WillR reports that he saw the BBC-TV Blooker story last night. It’s online now (or for now). They did a cute trick with video effects that makes it look like you are seeing the series of interviews in a QT player on a large Mac OS X box. You may be, in fact. Well, almost — you can only watch the BBC stream in WinMedia or Real. Julie Powell, our Blooker winner is there, I am there, Russell Davies of Bacon, Egg, Chips & Beans, the anonymous Iraqi blogger (not Saleem Pax) and a rather confused editor from a traditional publisher in LA. WillR sends this link which didn’t work so well for me. I did a search on Blooker on the BBC site and found the video link in this context which worked fine for me.
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen
Julie Powell (Penguin) [and Little, Brown in hardback - pj]
Source blog blogs.salon.com/001399
[A great blook isn't a website shoveled onto paper. Julie and Julia successfully makes the transition and grows as it goes having learned from the blog readers. The deeply personal story here, the story of an obsession, leads us all to see what could be trival and indulgent as a personal and as it turns out communal art, an art of transformation and of conquest (of egg dishes and of selfdoubt). - pj]
[This blook too is about obcession and drive and community. The blook is printed and bound in the most environmentally friendly manner true to the last drop of ink to the higher goals for the writer. This attention to detail, to harmony inform the writing and the story telling while the self-reflective humor in the stories keep the blook from become preachy and sour. - pj]
[I am not a reader of the gothic, but this blook captivated me with its gusto, its invocation of a dark South both in mountains and in swamp. Priest can tell a tale and she can write a sentence that competes with the best out there. Stephen King should be very afraid. - pj]
Hackoff.com: An Historic Murder Mystery Set in the Internet Bubble and Rubble
Tom Evslin (dotHill Press)
Source blog www.hackoff.com
Comic books winner
Totally Boned: A Joe and Monkey Collection
Zach Miller (Boxcar Books – self-published through Lulu.com)
Source blog www.joeandmonkey.com
[I teach people about the same age as Joe. I thought this comic blook was a non-fiction documentary. The humor cuts to the bone. It's that true. That's why it hurts but you laugh. - pj]
Dinosaur Comics: Huge Eyes, Beaks, Intelligence, and Ambition
Ryan North (CatPrint)
Source blog www.qwantz.com
[A single set of illustrations manipulated into dozens of different stories by the words alone. The art, i mean the skill and imagination, dazzles me at every page turn. Everyone I hand this blook to is delighted and laughing. - pj]
On BBC with the Baghdad blogger, Salam Pax, and one of the Africa Fresh contributors, Gaynor Paynter, we talk about what makes a good blook and a good blog and their experience in blogging and blooking. Both have great things to say. Should run on Monday along with revealing the Blooker winners.
lulu’s Stephen Fraser is delighed to let us know that the Blooker gets a mention in today’s NYTimes Arts, Briefly column just after the section heading Da Vinci and the unstoppable Harry Potter:
Blogs, including the diary of a prostitute and a guide to Britain’s best greasy-spoon cafes, are on the short list of 16 for the inaugural Lulu Blooker Prize, to be announced on Monday, the BBC reported. Sponsored by the self-publishing site Lulu, the Blooker Prize honors blooks, or books from blogs, published in English anywhere in the world.
I note that the NYTimes remains a provincial paper, not doing original Blooker reporting but merely disgesting the news from the motherland (via BBC). The result is that great American finalists don’t get a mention but blooks on bad British habits get the bang.
As soon as I got in the cab here in Philly, my cell sang the unknown caller song. It was a reporter for USA Today (she’s in SFO) wanting a Blooker interview. She drove around SFO and I rode into Philly doing a tape. Lord
knows what was said, but be assured that the winners were not announced — that’s for Monday afterwhich all this Blookerness may subside.
Many folks are expecting a Blooker Prize Ceremony, but if there is one no one invited me. My tux hangs alone.
BBC Radio tomorrow early on the same subject (this one will run on Monday and may mention the winners).
Open Source and Developing Nations tomorrow at 9 am.
Dinner with the smart folks from University of Pennsylvania and the other speakers.
Will be live taping an interview with Peter Shevlin of BBC (Radio) Outlook before my talk at U of Penn law which requires shifting gears between blooks and Open Source and Law. The BBC show will run on Monday — when the Blooker Prize winners are announced.
Also just finished an email interview with Lee Sze Yong of the Straits Times in Singapore — blooker of course. Should show in the Life! and LifeStyle section.
Just learned that Charles Edward Eaton has died at age 89. I’ve delighted in Eaton’s poetry for many years. His relaxed formalism and his subject matter which is at once refined and sensual has been not only a joy but a guide. I found his “Work of the Sun” online tonight which while it does not show his favorite form — long relaxed lines rhyming in surprising ways — demonstrates much of his pleasures (and ours).
The first stanza of The Work of the Sun:
Verlaine said the poem slowly rises like the sun,
Spreads over the landscape, a bird that hovers,
Moves on to find and bless a pair of lovers:
The work of the sun is never done.
The Wall Street Journal article on the Blooker Prize is out (and will be out in print tomorrow). Great coverage informed I think somewhat by the long phone call to Buenos Aires that I had with the author, Ian Mount, on Wednesday. Cory and I aren’t directly quoted or mentioned (only indirectly) which is okay.
I love that the Executive Editor of Little Brown says first what a hit “Julie and Julia” turned out to be, but then warns other editors and publishers away from blogs (the better to keep that resource to herself?):
Little, Brown Executive Editor Judy Clain, who acquired “Julie and Julia,” says she was amazed by the boost the book got from fans of the blog. “What we underestimated was how huge the audience was,” she says.
Still, not every blogger is a born author. “I don’t think a blog is a great place to look for new writers,” says Ms. Clain, “because there are so many, and so many aren’t very good.”
Blooker madness continues. After a morning at the doctor, I met up with the two person BBC-TV crew from DC and Stephen Fraser of lulu. We spent about 2 hours shooting in Carroll Hall’s Halls of Fame room. I got to be sitting in Charles Kuralt’s chair during at least part of it. Rozalia Hristova interviewed me about Blooks and the Blooker. Stephen ran out and got a copy of the Blooker overall winner (I can’t tell you what that is yet) as the show, News at 10, will run on or after the April 3rd Blooker winner announcement.
Afterwards, we all went to Bon’s Country Cookin’ where we introduced the BBCers to fried okra, fried green tomatoes, meatloaf, and hushpuppies.
During lunch, I had to walk off and take a call from Ian Mount of the Wall Street Journal. Also about the Blooker. Ian is down in Buenos Aires where they have no Wall Street. Ian’s article will run this upcoming Saturday.
I am trying not to get a standard Blooker rap, but it’s becoming unavoidable.
Is there no end to Blooker madness? Yes, on April 3 when we announce the winners. In the meantime, BBC-TV has picked up from the BBC Radio Five lead and is flying a crew down to interview me, in my role as judge, tomorrow.
The question is where to do the interview. In the lovely SILS Library? Outside if the weather holds? Or at Allen and Son BBQ? I’m leaning toward the last.
Dean Bowers suggests the Kuralt Learning Center, a great place. But the BBC-TV want — get this — my office “probably with the
blinds shut (for what the producer describes as a “cyberspace feel”).” This is why the French and Italians are known for high fashion and the Brits for bowlers.
Eric McHenry was paid to review Dave Smith’s decade’s worth of poems but he must have wanted badly to write a homage to Willam Matthews (in today’s NYTimes Book Review). In a seven paragraph review of Smith’s Little Boats, Unsalvaged: Poems, 1992-2004, Matthews and his poetry are discussed (occassionally with Smith’s poetry) in four. Hell, Robert Frost gets his own full paragraph. Even Stanley Plumley gets a few sentences. That doesn’t leave much for Smith who suffers in comparison to both Frost and Matthews. Smith doesn’t even get the opening and closing paragraphs — those are for Matthews. The second paragraph is about Smith writing about Matthews. The penultimate, Frost used to find fault in the style of the unnamed Smith.
Now I too miss Bill Matthews and with others I regret his too early death in 1997. But does he need to rise from the grave to show us what Smith lacks? And doesn’t Smith deserve more that one paragraph dedicated to him in a review like this?
Reading a review that is too much about Matthews as a basketball opponent and not enough about Smith as a poet — I call foul.
James Boyle of Duke Law’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain writes to remind us that Duke won the ACC Championship (after having lost their last regular season game to UNC) and that the Center’s Bound by Law comix book is now available:
Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain has just released “BOUND BY LAW?” – a comic book on copyright and creativity — specifically, documentary film. It is being published today
–March 15 under a Creative Commons License. The comic, by Keith Aoki, James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins explores the benefits of copyright in a digital age, but also the threats to cultural history
posed by a permissions culture, and the erosion of fair useand the public domain. You can read or download the whole thing for free or buy hard copies (*on soft paper) from Amazon.
Will a spiky-haired, camera-toting super-heroine… restore decency and common sense to the world of creative endeavor? -Paul Bonner, The Herald-Sun Bound By Law lays out a sparkling, witty, moving and informative story about how the eroded public domain has made documentary filmmaking into a minefield. -Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.net
Am talking with Rhod Sharp instead of Chris Vallance. I’m in DC which makes reading the Dada Alphabet subtitled An Absurdist Illustrated Primer extremely appropriate. Rhod asks about Cheeseburger Brown whose book, Simon of Space, didn’t make the shortlist. I am sad that Cheeseburger and Mimi Smartypants didn’t make the cut. He is excited by Egg Bacon Chips and Beans. We get off track when I mention that the Beans should be replaced by Grits. He is down on grits not having had them properly prepared. I say Grits are polenta before the Italians got hold of them. He’s only had soupy white grits, poor fellow. Back to Blooker. I mention several food related blooks, Julie and Julia, EBCandB, Biodiesel Power. He asks if the blooks have been edited. Most have that I’ve read so far. There are a couple of daunting fatties there tho. Unmemorable chatter and we’re done. Be back in April.
I have a pile of blooks to read now (they came Friday but I couldn’t tell you til now). The list is here on the Blooker Blog. I’ll say that I’ve read through three blooks over the weekend and that two of those were exceptional and not in a genre that I usually read. I glanced through all the others and there are some very very good blooks there.