allen goes digital, hailey goes on a rant

After last week’s Thesis Tank, you can say I was… inspired, so to say. Maybe a bit challenged, too. If I’m being honest, I feel like I got less out of it the experience than everyone else, and that’s okay – the panel was not a good fit for dispensing constructive criticism and guidance for my project. Besides Alan and Dr. Zamora, the only helpful response I got was from Kate Bowles, who suggested Peter Carey’s Ned Kelly, which I am yet to look into. But, even if I just got that, like I said, that’s okay! If anything, I did get something out of it – a fire to start the digital space of my project.

Additionally, since my project revolves around authenticity in personal poetics, such as Allen’s die-hard belief that the line between what you tell your friends and what you tell your audience should be blurred, I was not pleased after my part of the Tank. I appreciate guidance. I appreciate constructive criticism. I just felt like I was very greatly underestimated by some people on that panel, since all I felt like I was hearing was “don’t overwhelm yourself,” which I completely understand! I never want to take on a project that’s way too big – and this project is, in my opinion, a Master’s level project, and as such, I want to take on and produce a Master’s level work ethic and project. I’m not going to half-ass it, and I’m not going to leave it unfinished – this piece of electronic literature will be, at the end of spring semester, completed and ready to be explored and experienced by whoever stumbles across it. That’s the standard I hold myself to, and I never once thought of doing anything less.

Suffice to say, by the end of last week’s session, I felt motivated. Maybe motivated by the “wrong” reasons, but alas – I thought of the things that someone might have thought would “overwhelm” me. The only idea I had for my project that I wasn’t “sure” about was if I could implement HTML code alongside of Wix. I know a lot of Wix is drag and drop (it’s what I made my last piece of elit with, so I feel like I’m pretty skilled with the website creator), and I know it’s “limited” with those features that aren’t explicit coding. Specifically, one project idea I had came from Alan, in having some texts change upon viewing them; basically, if you click on an image of a typewriter, perhaps a rough draft comes up of a poem. Next time you click on the same image, something else is there in its place. I know Wix can’t do that on its own, so I found the code. Amazingly, it wasn’t an “overwhelming” task. Go figure.

I had to rewrite the code because I couldn’t change the font size and style, so I changed it around to fit my own purposes to test it out. It took a few tries, but I got my desired result (and I apologize right now for my… Jersey language. I just used a string of dirtier words to generate because I’m a simple girl with a simple mind.)


Alas! The only thing I was most worried about! I’m excited to tackle the rest of the digital space. As of now, here’s the site so far – nothing impressive. I just put a picture of Allen there for now to take up space (and, if you look at the upper right hand corner, my code is still in actions. Don’t worry, that’ll get taken down). I tried looking for higher quality pictures of Allen’s actual apartment, but my searches did not yield promising results. Thus, I might just take generic 1940s apartment photos, maybe photoshop some typewriters in, so on so forth, in order to make it look like Allen’s space.

That’s all for now, unless another man underestimates me!

One Reply to “allen goes digital, hailey goes on a rant”

  1. I like the fire, the rant. There are many ways to be motivated.

    Your line is definitely something to work from “the line between what you tell your friends and what you tell your audience should be blurred,”

    I hoped for more suggestions on alternative narrative forms from the pane.. I do agree with Kate’s suggestion of the Ned Kelly book (I read accidently when I found it on the shelf of an AirBnB at a beach, but I had learned of the story on a first visit to Australia. There is also a weird movie where Mick Jagger plays Ned). I think if anything it provides a similar example more close to Billy The Kid for imagining the outlaw character as having more than a 2 dimensional persona. We see into Ned as a more complex person than a “villain”

    That said, it’s still a linear book. And text. But it was a good read (well I thought so).

    I can’t draw conclusions on how they saw your project. I felt strong interest even if they were less than concrete. I held back on the commentary about the potential technical overwhelm. I’m sorry if it came as dismissive, I took it more as not letting the task of bringing to digital life not overshadow the idea (which is not a concern I had).

    This stuff is my bag and there are many approaches you could take that do not necessarily get you too deep into a tech swamp. I really really really like that you are already tinkering (I could offer suggestions for streamlining and making your JavaScript more flexible). And I was unaware you could put JavaScript into Wix.

    I do think it’s a limiting platform, there is much much more you could do. And not be subject to the ads (as you have here to in, and whatever data tracking they do. And be assured that your work will not vanish if Wix goes under. More info soon.

    And yes, I think you can do more to suggest Allen’s environment than using images of him. In fact, I think that’s limiting, and boxes you in as the image of him tilts away from what you imagine. What if the visuals were what he might see from his own perspective (behind the typewriter, looking out a window)? Like you were looking through his eyes? Maybe even frame the view like looking through those glasses he wore? That seems more like stepping inside of him rather than looking at him from an outsider’s perspective. Or play back and forth to work with the tension between how the world saw him and how you imagine him seeing the world?

    Keep on like this: “That’s the standard I hold myself to, and I never once thought of doing anything less.”

    I don’t see you doing any less.


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