Tag Archives: collaborative

The story ends #digiwrimo #storyjumper

I don’t know how they did it – I struggled to keep hold of the threads in chapter 10 already and it finished with 26  – but somehow a bunch of people from different parts of the world managed to write a story together. A digital story.

Here we all are. You can click on the circles on our faces (on the Thinglink) to read our chapters:

The final chapter is hilarious. I don’t think you could actually keep a straight face for too long while writing this story; it just becomes more and more absurd. The story is a long and winding one (yes, with Beatles references) so this summary might help.

I love that we come from such different places and come together for this bit of creative fun.

Storyjumper Part 10: The maps #digiwrimo

This is part 10 of a storyjumper for Digital Writing Month.  You can read the other parts here:

Part 1          Bruno’s blog started us off with a personal narrative.
Part 2          Kevin’s blog began the story.
Part 3          Maha’s blog continued…
Part 4          Sarah’s blog…
Part 5          Ron’s blog…
Part 6          Tanya’s blog…
Part 7          Kay’s blog…
Part 8          Ron’s blog…

Part 9          Dana’s blog

You can follow the story here.

What was he waiting for? Why didn’t he knock? *She was more than ready to let him in. She felt her hand dip into her pocket and her fingers feel around for what she knew was there.

They were facing each other.

The first thing she saw was his puzzled expression. Then her eyes traced the fine lashes on his face and down his straight nose to his mouth which was partly open – she guessed from shock – the shock she tried to suppress as she struggled to make sense of their physical closeness in unknown surroundings. What the…!?  In her peripheral vision she guessed they were in a deserted street and it was dusk. Or was it dawn? Nobody in sight. A car parked a little way down the road.

And then she let her eyes follow his arm down to his hand which was clutching a map. And she? She was still holding the map she had been turning over at home, scrutinising. And between her fingers… what? Sand?

Image courtesy of the Lewis Lab at Northeastern University. Image created by Anthony D’Onofrio, William H. Fowle, Eric J. Stewart and Kim Lewis. (See Anthony D’Onofrio on Flickr)

“Where the hell are we?” he broke the silence and her mental musing.

Map found here.

“I..I…I think – I know it sounds crazy – but I think it’s the maps,” she managed to splutter, blushing a little as he came to life, and unnerved now by their physical closeness.

They both turned in the direction of the sudden sound of a car screeching towards them.

“Sarah?” he said, as she jumped out of the car. “What the hell is going on here?!”

“Get in!” Sarah grabbed Kevin’s arm and pushed him into the car.  “Time’s running out! Get in! Hurry up!”

She had no time to lose. No time to think, she swung open the back door of the car as it started moving and flung herself into the back seat, the car accelerating at an unnerving speed.  She knew, somehow, that she had to hold onto the map.

It was difficult to describe what happened next. The scenery flew past them too quickly; it wasn’t normal. Physically she felt squeezed, she felt as if all her organs were compressed, she could barely breathe. And all the time that dreadful shrieking – not just in the ears but everywhere. Stop it, stop it! Unbearable.  And then she realised it was she who was shrieking.


“Shut up!” screamed Sarah, “what are you doing here? It’s too late; you have to come with us now” as the car came to a sudden stop and she banged her head against the seat in front of her. The seat of the boat she was now in. In the middle of a vast, icy lake. Under a white sky.

“What the hell are you playing at!” Sarah’s face too close to hers.

*The initial motif of Beethoven’s 5th symphony has sometimes been credited with symbolic significance as a representation of Fate knocking at the door

Your turn, Maureen.



New Melbourne-based collaborative blog – Brassofthebear

Photo by Alexander (Sasha) Sheko

Brazen plug for my son, Sasha’s, new collaborative blog about Melbourne – Brassofthebear. It’s just new but there’s plenty to read already.  Here’s the ‘about’ –

Welcome to Brass of the Bear, a collaborative blog with a local focus written by people in and around Melbourne, Australia. The name of the blog is derived from Bearbrass, one of a few names by which Melbourne was originally known.

Brass of the Bear (BB) aims to feature a broad range of content within its local focus, such as:

  • Reviews of cafes, restaurants, bars and the such,
  • Information on local events, art, cinema and music
  • Photography, writing and other locally based creative content
  • Secrets, quirks, hidden locations and adventures to be had
  • Information and opinion pieces on local community and political issues

BB is seeking contributors in any of the above areas (or even anything relevant that doesn’t fit into the above categories). Contact us at brassofthebear@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you.

Sasha asked me to contribute and so I wrote about Melbourne as a UNESCO City of Literature, highlighting events at the Wheeler Centre. Here’s a selection –

You  may or may not know that Melbourne is ‘a City of Literature’. I have no real way of predicting that since most of what I don’t know is common knowledge. In fact, Melbourne’s designation as aUNESCO City of Literature is apparently “acknowledgment of the breadth, depth and vibrancy of the city’s literary culture”. That makes me happy. And so Melbourne boasts a variety of literary organisations  and events to promote a culture of reading and engagement, events such as  Writers VictoriaExpress Media, the Australian Poetry Centre, the Melbourne Writers Festival and theEmerging Writers’ Festival.

You can read the rest here.

The Gertrude St Projection Festival is a good read.

Over the past couple of weeks (from 20 – 29 July, to be precise), Gertrude Street in Fitzroy has been home to a variety of projection art pieces, ranging from hypnotising geometric animations in shop windows to colourful patterns projected onto the entirety of one of the 20-odd story public housing towers. This year saw the fifth Gertrude Street Projection Festival (GSPF), featuring a large number of artists, including a number of collaborative works.

This is the first time I’ve seen the Projection Festival, and I really enjoyed it. Gertrude Street is one of my favourite streets, so much character.

Photo by Alexander Sheko

Other posts include Adventure – Footscray, Le Miel et La Lune restaurant review by James Zarucky, a very informative post about Yarraville by Ashley Onori, a story about the old Children’s Hospital (with photos which look apocalyptic) which is being demolished, and a review of the White Rabbit Record Bar in Kensington. The blog includes posts expressing political concerns (a letter to Daniel Andrews) and commentary on a film  from the National Film and Sound Archive’s Film Australia Collection.

I’m always supportive of collaborative efforts, especially when they’re shared online for others’ enjoyment, and I do love my city, so I’m looking forward to reading more from hopefully a growing list of contributors. If you have any expertise in any area of knowledge pertaining to Melbourne, or if you’ve recently attended an event which is worth writing about, leave a comment in the ‘About’ section of the blog.

Photo by Alexander Sheko

Teaching up a storm

Pomme de Granada

Originally uploaded by The Department

Wes Fryer compares good teaching to good cooking. He talks about ‘recipes’ being modified in a Web 2.0 context to suit specific needs and situations. His six main ingredients for powerful teaching and learning are del.icio.us social bookmarks, Flickr photo sharing, VoiceThread digital storytelling, collaborative writing tools, websites for phone recording as well as SMS polling, and videoconferencing. How do these tools and applications differ from traditional 19th century teaching and learning? Replacing a one-way direction from teacher to student, where the teacher is the expert and the student a passive receptacle, these ingredients enable active and interactive learning.

I’m interested to find out more about the websites for phone recording and SMS polling. Are Australian teachers doing this?