Carin Perron: Poems & Prose
Index of Essays & Articles
Secrets of the Sestina
What is it about this obsessive verse form that grabs hold of you and won't let go? How does it work its hideous magic? A short essay about the sestina's form, based on an analysis of my own sestina, "The Room."
Thank You, Captain Kangaroo!
The year is about 1961: A small girl is sitting too close to the black-and-white TV, watching Captain Kangaroo. Her mother is in the kitchen. Captain Kangaroo comes on and introduces something called "Benham's Disk," a disk, half black and half white, with black markings on the white half. He says when you spin it, you see colour, but he warns his viewers that they can only see it if they are watching colour TV. The little girl sighs, wriggles on the floor, but keeps watching. Most kids in her town don't have colour TV (just a few rich kids), but more and more TV shows now talk about things you need a colour TV for. She watches as Captain Kangaroo spins the disk, expecting to see only swirling gray, when suddenly she notices -- she's seeing colour! Actual colour is there, on her black and white TV.     Next
What's Wrong with your Web Animations?
There are a lot of good tips available about creating web animations; however, many of the problems I have seen with web animations are problems with animation, not software.
I believe it is worthwhile to learn the basics of animation as a discipline. Neglecting this is like learning to do word processing but never taking a writing course, or using a graphics program without knowing about colour, design or composition. No matter how good the software is, it will always be dependent on the expertise of the person using it.    Next
Principles of Animation,
Persistence of Vision.
Human vision is designed so that when you blink, the world doesn't suddenly go black, but you have a constant impression of the visual field in front of you.      Next
Do You Really Want
Your Web Pages to Look Like Police Tape?

In 1998, someone on a web design list asked whether yellow letters on a black background were advisable; this was suggested to her because of its high contrast, but she felt it would be hard on the eyes. The original email, and my reply, follows:

"If only I had a..."
ONCE UPON A TIME, I wrote stories thirty to sixty pages long, personal letters averaging over thirty pages each, as well as numbers of poems, good and bad. I did this all without a second thought. It didn't occur to me, in my innocence, that this was in any way extraordinary, doing so much writing with only pen and paper.
I can't remember when I took that first bite of the apple that told me that, naked as I was, bereft of typing skill or typewriter, file cabinets, writing desk, word processor, or computer, that I was really unequipped to write. I don't remember anyone suggesting it; suddenly, in a whirl of angelic drapery, thundering voices, fig leaves, and the flash of flaming swords, I landed outside the garden for good. My eyes were opened: I knew it was impossible for me to write. Paradise winked at me, but the way was barred.       Next
John Hooker's articles cover his studies in Celtic coins, art and mythology.
Check out the articles in Pan Magazine.
Quest for Colour

This is a Robinson Crusoe story, with the main character attempting to manufacture painting materials, particularly colours. In the first issue of Pan magazine, it is called The Quest for Colour: An Island Journal.
September 17: Harvested the last of the garden, except the potatoes, which I will keep in the ground and dig up as I need them. Everything has been dried, salted, or cellared away for the winter, and there is still some time before the rainy season.
   Now that I have solved the problems of shelter, water, and food, I need to solve the problem of boredom. I don't want to go through the endless tedium of the last rainy season. I want to paint. It occurs to me that, since I built my hut to take advantage of the best views on the island, it would be nice to spend time painting the scenes.    It should be simple enough: the island is full of colour. I'm sure I can press a few things into service. Tomorrow, I'll go out and scout the island for materials. I think I'll start on the south side: I remember a clay bank that might have good yellows and reds...maybe even greens, if I'm lucky.      Next