Pretty in Ink: Female Comic Writer Art Exhibit

I’ve had it on my radar to go to the Cartoon Art Museum for awhile but I hadn’t actually been motivated to go until recently. It was actually the Ninja Turtles exhibit I went to go see (more on that here on the blog tomorrow) but I fell in love with another exhibit there called Pretty in Ink. It highlights the work of female comic writers/ artists, which I thought was really interesting to explore.

img 6989 Pretty in Ink: Female Comic Writer Art Exhibit It was interesting to learn about how women cartoonists had work during WWII and then the work kind of dried up after the men returned home but a few persistent women continued with their art. It was also interesting to see the different type of humor, the unique content and the fashion illustration inspiration in the women’s comic art. And it was fun to see the different styles of women’s comics over different eras.img 6990 Pretty in Ink: Female Comic Writer Art Exhibit img 6991 Pretty in Ink: Female Comic Writer Art Exhibit Continue reading

share save 171 16 Pretty in Ink: Female Comic Writer Art Exhibit

Found Poetry / Magazine Art

Lately I’ve been engaging in a fun creative practice. I receive magazines in the mail and what I do is take each one, deconstruct it by pulling out the images and words that call out to me and then re-assemble those into a piece of “found poetry” with images. Each piece comes from one magazine. A sort of deconstructed summary of what I was inspired by in that one piece at one point in time.

img 6466 Found Poetry / Magazine Art img 6467 Found Poetry / Magazine Art Continue reading

share save 171 16 Found Poetry / Magazine Art

Support Women Authors with Shebooks Kickstarter Campaign

I wasn’t familiar with Shebooks until I spotted their current Kickstarter campaign online but from a look at it I like what they’re doing.

They publish ebooks “by women, for women” with an emphasis on memoirs, which is one of my favorite types of books to read. Their kickstarter campaign is designed to fund more publishing as well as to raise awareness of a gender bias in the writing industry.

I actually didn’t know that there was such a bias – that, according to their reports at least, women are published less and earning less than men despite having more bestselling titles. If this is true (and I have no reason to believe it’s not; I’m just phrasing it that way because I haven’t done additional research on my own so I’m just repeating what they’ve shared) then I’m a bit embarrassed that it’s not something I was aware of considering that this is my field. I mean, I mostly do self-publishing and prefer that route but it’s still something important to be aware of.

So I’m glad that they’re raising awareness while supporting authors to change that. Good stuff.

share save 171 16 Support Women Authors with Shebooks Kickstarter Campaign

Shining Affliction: Quotes and Memorable Things

Yesterday I shared my current love for Annie Rogers’ books The Unsayable and Shining Affliction. Today I thought I’d preserve some of the things I marked as “to remember” from Shining Affliction.

IMG 3915 1024x1024 Shining Affliction: Quotes and Memorable Things

What you fear most has already happened.”  This is the first line of a poem that Rogers writes and shares in this book. What a powerful statement. And it is so, so true.

“Tea Bags is “magic” and has a relationship with Ben, but Tea Bags also has a relationship with me – I animate the puppet, but Ben treats the puppet as I have treated him. Tea Bags might also be an extension of Ben’s body; Ben wants to bring him boots after all, though Tea Bags has no feet. In short, Ben has found a way to put himself into Tea Bags’s “skin”, to guess what the puppet might want as an extension of what he wants. In this way, he is able to guess what a little lost bear needs and to make a tender response.” Ah, such complexities of people and our play!

“I feel suddenly wary. Everything within me is about to be named, boxed, contained and controlled. My hands rest on the arms of a green chair, but I feel as if they could life up and life me out of here. But they are still, lifeless. The top of my head lifts off (a strange sensation), and with it my answers to his questions life and float out of me into the street where they mingle with the smoky breaths of passerby. There is no need to explain anything, I realize.” As someone who is always reaching for words, written and spoken, I’m intrigued by elective mutism and I feel like this scene (where a doctor is asking her why she’s in the hospital after a breakdown) gives me a glimpse.

IMG 4891 767x1024 Shining Affliction: Quotes and Memorable Things

“I know already how to listen to different silences. There is a silence that lies in hiding, waiting for words, but the words of the speaker are carefully censored, for all but the ones the listener waits for go unheeded, denied, into this silence. This silence leaches confidence and vision from the speaker, so that the telling itself becomes unnatural, estranging, annihilating. This silence is a bog, thick. There is no breathing space within it. But there is also a silence that opens out, as a simple wood door opens out on a clean white field, cold, its long slope strewn with stars. This silence breathes and expands. This silence waits for words, too, and it welcomes the unexpected ones, the uncanny, disturbing, and surprising ones.” Another thing that I’m reading for school is Barbara Stevens Sullivan’s book on Bion and Jung, so I’m learning about Bion’s K, the concept of being totally open to what is true in this present moment, and I feel like this latter type of silence expresses that K.

“The philosopher Heidegger writes, “What withdraws from us, draws us along by its very withdrawal, whether or not we become aware of it,” in What is Called Thinking. He goes on to explain how drawing towards withdrawal can shape who we are: “Once we are drawn into the withdrawal, we are drawing towards what attracts us by its withdrawal. And once we, being so attracted, are drawing towards what withdraws, our essential nature alread bears the stamp of ‘drawing toward’.” Another way of saying this is that the gaps in memory draw us into memory, whether we know it or not.”

“In each moment in every life, there is a gesture hovering, to move toward or away from a truth.”

“I see suddenly, very clearly, that her trust in me changed as she acquired more and more clinical training and experience, until I felt, in the last year we met, that what I said to her hardly mattered. She had her interpretations all ready, and my words were fitted to them. Anything that did not fit could be attributed to my ‘denial’ or ‘resistance’.” This is at the heart of Rogers’ troubles with her therapist and it really strikes me to the core. I think it is the risk all therapists run of getting wrapped up in the academic side of things and forgetting to see the person in front of them. It’s a risk I’m afraid of if I move into this work myself. It’s an area I never want to stop being vigilant about.

share save 171 16 Shining Affliction: Quotes and Memorable Things

Isolation When Working From Home

I just received my copy of the new book Out of Office: How to Work from Home, Telecommute, or Workshift Successfully  by Simon Salt. I purchased this book not just because it interested me but also because I’m quoted in it!

work from home book Isolation When Working From Home

Isolation

My quote is on page 62, in the section on “isolation” when working from home. I shared:

“The single biggest challenge for me has been that there is isolation when working alone at home. This is how I work best and tends to be what I prefer. However, it gets to a point where you are spending way too much time alone and this is not only a negative thing socially but also ends up being bad for your work because you just don’t get the creativity and stimulation that you need to be pushing yourself forward in the job.”

What To Do About It

The author goes on to write in paragraph form about ways to deal with this issue when working from home. He incorporates some of the ideas that I shared with him as well as some thoughts of his own.

Here’s what I’d shared (that isn’t in the book specifically in this way):

  • Get involved in collaborative projects. I seek out short-term projects that I can do in collaboration with others. These often aren’t the most lucrative in terms of payment but they are creaively fulfilling and intellectually stimulating. These can be online or in-person projects and both seem to work equally well even though with online projects I’m still working from home.
  • Attend networking events. This is a great way to meet people from a variety of different backgrounds and be challenged to think in new ways about my work. Conferences and small business classes offer something comparable.
  • Actively engage in an out-of-home social life. This links to another problem I’ve had which is that I tend to be something of a workaholic who doesn’t take enough downtime since work is always there at home to be done. Making sure that I’m social out of the house gives me downtime and ends theisolation so that I can be fresh for work the next day.

My Experience

Finally, I added (also not quoted):

“I have tried co-work spaces, working at coffee shops, etc. and that never really works for me. When I am working on my own projects I really need to be at home, in my space, in my routine, doing my thing. By adding in additional projects and activities I’m able to meet my own social/intellectual needs without sacrificing my work.”

The Book

Salt’s book is a practical guide for working from home. It’s especially for people who haven’t done this before or who are fairly new to it as it provides a pretty step-by-step description of the ups and downs. I haven’t read through it all yet, just flipped through it, but it looks like there are also a few gems that us longtime stay-at-home-workers can also enjoy. I appreciate that he took the time to consult a lot of us about our own real life experiences and I think that this is especially adds to the book.

share save 171 16 Isolation When Working From Home

3 More Pieces of Past Poetry

Yesterday I shared a poetry fragment from a found but forgotten notebook. Here are three more unedited, unnamed pieces from that same time:

purple collage art 3 More Pieces of Past Poetry

Piece 1

Strawberry Crush

Half drunk by the bedside

As she begins to crush strawberries between her thighs

Orange cat insults master

Bringing natural actions into constructed domain

Music dances across the room

The creepy man had said to her,

“if that’s music tattooed on your leg your boyfriend could learn to play guitar across your thigh”

And though he’s not, her boyfriend that is,

the friendly boy’s guitar notes

skitter along her legs

And his apologies for the simplicity of his creation seem ludicrous for their complexity

He confesses that he no longer even wants her in his bed

And she laughs at this because now she no longer wants to fight being there

It’s all a game and the climax would be anti-climactic now

The build-up from the pressure of the chase and run is the point

Like playing Russian roulette,

Sitting for hours with the gun in your mouth,

thoughts teasing through your busy head and then blast!

And you’re still there

gun in hand in mouth

Realization of empty chamber seeping in

And now what? Nothingness.

Life continues to on

Never as intense as it was before the game’s outcome was learned

She doesn’t want to know how they end

So she runs from pursuit

Vanity drips down her spine

And she arches her back from the coolness of it

Alarm bell rings and she wants to tickle him into morning

Says instead, “it’s time to leave” with a groan

And his not yet sends her to the couch to write the sun up

She sits on wooden staircase to watch Venus rise in the East

She finds faces in the bluegrey clouds of early morning

Sitting behind her, he eyes the cloud she calls a lizard and censors her ideas

Rooster crows and rabbit runs away

This is their existence

Piece 2

Continue reading

share save 171 16 3 More Pieces of Past Poetry

Poetry Fragments from the Past

Going through old papers I found this …

graffiti love Poetry Fragments from the Past

eyes stare at eyes stare at eyes stare at eyes

thinking that if I stared at you intensely enough,

I could see through me

Blue wraps its way around the night,

winding skin around skin around skin around kiss

moments magically touched by motion

desire devours days

and I stare at you, eyes closed

I watch you and can’t see me

except for those brief seconds when all I see in you is in me

Interconnection  interfaced around interlocked bodies

You sleep and I dream you into existence

When you close your eyes I watch you awaken

And when you wake I dream that you are sleeping inside of me

I dream every breath I take is your heartbeat

And every heartbeat I feel is you breathing

Emotions wrap their way around intentions

I wanted to detach until your detachment drew me in

Eyes stare at eyes stare at eyes stare at eyes

Are we seeing anything?

share save 171 16 Poetry Fragments from the Past

2014: My Year of Story

In one of the many New Years blog posts that I read in the past week I saw the suggestion to try to choose a single word to encapsulate your hopes and wishes for the new year. I took my time thinking about what I wanted my word to be. Some of the ones that I considered but that weren’t quite right included “juicy”, “wholeness” and “presence.” When I kept working on my thoughts and hopes and ideas for 2014 I finally landed on the right word: STORY.

IMG 2604 1024x768 2014: My Year of Story

The Stories I Tell Myself

Continue reading

share save 171 16 2014: My Year of Story