Discovering micro narrative

micro narrative - the collector blog
The Dinosaur – one of the shortest stories ever

“When he awoke, the dinosaur was still there.”

Believe it or not, that’s one of the world’s shortest stories.

It’s titled The Dinosaur and belongs to Augusto Monterroso (December 21, 1921 – February 7, 2003) a Honduran writer, known for his humorous and ironical style in his work.

When it comes to writing, one tends to think that it’s necessary to count on plenty resources to find inspiration. That stories need to be long in order to deliver meaning.

Take another look at the first line of this blog post. You’ll see that all you need is a powerful idea to welcome as many interpretations as the universe has.

Flash fiction, a style of fictional literature characterized by its brevity, starts showing more presence on the world wide web through sites like Flash Fiction Online and Flash Fiction Magazine.

Micro narrative leads the way to compiling ideas for a longer composition. Sometimes, as a writer, you find yourself jotting down random thoughts without any connection between themselves. This literary style may put them all together.

Another tool that may you help with micro narrative is Twitter. You have 140 characters to tell a story. Great way to train your mind to express in a few words.

Play with ideas and possibilities. Starting small can bring some great results.

Staying fearless in a dangerous time

staying fearless - the collector blog
Journalists will always have stories to tell.

Canadian journalists are going through difficult times in terms of employement.

Yesterday, Postmedia, Canada’s largest publisher of newspapers, cut 90 jobs as a result of merging newsrooms in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa. Affected journalists have been sharing their thoughts on Twitter.

From the business perspective, this kind of move might be viewed as a ‘smart’ way of operating newspapers under one editorial team. Taking care of budgets in the middle of a delicate economy might make sense.

In reality, it’s not a smart move at all from the content perspective.

Less staff will not be able to sell more stories. Solid teams are required to report relevant information, gain credibility and, hence, keep generating revenue. The industry depends on journalists to make all these things happen.

Journalists are the essence of the business, and they’re constantly leaving the newsrooms due to cuts.

True. Postmedia must pay debts right when the Canadian dollar is struggling; therefore, it costs more money to pay. Burning question: why is it smarter to fire 90 people than cut executives who desperately need $1M in bonuses?

On Nov. 27, 2015, CBC news published an article that reported details on those bonuses. Postmedia’s priorities and visions are clearly stated: $400,000 for CEO Paul Godfrey and $25,000 for National Post president Gordon Fisher. They both made the company’s acquisition of the Sun possible. That’s why they deserved a prize.

How about storytelling? Isn’t that the core of the business?

Today, one of my instructors at SAIT asked us, journalism students, to stay optimistic. He said that we need to keep developping skills in order to deal with difficult times. No doubt that it’s important to stay fearless.

My thoughts are with the talented journalists that were affected. Remember, dear colleagues, readers will always have an appetite for stories well told.

Alice

 

Photo credit: Gabriele Forcina at unsplash.com

 

Pause

taking a break - the collector blog
Taking a break

I am taking a trip tomorrow.

I’m going to Mexico.

I’ll be back within two weeks, and I won’t be able to update during that time.

No worries, there will be more ideas and more stories to tell in 2016.

Happy holidays!

Alice

Photo credit: Danist Soh at unsplash.com

A story of art and entrepreneurship

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Jack Giesen – Calgarian artist, illustrator and designer

Jack Giesen, 26, is a Calgarian artist, illustrator and designer of indie science fiction and fantasy book covers. She has taken all of her talents to maximize their potential through entrepreneurship. Her parents were her first point of reference in aiming for an independent career, and her grandma inspired her to get into the creative world.

As for her name, it is what it is: Jack. Not Jacqueline.

The first steps

 She grew up in Saskatchewan and lived there until she graduated from high school. Because she was in a small town, she had to travel to a city on the weekends in order to take art classes.

“As soon as I graduated [high school], I was ready to go,” said Giesen. She recalls coming to Calgary in 2005 to take a pre-college program at The Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD). Then, she built a portfolio that was sent to several art schools. She got accepted to ACAD and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD).

Giesen decided to fly to Nova Scotia and begin a new journey far from the town where she grew up, which she didn’t like much. However, after a couple of years in that new program, she decided to leave.

“I left because they didn’t really teach any of the business side. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do afterwards, and I also wanted to run my own business,” she admitted.

So she went home and then returned to Calgary to work in the marketing and public relations field. Later on, she came across Royal Roads, a university in Victoria, B.C., where she is about to complete a bachelor in professional communications.

Read More »

Christmas spirit

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Zoolights – Calgary Zoo

I confess I haven’t felt the Christmas spirit in a while.

I don’t know. Other situations seem to be more powerful than taking the time to feel that spirit.

This year, the season is different.

It’s probably the first time that I’m excited about Christmas because I feel I’m part of new traditions.

I confirmed that at the Zoolights in the Calgary Zoo. I’m so grateful for being able to perceive all these new vibes in the air.

I’m loving every second of it.

 

What’s next for Calgary?

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Ken King talking about CalgaryNEXT

 

Last Tuesday I attended a press conference by Ken King, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Calgary Flames.

He came to SAIT Polytechnic to talk about the project CalgaryNEXT.

The objective of this project consists of a globally recognized centrepiece that will transform the way Calgarians live, work and play. At the same time, it will be a destination for world class events.

CalgaryNEXT is yet to be approved. King is explaining the plan to different publics including citizens, the government and companies. He’s convinced that this is the right time to propose this kind of project and make it a reality.

In that aspect, I admire his enthusiasm. It’s true that, right now, the economy crisis is critical in the province. It seems like there’s other issues with higher priority; however, in the long term, a project like this can bring great benefits in terms of employment, tourism and entertainment.

I’m curious to see how the project progresses.

 

Sunday readings: creative work

Sunday readings - creative work - the collector blog
Read something fun on Sunday

Sundays are meant to be peaceful.

And what’s more peaceful than reading?

Here’s three articles related to creative work that may inspire you keep creating.

25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer
Posted on 99u.com

Sit down and start writing. Find your routine. Get through that first draft…these are some suggestions that famous writers provide on this article.

Go ahead and check them. Once you’re done, you’ll be motivated to get your work done. Trust me.

The Five Things Book reveals over 100 creative people’s five favourite things
Posted on creativeboom.com

Think about the amazing things you surround yourself with. There’s a book that talks about that and it’s titled “The Five Things Book.”

This article describes its purpose and what results came after asking people from all over the world to list their favourite items.

It’s certainly an interesting exercise to understand creative minds better.

“Note and Vote”: How Google Ventures Avoids Groupthink In Meetings
Posted on fastcodesign.com

Sometimes brainstorming does not provide the best results when it comes to thinking in groups at a meeting.

In this article, the Google Ventures design team shares a hack that skips the worst parts of groupthink. If you plan to work in a creative field or are already in it, click on the link and take some notes. It’s brilliant.

 

Happy reading 🙂

Photo Credit: Anna Demianenko at unsplash.com