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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« lord of the rings | Main | ritual »

web rings

Comic updated (yet again)

Comic strip help needed!: I need a name of an Internet startup company ( that ISN'T already registered (you can check through Ideally, the name would have something to do with music or songwriting, but this isn't necessary. All the over-the-top "corporate dot com" names I came up with turn out already to be goal is NOT to use the name of an already-existing company (the potential lawsuit thing, y'know). Please e-mail me or post your suggestion in Blatherchat. If I end up using your suggestion, I'll send you some Inkspot pens. :-) Thanks!

So I've joined a Web ring. Two, actually. Inkspot was never part of one even though there are many for writers. I've never gone for the "become part of as many Web Rings as you possibly can even if it means taking up half your main page with links" method of self-publicity. My primary beef with Web rings is that most are completely open. I find that this results in Web rings with hundreds of linked sites of wildly varying quality and a gradually increasing number of 404s. This may not bother some, but I don't have the patience to click through the sites in a ring like this. Call me an Elitist Web Ring Snob, if you'd like. :-)

I think that the best Web rings are ones which are very specific in scope and membership requirements. On Display appealed to me because its focus is on strong writing and because it involves collaboration projects. Collaboration is a strict requirement, in fact...if you fail to participate in a certain number of monthly projects or miss one without making arrangements, you're out of the ring. If you don't join the mailing list, you're out of the ring. There are also several optional collaboration projects.

The concept is intriguing. Each month, members agree on one topic. During the month, each member must write one entry on that topic, then all the entries are linked to that month's topic page. Here's an example of the March topic page, where the topic was the word "red".

I think this concept of topic challenges is a wonderful idea, partly because of the "writing prompt" aspect, and partly because it builds community in a way that a typical Web ring never does. It would be fun to apply this idea to songwriting, wouldn't it? Hm...or the concept could even be done through a password-protected message board (for posting of lyrics, discussion of upcoming topics, etc.). You'd have to agree to abide by the rules to get a password. Hm...I'll have to think about this.

Went to see "Driven" yesterday afternoon with Jeff and his dad. I don't normally go for car racing movies, but part of the movie was filmed in our neighbourhood, so I was curious. The movie was pretty much what I expected. But it WAS very cool to see shots of places in Toronto I recognized. If any of you see the movie, for example, check out the scene where two of the characters go joyriding through the streets of Chicago in racecars. That's one of the streets just outside our apartment; I can see it from my office window. I was in Philly when this scene was filmed, but Jeff reports that it was VERY loud. The production company had posted notices in our building warning tenants that they would be filming all night, and that there would a lot of noise, but apparently some tenants complained anyway.

Last night, we went to Hiro Sushi with a bunch of friends (Luisa, Reid, Doug, Mark, Bryan, Parki, Scott) for a belated celebration of Scott's birthday. 'Twas good sushi, but I thought it a tad overpriced.

These days, I'm reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. Enjoying it much more than I expected; I had heard only lukewarm reviews about it. The atmosphere reminds me a bit of that in the Gormenghast series, and some of the antagonists are truly nasty.

I've also become hooked on the game Black and White. More on this in a future Blathering. :-)

Today's Blatherpic:

My four-year-old niece, Annie.


Do you feel that you lost your virginity too early?

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