A morning without ravens is like a night without stars.|
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|Wednesday, January 4th, 2017|
|Monday, January 2nd, 2017|
|2016, Looking Back
I'm amused that my primary use for LJ is to blather about my New Year's resolutions. But it feels more a tad more private than Blogger - more like having a chat in the kitchen than in the living room.
Looking back at 2016, my resolutions were to be active, to be brave, and to become, and I didn't do too badly. Everything went really well through September, which was when I started dealing with having a dangerously crazy family member. That, and starting a new job took everything I had for a few months.
I was active in that I did walk and/or ride my bike almost every day, logging over 2000 miles ridden. I made more art, more things, and I was pretty good at sharing them with others.
Notable accomplishments under "being brave" include entering and winning Adiantum's A&S championship, reaching out to strangers, and getting the new job, which was one of the scariest things I've done in a while. I also tried new things like woodburning and leather burning/painting.
I became a better artist, a healthier person, and happier with where we are and what we have. And despite the challenges of the last three months, I have not lost all progress. Best of all, I'm ready to start fighting to gain ground again.
|Tuesday, December 13th, 2016|
|Be Your Own Light
From We’re heading into dark times. This is how to be your own light in the Age of Trump
Write down what you value; what standards you hold for yourself and for others. Write about your dreams for the future and your hopes for your children. Write about the struggle of your ancestors and how the hardship they overcame shaped the person you are today.
But most of all, never lose sight of who you are and what you value. If you find yourself doing something that feels questionable or wrong a few months or years from now, find that essay you wrote on who you are and read it. Ask if that version of yourself would have done the same thing.
And if the answer is no? Don’t do it.
I value courage: the kind of courage that stands up for people who need defending, the kind of courage that doesn't let mockery stop it, the kind of courage that it takes to be your authentic self in a world that wants you to be anything but.
I value honesty, but especially the sort of honesty that goes hand-in-hand with kindness.
I value anger. Not the kind of petty anger born out of pride and hatred, but the anger that says NO. YOU MAY NOT DO THIS TO ME. YOU MAY NOT DO THIS TO MY FRIEND. I choose anger over submission.
I value kindness, and creativity, and intelligence, especially when all of those things go together like music.
All I've ever really wanted from tomorrow is to get it a little bit better than today. Dreams? A warm, comfortable home with just enough space and abundance for us and our cat-friends. A garden. Enough healing to do all the things I want to do and make and learn. Freedom from fear of want. Health and friends and books and little adventures.
Write a list of things you would never do. Because it is possible that in the next year, you will do them.
I would never sit still and silent if someone shouted bigoted abuse at someone in my presence.
I would never profess a faith I don't hold or denounce a friend just to protect myself.
I will never fucking stand and silently watch while Americans are carted away to detention camps for the color of their skin, the shape of their eyes or their faith.
I would never...I don't know what I would never do. I hope I have the courage to STAND UP and MAKE WAVES in the days and months to come, but I don't know. All I have is a pretty good idea that there's enough anger and courage and don't-give-a-damn in me to do that.
|Monday, November 21st, 2016|
|Why We Speak
This weekend, I was telling a friend about a "someone is wrong on the internet" argument I got into a while back, with the friend of a friend who was saying, nay, INSISTING that women were foolish to be alarmed when someone approached them in public to offer a compliment. Despite the fact that at least two dozen women (myself included) told him that we found being approached by strangers on the street to be less than pleasant in most circumstances, despite the fact that many of us had stories of street harassment to share, he continued to assert that he was right, we were wrong, and he would continue to "compliment" women whenever he felt like it. The kicker? The man was gay.
My friend questioned my willingness to argue with strangers on the internet. Was it really worth my time? That question banged around in my back brain for almost 36 hours when I realized exacty why those arguments ARE worth my time.
There may have been little chance that this man might change his mind, but every woman in that discussion who spoke up empowered other women (and men, too!) to speak out against street harassment, to share our experiences, and to know that we are neither wrong nor alone in going alert when a stranger approaches us in public. Some of us have had experiences that make such encounters downright fearful. Every time this guy asserted we were just being paranoid, there was someone to counter that accusation. And other men in the conversation Got It.
I'm willing to spend my time speaking up for the people who are listening. I'm speaking up to spread the courage given to me by the women who have spoken up for me when I couldn't.
|Friday, November 18th, 2016|
|Monday, February 1st, 2016|
|The Power of "Be Brave"
I resolved to be brave this year. So far, this has resulted in:
- Entering Adiantum's A&S championship...and winning! (still so delighted, seriously)
- Standing up and telling a funny story to a roomful of strangers.
- Inviting a potential new friend out to lunch or coffee.
These are really good things! At least two of them might not have happened without the the extra impetus of telling myself to be brave.
|Friday, January 1st, 2016|
|A New Year's Intentions, Distilled
Resolution time! For 2016, I hereby resolve to: Be active. Be brave. Become.
2015 was not a good year for resolutions. I didn't gain much in the way of ground, but at least I did not lose all the progress made in 2014. For this bright new year, I will be doing much the same work, but I'm hoping that re-framing my resolutions and goals will help me to take on that work from a fresh direction.
With "Be active", my intent is to continue to ride and walk more, to make more art and more things by hand: to actively DO. There are so many things that I want to do and make that I never get around to bringing into being. That has to change because doing and making – acts of creation – bring me joy and healing, and I need both of those very much. My "active" goals are:
• Bike & walk every day•
Follow DASH for Health and log calories•
Make art. Make things. Make happiness!•
Share art & things & happiness•
Hang out with people
"Being brave" is about putting my art/projects/writing out into the world more often, in person and online via blogging and social media, but also about taking on challenges. Goals are:•
Share your art and self and thoughts with the world•
Blog and journal publically•
Try new things•
Speak up! Reach out!
"Become" is where I began when I started thinking about this new year. It was almost a one word resolution, but since I like framework (and checklists), I decided to add some structure. It's a beautiful word, ne c'est pas? My "becoming" goals are:•
Become a better artist.•
Become a healthier person.•
Become happier with where you are and what you have.
As I work on all of these, I'll be setting weekly, monthly and seasonal goals, and keeping various lists to track my progress. Here's hoping for a busy, beautiful year!
|Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015|
|What Gone Means
What gone means. The moment when you understand that their story is over; that their story is what you carry forward with you. That you carry a piece of their story like it was a piece of their heart, like the piece of your heart they took with them when they left. Like carrying a seed over hard, stony ground, a seed that you will never see planted, never see grow, but you carry it regardless in the hopes that one day it will find good earth again.
|Friday, November 6th, 2015|
|November Flies On Feathered Wings
I wish I could photograph my favorite moments when riding my bike but they are often so fleeting. On the river path, face into the late afternoon, a flight of Canada geese flew right overhead, not even twenty feet up, golden in the sunlight.
My heart rose up with them.
And they didn't poop on me. #grateful
|Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015|
|SCA Rules: Surviving The First Encounter
At the beginning of the year, I made a plan to live by some SCA rules. They are:
- Keep my mouth shut.
- Do things differently.
- Find ways to contribute.
- Make all the things.
- Never come empty-handed.
- Everyone gets at least one chance to be a different person.
- Honor the days that are.
You know that saying about plans rarely surviving first contact with the enemy? Well, no enemies (except myself; I'm really good at being my own worst), so my plans survived pretty well. I was fairly succesful at keeping my mouth shut most of the time, and honoring the days that are grew easier towards the end of the season. The rest? Mostly successful, lost of work left to do.( Doing things differently...Collapse )
|Thursday, September 3rd, 2015|
|Reading List Fall 2015
Fall is awesome reading time. Oh, there's the fall housecleaning to do, all the preserving and jam-making that ought to happen, the various projects that we've put off while the sun still shone hot and afternoons were more for sipping lemonade than for sweating. But oh, sweet autumn on the horizon! It's also time for huge mugs of sweet, milky tea, cuddling under quilts, long hot baths (should you be so fortunate as to have a tub), and all of it goes better with a good book close to hand.
There are some books I'm really dying to read this fall. Some of them would have been summer reading, but I had to go on the library waitlist for them, and oh good glory, after about a month and a half, on one of them, there are still twenty-four hold requests ahead of mine. Yeah, yeah, yeah patience – how long will that take?
That one is Seveneves by Neil Stephenson. When a friend posted the opening line of the book to social media, my comment was "Wow, that's a great first line." A few hours later, I thought "wow, that really is a great first line" and went to read the sample chapter on Amazon. It is "The moon blew up without warning, and for no apparent reason." Stephenson goes on to paint a vivid and plausible image of the disintegrating moon. Go read the opening, and then find a copy at your local library or independent bookseller. It promises to be amazing.
The other book I have on hold at the library is Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson (Only one person ahead of me, the end is in sight!). Aurora is a generation ship story, along the lines of The Dazzle of Day by Molly Gloss and Ursula K LeGuin's short story Paradises Lost. I do love a good "interstellar ark" tale, as long as it doesn't devolve into the overused "horror in space" trope. Robinson's newest version of the generation ship narrative looks like it takes more of the technical challenges into account, while not forgetting that a unique culture would evolve on shipboard over the long years on an interstellar journey.
Also on my list is The Shepherd's Crown which is Sir Terry Pratchett's final book. It's the last of the Tiffany Aching series. I'm going to re-read the first three before opening it; I want it all fresh in my mind, and fall is a glorious time to read Pratchett.
From there, I have a book of short stories, The Best of Connie Willis. After hearing her presentation at the Hugos, I wanted to read her work; I'm not sure if I've come across it before. Also, The Three Body Problem, by Liu Cixin, which won the 2015 Hugo for Best Novel.
On the non-fiction pile, I've got Creative Girl: Mixed Media Techniques For An Artful Life; Green Guide for Arists; Show Your Work!; Art & Fear, and probably
about at least a dozen others that would do me some creative good.
What are YOU reading this fall?
|Friday, August 28th, 2015|
|Hiding My Cards
I tend to play things pretty close to my chest. I love the things I love, but compared to other people who are very open about celebrating their fandoms and fancies, I'm fairly quiet about them. Part of it is due to a childhood where, too often, the things I loved were used as weapons against me. My parents frequently took things away as punishment, and the more obviously I cared about something, the more likely it was it might disappear. Part of it is because as a chess-playing, SF/F reading, lefty, future granola girl growing up in a small redneck mountain town, you'd best believe I learned to hide things for survival's sake.
Nothing, though, could make me stop loving Tolkein, chess, Star Trek, marching band, Pern, Narnia, Skeve and Aahz, Damar, dragons, unicorns, video games, and all of it. I was just...quiet about it. And that habit carried into adulthood, even among friends, even among the communities where those things are celebrated. I've been part of those communities for a very long time, just not, I guess, an extrovert for them.
In November, I'll be celebrating at my twenty-fifth Orycon, which is a wonderful local convention for all things science fiction and fantasy. It's also something of a benchmark for convention experiences, and no other convention I've been to (Westercon, Norwescon, Rustycon, etc) has been much different, just bigger.
This year, Worldcon – the World Science Fiction and Fantasy convention – was held in Spokane, Washington. An easy, if long, drive. And one of my best friends talked me into sharing a booth with her and another of her friends in the dealer's room. So, not only did I go to my first Worldcon, I was in the dealers room with my artwork. And not only that, but it was a history-making Worldcon in many ways, not least because of the controversy over the Hugo awards. If you're reading this, you're probably already familiar with the whole tempest, so I'm not going to recap it, but I did want to share some articles that do a great job with that.http://www.wired.com/2015/08/won-science-fictions-hugo-awards-matters/http://io9.com/this-is-what-the-2015-hugo-ballot-should-have-been-1725967147 http://www.npr.org/2015/08/26/434644645/how-the-sad-puppies-won-by-losinghttp://www.salon.com/2015/08/26/the_scifi_fans_are_alright_i_saw_the_future_at_the_hugo_awards_and_it_will_never_belong_to_the_toxic_right_wing_trolls/
From that last link: "The experience of being at WorldCon vs. reading about it online was like night and day." This is dead-fucking-on. In the run up to the convention, based on all the things being said online, I expected a frightening and confrontational atmosphere. What it was, though, was the same friendly, welcoming, joyful atmosphere that I've found for over 20 years at Orycon, and every other convention I've attended.
I don't think I will fear any convention in the future. The trolls stayed home, or even better, vanished into the crowd of good-hearted people who love SF/F and have no fear of change. And, at least for a while, I want to be more open about the things I love about science fiction and fantasy and fandom, no small part of which is the optimism, the inclusiveness, the hope for a different and better future.
|Monday, June 15th, 2015|
|Added One More Rule
"Honor the days that are."
Don't live in the past, don't pine for the days that were. Remember them for the good things, learn from the bad things, but live in the present.
|Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015|
|My Ground Rules
So, these are the ground rules I've been pondering for the last month or so – personal guidelines in my desire to be a wise and purposeful adult and to be part of a community.
Keep my mouth shut.( Curious?Collapse )
Do things differently.
Find ways to contribute.
Make all the things.
Never come empty-handed.
Everyone gets at least one chance to be a different person.
I do welcome comments. :)
|Sunday, April 19th, 2015|
It looks like coffee.
But it isn't; it's decaf.
|Friday, April 10th, 2015|
Lately I've been thinking through some personal principles for good behavior - ways of being "a wise and purposeful adult", sort of my own set of rules for being a good person and being a welcome member of a community. I'd like to share them, but I'd like to hear about your own sets of rules/guidelines/personal code...there's a term that I'd like to use, but it just isn't coming to me. If you would, please share with me the principles that get you through life.
|Sunday, April 5th, 2015|
|Re-Reading and Rebirth
Oh, books. There are books that I've had for years, have read probably have a dozen times or more, and in which I still find something new when I read them for the umpteenth time. You know that saying that you can't step into the same river twice? You can't read the same book twice, because if you're doing things right, you're a different person every time you open the covers and dive into the worlds they contain.
I've been rediscovering some of my roots a bit, lately. Revisiting books and words that contributed to the person I am as an adult. Ursula K. LeGuin's Always Coming Home. Alicia Bay Laurel's Living On The Earth. The Goodfellow Catalog of Wonderful Things. (Yeah, I really should have been born a decade earlier. Oh well. Imagine how weird I was in middle school in 1984.) These are book that helped me realize, helped me understand, at a relatively early age that the world didn't always have to be the one in which I found myself. That there could be a world made by hand. That you could surround yourself with things made by yourself and by other human beings close to you, and not always in a factory somewhere. These are ideas I explore again and again, because to me, they are so fundamental to being a human person.
From where I sit, in my little nest on the living room floor, I can put my hands on two or three projects in process, and the tools for several more. There are raw materials for yet more. I can reach my hand out and stretching just a bit, I can touch 20 things that were made either by myself, or people living within a couple of hundred miles of where my bottom touches the floor. A cup that holds pens. A couple of bowls that organize some things. The raven cup I got at the Saturday Market yesterday. My hand-sewn hood and bag. My nalbound socks in progress. A glass that Vandy made. The bowl holding my apple wedges (nom nom). The tool roll and coin pouch that Barret made for me. Barret's new gorget. A tiny cup that Gwen made. Human scale things. Hands that make with love and joy. Things rooted in the natural world.
Whenever I've read Always Coming Home, I've thought "this is how to be an adult." And now that I am caught up in the gyre of the middle of my life, the hinge, I think "this is how to be a wise and purposeful adult." To embrace the natural world. To make and grow things with my hands. To share what I know and what I make. To embrace and contribute to a community (That part scares me. People scare me...but, to overcome fears...). To walk lightly everywhere. To take responsibility. To be gentle with myself and others. To give to light.
There will be a lot of days when I fail, but I'm starting to feel like there's going to be more when I succeed.
How do you feel about handmade things? What things do you make? How much of a part do they play in your everyday life?
|Thursday, March 12th, 2015|
|Goodbye (but not), Sir Terry
Terry Pratchett. The man who, upon acheiving knighthood, forged his own sword. Out of starstuff.
He created worlds and filled them with friends. As long as those words and those worlds and those friends are with us, it is not goodbye.
The shell dies. The light shines on forever.
|Thursday, March 5th, 2015|
|Why We Do SCA?
Historical re-enactment vs experimental archaeology vs creative anachronism.
|Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014|
Still hanging in there.
Wings Unbound, work in progress
The last couple of months have been kind of crazy. My digital collages are, slowly, surely, finding an audience. I've been figuring out how and where to get prints made and then how to get them out into public. (Some cards and calendars over here, btw
) It's awesome – fun and terrifying at the same time. For the first time, I've got something to show that I'm really proud of and fully confident, which means that I'm
less afraid of the act of showing it to people. I'm still terrified of approaching people, though, especially when rejection is a posibility.I still have to do it, though – court rejection. I'm working my ass off to make a career out of this (at least when the depression gets out of my way for long enough). I want things to change. They have been changing, though not enough, not yet.