Inanimate Alice, Episode 5

31 March 2009 in Inanimate Alice Rising Stars | Comments (3)

Chris and I have started working on ‘Inanimate Alice, Episode 5’ at long last, so, hopefully, it should appear some time this year!  It’s good to revisit the story, and to think about how to ramp up the interactivity in episode 5 another notch from episode 4.

As well as this, I’ve got a proposal out for a new ‘Inanimate Alice’ development - fingers crossed on that.  More when I have it; a writer’s life is mostly composed of waiting for other people to say ‘yes’ or, more often ‘no thanks’.

Australian educator and digital fiction enthusiast, Angela Thomas, has been blogging about Alice lately…

Slow Reveal at Univ of Maryland Art Gallery

26 March 2009 in Inanimate Alice Rising Stars | Comments (0)


‘Inanimate Alice’ features in Slow Reveal, an exhibition at the University of Maryland Art Gallery.  We are there with friends J.R. Carpenter and Andy Campbell, among others.

More ‘Inanimate Alice’ stories

26 March 2009 in Inanimate Alice Not Shut Up Rising Stars | Comments (0)

Came across another three ‘Inanimate Alice’ stories, from Mrs Kluge’s class, ‘English is Fun!’.  There’s even an episode that involves a young Prince Andrew!

Studies in the Maternal - MaMSIE’s eJournal

25 March 2009 in | Comments (0)

(notes from the launch party for the brand new eJournal, Studies in the Maternal)

My involvement with MaMSIE has been revelatory for me. I am new to academia, and thus new to academic research networks, but to have the chance to be involved with a network that is so profoundly interdisciplinary has been very important to me.

All too often practitioners ?? creative writers and artists and performers ?? are left out of the mix. But, for many of us, our practice is as informed by current and past debates around the maternal as that of the most assiduous ethnographer or social scientist.

A good short story, like Helen Simpson’s story, CafĂ© Society, film, performance, or exhibition can tell us a great deal about our own conflicts and ambiguities around the maternal, on both a personal and an intellectual level. Griselda Pollock’s piece on Bracha Ettinger demonstrates this vividly; most theorists are informed by the everyday in much the same as creative artists.

Each and every one of the pieces in the new eJournal from MaMSIE, Studies in the Maternal, is, for me, a novelist’s or story-teller’s dream come true ?? from Rachel Thomson’s extraordinary case study of two generations of women and their attitudes toward the maternal, to Gail Lewis’s lyrical examination of mother and daughter and race. The stories here are pithy and dense with meaning.

And it is fascinating, and gratifying, in the year 2009, when it is almost normal to pay a surgeon to alter your face and body for no actual medical reason, to inhabit an intellectual space where feminism, as in Lisa’s interview with Lynne Segal, is examined and discussed through the prism of history without the need to be continually explain, rationalise, and excuse the concept.

Lisa and Sigal have brought both MaMSIE, the network, and this new Journal to fruition with wonderful grace.

But most of all, it’s important to say that this first issue of Studies in the Maternal is a Very Good Read. I recommend it!

Flight Paths update March 09

24 March 2009 in Flight Paths | Comments (0)

Thinking a lot about ‘Flight Paths’ at the moment and where-to-next with the project. As we get ready to relaunch it with the five new plot hotpoint/stories we’ve created, it is time to think about how to move forward as well.

We’ve had a patchy time with finding ways to encourage people to participate in the project.  We have had great luck with securing wonderful partners for the project, but it’s been tough to translate that into participation.  We have had a lot of fantastic contributions to the project to date, from new media works to pieces of text, photos, and discussion, but we want more, and we’ll be looking at finding new ways of encouraging people to contribute and/or participate.  But this aspect of the project hasn’t been, and never will be, easy. Socialising the other evening with three new media artists,  Randy Adams, Christine Wilks, and Chris Joseph, we spent a bit of time pondering the puzzle that is participation, mainly in terms of how difficult it is to come by. One of us wondered if, in terms of digital art and literature, it’s a bit of a red herring, a good idea in theory, but very difficult to actually pull off.

‘Flight Paths’ has participation at its heart; it’s been part of the process and purpose of the work since the beginning.  So we’ll continue to experiment with this aspect of the project, and to see how far we can get with it.

I’m also planning on doing a lot more writing for ‘Flight Paths’  over the next four months. Famous last words.

Inanimate Alice and Mash-Ups

19 March 2009 in Inanimate Alice Rising Stars | Comments (0)

My collaborators on Inanimate Alice and I are continuing to try to push the project on to other platforms and out through a variety of routes - at the moment we have plans for a book with a version for iPods, both looking possible as revenue streams.  Part of the goal of this on-going project is to find ways of creating revenue, something at which we have pretty much failed, apart from winning prize money from time to time.

One of the very gratifying (though completely non-revenue generating) developments over the past 18 months has been the way that IA has taken off in classrooms around the world, from primary to postgrad level.  And the other day I had a great thrill when I came across (via my Google Alerts) four Inanimate Alice episodes, created by a group of teenagers who have been categorised as hard-to-teach and slow learners.  These episodes are great - a combination of piss-take and actual new stories - really inspiring, and also hilarious!!!

If you are interested, here are the stories - they are mostly around 1 minute long.

Internet Evolution - ThinkerNet

18 March 2009 in Future of Publishing Short Stories | Comments (2)


I was asked to contribute a blogpost to Internet Evolution’s ThinkerNet, a ‘moderated blogosphere of internet experts’ (yikes!), a few weeks ago, and today it has been published.  Please go along and post many interesting comments on ‘My Digital Evolution in Fiction’.

Line of Influence and Flight Paths

17 March 2009 in Flight Paths | Comments (0)

flightpaths_logo_300dpismallJeremy Hight is currently curating an online exhibition where he is asking six artists to include a work of their own, plus a choice of works that have influenced them or that they, in turn, have perhaps influenced. He’s asked me to be one of the six artists; in turn I’ve asked Caitlin Fisher, Christine Wilks, and Renee Turner if we can include works by them.  I’ll post more information when I have it.

The exhibition kicks off shortly with the first featured artist - Vuk Cosic.  One month after that I’ll follow; my plan is for this to coincide with a relaunch of ‘Flight Paths’, based on the five short pieces, or plot hotpoints, that Chris and I have been working on for a while now. Four of these pieces are nearly finished; we are working on the fifth this week.

‘Flight Paths’ has been pretty much dormant since Christmas, and it will be good to get it back on track once again.

Waving at the Gardener

12 March 2009 in | Comments (0)

waving_at_the_gardener2009 sees the publication of two books for me, my novel, The Mistress of Nothing, and the Asham Award anthology, Waving at the Gardener.  I’ve been associated with the Asham Award for a number of years now, and this will be the fourth story anthology I’ve edited for them.  The amazing thing is that the quality and standard of the stories has grown every year (every two years, in fact, as the competition is biannual).

From hundreds of submitted stories, twelve winners are chosen; these are published in the anthology alongside four commissioned stories from established writers.  I get to edit the stories, commissioned and winning, which means I read the stories and send the writers a set of comments and feedback for them to reject or accept.  Some stories need more editing than others, but this year all the stories are really good, with a fascinating tranche of older women writers emerging.

I finished editing the collection today!  Bloomsbury will publish in September.

Inanimate Alice and British Council

9 March 2009 in Inanimate Alice Rising Stars | Comments (0)

The British Council have begun recommending ‘Inanimate Alice’ for teachers of English in some countries - it’s up on their website where you can rate it according to how useful you find it as a teaching tool:

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