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JK Evanczuk

JK Evanczuk
Likes bubbles, robots, and surrealism.

Would someday like to be a literary rock star, but will settle for time being as a literary busker.

julia@litdrift.com

Twitter: the Reality Series?

By JK Evanczuk on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - View Comments

Twitter: coming soon to a TV near you.You may have heard about an innovative little company called “Twitter.” It’s no secret that the overnight(ish) sensation essentially has no business plan for generating revenue. There have been rumors going around for some time about Twitter introducing advertisements, or charging businesses for premium accounts…but a Twitter reality TV show? I think it’s safe to say this is something none of us ever expected. And let me emphasize that last part: ever. Read more »

More: TV

Short Films Too Long for You? Try 15-Second Films.

By JK Evanczuk on Thursday, May 21, 2009 - View Comments

British filmmaker Peter Johnston is sick of “bladder-straining, buttock-aching movies which often last up to two, sometimes two and a half hours.” So he has developed an antidote: The 15 Second Film Festival. And it’s not an exaggeration. Each film that Johnston commissions or makes himself for the online festival is indeed 15 seconds long, with about 10 seconds for opening and closing credits.

Day and Night from 15 Second Film Festival on Vimeo.

Videos & more after the jump. Read more »

More: Movies

Selena Kimball’s “The New World” Invokes an Old World

By JK Evanczuk on Thursday, May 14, 2009 - View Comments
Note the businessmen and the lynching tree, to the right.

I stopped by Brooklyn’s 3rd Ward last week for the opening of Selena Kimball’s “The New World,” a stunningly untraditional retelling of American history. Kimball, probably better known for her work on The dreaming Life of Leonora de la Cruz, is a visual artist fascinated with history and the wild, aiming to reveal thematic narratives which progress through the ages and continue still today. She produces series of collages, drawings, and reinterpretations of archival documents that both honor and poke fun at the undercurrents of history. For example, in the photo above, if you look closely on the right you can see several businessmen having a meeting atop a lynching tree. Delicious!

Though her work is made, literally, from historical documents, it isn’t fact. Then again, it isn’t quite fiction either: looking through “The New World,” you will find objects reshaped into something else, characters reimagined, events reordered. It is through this seeming din that Kimball’s narrative emerges. Time is restructured to align with theme, and theme progresses to spin a tale that, by its end, becomes all to familiar to us in the modern day. Pictures and more after the jump. Read more »

Sound Off: On Writing A Novel During Your Off-Hours

By JK Evanczuk on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - View Comments

This is what my Manhattan home office looks like. No, really.Write a Better Novel‘s Bill Henderson recently wrote about the dilemma of teaching to supplement your writing income. He received a slew of comments about struggling to write a novel during the off-hours of your day job, which he summarized in a new post that you should definitely take a look at. Real novelists sound off on the issue, and it really struck a chord with me. Writing in itself is hard enough, but having to do it when you get home from a long day of work (when you could be, say, watching TV and spending time with friends) can sometimes make writing insufferable. Some of my favorite quotes after the jump: Read more »

Presenting: the First Ever Twitter Broadway Musical. Oh, Yes.

By JK Evanczuk on Tuesday, May 5, 2009 - Comments Off

Next To Normal: the Twitter performance. Really.It’s coming. We thought it couldn’t happen. We said, “But Twitter doesn’t have sound!” But somehow, we were wrong. Starting today, the Broadway musical Next To Normal leaps from the stage to the Internet for its Twitter debut.

Holy crap. Read more »

More: Theater

Man Gets Annoyed With Technology, I Get Annoyed With Him

By JK Evanczuk on Monday, May 4, 2009 - Comments Off

This is what I imagine Tom Hodgkinson looks like.I’m a little stunned by Tom Hodgkinson’s recent article in the New Statesman called “Don’t sell me your dream,” in which he (figuratively) stamps his feet, acts like a cranky old man who doesn’t understand technology, and wags his finger at those that do. If Hodgkinson wasn’t so thorough in explaining why exactly he hates technology so much, I’d be convinced the whole thing was satire.

If his article wasn’t meant to be a joke, much of his reasoning certainly comes off that way. He gives all the standard reasons for hating technology: it’s distracting, it’s rude, etc etc. I’ll grant him those. Sometimes I wish I could live a life totally disconnected, too, and not have to think about who’s emailing me, or writing on my wall on Facebook, or about what my friends are doing on Twitter. But at this point, and especially as a journalist-slash-writer-slash-artist, I’ve accepted it as a necessary evil. To ignore it, let alone actively detest it, is foolish.

But there were 2 points in particular that really bothered me. Read his reasoning, and my responses, after the jump. Read more »

More: Rants

Religion, Violence, and Beyond: How Far is Too Far in Fiction?

By JK Evanczuk on Thursday, April 30, 2009 - Comments Off

That's God vs Buddha of FaithFighter, folks. We're placing bets on who will win...not really, cause we don't want to get firebombed.

An influential Islamic group successfully protested against the video game Faith Fighter, pictured above and also after the jump, claiming that it was offensive to Muslims, Christians, and just about all of humankind. The game, made by Italian design company Molleindustria, features such religious figures as Jesus, Mohammad, and Ganesh duking it out martial-arts style. I think the Globe and Mail describes the game best:

In the game Faith Fighter, caricatures of Jesus, the Prophet Muhammad, Buddha, God and the Hindu god Ganesh fight each other against a backdrop of burning buildings. God attacks with bolts of lighting and pillars of fire while the turbaned Muhammad can summon a burning black meteorite.

Which is hilarious, just because the whole thing sounds so dumb. Molleindustria claims that the game was meant to “push the gamers to reflect on how the religious and sacred representations are often instrumentally used to fuel or justify conflicts between nations and people.” But the game’s website declares, “Give vent to your intolerance! Religious hate has never been so much fun!” Uh, OK.

Whatever. The point is, some Italian company made an offensive and silly game, religious groups understandably got pissed, and the game had to be revised to be not so offensive (now there’s a big black dot over Mohammad’s head, you see). So while Molleindustria has gone on to make Faith Fighter 2, I’m left here with a nagging question: how far is too far in storytelling? Read more »

Soon, U 2 Can Rite Novel in LOLspeak!

By JK Evanczuk on Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - Comments Off

p>Soon, you too can write like this!I was going to post this in our Lit Drift Twitter account, but it’s just too good not to share on the main site. McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, arguably the Internet’s most whimsical quarterly journal, has a syllabus up for a fake new course for Internet-Age Writing, called ENG371WR: Writing for Nonreaders in the Postprint Era. Planned lectures include such topics as “Reading is stoopid,” “The Kindle Question,” “140 Characters or Less,” and “I Can Haz Writin Skillz?” Also note that attendance is “unnecessary, but students should be signed onto IM and/or have their phones turned on.” Delicious.

Coincidentally enough, I was recently messing around in my Scrivener, experimenting with structure and new styles of writing, and found myself trying to write a scene purely in text/IM speak. Uh, it shouldn’t come off as a surprise that it really sucked. Won’t be trying that again…until, of course, some more accomplished writer does it and somehow makes it work, in which case nose will be back to (digital) grindstone.

As an aside: I actually had to put this post title through an LOLspeak Translator because I just don’t know any better. Fail?

Read the syllabus in full here. [McSweeney's Internet Tendency via Bookninja]

More: Books, Writing

Create Your Own Animations With DoInk

By JK Evanczuk on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - View Comments

Create your own animations with DoInk, even if you've never considered yourself an animator.Amateur animators and procrastinators alike will love DoInk, a free web tool that makes it simple and fun to spend countless hours creating sophisticated animations. Find out more about DoInk, and watch a couple of animations (including an extremely impressive one made by me, ha), after the jump. Read more »

Solve Edgar Allen Poe’s Cryptogram

By JK Evanczuk on Monday, April 20, 2009 - View Comments

I can't even begin to figure this thing out. Cryptograms are not my thing.Did you know that Edgar Allen Poe considered himself not just an accomplished writer but THE BEST CRYPTOGRAPHER EVAR??? He loved to dedicate his genius to solving ciphers, puns, riddles, you name it, and he was known to boast that “nothing can be written which, with time, I cannot decipher.” Oh, and he also liked to remind people that “Edgar Poe” is an anagram for “a God Peer.” Nice.

In 1841, Poe challenged readers of Graham’s Magazine, where he was an editor, to solve a devilishly difficult puzzle a friend had sent him. He promised to post the answer in the next month’s issue, but flaked (could it be that he couldn’t solve the puzzle himself??). Today, The New Yorker is giving readers the chance to match wits with the self-declared puzzle master by offering that same puzzle. Read the text full of jumbled letters and numbers, and with the help of a few cryptic clues, find out for yourself if Poe was nearly as brilliant as he thought he was. [The New Yorker]