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Thinking out loud about space and memory

I’m incubating potential topics for the paper abstract I’m planning on submitting for the Analogous Spaces conference. I want to send something in for the session on spatial analogies for memory, so, by way of making myself write some of this stuff out, I’m posting about it. (Brain-dump follows. You’ve been warned.) Among other things, […]

Quick Zotero review

I’ve been planning a post on Zotero for ages. Today I was using it to speed up part of a work project and remembered several things I wanted to say about it. So here are some thoughts about why I like it so much. Zotero is a citation-management tool, like RefWorks or EndNote. It’s a […]

Story scenario, free to good home

I have an idea for a short story, but if I wrote it, it would probably turn out as a really lame ripoff of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Plus I can’t think of a plot. So I’m hereby offering it up to anyone who wants to have a go at it, if anyone reading this is […]

If dissertations were software

In my systems analysis class this week, we learned about the differences between various models for software development, and we talked a bit about the circumstances under which you might choose one model or another. For instance: the waterfall model, in which the programmers and everyone else involved in the project move through a series […]

Language games

Link du jour: Language Is A Virus, a compendium of poem-generating (and prose-generating) games. Found via the sidebar at Say Something Wonderful. I’ve been having trouble starting any new writing projects of late, and I can already see myself trying many of these experiments. For instance, these, from Bernadette Mayer’s 82 Writing Experiments: 30. Structure […]

Shameless boasting

Io sono quel gran medico, dottore enciclopedico chiamato Dulcamara, la cui virtù preclara e i portenti infiniti son noti in tutto il mondo… e in altri siti. [I am the great physician, the walking encyclopedia, Doctor Dulcamara; my skill is famous, and my boundless marvels are known all over the world … and in other […]


Every year, I forget that November is National Novel Writing Month, and then remember, too late, when people start talking about it. But this year, I’m writing it down in my calendar to remember for next year. Maybe then I’ll actually write that historical spy novel about itinerant musicians. Then again: today, waiting for the […]

Anecdote recounted in lieu of getting real writing done

It’s a Saturday afternoon and I’m sitting at my office desk working on this article I’ve been writing.* (I can’t seem to make myself work on it at home, and if I need to track down a citation at the last minute, the stacks are a five-second walk away — one of the many advantages […]

River algorithms and the essay

Via Arts & Letters Daily, a long essay in praise of the essay form in its circuitous truth-seeking glory, from which this struck me: The Meander (aka Menderes) is a river in Turkey. As you might expect, it winds all over the place. But it doesn’t do this out of frivolity. The path it has […]

Intrigue! Suspense! Protestant tracts! Wind instruments!

Years ago, as a bookish teenager, I was prone to periodic research obsessions: I’d get interested in a given topic and then read everything I could find on that topic. (I still do that, come to think of it.) My big research obsession at age seventeen was the theater of the English Restoration — the […]