I am pleased to report that today's panel on "New Media" for the AIW Fiction Writers Seminar went very well. No one threw anything and most folks seemed very interested in what our panel had to say on the opportunities presented by new ways of thinking about getting literature out into the world and promoting it.
Reb made some great points about the importance of getting literature out into the world and not getting too hung up on who publishes it, as long as the publisher presents a good quality book and cares about promoting its authors. And Reb should know... as a one-person operation with No Tell Books, Reb does a fantastic job of publishing quality books and getting her authors noticed.
Laura Ellen Scott noted the interesting new directions in fiction published on the web, including flash fiction. Unfortunately, due to my cold, I had to run out of the room to get a beverage and missed most of Laura's presentation.
Mark Athitakis talked about the finer points of using blogs and twitter to expand fiction's reach. He mentioned the rise of Twitter Novelists, who are composing novels of 140 characters at a time. He also said there is a move back to "slow blogging" where bloggers actually post fewer messages, but messages are longer and more thought out.
This last development is something that really interests me. Especially the idea of Twittering novels or poems. Forcing people to focus on a single line at a time. It reminds me of a video installation I saw at a Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt. The video artist, Bill Viola, had taken a home video of a child's birthday party and slowed it down so that each frame was held for a few seconds on a very large screen, with the audio equally slowed, and very loud. I loved that the technique highlighted and emphasized details that would normally be glossed over in "real time". Every millisecond was hyper-emphasized.
Slow blogging, slow reading, slow food... there's a global movement afoot to slow things down. I appreciate that. Less is more. Focus on every ... single ... moment.