Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Writing Hack--Thinking Back to Istanbul

View from my apartment in Istanbul
Boy selling mussels
One of my Turkish notebooks

Typical drawer crammed with writing

Travel notes
Travel plan photocopied and folded up to take either by bicycle or motorcycle.
Writing done by a friend.  We used to (unbelievable, I know) write essays for each other!

I've always been a writer.  I mean, since I was a little kid.  I used to make up and write stories in school to stave off boredom.  I dreamed up characters and drew them and made notes for plots.  On the school bus I took notes of what I saw and thought.  I just write and write and write.  I love words, and the way these abstract arrangements of symbols create images in people's heads and those abstract things connect people in some startlingly concrete ways.

So, when the online educator challenge of the week was to "hack" our writing--use writing as a base, and turn it into something else, I was at no loss for material or ideas.  I started out thinking I would find something from my high school days and maybe make it into a cartoon, but I ended up choosing the Turkish book which was ready at hand, and pairing it up with a picture I took.  The pictures of Istanbul above, are ones that I thought about using, but ultimately didn't use.

I thought about using lists I made (I made a lot of lists about what to take on trips), or the fleeting poems I dashed off here and there to capture a place or moment, but ultimately I chose to "hack" or rather, reinvent, the notes I had taken about meetings and appointments.  I did a lot of roaming around that city, going places and meeting people.  I mean, several times a week I was off to meet someone or other.  At first I took taxis, and then I drove.  I was incredibly self reliant and bold even.  I did things I never expected.  And incredibly (to me when I think back), I did it all with a baby in tow.  So, when I made the "agenda postcard" with my notes, it reminds me of all of that.  I'm not sure what it communicates to others.  To me, its mix of languages and the photo kind of present an overview of the city and my experience there.

In writing, I see a similar characteristic within myself that I discovered about myself and those Winnebago videos.  The part I like is the making of it, the creating part.  That's the essential part.  The sharing is so secondary--and sometimes doesn't even exist.  It's like a game; it's fun.  It's about intrinsic reward rather than external.

Anyway--here is my finished "hack."

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you have lived an exciting life!

    Yes, the creating is the best part. :)