My 2500+ Daily Creates and Counting (but Celebrating 4000)


Yesterday, the DS106 Daily Create celebrated its 4,000th daily invitation to make, remix, create. I started with my first response way back on Sept. 9, 2015, and at some point, doing the Daily Create became part of my daily morning routine (along with: walking the dogs, sipping on coffee, and writing a poem or two).

On the very first day I started (thanks to a recommendation from a CLMOOC friend, Karen F.), Stephen Colbert had just taken the helm of the CBS Late Show as new host and Queen Elizabeth had just become the longest-ruling monarch of Britain. Yeah, it was a while back.

My first Daily Create wasn’t anything special, really, and was little more than a reply:

But once I got rolling, I got rolling, and have added audio, video, memes, comics, poems, games and other responses along the way. You can read the history of the DS106 Daily Create here and then join in yourself today, tomorrow, or whenever the inspiration takes hold.

Hats off to Alan Levine, who holds it all together, and to others along the way who have helped coordinate the daily scheduling (I know of Sarah and Paul, but I suspect many others have stepped up from time to time). I know there were collaborators along with Alan — like Jim G. and Marcia B. — who got DS106 off the ground at the university level as a experiment in MOOCs. Others have picked up the DS106 baton over the years to create college courses with open components on various themes, and/or fully online courses around media production that anyone in the open can join in.

The Daily Create is/was always one component of the larger DS106 ecosystem but for me, even if I took part in DS106 courses (like Headless DS106 or the Wild West 106), I still found myself centered the daily invitations to make things. We even worked to replicate the Daily Create into the Daily Connect for various projects, first through Connected Courses and then through CLMOOC and Write Out.

Alan is now migrating the Daily Create over to Mastodon, which gives me hope that others will find the daily inspiration and build a new audience there.


Alan often notes that while other educational MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have come and gone, and faded away, the DS106 ecosystem, with the Daily Create at its heart, continues onward through crowd collaboration and artistic flexibility. Participants are encouraged to submit prompts, which I have done more than 170 times.

Is it massive? Maybe not. Is it meaningful? You bet it is.

Peace (making it happen with art),

Write Out Collaborative Poems

A Daily Create for DS106 and for Write Out the other day invited people to add a “small poem” to a collaborative slideshow, with a nature theme. This video gathers them together.

Peace (and poems),

Before The WMWP/SPAR WriteOut Event

Sun Shade Temperature Data Collage

Later today, the Western Massachusetts Writing Project and the Springfield Armory National Historic Site is hosting a live event for the national Write Out project. We’ll be at the Springfield Armory grounds, facilitating activities for educators on Climate Change, STEAM, Data Journals and more. It’s going to be a beautiful day and our two hour session will be outdoors, using the park property as our classroom.

One of the activities will be centered on understanding the impact of tree plantings as part of heat mitigation efforts and Urban Tree Canopies. We’ll be doing some measuring of temperatures, and creating data charts. I figured I should try it out myself, so yesterday, I did a little research around my own home. (see above).

There really is a huge difference between shade and sun areas, even during this Autumn time of year when things are cooling off.

Meanwhile, this morning’s Daily Create for DS106 was to design a launcher for Seed Bombs, which are made of special clay and hyperlocal seeds. We’re going to be making and launching Seed Bombs today at our event, but I went creative with another saxophone music seed for the design prompt.

Sax Seed Bomb Launcher

Peace (and plantings),

Slice of Life: The Long Tail Of The Daily Create

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

I start most of my mornings with two acts of art — I try to write a daily small poem and I try to create some kind of art with the DS106 Daily Create.

As my friend and Daily Create mechanic, Alan Levine, brings the new year into a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Daily Create (which started as part of an online digital storytelling class and then morphed into an open call for being creative), I realized that I have completed 2,170 works of art (a term I use roughly, some days) and how powerful it has been to be inspired and motivated to create something new every single day.

What does that number translate into? It is three hundred and ten weeks. Or nearly six years. Mostly, it’s daily, but at the start, it was sort of hit or miss for me.  I came and did a prompt when I was interested, and then at some point, it became my daily practice. Some mornings, I am making illustrations. Others, I am sharing some writing. Or remix, or music, or something, anything, loosely affiliated with the daily prompts that come on Twitter and at the Daily Create website.

I learned about the Daily Create from a friend, Karen F., who was a collaborator in the CLMOOC experience. Later, I even adapted the concept of the daily prompt to something called The Daily Connector that we used in CLMOOC and other connected learning experiences. Sometimes, a prompt at the Daily Create dovetails and connects with other projects. Others have done the same with replicating the experience of a daily invitation, and the Daily Create has a long tail of inspiration.

Meanwhile, contributors, like myself, feed back into the system — submitting ideas for Daily Creates, as the baton of administration of the site gets passed from one person to another over time (sometimes, it is a college professor who uses the Daily Creates for daily writing for their students, exposing them to the idea of making and sharing work in a social media experience).

I get a real sense of being curious and creative each morning by the Daily Creates, as I work on a quick prompt (they are designed to be no more than 10 or 15 minutes to complete) and that helps me situate myself for other writing activities or for thinking about teaching that day. It also invites me to try platforms and other tools that I might otherwise not have known about.

Peace (making art),

Slice of Life/Day in a Sentence: From Poem to Words to Color to Notes to Music

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

Sometimes when creative inspiration hits — like how words of a poem might be translated into color, and how those colors might be translated into music — it’s best to dive in and ride the wave all the way to the end.

Peace (deep in the key),

PS — This project essentially takes two lines from a 106-line collaborative poem, turns those words into color with a tech font tool that my friend, Wendy, found and then turns those colors into musical notes, which I then played on keyboard in a software, using an avante garde /new music style of playing, while later adding layers of sounds to expand the composition.


Dance Remixing a Collaborative Audio Poem

(Wendy used Google Docs to track when words were written, and where, for the poem. I did a slight remix on the image she shared, giving lateral movement to the tracking lines.)

When the audio quilt of our DS106 Collaborative Poem was released, Wendy and Sarah suggested that people consider a remix of the file. That’s like music to my ears. But what to do?

I decided to pull the audio file into a site called The Wub Machine, which is limited but does interesting things with audio files, in different musical genres. Sometimes, the original gets completely lost.

I tried it out, just out of curiosity, and then I worked through a few different genres — Trap, Dubstep, Country, Bass/Drums … hearing pieces of each track that sounded good as parts, but never great as a whole. What the heck — I opened up Audacity and began to remix the remix, weaving a few pieces and beats from different Wub-ed version tracks together, and that’s when it began to come together in an interesting way.

Weird, but interesting.

What holds it together is the voice at the start, and then its repeating refrain as well as the very last words one hears in the track. The shifts in beat to pull back at times, and leave some musical space for the chopped up but rhythmic vocals of the narration track to come to the surface became another kind of woven thread. I’m sure not every voice got into the mix, but it found its groove.

Be cool if this dub got transformed into a video remix … just saying: you’re invited.

Peace (tapping toes to it),

Walk My World Listening Mode: Collaborative DS106 Audio Quilt


My CLMOOC friend, Wendy, released a mixed audio quilt of our collective voices reading a collective poem written for the DS106 community called 106 Lines of Thought. Walk My World’s recent Learning Event (6) is to pay attention to the sound of our world, to notice the details. The audio quilt is yet further iteration of the collaboration.

So I’m going to listen and jot notes and first impressions about the voices I am hearing on the audio file  …. While I may know and recognize some voices, I am not going to identify anyone until the very end … I have my headphones on and I am in deep listening space … writing what I hear …

  • First Voice —  first some claves then a short remix edit repeat of the 106 theme … clear and passionate, an introduction to listen … a personal voice … a collaborative reading … guitar bridge
  • Second Voice —  the alliterative patterns in the first stanza of the poem, read so lovely by this voice … the bird the stars the shimmer … the texture of her voice is a nice frequency for the words here
  • Third Voice — familiar voice familiar words … trying to find some emotional elements underneath the lines … the break through … the moment … false ending …. this is not the ending
  • Fourth Voice — music interlude … the accent draws me in, familiar and yet not heard by my ears on a daily basis kind of accent, there’s a sharpness to the dark wings .. higher higher higher, and the voice hit an emotional shift to bring us up, only to be reminded of the fate of Icarus
  • Fifth Voice — warmth here on the first phrase of words .. warming the bones .. looking down … and then, gratitude .. I am leaning into the sound of the warmth now … observing the moment …
  • Sixth Voice — nearly no gap space before this voice takes the poem from before like a baton pass and holds out for our hand, bringing us forward … sparking something deep inside … of you us we .. reaching out to others …
  • Seventh Voice — percussive interlude with claves … click click click – the musical thread, perhaps, or the ink of the poem to be read … I am sitting here at the table, sitting with this voice, so close now it seems in sound and so rich with ambience … listening, always listening … the small things … these give us all hope …
  • Eighth Voice — pace of narration quickens a bit,  captured like snapshots to browse through … I imagine us all doing that here, the collective urge to remember something important before we forget … wings rhythm beat ..
  • Ninth Voice — sounds of wings continue, a voice from a soft tunnel, perhaps, or a protective cave, or some chamber in dusk or dawn where the voice is a friendly token, something you find … tribes gathering …
  • Tenth Voice — textured range of voice, a small token or trinket reminding us of love and compassion, and I am visualizing the text here as I am hearing the text …
  • Eleventh Voice — the percussive ink returns, a rhythmic reminder of the threads that connect the voices together … the voice is close and yet also far, wrapped in a blanket of soft noise … the snowflakes drifting in the wind .. a poet’s voice, texture and tenor
  • Twelfth Voice — questioning? confidence. A voice of dust. A shape emerges from the poem here, the rhymes and voice of a storyteller … reminding the audience of something larger emerging from the small pieces of words
  • Thirteenth Voice — I imagine being in a listening hall, a poet sitting on the stage, their voice working working to pull me forward, to sit in the chair next to them, to listen and to wonder and to connect … to salvage hope … to listen for joy …
  • Fourteenth Voice — here, now, I am adrift in the small, nearly invisible intentional currents of a lake of words … the voice is the boat, or a stick, and we are ripples … the trees and soil and the rooting of stories  … and we are thinking feeling listening …
  • Fifteenth Voice — the voice is running, pausing, slowing, not stopping, moving, pushing, guiding, sanding down the edges of something to reveal what’s beneath … roots burrow down
  • Sixteenth Voice — spectrum of sound in this voice, past the places, the knowing understanding voice, the narrator who sees a way forward and invites us to join … like a blessing … returns
  • Seventeenth Voice — an echo of an earlier voice, returns … smoke and fire …. something flourishes, even in the quickened pace of the poem …
  • Eighteenth Voice — claves again, stitching .. clarity of frequency, this voice is next to us, sitting … right … there … and what will we make of this place? Indeed. What WILL we make of this place?
  • Nineteenth Voice — the voice is neither, neither hammer or chisel, but more a vocalized gift of each, and we are surfacing, are we not?
  • Twentieth Voice — forced slowdown for intentional alliteration, so effective so effective … my ears linger on the sound … on the tapestry … harmony …
  • Twenty-First Voice — lifting voice to the question mark of text … then, the slow roll down the incline … I imagine the paint stroke of a young artist, guided by instinct and making art …
  • Twenty-Second Voice — less question than a gathering … what will it be … these last lines … will we remember to breathe?
  • Music outro — guitar riff, hopeful sound

Peace (in listening mode),

PS — from Wendy at Soundcloud

Readers in order or appearance (Twitter tag): Lisa (nobleknits2) Charlene (inspirepassion) Kevin (dogtrax) Ron (ronald_2008) Sue (sueinasp) Sarah (NomadWarMachine) Denise (mrsdkrebs) Will (willgourley) Ron S (ronsamul) Betsy (BetsyCallanan) Niall (niall_barr) Wendy (wentale) Catherine (catdartnall) Joe Murphy (joefromkenyon) AK (koutropoulos) Sheri (grammasheri) Irwin (irwindev) Jennifer (JenniferDenslow) Tania (taniatorikova) Irene (IrenequStewart) Susan (SSpellmanCann)

Mixed by Wendy Taleo. Music from
Original poem:…-thought.html