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Poetry Postcards

Broken Trees

I can finally announce what my new poetry project is going to be! It’s called poetry postcards and although most of it will be over on Tumblr I will be updating this blog and my website often so that you can see it everywhere, there will also be links on Twitter and Facebook as usual so it will be hard to miss!

This is the wording from my introductory post over on Tumblr:

Poetry Postcards is an exciting new semi-collaborative project from British Poet V.C. Linde (aka Vick, aka Me). I have written a long (400-ish line) poem that also works when broken down into one hundred short poems.

The idea is that each poem can be read alone, all one hundred can be read in the order that it was written in, or in a completely new order. Every short poem, which is either four or five lines long, is going to be printed out and stuck onto the front of a postcard. The postcards will then be sent out in a random order to ANYONE who wants one.

I am going to be sending them worldwide and asking people in exchange for a picture of the postcard which will be posted here. That way a whole new poem will be created depending on what order they are sent out, where they go, how long it takes people to post pictures and (heavens help us) the post office! I’ve been working on this for a few months now and I’m really excited to share the words and ideas with everyone as well as seeing where it can go. More details will be coming very soon as well as some pictures of the postcards etc. and how you can receive a postcard of your own.

I’ve had the project ready to go since the middle of December but as it is mainly post-based I didn’t want to get tangled up in the Christmas post and so delayed the announcement until this year.

I’ve been so excited and I love being able to tell everyone at last. I hope loads of people get involved and I would really like to send these cards as far around the world as possible so if you know anyone in Antarctica or Kamchatka then please do put us in touch!

Vick.

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Vintage Burgess

There are lots of ways to find new friends on Twitter. I have a tendency of jumping of top of conversations and talking to everyone – even if I don’t know all of the people involved. Also I often talk to people who my friends have re-tweeted. I did a combination of this last week when Vintage Books (@vintagebooks) re-tweeted a comment by @stujallen about their re-releases of Anthony Burgess’ books and saying that his best known work was perhaps not in fact his best. Ever eager for new books to read I asked for recommendations. And I got them. Also the wonderful, wonderful Vintage team have sent me them to read.

So not only did I make a new twitter friend but I now also have the chance to read these amazing books. I’m going to be starting with Byrne which to my chagrin I had never even heard about. Very excited. The other that was recommended by @stujallen was Earthly Powers.

So here is a look at the gorgeous new covers and a first look at the shelves in my almost-completely-finished library!

Settling in with my other books.

The first to be read (red read?)

Beautiful frontispiece (excuse the poetry behind – I’ve been working hard today)

Beautiful design.

Probably my favourite cover – The Complete Enderby.

I can’t wait to get reading. If you want to read more about them head on over to the Vintage site to take a look at their Burgess pages.

I’m off to finish my poetry so I can read!

Vick.

Varyag Memorial

While driving around in Scotland we kept seeing signs to a Varyag Memorial with Russian (saying presumably the same thing) underneath. After passing the signs many times we decided to go and take a look. The Varyag (кре́йсер “Варя́г”) was a Russian ship named after the Varangian Guard who went through some amazing times and eventually sank off the Ayrshire coast. The memorial is to remember the ship and the men who served on her. You can read a BBC article about the memorial here.

Flickr

Now that I am not actively selling my arts and crafts items there is not a lot of use for the Flickr account I have attached to this website (and email etc.) but I don’t want to delete everything just yet in case I need the pictures to show people.

I do however have another Flickr account that is attached to my business and I thought I would flag it up in case people want to have a look at the better photographs that I take. There aren’t a lot on there at the moment but a few to have a look through.

Jackdaw 19 Flickr Account

Vick.

How to Use Pinterest

Over on my business website I’ve been putting together a list of helpful links about Pinterest. All well and good, it’s being talked about a lot at the moment and I feel very strongly about a site that I love so much, have been with for a long time and use daily (okay – hourly most of the time).

The problem is that I think I am falling out of love with it a little. When I first joined it felt like there were not enough people using it and I pushed it towards a lot of people hoping to make it better for everyone. Now there seem to be too many people pinning some really odd things. It is a great tool for business, a good way of promoting some products but overall I use it more for fun than anything. And the fun part is being eroded away.

The purpose of Pinterest, for me, is changing. Since people heard how much traffic is driven to sites by Pinterest everyone has started using it, seemingly without thinking about how or whether it will work for their business. A couple of companies that I love have joined and I have followed and then quickly unfollowed them. I don’t think that they are necessarily doing it wrong but the way that Pinterest works is becoming something else entirely and I am going to have to get used to that.

I liked Pinterest because it wasn’t pushing sales on people. It was purely peer driven and although you could follow through and find something if you wanted to find an article or buy a product it was not heavy-handed. I pinned some things very early on from my own Etsy site and I got a bit of traffic from it but I was more interesting in sharing my tastes than selling items. Now the quality is going downhill and it is starting to feel very pushy.

There is one other major issue. THIS. The link is to an article explaining the problems that a lot of Pinterest users (myself included) are having with their Terms of Use. I had a mini-rant a while ago about their nudity clause but this is a much bigger issue. I’m not leaving yet, I want to see where they go with this but it is in no way a minor issue and as Pinterest is expanding so rapidly and has moved from mostly individuals to businesses it is going to need to be addressed. I have quite a lot of photography in various places around the web and I love seeing them on Pinterest (not that it happens all that often, but still!) but I would be annoyed if it was used beyond that without my permission or without acknowledging my work.

That sounds like a lot of complaints but I love Pinterest. I do.

I love the community – which has been little affected by all of the businesses flooding in as they are mostly still on the periphery, part of the problem I suppose. Two pinners, one of whom I have followed for yonks (Claudia) have set up a new account called Pin Pals where you can go and find people who match your interests – such a brilliant idea. I have so much fun finding new people to follow who share the same ground.

I love the ideas, feelings, sights, plans and emotions that spring from using Pinterest. I can be down in the dumps and cheered up or stuck for an idea and find inspiration. In short – everything that Pinterest has always been for me. I rarely even see the changes but I suppose I feel a little protective – both of the site and of our community. I’ve been there for a lot of the changes and I feel a little grumpy about the big companies coming in and trying to make sure they are not missing an opportunity to cash in on our hard-built friendships and connections.

If businesses do want to use Pinterest and not raise the hackles of old-hand users (such as grumpy old me) then what they need to do is find a way of becoming part of these communities not just jumping into the middle with a sales pitch. It is the same as any other social networking, companies need to remember that social media is about people, communication and relationships. Peer recommendations always carry more weight than straight marketing so the better you treat your customers and fans the more they will evangelise about you! Makes perfect sense. So far it is really not too bad and I hope that lots of individuals continue to join Pinterest to balance out the companies joining. All about balance. And pictures of otters, obviously.

Vick.

p.s. If any of you would like an invite – I’m not sure any longer how hard they are to come by – then just drop me a line or leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to send you one.