There are only three colors, ten digits and seven notes; it’s what we do with them that’s important.  

                                                     -Ruth Ross, New Zealand

Ruth Ross and her elder brother spent most of their free time in the country with their father. They hung around while he drafted sheep, slid down hills on cabbage-tree tops, and swung over bush creeks on supplejack.

Ross grew up to be a brilliant individual and passionate researcher. Her knowledge of early Northland history was encyclopedic and her meticulous research is considered invaluable.

She did important work with twenty-six letters.  The Ruth Ross Manuscript Collection is housed at the Auckland Institute and Museum.

The poets taking part in the November Poem a Day Challenge are using those same letters. And it’s something to tweet about. Robert Lee Brewer is doing just that.!/robertleebrewer


He’s a ” Father. Poet. Editor. Occasional slap happy smack talker.” And blogger. It’s here on Brewer’s blog where we’re having crackling good fun with the alphabet.

Day 12, PAD is still going strong, so post here or there or anywhere. Write a poem about excess. 177 comments so far today, high-wattage stuff.



To me, pixels are to photos what letters are to words. I don’t really know anything about pixels, except that digital images are composed of them. In your photo editor program, zoom an image to about 500% size on the screen, and you will see the pixels. It’s like lots of tile chips that create a mosaic. From a distance, you don’t see each individual tile. Your brain sees the overall picture.

Photoblogger Deby Dixon makes magic happen.  It’s the three colors-ten-digits-seven-notes concept, only with pixels. I took pictures in Zion National Park but none as striking as hers. She tells a story with each image. I’d love to share them with you ~ here’s a front row seat.

Words, photos, and adventures  ~ Am I jellz!

Toni 11/11/11

5 thoughts on “OCCUPY THE ALPHABET

  1. You use words to get to the bottom of your ideas, Toni. It’s like with the pixels to the picture relationship. Until I magnify the picture I can’t see the pixels. Until I writewritewrite I don’t know the idea that’s fermenting–blossoming perhaps?–in my head. If the idea were a box on the table, its bottom will stay hidden until I tip it over. The writing helps with the tipping. I get a look at ideas I might not have known I had. It’s like what Robert Frost meant when he said–or I say he said–how do I know what I think until I see what I have written. (Don’t be jeliz :))


    1. Yes, Patty. I am amazed at how often the idea is not in the beginning of a person’s writing. It hides in the middle somewhere or even at the end of what is written. This is an amazing concept that your Mr. L got across to little Eduardo. The helper teacher and anyone else who figures in the child’s life needs to be aware and help with concepts like this one or any other one for that matter….. not set up road blocks.
      I am continuing to be amazed at your stories of a school where poverty can be eliminated as a cause of poor performance… Your teachers have found the magic button. Kudos to them and you for highlighting their successes.


  2. Ronnie,
    I like that: poverty can be eliminated as a cause of poor performance. I get the feeling every time I sit in a classroom over at this school that poverty isn’t the elephant in the room, even though it is huge. It’s just not taking up space. It’s like with the space program: it’s all about the delivery system and the payload. (I’m working on this delivery system-payload metaphor idea right now, so it’s tapped me on the shoulder and said, try me out in your comment to Ronnie who’s commenting on your comment which was in regard to Toni’s piece about pixels to words and other edible thoughts. (Just following that thought–it’s like the surgeon’s little camera he’s slipping through an artery, not really knowing what it’ll see; that’s what this writing is like sometimes.)


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