Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Tales from The Web


There’s a frenzy of writing on the Web this month. The GloBlos are posting daily (a trial for me, I have to admit, but I’m grittily hanging in there by my teeth) and the NaNos are writing 1,667 words of their novel a day, and some crazies are doing both. There are 6,068 people doing GloBlo at last count and over 60,000 writing novels. One of the best things about GloBlo is making new friends (hi, Alida!). Another great thing, as Reed and Aphra pointed out, is hitting that Randomizer button and indulging in a lovely long blog surf. Unfortunately, some blogs are awful. But the Web is democratic, so if you come across something that sends your apostrophe alert button zinging, rings your bad grammar bells, plays music so loudly that you spill your coffee, or muses about things you don’t feel like musing about like belly button lint (Dooce, j’accuse) or whippets or the face of God seen in a kiwi, you can move right on.

In the interests of quality and good writing, here are some great posts that I have tripped over during my Webby peregrinations this month.

A sad and beautiful tale of art, love and rightful belongings from the irresistable Bindi at ePossums. Don’t read it without immediate access to a hankie.

No Impact Man tells astonished parents ways in which he entertains his small daughter without television and DVD. Read it and wonder at his patience, dedication and energy. I know this is the way it should be and I admire him.

A story from the Noble Savage about how her Noble Husband has blossomed into fatherhood. It’s also about love and the surprise of just when you think you know everything about someone, they show you that you don’t.

One German tradition we enjoy is the St Martin Lantern Festival, where kids make their own lanterns and then wander around town in the dark singing lantern songs. This time we repaired back to kindergarten for more singing, a small show (Daisy had a “very important” role as a tree) and some cake and Gluehwein. In her delightful post Halloween Lantern Walk, Anthromama describes how the Waldorf/Steiner tradition is far closer to the German style of celebrating St Martin than it is to Halloween itself.

Vanielje Kitchen celebrates mothers, grandmothers and time spent in the kitchen with them in her lovely post Apples and Thyme. I always love reading about food, but in this post I particularly relate to the weird admixture of African and European that has informed who she has become.

Something I’ve come to love in Germany is seasonal eating (though it took a while to cut the emotional and umbilical connection to British supermarkets where you can get anything you want, any time of year). In another foodie post, Kit writes nostalgically about Italian food and seasons. She shows that Italian food is not tied as strongly to trends in cuisine as it is to seasons. I dare you not to feel hungry as you read this post.

The very wise Mandarine is solidly blogging his absurd ideas throughout November. Each post is a gem, if you can understand it. Here is an excellent post on establishing a centennal warranty on all buildings. The idea is that no building should be built to last less than 100 years. It’s also a celebration of ancient buildings that have stood for centuries.

Watch Ms Marmite insult a colonel in the US Navy in this hilarious post.

A word from our fashion correspondent Maggie, writing as a Dedicated Follower of Fashion who is up to here with expensive knitwear that doesn’t last. Marc Jacobs, look out, Maggie’s on your case.

I’d like to introduce you to a literary experiment that is open to the masses. I’ve tried my hand at it once or twice. It’s called Your Messages. Writers Lynne Rees and Sarah Salway describe the initial Messages project thus:

When we started the Messages Project in 2003, it was all about our shared passion for writing and the creative process. We devised a simple formula over coffee one day. Using email, we would exchange 300 ‘messages’ of exactly 300 words, with each one returned within a time limit of 72 hours. Links between each message were made with words, themes, character, form, or even mood. The project took eighteen months to complete and the original Messages was published in July 2006.

Now, in November, the literary twosome are posting daily messages on their blog for others to respond to. The best 30 responses will be published in a booklet next year, and the proceeds will go to charity. Go forth and write messages!

Seeing it’s almost the silly season, here’s something fun, courtesy of Dewey: LOLinate your blog. This is what Charlotte’s Web looks like LOLinated. I wuz not prodigy!

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

8 thoughts on “Tales from The Web

  1. Ooh, very cool, lots of things to explore (with added kittens). Thank you!

  2. As usual yu steer my directionless perambulations on a more worthy path Charlotte. Thanks for the tips. A weird admixture? Yeah, that’s about right. Or ‘n hele dichotomy’ as an Africkaans colleague was fond of remarking. Our Apples & Thyme roundups are posted tomorrow, featuring some amazing women. Worth reading but get yourself a new hanky after visiting Bindi.

  3. I loved reading about the St Martin’s Lantern Festival, it reminded me of the Steiner nursery school my son went to here in north London (a mere 26 years ago!) when the kids and some parents all took the lanterns which we had painstakingly made and went out for a walk in thed dark through Highgate Woods with much singing etc, before returning to the school for wine and snacks. The school was run by a kind but formidable German-Swiss woman, and I thought that the whole event was just one of her personal ideas until I read your post and visited Anthromama’s blog. Thanks for the memories!

  4. Hi Charlotte,

    Oh no, you’ve given more stuff to check out. I’m going to be spending even more time online! I will be checking these out because I’m not a randomizer type, and you my dear have not yet steered me wrong. Thanks.

  5. Hi Charlotte, thanks for pinging Heather’s Brass! I shall now enjoy chekcing out your other recommendations. 🙂

  6. Those all sound great. Darn you, now I have to spend all day tomorrow reading more and more blogs!!

  7. I love, love food blogs, too – more so when I actually had time to contemplate cooking. Some of my favourites are/were Lucy’s Kitchen Notebook (her photography is gorgeous) and Megnut (how’s that for a lifestyle – cash out of your web 2.0 startup and spend all your time cooking. What, me, jealous?)

  8. Doing both isn’t crazy. It’s stupid. TRUST me. I wish I had time to use the randomizer!

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