#Lexigraph update: keep the words coming


I said this morning that i’d post an update when we hit 180 photographs of words. Then I went for lunch and came back to a whopping 244 photos- hurrah! Thank you all so much for helping me out, and please do keep tweeting your photos of words using the #lexigraph hashtag, or if you’re not a fan of tweeting then feel free to join in by emailling the photos to vsadams(at) gmail.com and I’ll put them up for you.

STV have announced details of all five of the projects shortlisted for the STV Digital Spark award, and you can book your (free) ticket to come along and vote for any of us on the pitch night (Saturday 25th) plus plenty of other awesome literary events at the Dundee Literary Festival, running 22-26th October. There’s also a Facebook event page for the STV Digital Spark award if you like to like things.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I’d like to see what happens if we pulled together a thousand pictures of words… in the meantime, here’s a glorious collation of the photos sent in so far:

#Lexigraph: help me find the right words #STVspark


The visual world around us is teeming with words: adverts, street art, signposts, menus, newspapers, pub signs. We skim over them, extracting basic information and forgetting them as quickly as a cliché in conversation. Our attention might be momentarily arrested by an stylised font, quirky placement, bright colour or unusual size of lettering, but we’re busy people with places to go, activities to undertake and texts to read so we leave these words and we forget them.



I’ve been shortlisted for the STV Digital Spark Award (woo hoo!). My pitch is to create Lexigraph: a way of encouraging people to spend a little more time with this world of words, to find a new appreciation for the lettered-over landscape of everyday life and to share that appreciation with others.


It’s basically a scissor-free digital mash-up of those ransom-notes you used to make as kids, cutting words and letters out of different  newspapers and magazines. You find words on pub signs, letters spray-painted on the side of a building and you snap a photo with your camera-phone, then crop the image. Through Lexigraph you contribute your “found” words to a shared library and it allows you to seamlessly repost your tweets, your status updates or that poem you wrote last week as a glorious image. Think of it as an involved way of making your flash-fiction flashier, your love-notes more colourful, or your 2,000 word essay unforgettably epic.


I’ll be pitching Lexigraph to the panel of judges & an audience at the #STVspark event at the Dundee Literary Festival on Saturday 25th. It would be great if you came along and voted for me, or tweeted your support on the night. In the meantime, please send me words via Twitter using the hashtag #lexigraph. I want to gather together a wide range of found words to jazz up my five minute pitch: help me make it happen.

Any Scottish-based techie types who’d like to put in an expression of interest in working with me to get Lexigraph up and running (if I win the award), please get in touch.

Making plans and new arrivals

14th century commonplace book

Preparations for my residency in China (as two.5, with the American Photographer Samantha Silver) are starting to come together. We’ve both got our visas now, and my vaccinations are almost probably definitely up to date Continue reading

Words Cannot Express (short story)

image ©  _Harry Lime_ via Flickr
image © _Harry Lime_ via Flickr

After reading the first line out loud, my mum falls silent.  I dig my nails into the palm of my hands.  She holds the piece of paper away at arms length while she reads and narrows her eyes.  Her reading glasses are in her bag but she always squints, claiming that they tend to smudge her mascara. Continue reading

Flashing around: June 2014 round-up


Mildred passed Ernie the small silver jug of cream and he attempted to balance the blue cup and saucer on the thick ridges of his corduroy trousers.

extract from ‘Things We Do Not Talk About’

Continue reading