Robert (gurdonark) wrote,


Last night the combination of the energy burst after the late night movie and the drafting of the first few posts of the gurdondark LJ somehow made the night pass such that I got relatively little sleep. My wife had had trouble sleeping, too, so we both stayed in a bit later this morning than we might otherwise have done. Still, we headed on up the road to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, where we hiked around a bit among blooming jonquils, under-story small flowering magnolia trees, and a Japanese garden featuring a pond with hundreds of huge koi. When I think of Japanese gardens, I tend to think of the ones in Los Angeles or Portland, which offer a climate conducive to some of the traditional Japanese Garden planting elements. Fort Worth, by contrast, I would sign up as a better place for a "Manchurian tundra garden" or for an "Australian outback river delta" garden. But the Japanese garden in Fort Worth is very well done, and is part of a wonderful botanic garden generally. I feel my spirits lift in botanic gardens, as if I were a Spring jonquil bulb in need of bursting. As I read that over, it has a rather gurdondark "dark side" allusion, but only if we relegate all metaphoric pleasures to the darkside, which I am not yet willing to do (and may be losing all sorts of dressed-in-black opportunities accordingly)

This weekend marstokyo suggested that I do a Mail Poetry call, similar to a mail art call. I have in the past done nervousness exchanges which are similar to this idea, and the notion has been part of the 'zine movement for a while. A bit of research convinces me that the notion of e mail poetry events has also been tried, so I'm sure poetry calls are not new. Still, I am entirely excited about the idea of transmuting my first "mail art call" into a "poetry call". As with mail art, the poetry would be solicited without any judgement, prizes, returns or trappings of "poetry contests". I'd create documentation, either in the form of a pdf anthology, or perhaps an actual little booklet or inexpensive binding copied book. If I got too many entries, I'd figure out some other way to do it, to create documentation.

Here is where my UK and Australian friends can help. Here in the US, we call "normal typing paper" 8 1/2" x 11".
I believe that (contrary to how things once were), US, UK and Australia all now use essentially the same basic typing/printer paper. I want to make the call for a uniform size of typing paper. I don't know the metric sizes or other designations for typing paper in Oz or the UK. Can anyone out there help? When one buys "normal" typing/printer paper, what is its size/type called?
This will help me draft the call.

My plan is to issue a "mail poetry" call in the next few weeks, on a theme I've not picked as yet. I will have to check with the various "mail art" announcement boards to see if it's cool with them to promote "mail poetry" as a "mail art call". If they dissent, I believe that I can find ample ways to "get the word out". Many thanks to marstokyo for the idea and encouragement.

My ten dollar styrofoam cutter arrived! I will now be able to sculpt in styrofoam like Michaelangelo. I also won an ebay auction for a book called "Soap Sculpture". I feel creativity seeping into my every nerve line like a bar of one of those really gritty soaps.

Speaking of creativity, I'll try to mail out my Chess Poems booklet this week to all who responded. Thanks everyone. I'm flattered by the response.

I got some news about a family member's illness that, while not good, is less negative than the initial indications.
But really, with medical news, what does one do? It's all just words to a layperson like me. I am glad to know what to expect, but time tells more stories than predictions ever do.

I have so many great post suggestions and questions to answer from my LJ friends that I find my journal invigorating again. I worried about starting the negative details journal, but I'm pleased to see it's already gotten a number of "friends of" citations. I probably won't add any friends to that journal, as I plan to use this journal as my primary comments and reading source. But please know that I am intrigued and pleased by folks being so open and willing to read such a flawed voice's musings.

Tomorrow marks one year I have been on LJ. I joined LJ after a mail art message board posting by honoriartist led me to her journal, which seemed to me not only quite intersting, but also an excellent inexpensive alternative to a website. I never dreamed what a fascinating year this would be. In this year, I feel as though I've gotten to know a lot of people quite well, and a few people very well indeed. I think that LJ has awakened in me a host of motivations to go and do and be, both personally, professionally, and creatively.

It's funny, though, the way one things leads to another.
Follow my way to LiveJournal--I bought Suzanne Vega's Songs in Red and Black Cd, which caused me to join her newsgroup. A message I posted on the Suzanne Vega newsgroup caused a mail artist, Jean Kusina, to ask if I knew the well-known mail artist, Buz Blurr, from Gurdon, Arkansas. Although I don't know him personally (kinda know who "his people are", in the way of small towns), she and I began to correspond a bit by e mail, and she encouraged me to begin getting involved in mail art. I began locating mail art calls from a number of resources, including the mail art forum. The discussion forums on led me to a post by Honoria, whose post had her LJ URL. Roughly ten minutes after I understood what an LJ was, I was ready to become a paying customer. So in some ways, you could say that a Suzanne Vega CD caused me to post 700someodd diary entries for strangers to read. LJ, in turn, introduced me to Joseph Cornell's art (thanks to nacowafer and marstokyo), marstokyo's own wonderful art, the National Novel Writing Month "competition" (thanks to nacowafer, a drawing much closer to real-life friends gregwest98 and kenmora, and a host of on-line friends, for whom I'm deeply appreciative. I've discovered that I like to say a lot of things about a lot of things (my wife, the more sensible part of our partnership, would rapidly assure me that she has been aware of that for years), that I love to read what others have to say about their things, and that I am still not goth at all. I'm eager for another year of LJ, in which secrets shall be revealed (and prove to be as dumb as those on Joe Millionaire), pontifications shared, the fundamental sadness of life confronted, and many cheers for such high quality friends will be emitted, loud and long.

My current goals for next year? To be a better person and a better lawyer. I need to do more to help, in every way, including not trying to help when help is not desired.
I have but one crowning skill, though--I'm a very quick study. I'm ready to open the page to next year, and hit "update journal!". Maybe next year I'll figure out how to post pictures, so that you guys can say "man, north Texas sure is flat, isn't it?"
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