Through the Marine Layer

First Bike Ride of the Year

Yesterday morning, I embarked on my first bike commute of the year. It was through what we in San Diego call the marine layer, that fog that rolls in over the coast and the city from the Pacific Ocean. Some parts of the ride was thick with ground level clouds while a clear path was seen further out. It’s just one part of my cycling journey.

Continue reading “Through the Marine Layer”

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My Web Presence History

My first website was made sometime in 1997 on Geocities after a friend of mine created his own site on that platform. I started from a template that created a simple, but ugly website. It went this way for a few months until I bought a copy of Dreamweaver and created more attractive HTML files I could upload and then I updated it with an attractive portfolio with some short stories and poems I have written to date. The title was unimaginative: The Fiction and Poetry of Shinichi Evans.

I went into the Wayback Machine and, unfortunately, I could not find a copy. A few years later, I branded my site shindotv and I got a domain name to boot. Shindo came from a moniker a high school friend gave to me when he created a postpunk goth zine.

I created an artful entry page with a cross and cigarette photo made by my brother, which the Wayback Machine has an intact copy, but for the menu page that follows, the blue square graphic grid with the mouse on over squares is incomplete. It still had the portfolio of the previous page with some additions. Continue reading “My Web Presence History”

Reading: Griffin & Sabine Trilogy

  • Books: Griffin & Sabine, Sabine’s Notebook, The Golden Mean
  • Author: Nick Bantock
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books
  • Genres: Fiction, epistolary fiction, visual fiction, art book, toybook

What drew me into the Griffin & Sabine trilogy was the conceit of them being a series of artfully done postcards between two people corresponding across the world. Griffin makes prints of his artworks on postcards and Sabine sends her own artwork on handmade postcards along with her country’s stamps of her own design and both occasionally send letters in altered envelopes, which the reader can pull out and read. The handwriting and artworks of these two are distinctive enough to establish who did what, and these visual elements add to the believability of a very surreal story. Continue reading “Reading: Griffin & Sabine Trilogy”

Reading: The Phantom Tollbooth

  • Authors: Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer (illustrator)
  • Book: Phantom Tollbooth
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Genres: children’s fiction, fantasy, allegory, visual fiction

It’s one thing to be exposed to this story as a child. It was in the form of a play done at my American elementary school in Japan when I was in fourth grade. It was bizarre and entertaining and a lot of the concepts flew over my head. It would be several decades later that I’d pick this up as an adult and the conceptual stuff was fun. I got these personifications and representations the protagonist Milo and his friends for the journey encounter because they were things I picked I gained in my knowledge over the years. Continue reading “Reading: The Phantom Tollbooth”

Busted E String

I’ve had a goal to learn how to play the guitar for a while. Last summer, I bought a guitar, a wonderful left-handed Fender model. I got some self-teaching books, but I never made it past first string. I have also felt it would be a good idea to get lessons, but it’s always a matter of schedule and expense, etc.

Since this year is still young, I figured I’d pick up the guitar again and learn it. I made music flashcards with notes and string positions, so I can arrange them any way I want: open strings, by string, sharps, flats, etc and even throw a chord or two in at a time. I came up with a way that works for me in the meantime and I was excited to try it out. Continue reading “Busted E String”

Facebook and Orange Haze

Over the years, I have come to have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love the connectedness I have with the various groups of people in my life. I hate that I can spend too much time chasing updates. I like when people share funny or interesting updates. I hate that the updates have now become non-stop articles about the orange haze. No, I’m not going to name that, but I’m sure you have a good idea already. Continue reading “Facebook and Orange Haze”

Writing Tools

A long time ago, when I first read Writing Down the Bones, I soon got caught up with fountain pens. At the time, Sheaffer still made fountain pens that were still writing pens, not just calligraphy, and they were really cheap. I remember getting clear colors like red, blue, or green, and some opaque ones like in marbled green or blue. They leaked a lot, so I took the inkstains on my hands as a badge of being a writer. Continue reading “Writing Tools”

Writer’s Guides: The Artist’s Way

Once upon a time, I took an Artist’s Way workshop. This was post-MFA with me having taught for a couple of years and feeling frustrated about not really getting any writing done. Meanwhile, a friend who is a self-taught poet was inspired by Interview with a Vampire and went down the rabbit hole of vampire literature and films and movies in teaching himself how to write his own vampire novel. This same friend told me about the Artist Way Workshop that was facilitated by a friend of his. Continue reading “Writer’s Guides: The Artist’s Way”

Writer’s Guides: Writing Down the Bones

Ever since I resolved to get myself back into writing, I reached into my bookshelf for the books on writing* I’ve bought over the years. Some I have read and used and came back to over and over while there is a lot that simply became my writer’s reference section. Suddenly, they all seem very useful.

The now classic Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg is a good place to start and I have referenced this wonderful book in my entries from the past few days. Continue reading “Writer’s Guides: Writing Down the Bones”