Month: July 2008

Enjoying Calliflower with Peter Senge

A recent live talk with Peter Senge through Calliflower introduced me both to this great tool for conference calls and webinars and Senge’s compelling new book, The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals And Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World. Calliflower impressed me with sophisticated features for managing and participating in calls with an interface that’s elegant and easy to understand. (See below.) It can record calls as MP3 files to make available afterwards. And, it’s free. I found it through Facebook and was able to participate fully from the event page in the browser without having to launch Skype or pick up a phone. Talkshoe offers a similar service but was not nearly as seamless in my last experience (a while ago, worth revisiting). The only part I don’t understand is the business model. But it definitely shifted the quality of my listening, which dovetails perfectly into the the message in Peter Senge’s new book. You can download the talk with Peter Senge in mp3 format. (It’s free, but registration required). My notes …

Book Notes from New Zealand

On Monday, I visited the National Library of New Zealand in Wellington for a discussion on ‘first fictions’ with the writers of two of last year’s most highly praised debut novels here. Mary McCallum (The Blue ) and Susan Pearce (Acts of Love) explored the themes and process of creating their books with Kate Duignan, also a New Zealand novelist. They are all new to me, and I am intrigued to read The Blue, about life in an isolated whaling community on Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds in 1938. Kate asked great questions, stimulating a lively discussion. One interesting commonality she brought up was that both authors created protagonists that live in small, isolated communities who start out feeling as if they had already failed in life. That resonated as a theme I see recurring in the way New Zealand describes itself in its own media. Later that evening, McCallum won the Society of Authors Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction and the Readers’ Choice Award at the Montana New Zealand Book …