Thoughts about Fray

New Photo Book: Apple Sweat
Just a thought from 8 August 2006 about , , , , , .

apple sweatWhat do you do when your trip to New York City just happens to coincide with the biggest heat wave since 1936? Make some photos, of course!

I took my favorite Lomo shots and put them together in a book I'm calling Apple Sweat: The 2006 Heat Wave from NYC Streets. Take a look!

Dear Business Week
Just a thought from 18 March 2006 about , , , .

Thanks for featuring Fray, my humble site, in the lead of your recent story, You Are What You Post. We always appreciate journalists taking the time to use a 5 year-old personal story contributed to our "obscure" literary site as a to peg to hang a fear-mongering, hysterical story on.

But it would have been nice if you had at least linked to the original stuff to let readers judge the threat for themselves. The original story was called Letterman on Drugs and was written by the talented storyteller Lance Anderson.

Young Josh posted his story to the posting area that follows every Fray story. His contribution appears at the top of the second page. As you can see, he's in good company. There are 39 pages of stories like Josh's.

Continue reading “Dear Business Week” »

Merry Christmas from Fray
Just a thought from 25 December 2004 about , .

It's that time of year again. In the Xmas spirit? Enjoy these classic Fray stories:

Kathy's Annual Ladies Luncheon by Beth Lisick
"The funniest piece of mail I get arrives in the first week in December."

The Tree by yours truly
"I couldn't wait to see them brown and dry on the sidewalks. I was that way about Christmas."

Ho ho ho!

Listen to Fray Day 8 San Francisco
Just a thought from 5 December 2004 about .

Beatboxer Kid Beyond rocks the house.The Fray Audio Archive has been updated to include the audio from Fray Day 8 San Francisco! Tune in for three hours of fun, including musical performances by songwriter Goh Nakamura and beatboxer Kid Beyond and true stories told live by Jack Boulware, Beth Lisick, Derek Powazek, Kirk Read, Kevin Smokler, and lots of other great folks in the open mic.

More in Fray »

Fray Day Rocked
Just a thought from 15 November 2004 about .

me at fd8sf
Photo by Charlene Wright.

I could not be prouder of how well Fray Day 8 San Francisco went. The stories were fantastic, whether they were from a featured performer or open mic participant, the venue was beautiful, the sound was great (we may even be able to make a CD out of the recording this year), the music was incredible (Goh was perfect and Kid Beyond had everyone on their feet), and I got to tell a little two-part story of my own. We started at 8pm sharp and ended promptly at 11pm.

One of the problems anyone who runs an open mic has is getting people to stick to the time limits. In Fray, that means 10 minutes for the featured performers and 5 for the open mic. In past years, I wasn't always able to cut someone off when I should have. I mean, I got into this because I like hearing people's stories. So stopping them in the middle is hard.

But this year we introduced the Boa of Shame - a red boa that I threatened to put on the shoulders of anyone who went over their time limit. And I never got to use it! The mere threat of the Boa of Shame was enough to keep everyone in their time limit.

I especially wanna thank Dinah Sanders, who was really my rock this year. She did just as much to make Fray Day 8 SF a reality as I did. And I couldn't have done it without her. Thanks also to Jay Allen, Jish Mukerji, Min Jung Kim, and Shannon Hale, who all showed up early and helped get what needed to get done, done. Having a team of volunteers like this makes an event like this work, and work well.

See y'all next year ... or sooner.

Fray Day 8 SF is Saturday!
Just a thought from 9 November 2004 about .

Fray Day 8Fray Day 8 San Francisco is this Saturday night at the Swedish American Hall! There'll be music by Goh Nakamura and Kid Beyond, as well as stories from Jack Boulware, Kevin Smokler, Beth Lisick, Kirk Read, and of course the open mic! Don't miss it!

UPDATE: And it's all over! And it rocked! In fact, I'd call it the best Fray Day SF ever.

Fray Day is Now
Just a thought from 25 October 2004 about .

Fray Day 8Fray Day 8 began last weekend in Mesa, Arizona, and Los Angeles, California. Next up: Copenhagen, Denmark on Oct. 31 and Tucson, Arizona on Nov. 6. Events continue through November. If there's a Fray Day near you, don't miss it!

The San Francisco event is on schedule for Saturday, November 13 at The Swedish American Hall. I just uploaded a flyer and some images - grab one if you'd like to help us spread the word. And thanks!

Fray Swag Sale
Just a thought from 24 August 2004 about .

{ back to school sale }

Less than one week left to get Fray Lunchboxes and Messenger Bags at back-to-school prices! All proceeds go to support Fray Day 8.

48 Hours to Go
Just a thought from 16 July 2004 about , .

wrestling with an angel

Fray Wins a Webby
Just a thought from 12 May 2004 about .

Fray is the winner of the 2004 Webby Award in the Print & Zines category.

I know it's not cool to be stoked about something like this. I should be detached and ironic. I should point out that there's no awards ceremony this year. (Hell, there's no award - the big springy things they used to give to the winners are are now a mere $350.) I should be blase.

But I'm not. I'm stoked. Because Fray is not just me. Fray is dozens of contributors, hundreds of volunteers and performers and audiences, thousands of posters, and millions of readers. We've all been doing this thing for seven and a half years just for the love it.

Continue reading “Fray Wins a Webby” »

New in {fray}: The Worm Within
Just a thought from 7 May 2004 about .

toiletBack in November of last year, when we had our first Fray event in Cardiff, Wales, one of the most unforgettable stories of the evening came from Vincent Eaton. After the show I told him, "I've heard a lot of stories told at Fray events over the years, but I've never heard that."

Vincent has written down his story from that night, and we put it to some fantastic illustrations by the ever-talented Chris Bishop. We hope you enjoy our new story, The Worm Within. And tell us: What's lived in you?

Speaking of Fray, today (Friday) is the last day to vote for Fray in the Webby People's Voice Awards. If you like Fray, please take a moment to show your support! (Update: All done! Thanks to everyone who voted.)

It's an honor to be nominated. Again.
Just a thought from 21 April 2004 about .

Fray has been nominated for a Webby Award. When this happened three years ago, we were nominated in the Community and Personal categories and all hell broke loose. People kvetched that Fray was not personal, not a community, and besides the Webbys are passe.

This time around seems much calmer, which, in a way, just shows how far the Webbys have fallen. I mean, come on, the Kottke thread only warranted 12 comments. There's not even a MetaFilter thread yet. How times change.

I liked the Webbys then and I like them now. I doubt Fray has much of a chance against the heavy hitters in the Print & Zines category this year (including, funnily enough, the site I work on for a living, AlterNet - it's dayjob vs. nightjob!), but that's not the point. The fact that a little labor of love site can sit there facing off against the giant international magazine that lined my bookshelves as a kid is why I love the Webbys.

And now comes the part where I ask you, loyal Powazek readers, for a favor. As you may know, every Webby Award category gets two awards: the main award as picked by the judges, and a People's Voice Award chosen by the great unwashed masses of the internet. If you'd like to support the underdog, I urge you to register and vote for Fray in the Print & Zines category.

Or, of course, you could just point and laugh and complain that Fray is not a print publication. Please do! It makes me so nostalgic.

New in {fray}: Making Leta
Just a thought from 11 April 2004 about .

The best part about running a collaborative site is being able to mix and match all of the talented people I have the privilege of knowing. Like, I wonder what would happen if we mixed the lovely, hysterical words of Heather Armstrong and the emotional, gorgeous art of Claire Robertson?

Well, wonder no more. Enjoy the newest story in Fray, Making Leta. And be sure to read all the way to the end to add your own family story to the mix. (Bonus points for the first person to link to this story with the words "birth blog.")

New in {fray}: Skidmarks
Just a thought from 1 February 2004 about .

Skidmarks: An inside look into the life of a crash test dummy, um, tester. And of course, a question for you to answer: What has your job taught you?

People keep asking me:
Just a thought from 1 February 2004 about , .

Is there going to be a Fray Cafe at SXSW this year?

Answer: Yes, oh yes.

Fray CDs in Apple Store
Just a thought from 28 January 2004 about , , .

Attention all you iTunes users! The two original Fray CDs (Fray Day 5 and Fray Cafe 3) are both now available in the Apple iTunes Music Store! Click these if you're among the iTunes-addled: Fray Day 5 and Fray Cafe 3. Buy and enjoy! Just don't tell Apple you can listen to all that and more in the Fray Audio Archive for free.

New in {fray}: Ladies Luncheon
Just a thought from 25 December 2003 about .

When Beth Lisick took the stage at Fray Day 7 San Francisco and told a hysterical story about her family's annual Christmas gathering, and how it went very, very wrong one year, I knew we had to get it on the site. So today we have a special Christmas treat for you - a shiny new Fray story to unwrap. Please enjoy Beth's story: Kathy's Annual Ladies Luncheon. And then tell us: Have you ever had a harrowing holiday?

That time of year again
Just a thought from 23 December 2003 about .


Fray Cafe Cardiff
Just a thought from 5 December 2003 about .

I posted a big Fray Cafe Cardiff recap today, along with a bunch of photos from the event. Next: Audio!

Tell your pet stories
Just a thought from 26 November 2003 about .

bunnThere's a new story up in Fray tonight, and it's a doozy. Check out Pet Stories: Eight true stories of the critters we love, including a rather revealing one by me. And, of course, you're encouraged to tell your own.

The wonderful illustrations in this story were done by the elusive Goopymart. I've long enjoyed his visual contributions to ... a site that I'm not supposed to talk about. It's great to work with people you're also a fan of.

In fact, these group stories are always a huge collaboration, so here's a shout out to everyone who submitted a pet story, Goopy for the pics, and especially Heather for doing all the footwork and Maggie for all the last-minute editing. You all rule.

New in {fray}: Chicken Tenderfoot
Just a thought from 2 November 2003 about .

If you've ever had the pleasure of being that kid behind the counter, punching the clock and passing the time, in a place that always smells of bleach or grease, where the bathroom mirror yells at you in all caps to wash your hands in three languages, all for minimum wage ... then you might be able to relate to this funny new Fray story. Please welcome Fray's newest author, Skot Kurruk, and his tale of fast food hell: Chicken Tenderfoot.

And remember, this is Fray, so you're invited to tell your story of fast food employment, too!

Fray Shirts for sale!
Just a thought from 20 October 2003 about .

heatherfd7shirt.jpgWe printed up these fine t-shirts to celebrate Fray Day 7, and they were sold at events across the globe. But we made too many! Our youthful optimism is your lucky break � now you can experience the thrill of Fray casual wear without the muss and fuss of actually leaving your home!

Order yours today! (Special thanks to Heather for the modeling.)

Speaking of Fray Swag, the travel mugs are on sale right now. Check 'em out - they rock.

Fray Day photos
Just a thought from 18 October 2003 about .

me at fd7

Thanks to photographer Charlene Wright, the Fray Day 7 San Francisco pics are now online.

Fray Day begins
Just a thought from 2 October 2003 about .

I never thought these words would fall out of my mouth, but I'd give anything to be in Florida right now. Good luck, Andy!

Fray audio bonanza
Just a thought from 15 September 2003 about .

We've compiled almost all the audio we have from past Fray events on to one handy page. Check it out for over 18 hours of stories, with more to come! Special thanks to the cool cats at the Internet Archive for hosting all the audio.

New in {fray}: Joshua Tree Blooms
Just a thought from 7 September 2003 about , .

Burning Man. Arcosanti. The desert calls dreamers.

If you were one of the 30,000 people with me in Black Rock City last weekend, then you'll need no explanation of why Joshua Tree Blooms, Liz's tale of overcoming writer's block in the desert, seemed like the perfect story to come home to. And if you weren't, well, I bet there's a place out there where you learned something about yourself. Read Liz's story and tell your own.

Fray Day for Danes
Just a thought from 7 September 2003 about .

I can't tell you how much I love this. I can't read a word of it, but I love it.

Fray Cafe 3 CD
Just a thought from 23 August 2003 about .

cdI'm thrilled to announce that the official Fray Cafe 3 CD is now on sale! Fray Cafe took place in Austin back and March, and the CD contains thirteen of the most memorable performances (including yours truly). Get yours today! All proceeds go toward future Fray events.

This section is called Just a Thought. It's a blog where I post little pieces of what I'm thinking about at the moment. This page shows thoughts about Fray, including:

New Photo Book: Apple Sweat
8 August 2006

Dear Business Week
18 March 2006

Merry Christmas from Fray
25 December 2004

Listen to Fray Day 8 San Francisco
5 December 2004

Fray Day Rocked
15 November 2004

Fray Day 8 SF is Saturday!
9 November 2004

Fray Day is Now
25 October 2004

Fray Swag Sale
24 August 2004

48 Hours to Go
16 July 2004

Fray Wins a Webby
12 May 2004

New in {fray}: The Worm Within
7 May 2004

It's an honor to be nominated. Again.
21 April 2004

New in {fray}: Making Leta
11 April 2004

New in {fray}: Skidmarks
1 February 2004

People keep asking me:
1 February 2004

Fray CDs in Apple Store
28 January 2004

New in {fray}: Ladies Luncheon
25 December 2003

That time of year again
23 December 2003

Fray Cafe Cardiff
5 December 2003

Tell your pet stories
26 November 2003

New in {fray}: Chicken Tenderfoot
2 November 2003

Fray Shirts for sale!
20 October 2003

Fray Day photos
18 October 2003

Fray Day begins
2 October 2003

Fray audio bonanza
15 September 2003

New in {fray}: Joshua Tree Blooms
7 September 2003

Fray Day for Danes
7 September 2003

Fray Cafe 3 CD
23 August 2003

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The Fine Print

Working the web since 1995, Derek Powazek is the creator of many award-winning websites, a couple of which still exist. Derek is the cofounder of JPG Magazine and the CCO of 8020 Publishing. Derek lives in San Francisco with his wife, two nutty Chihuahuas, a grumpy cat, and a house full of plants named Fred. More »

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New Photo Book: Apple Sweat  8 August 2006

Dear Business Week  18 March 2006

Merry Christmas from Fray  25 December 2004

Listen to Fray Day 8 San Francisco  5 December 2004

Fray Day Rocked  15 November 2004

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