So anyway, I meant to post about those Online Writing Labs (OWLs) that many colleges have put online.
Their contents and quality vary widely from one college to the next. They’re intended to help students write their papers at whatever time they get around to doing them, wherever they happen to be. Good ones include online access to reference tools such as dictionaries, thesauruses, and grammar usage guides, a link to the school’s library, any formatting standards established by his school in particular, and sometimes more specific material depending on the type of student expected to be using the OWL.
Unfortunately, some schools have slapped a list of links up on a set and called it an OWL. I won’t be recommending any of those pitiful little things.
Yes, it’s perfectly fine for others to use these sites. They aren’t behind the school’s firewalls, so they are a resource that has been generously shared with the public. If you find one especially helpful, consider sending an email to the site’s authors/editors, thanking them for their efforts
I was browsing through a magazine about writing today and came across an article about online writing labs (OWLs), suggesting that writers make use of them as reference tools.
I was distracted, though, by this: Ink, “A Free, Multiplayer, Online Game for Writing & Community.”
Imagine that you’re surfing the Web and you discover a site called Ink…You click Enter, and your browser loads a chat window and the image of a cityscape. A caption informs you that you are in the City Center. Almost immediately, someone notices that you’ve arrived and begins talking with you in the chat window. “Welcome to Ink,” the stranger says. “This is a great place. But we have a problem right now, and I’m hoping you can help. Our neighborhood isn’t doing well. We need to get a group of people together to address this problem. Can you help us? We need to design a flier that will motivate people to come to a meeting where we can talk about this problem. We need to draft a resolution that we can circulate to those who show up. We also need a brochure that explains why other citizens should vote for our proposal. And we’re going to need a white paper to explain to City Council the principles that inform our proposal. We’ve got a lot of work to do. Can you help us?”
The public beta opens on August 15, and they’re doing this as a Creative Commons project. I need to put that date on the calendar!
Today was the rescheduled date for Katie’s writing group, so off we went to one of our favorite bookstores.
Unfortunately — due to the rescheduling, I think — Katie was the only “member” who showed up. The group is just for high school “womyn,” and the only other person to attend was the facilitator. As it turns out, other people (not high schoolers) wandered in and out throughout the scheduled time. I think the girl got a lot of attention, which isn’t a bad thing at all. She missed seeing her sister writers, though.
I hung out in the front of the store, stitching. I was insanely early for a Stitch ‘n Bitch session scheduled there for 7, but I got a good two hours of time in on the Fairy Tale Sampler, along with some good conversation.
The official SnB was the first they’ve hosted. I was a little uncertain about going, as the focus was clearly on knitting. I needn’t have worried, as people were doing a variety of needlework.
Katie wrapped up the little test piece she was knitting, but she ran out of yarn. She picked out her next piece, though, which will require a trip to Nease’s. Oh no! The horrors! 😉
We got to educate at least four different people about homeschooling, too, which was a bonus. Meeting Katie is the best answer there is to the “S question,” as she’s clearly not lacking in social skills. We definitely left people with good impressions.
I think I’ll go to their next adult women’s writer’s group, as well. It’s been so long since I’ve written anything but non-fiction that I feel a bit odd, but Katie is a good influence.