with pictures written in 1988 or so which is Uncle Weed’s adventure in the desert explaining tips and tricks for development sabotage with outstanding illustrations by the talented Mr. B.G. Kiggins of NYC.

Next step is to gather a killer stash of quality paper to ensure the finest results. Thanks to DB eh.




Noise to Signal cartoon makes fun of web biz goofiness

Rob (day job = Social Signal) Cottingham brews up some witty and well executed cartoon about web culture, the biz grind, work life, geekiness, corporate shillery etc.  Somewhere between Dilbert, Farside and Family Circus ;-) and less self-referential to the “web 2.0 community” as Blaugh.

Check out a few samples (served up via Social Signal’s site) and subscribe to Noise to Signal RSS feed

Note: the original posts are accessible with written description for page readers – very nice.  Oh yeah, he does political stand-up – hire him for your fundraiser ;-).

Noise to Signal cartoon

Rob Cottingham's Cartoons on web biz

Rob Cottingham's Cartoons on web biz

Oly’s Last Word Books kicking down the rare goods

Wise book enthusiasts are advised to visit Last Word Books in OlyWa. Check the tasty stash including the thick stack from the legendary counter-culture publisher Loompanics plus Evergreen College library books – cheap out the backdoor. The rag-tag group is even MySpaced and erstswhile curators of the Oly Zine Library and un-secretly Pirates and Honky Tonk Dragons .

Last Word Books – and their stablemate Rec the Place Fantastic Records – are worker owned collectives specializing in hard to find media of all sorts and providing a comfortable and welcoming space for the free exchange of ideas and they are a Zhonka Surfbreak location – kicking down the free wi-fi for the people! What’s more, they tend the Uncle Weed collection of cannabis related books and magazines for professional use only).  Here’s a map to Last Word Books in downtown Olympia.  To get to Olympia better, be sure to examine the Oly Poster Project & listen to the Clubside Breakfast Time podcast

LWB is a frequent stop for me whenst sojourned in Wa’s capitol city – where everyone brings a half dozen friends to college with them and stay on to starta rock band or non-profit group (well not all, some start worker’s owned collectives).

Here’s what Evergreen had to say about LWB:

Last Word Books emerged from the storefronts of downtown Oly on May 2002, opened by four ambitious then-sophomore Evergreen students. Six Greeners and alumni now run this cooperative. All but 2 percent of the books are used; even the new ones make use of recycled material. The inspiration for this used-book store came from co-owner Sky Cosby, whose father owns Walla Walla’s Earth Light.

Sky Cosy LWB David at LWB
Photos by Cynthia Miller

Heading to a Book Expo in the Big City (and fiddling with Shelfari)

For the day-job (shilling ecommerce software) I am heading to NYC (paraphrasing Stevie Wonder monologue from “Livin’ for the City” – “New York City, just like i imagined it, … skyscrapers and everythang”) for the world’s biggest book industry trade show. As a book enthusiast and a perennially aspiring writer, i am a wee bit excited despite the myriad tasks to accomplish to make the trip useful for my work.

book expo america

Every dang publisher large, small, micro, foreign, local, topical whatever will be there it seems and i kinda wish i was going there with a manuscript to hustle rather than as a working stiff but perhaps the observance the goings-on will remove some of the mystery shroud i keep holding up around the unholy alliance of commerce and art.

Just poking around the list of exhibitors and attendees, there a million little presses publishing literary works which i have never heard of – and they seem to be helping their writers to succeed. Is this possible or i am mental? Both are likely but regardless, I will plan to outreach and educate myself and perhaps pursue publishing my massive collection of this and thats once i know a little more how the game works – shoot i don’t even know how to get an ISBN because i don’t care, i just wanna write, but to do that i need to time and space resultant (crassly enough) from ugh … money.

Good news is, I sold three essay articles last year at (who hoo @ .20 cents a word) 2 were lead stories plus scoured up some mainsream media coverage about my podcast projects. And managed to get back rolling with writing freeverse which i lost my voice for a bit while writing expository works, case studies, business docs, press releases etc.

Next up, giving Letters from Russia (.pdf) an edit in preperation to pass around to get some distribution to the peace loving peeps of the world and then get back to work on my longer pieces which i draft, start, outline, think about, fiddle with, scribble on but never really bear down cause (admission following) i am always waiting for a 6 month sojourn in a quiet cabin with beverages, hot springs and bird signing – which may not happen for some time.

Anyhow, this books expo deal … the conference director Lance Festerman is blogging and they are even putting out a Book Expo podcast and started a BEA Shelfari group.

Gravelly Beach on Shelfari

You may know that I love my books and my bookshelf and use the both the arrangement and the contents as a motivational starting point. Shelfari allows group and community interaction based on the books you put upon your virtual shelf. The usability is very nice and brisk. I signed up a while back but did not do anything with it but now invite you to stop by and visit Gravelly Beach on Shelfari if’ ya wanna interact on books and such.

Military service evaders seeking justice – Laying it all out on paper

You likely know i’ve been working on a series for Postcard from Gravelly Beach podcast about war and peace called “White Poppies for Remembrance” recorded last November.
Poetry on war and peace and remembrance

The most recent episode “Buddhas in the Trenches” discusses conscientious objection and military service evaders.  I wrote a “Pro” and “Con” argument paper while at Evergreen College in Olympia, WA in the early days of this ‘war on abstract nouns’  which (unfortunately) is still vitally relevant.

The essay titled Should U.S. military evaders be extradited? Yes & No arguments (.pdf) 08/04” break down the issues and conundrums facing the (growing number of) men and women who are giving their humanity and conscience priority over their military service obligations/commitments.

Rather than rambling on, … please note the endnotes for both sides of the argument.  I encourage people to learn more about what is going on as decent people fight for refugee status and their right to not-kill and be killed for an illegal, immoral and unethical war.  The situation is vastly different than Vietnam era (no more draft and extradition treaties are in place) but eerily similar (particularly as the war continues to escalate out of control).

This essay is available along with many others at…

White Poppies for Remembrance podcast series at PfGB

In case you aren’t checking out the Postcards from Gravelly Beach spoken word literature podcasts i brew up (they ain’t for everybody i suppose), you may want to check out a wee series i am (finally) editing from last Remembrance Day (Nov. 2006).

Come on along as i start with a bowl of oatmeal and trek downtown to (ostensibly) congregate in some ceremony and end up hanging out reading the goods in Victory Park, at New Amsterdam cafe plus Gastown alleys and finally back on North Shore porch. Topics include white poppies, peace, non-peace, aggressions, human rights and human potential, art and culture, the conditions of the Downtown Eastside and life of a resistance fighter.

Not quite the regular Postcards from Gravelly Beach style but whatever, … check out the fist two episodes which sorta set the stage for the next half dozen episodes.

Here is Part One:
Vanquishing Grecian Warlords – Postcard #39
(12MB, .mp3, 13:06)

Postcards from Gravelly Beach

And Part Two:
White Poppies on a Rainyday Coat – Postcard #41 (9:29, 9MB, .mp3)

Subscribe to Gravelly Beach Feed and/or Chillaxin’ Podcast Syndicate feed and in iTunes

Longboard Hockey Article in Heads Magazine

New article on Coast LongboardingsLongboard hockey league action in Heads magazine by me (Dave Thorvald Olson) and photos by Kris Krug (kriskrug.comstaticphotography.comflick.com/photos/kk/) – available as subscribe-able, ecological-responsible .pdf from Headsmagazine.com. Podcast coming soon on the Choogleon feed.

Longbord Hockey Article in Heads Magazine

Longbord Hockey Article in Heads Magazine
Originally uploaded by Uncleweed.

See also:
Uncle Weed’s Tokes on the Porch blog entry
Longboard Hockey in Vancouver

for new heads magazine blog

and Tyee’s Longboarding Hockey article

Heads magazine‘s Skate/Surf issue included my “Headtrip” article “The First Rule of Longboard Hockey is …” about the renegade crew of longboard hockey players playing hardcore style in Vancouver. Heads is now available as .pdf (save the trees eh) loaded with rich media including my embedded video clips along with KK’s tasty snaps.
More Longboard hockey:
Tokes on the Porch blog at Heads
Choogle on podcast “Longboard Hockey for Four Twenty” (iTunes)
Feasthouse blog post “Longboard Hockey for Heads Magazine
CoastLongboardingLongboard Hockey League
Attack of Danger Bay fest
Longbord Hockey Article in Heads Magazine

 


A Tin Tin movie by Spielberg?

My mom sent me this article because i am massive Tin Tin fan

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) – It was a quarter-century in the making but then again, nothing is easy for cartoon heroes such as Tintin.

Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks, a division of Viacom Inc. (VIAB), has committed to produce at least one movie about the adventures of the intrepid Belgian reporter, said Nick Rodwell, head of Moulinsart NV, Tintin’s commercial studio, on Thursday.

“After 25 years, they finally said, ‘OK, let’s go,'” Rodwell said of the protracted talks with Spielberg. In an interview with The Associated Press, Rodwell said the Hollywood company will go into preproduction for a movie, which should appear in theaters in about two years.

“It’s been a project on our future development plate here for quite a number of years, always with the idea it was something we would like to make,” DreamWorks spokesman Marvin Levy said Thursday.

A visitor looks at original letters and an enlarged cartoon of Tintin and his dog Snowy by Belgian cartoonist Herge at Paris’ Pompidou Cultural Center,on Dec. 19, 2006 in Paris. The center is hosting an exhibition to mark the centenary of the birth of Tintin’s creator, Belgian cartoonist Herge, whose real name was Georges Remi. Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks company has committed to produce at least one movie on Tintin, the head of the Tintin studio in Brussels, Belgium, announced Thursday, March 8, 2007. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)