February 8th, 2007

Creative Act, 2/8

Thank you all so much for your suggestions! After much thought, I’ve decided to go with “love and sex” as the theme, since it’s Valentine’s Day this week. I’ll be trying a different challenge every day.

Today’s challenge was an erotic vignette about comic books, written for Brand & Mo. It’s not enormously explicit, but you probably wouldn’t want to share it with your boss or with small children.

(I think next week’s theme will be something game-related, by the way, so keep watching this space!)

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In My Dirty Little Hands

I feel a bit (okay, extremely) odd posting this just after my, ahem, creative act for the day, but here it is: my very first academic publication, here in my dirty little hands!

I hardly know what to say, except that A New Literacies Sampler is available on Amazon, which I find even harder to believe than that I’m holding my advance copy. (Yup, still holding it. Typing one-handed. Very happy.)

I’ve seen conference presentations of many of the chapters, of course, but it’s different to read the final versions. They’re somehow more, well, final - not just more complete but also definitive. I’ve never had a chance before to see how ideas go from nebulous to becoming part of what Barthes calls the “thickness” of everyday life.

My own piece, for example, started out as a free-form exploration of how role-players negotiate shared narrative spaces. Now, reading my own work, the categories and concepts I came up with seem awfully, well, authoritative, even though I saw the sausage-making that went into them. And it’s all the more so for the other pieces in the book, where I didn’t even see the process!

It’s not as though I didn’t know that real people, people I know, develop ideas like these and write pieces like these. I guess I just know it in a different way now.

All this is to say that the book looks great, with pieces on everything from memes to games to web usage, and I’m totally excited to read it cover to cover.

Yes, I’m still holding it. I may have to let go to eat dinner. Or not.

PS: My chapter is next to Jim Gee’s.  Fear me.