Online Writing Community
trAce conference July 2000
Access & Consultancy
Log of trAce Weekly Online Meeting,
Sunday 13 June 1999
enter the conversation at a point where Rouen isn't sure she agrees
that plots are linear or have to appear linear…
Marvella says, "Me neither, Rouen."
Marvella says, "That's a challenge."
Marvella says, "One thing for sure, something has to happen of a dramatic
Rouen says, "but with elegant navigation, perhaps not a problem"
Sue says, "is Life linear? i think not! but then - is like life fiction?
Marvella says, "In fiction. Yes or no?"
Marvella says, "I was just reading Duras, and she quite confused or
joined the two."
Helen says, "of course life is linear..."
Helen says, "how can it not be?"
Sue smiles at Helen.
Rouen thinks life is circular
Sue says, "good question!"
Marvella says, "Arent you getting younger like me? Helen?"
Sue says, "circular rouen? how come?"
Marvella says, "What about transmigration of souls?"
Rouen patterns and cycles reappear...forward motion sidelined
Marvella says, "Would that be linear?"
Helen says, "I see your point Rouen"
Rouen muses maybe a line of loops!
Helen says, "born died reborn?"
Helen says, "still linear! or even more loops!"
Sue says, "but there are so many points of choice in a life"
Sue says, "and of change"
Marvella says, "Yes, I suppose that is still on a line unless the species
Helen says, "multiple dimensions..... hypertext..."
Marvella says, "A literal jump doesnt have to be the defining moment
Rouen says, "multiple realities...hypertext"
Marvella says, "A burrowing into further depth, could be hypertext.
Just a thought."
Marvella says, "Hyper means what?"
Marvella says, "An extreme"
Marvella says, "One thing it doesn t mean is jumping beans."
Helen says, "onions, always wanted to do a hypertext like onion layers,
peeling them away to deeper meaning"
Sue says, "in my lambdamoo dictionary it says high strung, excitiable"
Marvella says, "That sounds quite limited and shallow."
Helen says, "no wonder i'm into hypertext ;-)"
Sue says, "or, extremely active"
Sue says, "that is the merriam webster dict"
Sue says, "then there is the hyper-real"
elizabeth says, "Helen, that's a great notion."
Marvella says, "Hyperthyroid."
Sue says, "the word hyper does seem to indicate some kind of extreme"
Rouen thinks hypertext in the context of the web means quite something
else that convention definitions
Marvella says, "Yes, Rouen? continue."
Helen says, "my dictionary says hyper: involving the nonlinear organization
of text or other machine readable media"
Rouen is rooting around for a techy book
elizabeth says, "Hypercube is 4-D cube "
MazThing [to Elizabeht]: smile
Helen says, "from the Greek hyper: above and beyond -- that's better!"
Marvella says, "I believe Ted whathisname in Califfornia coined the
Rouen says, "yes, I think closer to what Helen said...nonlinear text"
MazThing rooting around in the soil
Sue says, "yes, above and beyond"
Rouen says, "or maybe doesn't have to be linear text"
Marvella says, "Ted Nelson."
Helen says, " quote:go beyond the simple linear structures of conventional
material to present the user with a structured and interconnected resource"
Sue says, "that makes sense"
Helen says, "Oxford dictionary of new words"
Marvella says, "Ted Nelson in 1960 coined the term for nonsequential
or branched text."
Rouen says, "thanks"
Sue says, "there is a definition here which says that it accesses a
database for its info"
Marvella says, "This is why I prefer web-specific, more choices and
MazThing says, "Does anyone feel that hypertext is the way that they
naturally write - even if it hadn't been invented?""
Helen says, "Definitely!"
Helen says, "always branching off"
Marvella says, "i think it is how people think but how they were taught
not to write."
Sue says, "it's the way i THINK not sure if it is the way I write"
elizabeth says, "I think it made me realise I don't have to straitjacket
the way I think"
Helen says, "it certainly isn't the way to FINISH writing"
MazThing says, "Some people - shock horror - actually write sequentially
- scary isn't it?""
Sue says, "elizabeth why did you think you did have to straightjacket
the way you think?"
MazThing [to Helen]: "Can you ever finish hypertext?"
Helen says, "Can you ever finish a novel? I don't know...."
Marvella says, "Do you think of it likee Indian music, a raga without
Helen says, "You can only reach a point where it is ready to be read"
Marvella says, "A point of completion, or wholeness?"
elizabeth says, "I have spent a lot of time completely blocked because
of trying to "make sense", to organise ideas (or whatever) in a closed,
brilliant way. But, yes, as you have all said, associations are not
confined to linear."
Sue says, "elizabeth i am intrigued by what you're saying"
Rouen says, "it is hard to be blocked"
Sue says, "has the web opened up this block or did something else do
elizabeth says, "And the scent of associations is what interests me
now (not 'story', I have to say. But I am a poet)"
Helen says, "It turned into a hypertext!"
elizabeth says, "Collaboration is one of the things that breaks through
a block, in my experience. It's so exciting!"
Marvella says, "Scent of associations, I like that phrase."
Sue says, "hmm here's an idea"
MazThing [to Helen]: "Then maybe it will keep on expanding like the
Sue says, "should we plan a huge joint collaboration at trAce?"
elizabeth says, "I mean, there is a responsiblity to be ... relevant.
It's not *anything goes."
elizabeth says, "I've not collaborated with more than one person ...
Marvella laughs Shes having ideas again.
Helen says, "ooh yes, love collaborations: but I thought we already
did? What about My Millennium? Or do you mean something more open?"
Sue says, "relevance - a useful notion!"
Sue says, "no my millennium is a curated project of separate pieces"
Marvella says, "Yes, not a true collaboration."
Helen says, "Leonie wanted to write the biggest collaborative online
novel on the web"
MazThing [to Marvella]: "About 3 years ago I wanted to write a collection
of short stories/novella called My Millennium...I think I may have left
it too late now....."
Sue says, "mazthing then you must contribute to christy's collection"
MazThing [to Sue]: "I would like to, I have some fridge poetry that
I don't know what to do with"
elizabeth tut tuts :-)
Sue says, "shouldnt you just stick it on the fridge?"
Marvella says, "The Millennium will be good for awhile."
MazThing [to Sue]: "Yes, but it's getting all crusty with food now!"
Rouen says, "wonders if there is a virtual fridge associated with trAce"
MazThing says, "Time takes its toll even on fridge poetry""
Marvella says, "After all, Arthur Clarke said we are jumping the gun."
Helen says, "we should definitely have one in here!"
elizabeth says, "A programming challenge there!"
Marvella says, "The Millennium shouldnt start for another year!!!!"
Sue says, "ok we'll make a fridge for poetry here"
Sue says, "i will make it my projhect for this week"
Helen sighs thinking we have discussed this one and there are those
who agree with Marvella (like her) and those who don't
Rouen is impressed
elizabeth says, "Blimey Sue you ar e amaxing!"
MazThing says, "Oh yes, fridge poetry is ace - I'm so useless when I
have to take responsibility for choosing the words myself for poetry""
elizabeth says, "amazing..."
Marvella says, "I like the virtual fridge!"
Marvella says, "Frigo in French"
Sue says, "amazing? why?"
Sue says, "it can't be hard"
Rouen is still impressed with the programing
MazThing says, "It would be a fun collaborative thing too""
Sue says, "rouen which other moos do you go to?"
elizabeth says, "MazThing I agree with the usefulness of constraints;
but maybe one should choose/devise one's own?"
Sue says, "i will have a go at it"
Rouen says, "Tuesday Cafe"
elizabeth [to Sue]: Your energy!
Sue says, "tuesday cafe?"
MazThing [to elizabeth]: "Yeah, I think you're right. In prose I can
do that, make my own framework & then push the boundaries a bit....poetry
I intimidate myself"
Rouen elaborates that Tuesday Cafe is US technorhetoricians talking
mostly about teaching writing
Marvella says, "Do they fight?"
Sue says, "rouen that is the MOO you go to?"
Rouen says, "yes"
Sue says, "we'd be interested in the address for that"
Rouen will be glad to share, but must first locate
MazThing says, "It's good to have met you all but I fear I must leave
in my own puff of purple & green""
Sue says, "thanks for coming"
Helen says, "Bye!"
elizabeth says, "Bye MazT"
MazThing says, "My pleasure, bye!""
Sue says, "bye maz!"
MazThing has disconnected.
The housekeeper arrives to remove MazThing.
We hope you enjoyed
this conversation and would like to join in.
trAce is live online every Sunday, and you are warmly invited to come
along to the next meeting.