Just wanted to share that I’m excited to be participating in this collage swap project from Brown Paper Bag. I believe that participation is now closed. More than 1000 people are going to be a part of this!
During one of our classes the first weekend of this semester the instructor brought up the common scenario of an adult returning back home and suddenly behaving the same way that s(he) did as a teenager. There were so many understanding nods of agreement in the class, from people I know well enough to know that they often do battle with their families of origin in a way significantly different from how they interact with their chosen families. While I understood the reason for this, and I could recognize that it commonly happens, I didn’t feel it resonate as something that is true for me. I’ve been sitting with that ever since the class, mulling it over, and I reached the “aha” moment when I realized that there has been such a significant shift in our family dynamics over time that our new homeostasis doesn’t match the old homeostasis we were in when I was a kid … so of course I don’t feel like a kid in that home anymore and yet I do fall into a certain role or pattern that is different from how I interact in my other situations in life.
Almost every day I walk past a boutique clothing store on my street that has an Issey Miyake fashion display in the window. The volume of this designer’s clothes doesn’t seem like it would work on my body but I’m always so intrigued by what he’s creating. Today Dezeen has an interview with the fashion designer about his new collection and the technology being used to produce it.
“Dan Howarth: How does the technology work?
Yoshiyuki Miyamae: Let me quickly talk about the latest concept before we get into the technology. It’s called Windscape, this latest collection. I was inspired by the natural patterns that winds create. It could be about the shape of clouds, a sand dune changing shape, maybe the ripples on the surface of the water. It’s also to do with lightness. I wanted to express the lightness of those phenomena and translate them to the clothes.
We created paper prototypes of the shapes. We tried many patterns including squares and triangles. We usually tend to work like that and to make one paper prototype takes about a day to make it work. The way I came to this point is through endless research and experimenting at the paper stage and gradually translating it into fabric.”
I’ve never been one to participate in Black Friday, that day after Thanksgiving when all of the stores go sale-crazy and people flood in to try to get those good prices. I’m a bit more fond of Small Business Saturday, a spinoff that emphasizes supporting local businesses instead, although I still don’t do the shopping thing. Then there’s CyberMonday, where the big sales happen online. Although I don’t really participate in that one, it’s appealing to me because I’m a fan of online shopping.
Anyway, all of this is a prelude to introduce Giving Tuesday, which is all about de-emphasizing the purchasing of items for the holiday season and re-focusing on the giving nature of this time.
“On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.”
December 2nd would have been my grandmother’s birthday this year.
I recently wrote about the revival of Clearly Canadian. I have to say that the company is doing a great job of spreading the word. Two different people reached out to me to mention this based on one article I wrote for Hubpages a few years back. I’m seeing a lot of promotion around the web so I can only assume that they’ve been reaching out to thousands of other people in the same way.
One of the places that published about them recently was The Bold Italic. And they mentioned something I didn’t know … that the same folks who made Clearly Canadian also made Orbitz, and that they’re hoping to bring that drink back as well.
Aw, I remember Orbitz. It was a weird drink that had jelly balls in it. Kind of like Boba tea, which I don’t like at all even though everyone I know seems to be a fan. I kind of remember liking Orbitz at the time … but I was a teenager and it was newfangled and it had a kind of retro-edgy design so I imagine that was what I was drawn to. Curious to see if it does make a comeback.
Just Girls is a young adult LGBTQ novel that stands out to me as innovative and aware while simultaneously touching on the topics that affect many teenagers as they enter the college scene for the first time.
Just Girls is the story about Ella Ramsey, a MTF transgender woman who is starting as a new student in college and hasn’t come out to people there even though she has gone through the coming out process in her hometown.
She becomes friends with Jess. She’s a cisgender lesbian who has overheard slurs and bullying comments about the transgender person on campus and pretends that she is transgender as a way to raise awareness of trans and LGBTQ issues. She doesn’t know at first that her friend Ella is the person she’s defending in this way.
The story is about their individual and shared experiences in these early days at a college campus.
What I Love
Author Rachel Gold does a great job of raising awareness of myriad LGBTQ issues in this book while still retaining the story itself as the primary focus. Reading it, I was concerned about the characters and their inner lives and their relationships. I wasn’t focused on anything as a “trans issue” and yet noticed that there was a lot of information and advocacy happening in those pages. I love that Gold was able to balance her writing in this way.
The past month or so has been tough on me, but it finally feels like I’m starting to get my head above water again. I’ve shared a few of the big things that happened (my medication mishap, my grandmother’s passing).
The other things that occurred were not as big as these things. In fact, they were relatively small in the big scheme of things but it just seemed like it was one thing on top of another thing and I couldn’t catch my breath.
I made a mistake with an article that I wrote, sending in a draft instead of a finished item and the draft got published to my great dismay since it wasn’t anything like the finished article was. I had a Google issue where they decided my crochet blog was violating some term of agreement and pulled my ads (and therefore income) and it took me awhile to figure out how to fix it. I had a confrontation of sorts with a friend about my inability to connect well during this time.
Considering how tough the month was, I felt like I handled it pretty well. I went back to the basics. I made sure I was eating well and trying to sleep enough and being as gentle on myself as possible. I reached out and let the people close to me know that I was having a hard time, even though I wasn’t sure what I wanted from them in the way of help or support. I tried to remember that it was just a rough patch and would get better, even though I didn’t quite believe it at the time.
The worst of it seems to be over. I finally get health insurance starting November 1st, which relieves a lot of the medical issues. I re-designed my crochet blog and am happy with the results (and I’ll be looking at a site re-design here in the near future as well). I rested when I needed to rest and am getting more productive now that I’ve got a little more energy.
Life is ups and downs.
Loving this spoken word by Brenna Twohy:
Today I’m excited to bring you an author interview from Chris Datta. His first novel Touched with Fire was a number one best-seller in the Historical Fiction category, and this supernatural thriller lives up to the high expectations readers have for this talented author.
The Demon Stone by Christopher Datta
The Demon Stone is a powerful supernatural thriller that leads you from the killing fields of Africa to the quiet Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. In braided narratives, Datta spins a terrifying story about the spiritual forces—both real and supernatural—that incite the basest, bloodiest and most frightening of human behaviors.
“Reading Chris Datta is like riding a rollercoaster. It’s a fast ride filled with twists and turns. His Demon Stone is scary fun. Stephen King, watch your back!”
-Richard Rashke, author of The Killing of Karen Silkwood
Interview with Chris Datta
Novel Publicity: What drew you to writing about spiritual forces, and could you explain how spiritual forces can be both real and supernatural?