Monday, April 30, 2012

'Butterflies and Sand' e-book

I've been playing with Leanpub recently. The nice thing about using Markdown text-files over Dropbox to publish is that it's easy to script books, which means you can do some fun things.

"Butterflies and Sand" is my first experiment. It takes the haiku I've published on Twitter from the lovely poeet service, chooses some at random, and puts them into sections with titles also taken from the haiku. 3 haiku per page, 3 pages per sections, 3 sections.

Leanpub is designed to let you update books easily, so people that buy your book also get all future updates. This means that when I re-generate and re-publish 'Butterflies...', anyone that's already bought it will get the "latest" version, with different titles and different haiku in a different order.

I like the surrealism involved here. The original idea came out of talking with James about emerging narrative about one's life somehow. By ordering my own haiku, written at disparate points in time, into new timelines, what meaning emerges from them? Is that meaning totally random and/or dependent on the reader, or is there something "fundamental" that weaves my own thoughts together throughout time?

The book is currently only $2 until "proper" release tomorrow, when I'll probably put it up to the price of a pint. I'm currently planning to make new versions available every 2 months, but that might change. Hey, it's all an experiment.

1 comment:

Orbific said...

I've just (belatedly) read the advance copy, and loved it. There is something so translucent and fragile about haiku.

We must catch up soon - I'd love to find out how this experiment is going for you.