About the Issue: The Short Version
From format and from concept, the current issue of
BluePrintReview - #30 - is different from previous issues.
The title of it is "instan/ce(s)".
The issue is dedicated to series of works that explore the nature of moments - especially to current or previous creative online projects, especially daily online projects that cover a certain amount of time and explore a format / theme / place and focus on moments / the nature of moments.
There's more about the issue in the "Story of the Issue" directly below, which might be especially helpful if you are interested in creative online projects and / or wondered about the blue pause.
Thanks for your patience. The way from the previous issue to this one hasn't been exactly a straight road. Actually, this image might be more fitting to indicate the turns this issue took to arrive at this point:
The Story of the Issue
As told by the editor
In spring 2012, issue #29 of BluePrintReview went live: the "Diary of..." issue. It started with a series of evening sky photos from Thailand, and ended with notes from morning walks and a "Diary of a Girl's Legs".
Parallel to that, the Aotearoa Affair started: a collaborative web initiative organized by BlueFifth Review co-editor Michelle Elvy and by me. It connected European and New Zealand authors and artists through features and a series of blog carnivals, like this one: Crossings.
Shortly afterwards, a mail reached me: after joining the web project "100 Days of Summer" in 2011, would i be interested in co-hosting the event in 2012? I was sad when I wrote the "I'd love to, but unfortunately the timing won't work," and then added: "but I'd be happy to assist where i can, and look forward to the creative summer."
Meanwhile, a literary debate developed, on book reviews, and on indie books, which lead to literary round-tables and to the re-reading of reviews. Here's a blog post from August 2012:
on reviewing: Round-Table, On Reviews & Views, Re-Reading Reviews, How not to write a bad review & more
Writing on writing?
The debate brought the initial idea for #30: to change the focus for an issue, and to dedicate it to reading and writing - and to reviews. It already had a name, the "review / forward issue": an issue of collected reviews of indie books, combined with essays on reading and writing. And connected to that, a facebook group to spread reviews.
It sounded like a good idea: to have this review issue, and the creative space of the Aotearoa Affair and the 100 days of summer - with many BluePrintReview contributors joining one or both the projects at some point. Only that for once, the idea of a BluePrintReview issue didn't work out - there were more requests for reviewing all kinds of books than submissions. And in the end, it felt too complicated, too far from the experimental idea of BluePrintReview - instead of creation: writing about writing about writing.
What followed was the idea to create a "best of" issue, which also would seemingly fit with the issue number: #30. Best of 30. But where to start there - one piece of each issue? But really, how to pick the "best of"? And would anyone really want that, including me?
Or maybe, let it be 29?
Another thought that rose from the stuckness, and the new projects: maybe the dynamics of BluePrintReview had faded. And looking at it, with the layout and technical standard of the starting year, if continuing it all, it might make sense to shift all to a new platform anyway, with all those nice web features included, or?
A hundred days, a month, and 30 in 30
Meanwhile, the 100 days of summer had come to an end, and the Aotearoa Affair was reaching completion with "A View From Here". What followed was some island time under skies that also didn't unfold as expected (see: journey to Lanzarote).
And then, the new year. It started with 2 web initiatives: a Mindful Writing Month, and a 30 in 30 task. Like the 100 days, those project were web-based, open, and about shared creativity, in different group sizes and lengths, and with BluePrintReview contributors participating. Here's a brief overview:
100 Days of Summer: a time of shared daily creativity, organized via a facebook group. there is no official project page, but here's a half-way snapshot: 100days2012
Mindful Writing Month: an initiative that invited people all over the world to dedicate some time to daily mindful writing, organized by blog posts with comments + twitter + facebook. For an idea of it, visit: How to begin. small stone Day 1
30 in 30: a month of shared creative projects (photography, painting, poetry) - a blog based initiative connected through simple blog links, here's
a note and a collage: 30 in 30 - Patterns of January
The Dynamics of Daily Creation
One thing these projects have in common: they don't have "proper" starting pages with lists of works and lists of names. They are more about the doing itself, about the creativity brought by the group dynamic and vice versa. You could join the Mindful Writing Month with daily writing, and only sharing some single days. And in 30 in 30, there was no exact time frame - some participants still are working on completing their 30 series.
In fact, the task of daily creation that brought the energy that kept things going often made it difficult to keep track of things: talk about flow, and dynamic facebook pages.
That's how this collage happened, which was created out of the spur of the moment, but to some degree, without having an idea of it, was probably one of the starting points of the new issue #30:
100 das of summer, day 29
"i wished there was a button to tell facebook to stop re-sorting group posts all the time. but all the scrolling had a creative side effect: that's how this collage came together."
Another wish that surfaced every now and again: the wish for a button to stop time, to pause from the daily creation, to have time to reflect, to see how the single works connect.
So that's the idea of this issue: to explore the nature of moments, of daily creation, of viewpoints in time.
And while starting to work on it, it became obvious that another starting point to this issue already was included in issue #29, with 2 entries that have a different format already, and could as well belong to this new issue:
diary of a northeast thai sky
on my way to buy a morning paper
Another surprise: the layout. I basically looked for a starting image for the issue, created a first collage with blank fields for entries-to-come - and then the idea surfaced to have a collage-based layout. And with it, two realizations: it doesn't really need an all-new-platform to create something new. And: things take their own time.
Looking very forward to the moments to come.
Here's to time & to shared creativity ~