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Monday, 6 February 2023

Creating My Website: Homepage

 I opened Wix and I chose a template for my subject area, Photography.  I liked this template as it was clean with a single image. 




I then changed the text on the homepage by double clicking on the text and clicking 'edit text' and then used the dialog pop up box to change the font which i changed to Rozha One font and I used all capital bold letter for my name



I added text by clicking on the plus button at the top of the left hand menu and then clicking on text and added 'heading' and then I used the move tool to move the text box in place and then I double clicked to write on this and change to the same font as my name for the title on the homepage. 


I then sourced and image Pixabay and I clicked on the image on my homepage and then clicked on manage media and this opened the dialog box as below.  I then clicked on the blue 'Add Media button on the box and then I clicked on upload from my computer. 


After uploading the image to the galley, I clicked on the right hand menus 'crop and edit' and then clicked on 'Filters' and I used a Black and white filter and then I saved the image and added to the wix gallwery for the haomepage




I clicked on 'Preview to checked what it looked like - I did not like the slide gallery and will change this to a single image.




I then wanted to change the navigation menu so I click don the third icon down on the left hand side menu and clicked on Pages, I then deleted all pages I did not need and so I ended up with four pages I needed, Home, Portfolio, About and Contact page.  I then clicked on 'Save in the top right hand corner to ensure all my changed were saved correctly. I then previewed again and checked all the pages correctly and that the site was starting to look how I wanted it to in terms of the design.


I then changed my copyright to my own and the correct year by clicking into the text in the footer.  I checked then that it appeared on all pages and saved this to ensure my copyright always appeared



The last change I have made for my homepage, just for the moment, is changed the section background.  I right clicked on the section and then' 'change background'  I then clicked on 'colour' and changed this to the light grey and then saved this again 


My final completed design for today looks like this in preview



I am really happy about this design I think the grey and white colours work well and the font looks right on the site.  The image has impact and although this still needs work it is a great start to my website. 

Analysis: Mil Millington - Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About

 I wanted to write about Mil Millington as his story are also set in a university and are aimed at the same readers that I intend to capture with my own stories 



Things my girlfriend and I have argued about by Mil Millington (2011)

I chose this story to begin with as this story reflected somewhat the Story of Milk who also worked in a low-level job and whose life is not going well, Millington has a girlfriend who is German and there is the culture clash and in my own story Milk is Snglish and Honey is American, therefore, I wanted to look at the use of language and how this story has been written to inform my own work here.

I will begin by looking at a little extract here from Millington: 

'Nothing keeps a relationship on its toes so much as lively debate. Fortunate, then, that my girlfriend and I agree on absolutely nothing. At all.

Combine utter, polar disagreement on everything, ever, with the fact that I am a text-book Only Child, and she is a violent psychopath, and we're warming up. Then factor in my being English while she is German, which not only makes each one of us personally and absolutely responsible for the history, and the social and cultural mores of our respective countries, but also opens up a whole field of sub-arguments grounded in grammatical and semantic disputes and, well, just try saying anything and walking away.' (Millington M thingsmygirlfriendandihavearguedabout.com)

This is the beginning on the webpage (a weirdly terrible page, which I am assuming is meant to be like this as a joke*) I am referring to this only because my Millington books are happily sitting on my bookshelf at home and so I cannot reach out to quote from there at this present moment when I am sitting at my work, at my desk in my awful tin box of a building that has escaped being condemned several times.

t the beginning of the text note that it starts with a hook that set the tone for the writing, in two lines we know that he and his girlfriend argue. This is then strengthened by the next sentence, with the use of adjectives strengthening the writer's first person point of view. Then by using hyperbole ' she is a violent psychopath' works well to get the reader's attention, to get the reader to take the writer of the story's point of view, and to ensure they read on...more interesting the writer then states they are both responsible for their own countries history which is something that you discover upon speaking to those from another place that you discuss the differences and similarities and then find yourself explaining a strange idiomatic practice of your country as it really doesn't make much sense.  

the text goes on to listing items of annoyance..

'Examples? Okey-dokey. We have argued about:
Ahhhhhhhh

The way one should cut a Kiwi Fruit in half (along its length or across the middle).

Leaving the kitchen door open (three times a day that one, minimum).

The best way to hang up washing.

Those little toothpaste speckles you make when you brush your teeth in front of the mirror.

I eat two-fingered Kit-Kats like I'd eat any other chocolate bars of that size, i.e., without feeling the need to snap them into two individual fingers first. Margret accused me of doing this, 'deliberately to annoy her'.

Which way - the distances were identical - to drive round a circular bypass (this resulted in her kicking me in the head from the back seat as I drove along).

The amount of time I spend on the computer. (OK, fair enough.)' (Millington M thingsmygirlfriendandihavearguedabout.com)

This is a list which is devices that you can use in a story but it has to be interesting so here there is a description - the item on toothpaste refers to something that happened when brushing your teeth the majority of people can relate to this as this immediately brings to mind.  Throughout the writing uses similarities and the comfort of British humour and mannerisms to tell a story - the website is about himself and his girlfriend arguing however the book as Robinson point out is 'At thingsmygirlfriendandihavearguedabout.com, Millington details the ludicrous, colorful fights between himself and Margret, a German woman with whom he's had a longstanding relationship and two children. His novel features a similar couple–Pel and Ursula–who have similar fights, and it employs some of the same wry, dry, despairing, quintessentially British humor, but otherwise it's a separate entity whose title just happens to trade on Millington's small share of Internet fame.' (Robinson, 2003)

Millington does use humour, wit, and hyperbole throughout but he also tells a good story and created characters that makes the reader want more - this is what makes this book work and in my own story I have been working on the characters for some time but I do need to make the writing stand out much more to make this story compelling enough.  

I will be studying the text and use of language here further but mostly I will redraft and reraft again until I believe the words on my own pages are compelling. 


*;Things My Girlfriend And I Have Argued About, is a carryover from his hilarious (and hilariously ugly) cult web site. (Robinson, 2003)

References

Millington, M. (no date) Things my girlfriend and I have argued about. Available at: http://www.thingsmygirlfriendandihavearguedabout.com/ (Accessed: February 6, 2023). 

Millington, M. (2001) Things my girlfriend and I argue about, The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2001/apr/21/familyandrelationships1 (Accessed: February 6, 2023). 

Robinson, T. (2003) Mil Millington: Things my girlfriend and I have argued about: A novel, The A.V. Club. The A.V. Club. Available at: https://www.avclub.com/mil-millington-things-my-girlfriend-and-i-have-argued-1798198231 (Accessed: February 6, 2023). 

Chapbook: Timed Writing Exercise - The Story of Honey Chapter Two

Chapter Two: Professor Zimmerman

Honey, dressed in his best smart grey flannel trousers and his favourite white shirt, stood nervously outside Professor Zimmerman's office.  He resided in an annex of Bearback University that specialised in the Liberal Arts.  Honey suspected that the university had hidden the professor in this back corner as they felt slightly embarrassed by his presence in the main corridors.  Zimmerman was a middle-aged man of around 50 who dressed as if it were still the 1890s rather than the 2000s, he often wore a maroon worsted fitted velvet jacket with tails that flew behind him as he walked.  Zimmerman had quick little steps that sometimes made him look like he was floating along the corridors with his slight frame and long mop of grey/brown hair that looked as if it had never seen a comb.  Honey was wondering exactly what Zimmermann had in mind today when the door swung open and Zimmerman's voiced chimed out 'Ahh Honey Devlin, how wonderful, come in, come in'  The professor threw himself behind his desk and moved a large pile of books out the way so that he could actually see Honey on the other side. 'So Mr Devlin, what marvellous ideas do you bring me today, I do hope St Jude has been treating you well'.  The professor knew that St Jude was his pet subject and he had already been locating obscure documents for his thesis.  'Professor Zimmermann I wondered if I had permission to go to England to study this St Jude's church, I understand the monks there are most unusual and they have ancient documents dating back centuries, I know this trip would really get to the heart of what I want to explore here.'  Zimmerman laughed, 'Yes, the monks are indeed most unusual and I have personally been speaking to Matt the Monk, to discuss the situation.  I have very good news he has offered you a room in the monastery attached to the church and access to the documents you are referring to.'  Honey's eys lit up, this was fantasic new, 'Well this is great, I was hoping to go as soon as possible... .. I ' Honey stammered as he was embarrassed that now he would have to discuss the financial position he was in frankly otherwise his whole plan would go terribly wrong. 


This is the beginning of Chapter Two - it does need work and development, as does Chapter One and I also need to research further as I will be using Saint Jude and I want to ensure accuracy in this area.  I will also be researching catholic monasteries and the different orders to ensure that this also is correct in the story 




Friday, 3 February 2023

The Chapbook: Planning


What is your final idea?  Please explain in two sentences the theme and the form your writing will take.

I will be creating 'The Story of Honey' which is the other half of 'The Story of Milk' I created last year.  Honey is an American PhD student studying St Jude and is about to embark on a trip to England to research the Saint and the impossible!

The form of the writing will be prose/short story and I am aiming to create three chapters as I did with 'The Story of Milk' 

Considering the form, how do you intend to layout your book pages?

I will use text and image throughout and it will be in three chapters - the images will be my own and stock images (copyright free)

How many pages do you expect there will be?

Around 40 pages 

Are you going to use images?  Are these your own images (illustrations/photographs) or copyright free images that you will source?  

Yes, as above a mixture of my own and copyright free images 

What is the plan of your time and how much you will need to spend on this?

Remember writing is something that you will need time and concentration without disturbance - you must make sure that you plan time to do this.

I plan on spending 16 hours over two weeks on the book and adding this to my blog with research 

What do you imagine the final book will look like?  

I imagine it will be a standard small book size with a hard cover, I would like to create this on Blurb 

Have you considered the cover page/contents page/back cover with blurb?

Yes I will be using Blurb software and I will use Photoshop to create the cover page and to quality check the photographs that I use - they will all be photographs not illustrations to mirror my first book

Drafting and redrafting will need to be done?  Who would you get to proofread your work?

I will use a spelling and grammar checker and I will get my partner to check my book for errors before final publication 


The target market for my book is millennial as they are the largest market and consume book hard copy and digital books so they can be reached in many ways through advertising and online and physical bookshops 

Monday, 30 January 2023

Creative Writing Project: Generating Ideas

 For the next two weeks we will be creating a chapbook, which a small cheap book that was popular between the 17th and 19th centuries in Great Britain, was then repopularised by the Dadists in the 1920s and now artists and writers use them and can easily create small hardback and digital books for sale.



I wanted to use this time to write the other half of my story that I began in the Book of Lost Things

My original story was called the Story of Milk and I wanted to write The Story of Honey as a mirror and connecting story - I actually began this last year but only briefly worked on it so I wanted to go back to this and start again so that I could eventually have the completed version of the Story of Milk and Honey 

I created an ideas generation piece which you can view here

I will start to draft out my first chapter over the next couple of days as the Story of Honey will begin in a bar in America.  I created a first draft of Chapter One previously  - this is the direction I do think I would like to take. 




Creative Writing Exercise 1

 Disgust


Melanie closed her eyes for a second and was thinking about a perfect hotel room with crisp white clean sheets on a bed that smelt of flowers and had chocolates on the pillow when you arrive.  The bathroom would be fresh and white with fluffy, sumptuous towels that were huge and you could wrap around yourself after a lovely hot bubble bath.   As she opened her eyes from her brief reverie Melanie was confronted horribly by the reality of her real life.  Melanie was a third year student at a low level university in the Midlands, she lived in student accommodation a Victorian terraced house (probably built for industrial textile workers) where she shared a living room and kitchen with three other students who unfortunately seemed to share the same attitude to house cleanliness and hygiene as she did, I suppose at least they had that in common.  The upshot of this, as she opened her eyes was the first thing that she saw was a pile of plates, cups and cutlery that had built up over several weeks that were covered in half eaten, now rotting food and cups filled with congealed drinks that now all looked brown, disgusting and smelt like milk that had gone off and made you want to hurl.  As she turned her head to take in the rest of the room the bed had, what were once pretty pink covers with a Japanese flower pattern, now they were a slightly yellowed, nicotine, coffee, and other unidentifiable green stained mess that had not seen a washing machine in at least a month.   Melanie looked at the the floor that was covered with mostly her dirty clothes, underwear was hanging on the radiator and was worn and now starting to look grey and very tatty, there was a desk but mostly it was covered with make up and hair crap.  Underneath this vile mess she assumed her laptop was living, not that she had opened this or really done any university work recently that she could remember.  This small, shabby student room certainly reflected Melanie's state of mind a dirty mess that is disorganised and seemed to champion chaos uber alles (as Nietzsche might have said), why she had chosen to study Philosophy was also a mystery as this had certainly sent her spinning into despair.

Sunday, 29 January 2023

Tokyo Compression: Michael Wolf

 As we have been studying urban photography, one of the photographers that we looked at in class was Micheal Wolf, we looked at the Architecture of Density (2014) this piece examined through the photograph; 'the structural urban fabric of the city of Hong Kong is one of the most astonishingly condensed, populated and vertical in the world, propelling its edifices soaring into the sky to contend with the lack of lateral space' (designboom, 2015)  These images really explored the idea of living claustrophobically close to others and when I was out taking pictures I looked for images that might have hints of this in Leicester to include in my own work however Leicester although it has quite a high-density population with 4,494 people per kilometer (Leicester Population 2023) in Hong Kong (as below) it is 7140 per kilometer. (Hong Kong Population Live 2023)

Micheal Wolf (2014) Architecture of Density

Considering further the work on Micheal Wolf I will explore the work in his project Tokyo Compression (2010) these images were; 'were photographed at Shimo-Kitazawa station in Tokyo over a four-year period.' (Flowers Gallery 2017) the images were all taken through the small glass windows of the subway train framing within the frame the subjects of this 'subsurface hell' (LensCulture, 2015)


In this image the woman's face presses against the glass, her hair is stuck to the condensation on the window, and she has her eyes closed making it look as if she could be dead or maybe just trying to block out the horror.  A woman trapped in this has many implications for her physical and mental health, such close proximity to others pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable to anyone, and as a woman has the potential to be even worse if standing close to the wrong man.   Consider also that this image taken by Wolf is voyeuristic, not only is she experiencing the hell of this train she is also being photographed from the outside and now we stare at her, taking in her suffering and pain, Artsy states that;'voyeurism has emerged as a central theme of Wolf’s works.' (Artsy:2010) We are now in collusion with the photographer staring into the painful beauty of this shot, the woman leans her head to the side of the image which gives the shot an asymmetry that makes it even more pleasing to look at.  The water of the condensation gives it a soft focus look and the button the outside to press which she cannot reach leaving her forever, for eternity, trapped in the glass.  Araki stated of his subjects that they came to him to be 'murdered' meaning that the women wanted to be trapped in the photographic image which Araki considered to be death, however, Araki's subjects were willing and complaint and wanted people to see them in their erotic state, Wolf's subjects are in public, trapped and not necessarily willing as some of the images show..

 
While this man was clearly angry, in most of the images the subjects were too beat or preoccupied to notice the photographer or care about the picture.  This series was praised highly by Martin Parr and caused a sensation, there are four volumes of these photographs by Micheal Wolf clearly striking a chord with the public, the connection people feel to these images is clear as the people framed in the windows have resonance all over the over-populated world, we are becoming more, living longer, using resources and therefore more and more we are compressed into the small spaces on the surface of the earth. I will end on the words of Christain Schule; 

'Nowhere do we come closer, involuntarily, to our neighbour than in the underground. The underground is a conspiratorial venue for human excesses: the enforced compression of anxiety, sorrow, pain, madness and fury. In the realm of the soulless underground, the suburban metro represents the ultimate test for today’s city-dweller, the place where the crucial focus of his inescapable anxieties, constraints, neuroses, desires and hopes is revealed.' (Flowers Gallery 2017)

References

designboom, nina azzarello I. (2015) Michael Wolf photographs the architecture of density, designboom. Available at: https://www.designboom.com/art/michael-wolf-photographs-the-architecture-of-density-01-16-2014/ (Accessed: January 27, 2023). 

Hong Kong population (live) (no date) Worldometer. Available at: https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/china-hong-kong-sar-population/(Accessed: January 27, 2023). 

Leicester Population 2023 (no date) Leicester population 2023. Available at: https://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/leicester-population (Accessed: January 27, 2023). 

Michael Wolf (2017) Flowers Gallery. Available at: https://www.flowersgallery.com/artists/173-michael-wolf/ (Accessed: January 27, 2023). 

LensCulture, M.W.| (2015) Tokyo Compression - photographs by Michael Wolf, LensCulture. Available at: https://www.lensculture.com/articles/michael-wolf-tokyo-compression (Accessed: January 27, 2023). 

Araki. N (1997) Tokyo Lucky Hole, Benedikt Taschen Verlag, Koln

Michael Wolf (1954-2019): Tokyo compression #9 (2010): Available for sale (2010) Artsy. Available at: https://www.artsy.net/artwork/michael-wolf-1954-2019-tokyo-compression-number-9 (Accessed: January 29, 2023).