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The Canterbury Tales, Figure and Text via Instagram

January 11th, 2019 No comments

The Canterbury Tales, Figure and Text via Instagram

The Canterbury Tales, Figure and Text

Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanic Gardens

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Read the Canterbury Tales and More!

Get The Canterbury Tales for FREE from Gutenberg.org

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

The New York Public Library is Turning Classics Into Instagram Stories via Gizmodo

November 22nd, 2018 Comments off

Mashing up media is one great way to create something new in the world and I am all for it. These Instagram versions of literary classics is just one way to mix things up and use new technology to deliver — still relevant — text in an interesting fashion. — Douglas

Gizmodo has advocated for libraries as an excellent means of logging off, because a library is a service that lets you “stream” films, music, magazines, books, and all other kinds of media for free.

But now one of the world’s greatest libraries is trying to enrich the social media experience. The New York Public Library just released the first of its InstaNovel series on Instagram Stories. NYPL followers can watch-read the first part ofAlice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll on the app. The feature shows the full text of the book, but also includes illustrations by designer Magoz, and animated pages that capture the liveliness of Carroll’s creative page formatting. As anyone who’s used Facebook’s Snapchat clone could assume, lifting a finger from the screen turns the page.

50 Photos from WhoCon 2018, San Diego, California

October 22nd, 2018 Comments off

We spent the weekend down in San Diego attending WhoCon 2018. Rosanne was speaking on “Feminism in the Who-niverse in the Era of a Lady Doctor” (video coming soon).

Here are 50 photos from the presentation and the overall event.

I’ll also soon have a video interview with Dalek Builder Steve Roberts who kept us entertained all weekend with this fully functional Dalek!

WhoCon 2018 San Diego California  47

WhoCon 2018 San Diego California  6 WhoCon 2018 San Diego California  45

WhoCon 2018 San Diego California  41

See all 50 Photos — Facebook — Flickr

Learn more about Doctor Who with these books and videos!

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Document Your Journey with these “Out West” Journals, Cards, Totes, Cases, and Much More!

June 27th, 2018 Comments off

17 Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 23rd, 2017 Comments off

Dew gift guide 2017 header

See all the 2017 Gift Guide Entries


17 Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

I first read Bird by Bird a long time ago and often recommend it to people who have a desire to write. After talking with a friend about the book recently, I thought it time to revisit and re-read the book and see what new things I might take away from it.

Unlike Big Magic, which I wrote about a few weeks ago, Bird by Bird is more of a traditional book on writing — offering direct advice, exercises and support to help you write and write better. That said, Lamott has a great way of interjecting the realities of being a writer along with a strong dose of humor to help you cope with the ups, downs, sideways and convolutions of writing a being a writer.

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'”

On the concrete side of the writing equation, Lamott details her advice on writing using “Short Assignments” — committing to only a few hundred words detailing a particular character or scene. Just enough to get your writing — something — which can often be the most difficult part of any project.

Next is allowing yourself to write, in her words, “Shitty First Drafts. This is Lamott’s way of saying that sometimes you just have to write. We can all get tied up in trying to make every word we write perfect — the first time. Almost anyone who has ever written will tell you that this is a sure road to madness, writer’s block and worse.

An entire essay on Perfectionism follows to give some reasons and some tools to combat it and continue writing, no matter how bad you might think your project is right now.

Lamott then follows with chapters on other important aspects of writing including Set Design, Plot, Dialogue and more.

Part II of Bird by Bird, The Writing Frame of Mind is a series of in-depth essays on “Looking Around” or how better to see the world around you and use it in your writing, “The Moral Point of View” which explains how it is very difficult to complete any writing project that you don’t care passionately about — at least in some small way. You have to have the thread that drives you through your project. Something important you want to say. There is also an important section on “Jealousy” that I think is required reading for any writer. Jealousy is something we must all learn to deal with if we want to have a happy life and a successful (or at least, fun) writing career. Otherwise the “green-eyed dragon” will gobble you up with a moment’s thought.

In Part III, an essay on “Calling Around” explains how important it is for a writer to find sources for their writing — those people who can call on with specific information about world’s you may not move in, but still want to use as a setting in your writing. Lamott also details why it is so very important to find a trusted friend to read your early drafts and how you may go about finding them. Writing groups might be one solution and Lamott shares her thoughts on how important a good (and functional) group like this might be for you.

Part IV deals with the nasty bits of being a “professional”, “published” writer. It isn’t an easy life and there are a few things you need to know before you head down that road. It can be unforgiving. It can be crushing to your ego. It can also be exhilarating and dramatic and a host of other feelings.

I read Bird by Bird essay by essay in most cases. Taking time to think and digest the lesson in each section before moving on. You might also turn to (or return to) individual sections were you need a bit more support and a bit more thinking to use the lessons in your own writing.

After this re-read of Bird by Bird, I still think this is one of the foremost books for writers of all levels, but especially for those just beginning their writing journey. There is a lot of great advice, guidance, and truth in this book that can benefit everyone.

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
Categories: Books, Creativity, Education, Gift Guide, Writing Tags:

My Citizen Jane Film Festival Day 1 Re-Cap

October 31st, 2017 Comments off

I worked as a volunteer social media reporter for the Citizen Jane Film Festival last weekend and here is a clip and link to my Day 1 re-Cap posted on their blog. — Douglas

I must admit I am a little bleary-eyed as I type, but it is all because my day at the Citizen Jane Film Festival was full to the brim with great people, great experiences, and great information. While films are certainly the focus of Citizen Jane, the CJ Film School day was all about learning.Screen Grab: From Screenplay To Big Screen, Who Will Win?

The morning started with “Screen Grab,” during which 5 screenwriting finalists were selected to give their pitches for 5-minute films to a panel of filmmaking experts, including Sarah Haas, Steph Scupham, Kimberly Skyrme and Ken LaZebnik, Director of the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting program which operates out of Los Angeles. The winner of Screen Grab will have their film produced, receive a $250 award, and also receive a table read by the local Greenhouse Theatre Project on the last day of the Festival.

Screen grab award

[…]

Bold Brash Words From Bold Brash Screenwriters

The final session of CJ Film School had Dr. Rosanne Welch, Professor of Screenwriting History for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting, host 6 of her current and former students as they presented short profiles of various female screenwriters. Too often the history and careers of screenwriters, especially women, are lost in the passage of time. As part of class, each student selects a woman screenwriter and develops a paper and presentation highlighting their career. This is the second year MFA students have participated at Citizen Jane.

Brash

Read the entire post on the Citizen Jane Film Festival Blog

Filmmakers and actor from the short films shown as part of Emerging Voice screening at Stephens College’s Citizen Jane Film Festival

 

Words at Wellington Harbor via Instagram

September 5th, 2017 Comments off

Words at Wellington Harbor

Words at Wellington Harbor

One of the many examples poetry and prose scattered around the harbor and nearby.

Get prints of this photo in many different formats

Words wellington prints

Instagram

Join me on Douglas E. Welch Photography on Facebook



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott [Book]

April 29th, 2017 Comments off

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

I first read Bird by Bird a long time ago and often recommend it to people who have a desire to write. After talking with a friend about the book recently, I thought it time to revisit and re-read the book and see what new things I might take away from it.

Unlike Big Magic, which I wrote about a few weeks ago, Bird by Bird is more of a traditional book on writing — offering direct advice, exercises and support to help you write and write better. That said, Lamott has a great way of interjecting the realities of being a writer along with a strong dose of humor to help you cope with the ups, downs, sideways and convolutions of writing a being a writer.

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'”

On the concrete side of the writing equation, Lamott details her advice on writing using “Short Assignments” — committing to only a few hundred words detailing a particular character or scene. Just enough to get your writing — something — which can often be the most difficult part of any project.

Next is allowing yourself to write, in her words, “Shitty First Drafts. This is Lamott’s way of saying that sometimes you just have to write. We can all get tied up in trying to make every word we write perfect — the first time. Almost anyone who has ever written will tell you that this is a sure road to madness, writer’s block and worse.

An entire essay on Perfectionism follows to give some reasons and some tools to combat it and continue writing, no matter how bad you might think your project is right now.

Lamott then follows with chapters on other important aspects of writing including Set Design, Plot, Dialogue and more.

Part II of Bird by Bird, The Writing Frame of Mind is a series of in-depth essays on “Looking Around” or how better to see the world around you and use it in your writing, “The Moral Point of View” which explains how it is very difficult to complete any writing project that you don’t care passionately about — at least in some small way. You have to have the thread that drives you through your project. Something important you want to say. There is also an important section on “Jealousy” that I think is required reading for any writer. Jealousy is something we must all learn to deal with if we want to have a happy life and a successful (or at least, fun) writing career. Otherwise the “green-eyed dragon” will gobble you up with a moment’s thought.

In Part III, an essay on “Calling Around” explains how important it is for a writer to find sources for their writing — those people who can call on with specific information about world’s you may not move in, but still want to use as a setting in your writing. Lamott also details why it is so very important to find a trusted friend to read your early drafts and how you may go about finding them. Writing groups might be one solution and Lamott shares her thoughts on how important a good (and functional) group like this might be for you.

Part IV deals with the nasty bits of being a “professional”, “published” writer. It isn’t an easy life and there are a few things you need to know before you head down that road. It can be unforgiving. It can be crushing to your ego. It can also be exhilarating and dramatic and a host of other feelings.

I read Bird by Bird essay by essay in most cases. Taking time to think and digest the lesson in each section before moving on. You might also turn to (or return to) individual sections were you need a bit more support and a bit more thinking to use the lessons in your own writing.

After this re-read of Bird by Bird, I still think this is one of the foremost books for writers of all levels, but especially for those just beginning their writing journey. There is a lot of great advice, guidance, and truth in this book that can benefit everyone.

Categories: Books, Creativity, Education, Writing Tags:

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert [Book]

April 21st, 2017 Comments off

I first saw mention of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear in some magazine I was reading. There were several writing and creativity books mentioned and I quickly requested those I hadn’t previously read from my local library. What I hadn’t noticed, until I started reading the book was that it was written by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. This often happens to me. I don’t recognize famous people out in public or important people in a company or government. It is just not something I am attuned to. In this case, I might not even have started to the read the book had I known more about the author. Sometimes coming to a new resource “cold” allow you to take in important lessons without any preconceptions.

One big thing I agree with Gilbert on is that writing — like many creative pursuits — is indeed magic. Whether I have been writing, performing music, singing with a choir, performing solo or walking onstage in the play or musical, there is something amazingly magical in what results. Thinking that creativity is magic doesn’t mean that it is unattainable for everyone, though, only that we have to treat creativity as something that is special and — most importantly — something that everyone should experience, as often as possible, in their lives. 

Big Magic isn’t a book about writing, with special exercises, meditations, or prescriptions. Rather it is a book about having and coping with a creative life. Creativity is always seen as something special — found only in select others — and this can lead to our own denial of its power and rewards and our own abilities. In a section entitled Permission, Gilbert says that we should all be “entitled”. This is a loaded word these days, but the fact is, we should all feel entitled to engage in creativity throughout our lives, regardless of what others might say or do or how much they try to dissuade us. Creativity is a certain, inalienable right, like those others laid out in the Declaration of Independence. In fact, I consider it one large part of “the pursuit of happiness” that Jefferson gave such importance.

One of the most important lessons Gilbert imparts is one that many creatives might not want to hear. She says that, in most cases, you shouldn’t depend on or expect your creativity to support you financially. In fact, she thinks this is one of the best ways to kill of your creativity entirely. If you expect your music or poetry or photography to support you, you quickly turn the magical into drudgery. What you once loved to do becomes a hateful burden and if allowed to continue, will kill your desire to create. 

Sure, some lucky few might be able to support themselves from their creativity, but most will not. In fact, she says, “with rare exceptions, creative fields make for crap careers. (They make for crap careers, that is, if you define a “career” as something that provides for your financially in a fair and foreseeable manner, which is a pretty reasonable definition of a career.)”

No matter how successful you may become, there will still be aspects of any job that you hate — the bureaucracy, the finances, the constant travel and more. On the other hand, Gilbert says, “Creative living can be an amazing vocation, if you have the love and courage and persistence to see it that way.” For myself, I often say, “Love your creativity, but don’t necessarily expect for it to love you back.” There is much to be gained from creativity, but money not be the most abundant nor important.

Big Magic is divided into short, easily consumable, sections — more like a collection of essays, although unlike some similar books, it holds together well as a complete book, too. You can read it from cover to cover, as I did, or jump from essay to another as your mood — and your creative need — strikes you.

Come to Big Magic to help you understand and better manage your own creative life. Creativity is never an easy path, as either vocation or avocation, but it is amazing and something that everyone should experience in some way. Like most things in life, though, having a guide along a strange and confusing path is always more helpful than we might like to admit. Consider Big Magic one such guide in your creative life. Now, head out on your own creative journey.

Other books by Elizabeth Gilbert

See more of her books on Amazon

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 
** 74 copies of Big Magic are available to check out from the Los Angeles Public Library 


Noted: Podcast: The Assassins Of Creativity (and How To Spot Them)

March 22nd, 2017 Comments off