Wednesday, 20th July 2005

scissorsBarbara says she thinks that I'm just getting into my stride with my garden sketchbook, though she wishes I had another month or two to work on it.

It does seem to be flowing now, and about time too.

Today I add a recipe and a poem - that will be a first, I don't think I've included one of my poems anywhere in this diary and I certainly haven't in any of my published books.

The scissors are one of the illustrations for my recipe: you have to start by gathering nettle leaves, so the kitchen gloves and scissors are recommended.

The Link-free Printed Page

pageAs I've mentioned before, I'm finding it liberating to design pages which aren't cluttered with titles, logos, menus, navigation bars and scroll bars, as most web pages are, of necessity. This gives me a chance to surprise the reader occasionally as they turn the page, yet still follow the flow of my story. Admittedly any page on the internet can come as a surprise but, since the sequence of links that might lead you to it are infinitely arbitrary, that's only to be expected. The really surprising thing would be if it followed on in some kind of coherent sequence.

Navigation in a book is beautifully simple; just by feeling the thickness of pages in your hand you know where you are in the sequence. And instead of needing a logo in the top left corner of every page you only need flip to book around and there's the title on the cover.

If the web experience is like listening to a collage of mpg samples at random then a book is more like a piece of music that flows. There are surprises in it but the surprises are part of the sequence. It's a different experience altogether.

mug of soupIn your web browser you can add a 'bookmark' to a web page but it isn't as individual as the bookmark you'll be able to add to my garden sketchbook when you get your copy of it, as I hope you will: there's an awful lot of work going into it! Next Page

Richard Bell,