Five Image Story—>Five Image Gif—>Full Blown Zeega

I started this project as a five gif story idea instead of a five image story. I had been thinking in these terms when Dogtrax suggested the same idea. So knowing I had an audience of at least one I began fiddling with the idea of retelling the iconic drag racing scene from “Rebel Without a Cause”. Serendipitously, I discovered a neat, gif generating tool, Loop Findr, that is able to take video files and convert them into potential gifs.  As proof o’ concept I downloaded a short clip from the Futurama (“The Problem with Popplers”) website using Download Flash and Video.

I am not actually creating much of a story here so much as experimenting with Loop Findr and exploring how zeega can work with it. I think that I discovered how limited the five image story is. They might be a good tool if you are trying to get younger learners to imagine the pictures into a story as an exercise in the imagination, but I would think that those training wheels would have to come off quickly if you don’t want the five image scaffolding to have a permanent place in their heads instead of their own ideas. My next move was to find another way to do this five gif thing. Below is a five image story–>five image/five gif story–>reply with added gifs and music. You have to go past the silent stuff first to get to the music stuff.

Having gotten to this point, I was inspired by the idea of Hollywood’s treatment of cars as sacrificial icons. That led to James Dean and Rebel Without a Cause. I found the “Chicken Run” scene on YouTube, downloaded it, ran it through Loop Findr, pulled off gifs there and uploaded them to zeega along with other gifs from the same scene. Below is a first draft of this emerging theme. I found some music that fits the emotional feel of the theme on Soundcloud and voila, we have a beginning.

My purpose here is to see how messy I can make the five image story until it becomes what I want it to be. I think that the five image story is a way in, but a very limited way in. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself, do you want to teach ways in or do you want to teach students to find their own ways into story. I worry about the excessive scaffolding inherent in templates. By all means use templates, but be very wary–they might just end up creating what Max Stirner called “wheels in the head”, somebody else’s and not their own.

Now I think I need to put a little more Easy Rider, Christine, and DeathRace2000 in this,  and…..

Random Is Unacceptable/Meaning Is Inescapable: 5 Image Sorties

When my children were still in the nest we used to play a game every day, sometimes several times a day:  “Three Stories”.  We would pull down a dictionary and randomly pull three words from it or perhaps each of my children would come up with a random word.  The game required you to create a story with those three words.  Magic.  There is where we all discovered the wonder of weaving words and imagination.

I feel that 5 image stories are similar, perhaps a bit more cumbersome.  I have experimented with Kim Douillard’s images here.

First I put all five into a zeega with just those images and no music, gifs, or filters of any kind.

Watch it and you will see not much more than a horizontal version of Kim’s  blog version.  The medium isn’t really that different from photo to zeega.

Next, I added a few animated gifs and some repetitive photo elements to give a little dramatic weight.  Weight for what you might ask?  At this point in my experiment,  I am still trying to come to figure out the meaning and just testing around the edges for the narrative thread.  I also replied to this zeega here:

Please note that the first slides in the zeega directly above are the additional gifs.  Then you will notice a reply.  That is when the music starts, NRBQ.  I chose NRBQ because they are, even more than the Beach Boys, the epitome of summer music (at least from when I was younger).

The music becomes the first narrative thread for me and as I listen I realize that summer=cars.  I thought of all the summer movies with cars in them.  That’s when I change abruptly the tone of the zeega.  I think my zeega is now about the life and death of the American Dream.  Mebbe.  I have had so much fun playing off of Kim’s initial riff.  What did my experiment reveal? I didn’t find the meaning until I created it for myself.  Meaning is layered and intrinsic first.  Writing is a way to make it seemless and extrinsic.  Or something like that.

Five Image Storifying.

This ultimate week of this #CLMOOC six week journey  brings me home to story, not narrative, not plot, but story, the natural articulation of the world rising from the world.

I started the week using a tool that ties together photos and photo manipulation using my mobile device.  The app is called “Fuse” and the desktop app is called “SnagIt” and they both come from TechSmith.  The killer appitude of these is that they work together. Any picture you take with Fuse can be made to flow automatically to SnagIt.  No friction between the two.

Here is the first fruit for what I am calling “Five Days/Five Stories/Five Images”.

5 pix story_6 lines of dialog

So this is Monday’s.  Today’s will be a story told with screenshots.

five screenshotsWhere will we go next?


EV Grieve: Did you know Michael Brody?


A reminder for all you young ‘uns out there.  We all die. Some of us are forgotten, some all the way, others mostly all the way.  Our stories end, but the stories we have told do not have to.  If we are good enough and we care enough.

Here are some folks whose stories I have not told:

Happy Gale

Ed Willard

Jewell Ridings

Dudley Digges

My mother

My father

All my students

+ Add New Category


Amazon’s New Kindle Unlimited–Will the Rich Get Richer or Is This a New Gutenberg Parenthesis ?


What does the prospect of unlimited books mean for education, for school media centers and libraries, for kids with little or no access to a digital reader and 10 bucks a month to buy this. What about higher education, textbooks, libraries?

I would like to see schools give universal access to these reading tools.  You can share with them, you can highlight and annotate with them, you can listen to books with them and read at the same time.  If reading is our biggest problem/opportunity then why not use these devices to connect?

Lots of questions, few answers.

David Byrne: No.

Forbes:  close the libraries, get everyone an Unlimited membership.

Techcrunch:  unlimited books minus the top 5 publishers.

Time:  10 great books not in the unlimited list,

The Chronicle:  a revolution in higher ed, if….really good article with lots of thoughtful numbers




Part Three of a Poem Exchange: “The World Is Curving”

This is the third version of the poem, “The World Is Curving”. The last one was created using a very handy iPad app, Bossjock, to put together buttons, sound background, and voice up front. This one takes that voice file, uploads it as a soundcloud file, and then uploads again to Zeega from soundcloud. It also adds both image and animation to create a text-less sound/image/animation of the poem. It is layering much like a photoshop image only with image, sound, and animation instead of other filters and effects.

At first I thought maybe the game wasn’t worth the candle, but now I can see where with a little more practice I can do much more with this. I really enjoyed the sound creation. It is very localized. I use only my own sounds. Now I need to start making my own local animated gifs as well as only my own photos. The skills I have begun to develop doing this and all of the zeegas I have created this summer make me feel much more in control of my own creative process. Thanks to Kevin for the opportunity to play back and forth in the loom of creation. Many thanks to #CLMOOC for creating a space for this back and forth.

The World is Curving

Kevin is playing with a poem in different formats.  I think it is a good idea.  I am playing, but I am also, in the spirit of #clmooc’s Make Cycle Five,  moving my writing toward the light.  And that means tinkering with all the levers and circuits and led’s that are in any worthy poem.  I think there is  lots of light in poems already without adding any further bells and whistles, but I am willing to see if moving toward the light helps. Below is my poem in text form.  Actually, it is already in light form on this monitor so I suppose it is transmedia, barely.

The World Is Curving

Bats stooping for mayflies,
Stars shooting by the fistful through lolling moondark skies,
A firefly’s glad malarkey, reverse meteors in the dusk,
An unrandom scimitar of ants,
Heat ribbons blooming through tar paper,
The skirring bombillation of hummers on the bee balm,
Yellowjackets swarming the rinds,
A snailslick across a flagstone,
The idiot wave of a black walnut’s hand in just the right breeze,
Dawn-pooled light dappling the jackrock creekbed,
The rippling glisten of funnel spider whorls.
Summer dreams peopled by looping, whitewashed days.
Crammed with the calming blessed swell of earth
Curling toward its own ends.