Daily Archives: February 25, 2010

The Unbearable Plague of Ideas, Part 2

Well, I did it.  This is what’s wrong with being me.  Something hits me as possible while I’m brushing my teeth in the morning, and I can’t go to bed that night before I’ve made it happen no matter how many other things I have to do.  Thus, I now have a new website:  Trailing Eudora.

I’ve only gone as far as to install WordPress and install a theme tonight, and that took me a couple of hours.  This isn’t any WordPress.com site.  I had to register the domain, set up the database, configure the dns entries so that the url would know what to point to, install the self-hosted version of WordPress, find a theme, download it, upload it, and tweak it a little to get rid of the logo image that was for the theme designer rather than for my site.

I tell you this not to impress you with tech-speak that makes it sound like I know what I’m doing.  I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve installed WordPress now.  It’s only scary the first five times.  Actually, it’s never scary.  I used an installer program.  But that’s beside the point.  All of this is just to illustrate the level of obsession I’ve applied to my Idea of the Day.  I was watching figure skating while I set this up too, but I didn’t stop until I had a site in place.

I have, however, calmed down some from the original plan.  I now see this as my own site that I will develop slowly over time.  I’m not going to give myself a deadline.  I’ll add a little here and a little there.  This is the digital age version of writing a book.  I’m just going to let people watch me write it if they want.

I also have revised my estimate of how much it will cost to do this.  I’ve spent $10 so far.  That was for the domain registration.  I installed it on an account I already had.  I don’t know why I thought I needed to pay for a new account this morning, but that’s the beauty of having a busy day stand between you and an obsession.  There’s room for reason to sink in. This particular episode of reason saved me about $100 a year.

I was also thinking I wanted to buy a video camera this morning so that I could record interviews of Eudora memories.  That was just because I saw a Sony Bloggie in the store yesterday and wanted it, but at some point during the day I remembered that I already own a Flip Cam. And oh yeah, my Canon Rebel shoots video as does my Sony Cybershot.  So what?  I don’t see how I could go wrong with a Bloggie.

Likewise, I already have access to a voice recorder because the Arts Commission bought some for a project we did at school last year.  But there are these great little Zoom recorders I’ve been anxious to test…

Nonetheless, the only thing I really need to spend is gas for my photo excursions and lenses for my camera.  Okay, the lenses I don’t have to buy to do this project.  Distinguishing between wants and needs is not really part of the creative process, though.  I’m not striking lenses off the list.

If I have any sense whatsoever, it will be summer before much content appears on this site, but check back in a day or two.  You never know.

Published: February 25, 2010 | Comments: 0

The Unbearable Plague of Ideas

When JK Rowling said that Harry Potter walked into her head one day fully formed with a life of his own, I thought, “Oh, I know how that feels.”  Alas, the next Harry Potter has not walked into my head, but Big Ideas traipse around in there on a continual basis.

Today, my to-do list has surpassed epic absurdity to become something more along the lines of the Finngans Wake of to-do lists.  I don’t believe it has a beginning or an end.

And what have I been doing?  I’ve been on Yahoo Domains registering www.trailingeudora.org.

I have an idea, and I don’t think it is going to turn me loose.  I just hope I can hold off until at least spring break before it makes me put everything else aside to work on it and only it.

Trailing Eudora will be a site devoted to Eudora Welty of course.   The idea of trailing came about simply enough…sort of.  I wanted to take my new camera and visit places around Mississippi where Eudora Welty lived, worked, photographed, and wrote.  I want to take pictures of the Windsor Ruins as they are now and the Belhaven Jitney as it is now.  Her beauty shop, her cafe, the Natchez Trace that she wrote about, the Mississippi Delta that shows up in stories and photographs.  All of that I want to photoblog.

Then I started thinking about making a Google Map of my travels around the state.  Then I started thinking about adding other kinds of trails to the site:  a memory trail of oral histories from people who knew her or met her; a reading trail of personal responses to her writing; a student trail of class projects; a teaching trail of lesson ideas; a scholar’s trail of work about Welty.  You see how a newborn idea can grow so fast.

I’ve just spent the first $10 on accepting this idea into my life.  I figure it will cost me about $2000 before it is done.  But it seems a necessary expense in this moment.

If anyone wants to partner up on this, let me know.  I wouldn’t mind having other people contribute scholarly articles, photographs, reading responses, lesson plans, and student projects.

If anyone who is an expert WordPress user would like to help me plan the design and get the site up and running, let me know.

If anyone would like to give me a grant to help put it together, let me know that too, but I don’t have time to write a proposal right now.

There you go.  Here’s hoping writing it down will at least allow me to divert some attention toward to the to-do list for a little while.

Published: February 25, 2010 | Comments: 1