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what surface?


rumisong
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what is the surface you write your poems on? when they are works in progress, or when they first come to you? (mostly, I mean)

 

is it the keyboard?

and if it is, what is the program youre using to write?

notepad?

notepad2,

office,

openoffice,

word,

firefox?

 

or, are you one of those pen-and-paper types, for the most part- and then you come to the keyboard to post it here?

 

or, are you a white-board and marker type? (very rare, that!)

 

or the pencil on a piece of wood type?

 

or, are you one who whispers poetic lines into a tape/digital voice recorder, to be transcribed later (on occasion, I do this!)

 

would love to hear- do tell!

 

-------------------------------------

 

as for me- I do most all at the keyboard using firefox - ALL of my writing is now in html! (and proud of it ;))

 

it occurred to me that others might be insterested, and so I ask what you do now, but I DID have something I thought to offer as an idea...

 

do you know about the contenteditable="true" element in browsers?

 

well, you dont need to- Ill tell it to you simply--

 

I use a "blank sheet" in firefox, that I can type onto just like it were a word processor page- and without all the buttons and formating etc to distract, or the second window open on my desktop (Im a 2-window max sort of chap, myself)

 

heres how:

 

on your desktop (or anywhere on your computer you like), create a new text document- new.txt , lets say

 

open that text document with whatever editor you use normally, and paste in the following:

<html>
<head>
<title>Write a Poem</title>
</head>

<body contenteditable="true" style="

width: 888px;

height: 600px;

background-color: white;

margin: 33px;

font-size: 33px;

cursor: pointer;

">

</body>
</html>

then, close it, and change the file format from .txt to .html, and open that in your browser- NOW you have a blank page that you can just type onto 'til your hearts content!

 

[note: you can change the font-size or the cursor style or the background-color to whatever you like, these are my own settings, is all (yes, I have vision difficulties- 33px is pretty big, I know)]

 

"BUT" you ask, "how do I save such documents once Ive composed then?"

 

RIGHT! thats the right question!

 

and this is where using Firefox comes in. I save all of my poetry (and a TON of other stuff too) in an extension (addon) for Firefox called Scrapbook- there is a "capture page" and "capture selection" option in your right-click menu when you have Scrapbook installed, that saves any page, and which can be edited later on and saved again, and saved again and again...

 

oh, but HOW do you edit such a page after its been saved? (scrapbook cannot do this alone, you see...)

 

easy, with THIS bookmarklet ("Edit Page")- just click this bookmarklet once its on your bookmarks toolbar, and ANY webpage becomes an editable page, just like the one you just made (above.) Refresh the page, and it reverts back to a non-editable page- but IF its a Scrapbook-captured page, then you can SAVE the page after your session and before you close or refresh- that simple!

 

so, moral of this story:

ALL of my poetry is right here in my browser, and ready for editing and ready for quick publishing or email sending, or copy and past into a text area for posting into forums (where the local formatting will be done anyway, right? - you know, italics and font-colors, all of that bit...) I especially love that I can write in "Full Screen". with NO distractions, just a pure white page! (or sometimes I use the color #FFFFAA , a nice cream color- see THIS PAGE for my favorite color selector - which btw, can ALSO be saved 'onboard' and used whenever, with Scrapbook)

 

AND, scrapbook has a search function as well, where ANY word (or the title of the page) can be found in amongst the documents in your folders ("...where is that bit that I wrote with the word 'translucent' in it?" or "where was that page that I saved where goldenlangur told me not to quit my dayjob?") ... (oh, yes, of course- Scrapbook is meant to save web pages so they can be read for later when there is no web availability, OR just for posterity, OR to for blackmail purposes... "see Tony, I KNEW you deleted my comments, and NOW I have PROOF!")

 

oh, and THIS is good... think your browser might freeze up or crash? (FX 3.6 has been doing this recently, with my mousewheel as the suspected culprit) - and you just wrote out a long comment to one of Aleksandras wonderful creations, or asked Tink for some VERY specific details on a form youve been working on? just TWO clicks, and the text-box page and all of your preview text is saved for later deleting (or storing, if you choose) once youve finally hit the "Post New Topic" button- and the post is made, and SAFE... of course it will only save to some point of your writing and changes, but for instance in THIS post- in order to leave this text box Im writing in now to go get the links to Scrapbook and the bookmarklet and the color-page above, I was just a little bit "iffy" on the opening of more tabs etc, and so I saved the page (thus far) in scrapbook, and IF the browser crashed or froze, I would still have 88% of what I was writing saved and waiting for a post...THESE very words now, would not have been saved, but MOST of whats above was/is, JUST in case.... know-what-I-mean?

 

maybe you-all have neat tricks like this too, that someone may not know about, and would think to share- well, with all the writing that we do, and posting etc- it would be worth taking a time to tell us about them, and maybe someone might get something cool they didnt know about... this Im telling you about now comes in handy for me EVERY time I come here- obviously, and EVERY time on the web, actually- so I thought Id let you know about it...

 

Check it out, if you like... (Ill bet you ALL knew this already anyway, didnt you!)

 

but none the less, I HAVE really been curious, and would love to hear, what you all do and if youre loving the way it works out for you :) the craftsman's tools are themselves, a thing of beauty, no?

 

cheers

rs

 

 

PS, edited to add

 

width: 888px;

height: 600px;

 

would be helpful to add this in to code above, so that you can click anywhere on your page to start the cursor blinking the invitation to write or paste- edit these according to your screen size (mine being 1024 x 768 px)

Edited by rumisong
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EXPERIMENT (may make a bit of a liar out of me):

 

012.jpg

 

Ive decided to add a shortcut to notepad to the startup menu on my windows xp

 

'know why?

 

...so that now, each time I have to wait for my computer to boot up, at least notepad will be opened straight away - and Im going to resolve to start writing something/ANYthing for those couple of minutes it takes for the startup/reboot to settle down...

 

Ill report back how it goes in a few weeks time...

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Well, Rumisong, here I am to contemplate this fabulous topic. It's not at all redundant; the other topic digressed into some of the areas your topic has specialized in.

 

I myself am a fountain pen enthusiast. I'm a member at the Fountain Pen Network, though I'm not so active there these days. I try to do all my daily writing, no matter what it is, with one of my pens. It actually irritates me when I have to handle a ballpoint or some other type of writing stick, lol. But it does happen from time to time. Sometimes a fountain pen just isn't suitable for the task.

 

When it comes to my creative writing, I'll usually start out with my pen, on paper or in a notebook. Then, once I have the raw material and have decided to shape it into a poem, I'll enter it into one or several Wordpad documents. I can have several Wordpad documents open side by side. Of course, the copy and paste word processing features make it really easy to work efficiently. While my pens certainly don't help with the skill that's necessary for writing well, they do add some tactile pleasure to the task, and they seem to somehow foster creativity.

 

Thank you for the detailed information on how to use a blank computer page for text. This seems like a useful feature. I always like when there are more options. Thus far I have only had Wordpad (and Notepad, which I don't use) to work with. I'll take some time and see if I can get it working for me. (On second thought, maybe I'll have Alek test it for me, lol; she's faster and better with this stuff than I am.)

 

Thanks for a great topic. I'll move it to Literary Discussion. I think it belongs there.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Tony,

 

thanks for the response. This puts me in mind of when I was about ten, I had it in my mind that I was going to get my Mom a pen and pencil set made out of rosewood from the local Hallmark store (actually, at that time, Im sure they didnt have Hallmark stores like they did today- but gift shops or stationers that carried Hallmark.) I must have seen an ad for the line some six months beforehand, and actually started shopping for my mothers xmas present THAT far in advance (something never done before nor since.) By the time Xmas came around however, I found I didnt have the necessary dollars in the piggybank to put up, so she got something else instead (dont remember what.) But I have certainly been a sort of admirer of nice and different pens and or writing implements since that day- not however any sort of collector- also too, I can say, once having been a jeweler by trade, I found my admiration for them renewed. (Long way around to saying 'Cool! I can relate!')

 

I DO hear you saying that a ball point is nothing like a fountain pen- and Ive understood this sentiment can be strong amongst pen collectors- again, here: no such discernment... (no taste)

 

someday, the rest of us will surely learn to appreciate what you have known... I know...

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Well, I can remember when, in middle school, some of my classmates had those fat, orange ballpoints that had the four buttons, and the pen could write in black, red, blue, or green ink depending which button you pushed. I really wanted one, but never did get one.

 

As far as collecting pens goes, I only have four. I'm not collector -- many on the pen site have hundreds of pens -- rather I'm a user. Besides enjoying them for the beautiful, useful instruments that they are, I love the variety of colorful inks that are available for fountain pens and the fact that the hand doesn't get tired during extended periods of writing. One has to bear down quite hard with a ballpoint compared to when writing with a fountain pen.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Seems to me that a plain pencil and any paper surface should do. Until a poem is rife enough to be revised, any paper or space might be waste, and then the computer has to be the best medium to insure that any changes that do not , in a final analysis, fit the initial/original thought/concept/idea/need, can be undone. The plainer ballpoints (hexagonal in cross-section, like the old wood pencils) are OK in a pinch. My cursive is slanted , and it seems to me that it is not my hand but my soul that flows onto the paper, and the lighter writing utensil is preferable.

 

I am certain that our preferred style/medium is as individual as we are and do not feel like recommending any specific way. We might want to examine as what it is that we write about.

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Hi, Rumisong. I like what I've read here. These topics are very exciting.

 

As for me, writing is always something that comes from the soul, especially when it comes to writing poetry. That means that anything can be my writing surface, depending on where I am and what I have with me. Usually when I am away from my computer, I have a notebook and pen with me in my bag so I'll never miss out on capturing something that comes to my mind. I even keep a pen and paper next to me when I sleep.

 

I have funny story that goes along with that. One night in the dark, while sleeping I felt the urge to write. icon_smile.gif I just stretched my hand, took my pen, and started to write my poetry. The next morning when I looked to see what I had written during the night, I saw that there was nothing...only indentations on the paper here and there! blush.gif I didn't realize that my pen had run out of ink, and my poetry went nowhere. Of course, I never remembered what it was I had set out to write.

 

 

The other way I write is directly on my computer. But most of the time my writing surface is a notebook or a piece of paper. Here is a manuscript from my poem Tale - Cindarella and Odysseus:

 

Picture001.jpgPicture002.jpgPicture003.jpg

 

And Rumi, I will give it a try at your html suggestion, I'll let you know how I it make out. icon_smile.gif

 

Nice topic icon_smile.gif

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

I compose my poems in my head, because they start with some observation such as ' that stranger just smiled me as if he/she knew me and wanted to say hello but did not. I wonder why. And why does it make me feel better than I felt before that. Then, I go on thinking, 'how important are other people in enhancing my being alive' and the like.

 

More often than not I do nor have anything handy to write down the instantly formed idea, but, if I do, it certainly is not a typewriter or a computer keyboard. And I write longhand since I was about 5 ans find that what is in my mind flows down my arm, hand, fingers, pen or pencil down onto the paper as if it was a fluid, and I see the process as an anolg, not digital one.

 

I was, at one time, but am not now a good touch typist, probably because I like to shape the words I use. Being multi-lingual, I am anexcellent speller, by virtue of need, and actually look at the keyboard not the screen. Therefore, my typos are not the result of not knowing how to spell but of misstrokes, and I am not ever in ahurry, but love to shape words the wat they are in my mind and see the coming ones while I am typing the current ones.

 

Even when I do challenge or form poems such as are the bread and butter in workshops/classes on writing/poetry, I do not premediate what I write but do look in my mind for the kind of epiphany I describe above that then drives me to write a poem, story or essay.

 

I do the punctuation in my head as well, for, realistically, it is a part of shaping and isolating my thoughts. That is the only way I can make sure that my reader shares exactly my feelings, my attitudes and my beliefs and does not read into my poem something I have no desire or intent to share.

 

My drafts are hand-written, but I do not have to read the draft when typing. It is already in my memory and all I do is echo it.

 

Thus, I prefer rich text. It certainly is more direct and faster than doing html, (which requires the memorization and retreaval of 'codes' that are not part of the text or the mental process and it is time consuming to undo if you happen to make the wrong choice when automated as it is in this forum. The kind of production you speak of seems too counter-producyive, too detached, too mechanical and not sufficiently sensuous for artistic creation.

Edited by waxwings
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I compose my poems in my head ... I do the punctuation in my head as well, for, realistically, it is a part of shaping and isolating my thoughts. That is the only way I can make sure that my reader shares exactly my feelings, my attitudes and my beliefs and does not read into my poem something I have no desire or intent to share.

 

My drafts are hand-written, but I do not have to read the draft when typing. It is already in my memory and all I do is echo it.

Very, very interesting process, especially the part about doing the punctuation in your head and why.

 

Thus, I prefer rich text. It certainly is more direct and faster than doing html, (which requires the memorization and retreaval of 'codes' that are not part of the text or the mental process and it is time consuming to undo if you happen to make the wrong choice when automated as it is in this forum. The kind of production you speak of seems too counter-producyive, too detached, too mechanical and not sufficiently sensuous for artistic creation.

I usually use the standard editor, but this is a compelling reason to use the rich text editor. You are aware that the board has both types of editors, aren't you? I'm switching to rich text right now as I type this.

 

Tony :)

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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aw shucks,

 

I just saw that much of what I was asking was already addressed in the What are your quirks? Any flaws? thread...

 

well, the other info I was sharing with everyone is still its own thing- but I REALLY LOVED reading what everyone else does... more to go...

 

Your response is a great incentive to keep going. You can contribute by putting in your c5 into other discussions that seem to be dying on the wine.

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I compose my poems in my head ... I do the punctuation in my head as well, for, realistically, it is a part of shaping and isolating my thoughts. That is the only way I can make sure that my reader shares exactly my feelings, my attitudes and my beliefs and does not read into my poem something I have no desire or intent to share.

 

My drafts are hand-written, but I do not have to read the draft when typing. It is already in my memory and all I do is echo it.

Very, very interesting process, especially the part about doing the punctuation in your head and why.

 

Thus, I prefer rich text. It certainly is more direct and faster than doing html, (which requires the memorization and retreaval of 'codes' that are not part of the text or the mental process and it is time consuming to undo if you happen to make the wrong choice when automated as it is in this forum. The kind of production you speak of seems too counter-producyive, too detached, too mechanical and not sufficiently sensuous for artistic creation.

I usually use the standard editor, but this is a compelling reason to use the rich text editor. You are aware that the board has both types of editors, aren't you? I'm switching to rich text right now as I type this.

 

Tony :)

 

I tried to switch to the 'rich text' editor but did not get it as far as I can tell. What did I wrong or what must I do. Please advise.

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I tried to switch to the 'rich text' editor but did not get it as far as I can tell. What did I wrong or what must I do. Please advise.

Clicking the control with the red arrow pointing toward it will toggle back and forth between the standard and rich text editor. (Please click on the image below to see it.)

 

Tony

 

editor_toggle_control.JPG

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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