Saturday, May 22, 2010

21st Century Communication

We just received a wedding invitation via a website! The bride and groom created a multi-page invitation with a theme, quotations, photos, borders, etc. The bride had earlier communicated by email that they were NOT sending out invitations by snail mail, although we had gotten a "Save the Date" postcard a month ago. After the Digital Writing class, I was prepared and open to the idea of doing it all online, but when I showed the invitation to my peers, they were astounded at what the world is coming to!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Peace Garden Update

Yesterday, I finally had the opportunity to share the Building a Peace Bridge and Dedication photostories with the people at Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board who are most closely tied to the Peace Garden. It was the same day I received an email that they are making a Facebook page for Lyndale Park and the Peace Garden. The park board staff will take care of creating the page and maintaining it and want to feature the two photo-stories. The people in charge of the Facebook page, which will link to the Park Board website, were pleased that I plan to do other photostories about the garden's beginnings and the Spirit of Peace sculpture. The Lakes District manager even wrote: I just saw your video. Very very nice!! I told Alex we should try to get it on public television. Thanks, Paul.

And from me, a big thank you to the members of the Edina Writing Cohort and our instructor, Candance Doerr, for their support of this project. I have learned so much by doing this project, and could not have done it without you all.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A New Year, A New Post

Welcome to 2010. I remember seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey when it first came out at the movie theater and thinking how far in the future that would be. Now, the digits in the year have been transposed and it is 9 years after Kubrick's dream. Amazing!

I took a respite from blogging over the holidays, but I continued to work on my Peace Garden photostories and have uploaded two of them to YouTube. Just type in 'Peace Garden Bridge' and they're at the top of the list. When I asked the Park Board representative about a Facebook page and linking it to the website, he seemed supportive. But we haven't met in person to finalize the page and link, etc.

I guess I am becoming somewhat technologically savvy. I proposed that we use a WIKI for volunteer signups for a church project and the secretary wrote back, What's a WIKI? So I made one on the spot. I wonder how it will work in that venue. I think it could be slick.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another Photo Story

Here is the most updated version of the Peace Garden Bridge dedication PhotoStory.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I am once more trying to load the correct final draft of Building the Peace Garden Bridge. The note on the bottom of this post says it is Processing Video, so I am hopeful. Originally, I thought I would just replace the first draft, but then I thought that people might be interested in how my writing group really helped to make this a better project. I am going to embed the YouTube link while I try to change the security settings on YouTube.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Draft of a digital writing project or two--maybe

I am working on two Photo Stories. The Building Bridge one went fairly easily; the Dedication ceremony still needs to be finessed. Now my challenge is to get them posted on this blog!

I tried to compress the Building the Peace Garden Bridge video following the directions for PC Movie Maker Compression, but it still is taking a long time for it to post. PhotoStory didn't show a screen like the Save Movie Wizard on p. 125 of the article. I've been waiting for 15 minutes at least and will need to abandon this project in the next 15 minutes. I have the show saved both on a flash drive and my school computer, so it does exist in two forms.

An exciting element was receiving permission to use Greg Gilpin's wonderful song, We Can Build a Bridge, as background for both videos. The group Carpe Diem sang it at the Peace Garden Bridge dedication.

The most frustrating element of this project has been the refusal of my home laptop to record my voice and play it back. I had difficulties with both Voice Thread and Photo Story, so I ended up doing the projects at school. The wizard shows that the microphone is working and that it is playing back, but my voice does not seem to adhere to the projects.

Another snafu is the very long time it is taking for my project to load. I have waited ten minutes since my earlier post and need to leave. I will try again tomorrow.

Do you believe it?? The movie actually loaded! I am in shock, but very happy! I hope that other people can give me good feedback. The one piece I would like to change is to extend the final frame by two seconds to get to the end of the chorus. The feedback I'm most interested in is whether I've forgotten any important parts of the story. And if someone call talk me through compression, would I get better quality on the final product? This insert isn't wonderful.

Tomorrow I will work on the Peace Garden Bridge Dedication video and try to upload that as well.

I will at some point make a voice thread with people on the Peace Garden Project committee talking about their experiences, but that will not happen for this class. The working title of that post is Never Doubt (what a small group of committed citizens).

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Below is a copper sasi block on the new Peace Garden Bridge at Lyndale Park Peace Garden.

My digital writing project is about the Lyndale Park Peace Garden in Minneapolis, and specifically about the Peace Garden Bridge which was dedicated on September 20, 2009. I chose this topic because the Peace Garden is a 'thin place' as the Celtic mystics say and is an important place in my life. The new Peace Garden Bridge, designed by Kinji Akagawa and Jerry Allan, more than enhances the garden. It has already brought together people from the Mid East, the Far East, and the Midwest. For five years, I worked with a dedicated group of citizens who raised funds for this and the Spirit of Peace sculpture. My project is a way to tell the world our story.

To do this digital writing project, which I plan to post on Facebook or MySpace, I gathered photographs from several people, whom I will thank and credit. Ultimately, I see linking to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board website and international peace sites. I have several stories to tell and would like to use a variety of media. One is Photo Story 3, with the story of Dedication Day. I am considering doing SmileBox albums of some important events that have taken place at the Peace Garden around the Spirit of Peace statue. I would like to make a VoiceThread of committee members reflecting on their experience of raising $142,500 plus for the projects. After the new year, I plan to visit with the original designer of the Peace Garden who has promised to digitalize her photos and tell the story of how the garden first came to be.

I have been very frustrated by the inability to record and save on my home and my school computer. This has kept me from posting my work in progress. I have made storyboards and scripts and recorded and saved and lost so many attempts. Hopefully, someone will be able to figure out what isn't working and how to fix it, or I will bring my flash drive to my friends who use a Mac and go the iMovie route.