A Modern Woman on the Move

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Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Beth Ditto Fan Art!

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This is a drawing I finished up today as part of the roadmap zine I’m making for the campers of Rock’N’Roll Camp For Girls.

bethditto

In the zine, it will be black instead of yellow, but I drew it in yellow because it just felt right. Now I am debating which quote from her to use to pair with the drawing.

I am wrapping up laying out the roadmap, debating banging out one more coloring page of a rad musician. I can’t wait to try to put together a coloring book of more drawing one day (in the NEAR future) for rock camp.

We’re going to be binding the zine for the campers of the first session at my house on Saturday (the first session begind next week). We’re going to just be hole-punching and tying with colored twine (kind of like thishttp://www.pebblesandbuttons.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Tie-a-knot-or-a-bow.jpg), so it’s very easy work. There will just be about 70 of them to do, so many hands will make the work quick!

If you’ve been looking for someway to help rock camp, this would be a great start! In addition to having a chance to help out rock camp, you can have a chance to meet other rad volunteers. Plus, you can check out the road map I made for campers, which will be including some rad art of musicians.

If you have something you’d like to donate to rock camp, gift cards, services, art, whatever, this would be a great time to drop a donation off. Remember, RNRC4G is a nonprofit and you will get a receipt for your tax-deductible donation. So, for example, if you’re an artist, you get to set the value of what you’ve donated. Also, what’s more awesome than giving your comics or your band’s cd to young people?

We’re also going to watch The Punk Singer (probably starting it at 3:00), because I have been wanting to see it and showing it during working on this seemed appropriate. ♥

Blue will provide some tasty snacks and beverages for this work part, but you’re welcome to bring some too! If you want to come and you don’t know where I live, you can message me for the address. Feel free to invite your rad friends!

Santigold Fan Art!

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This is a drawing I finished up today as part of the roadmap zine I’m making for the campers of Rock’N’Roll Camp For Girls.

santigold

In the zine, it will be black instead of red, but I drew it in red because it just felt right. Now I am debating which quote from her to use to pair with the drawing.

 

Anyone have any suggestions for who should be on my short list to draw to finish out this zine with fun coloring pages?

Written by lovemotionstory

June 21, 2014 at 9:54 pm

What Do You Feel?

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Dear friends! Most of you know that Marco, Matt, and I have been working on making a poly bio comic that we’ll update weekly. It’s a pretty big, multifaceted project, we will all contribute to the scripts and story ideas (well, our lives are the story ideas), Marco and I will also sometimes draw it, but Matt will be the main artist. We even plan on taking submissions for comics having to do with non monogamy to feature guest artists. The website for it is also going to be a place where we talk about our lives and our other projects.

ANYWAYS, we are torn between two names, so we’d like to ask all of you lovelies to give us your two cents….

If it helps, these are the two songs of inspiration for us…

Written by lovemotionstory

January 28, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Shit is always gettin’ real in my classes.

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Debate class is emotionally rough for me this term. I ask my students to steer the topics and, as a result, shit gets real. I am working on writing about this more, but, daaaaamn, I need to facilitate a solidarity club at my school already because our debate topics (or zine/comics topics or pretty much whatever I talk about with these kids) are really these kids working through how oppressive our society is to them. I am grateful they feel comfortable talking to me (probably because I’m one of the few adults in their lives who cares to sit down and actually listen), but this stuff is rough.

I see them trying to hold onto the ideals adults have appeared to celebrate to them as children (being kind, sharing, working together, having empathy for others, celebrating individuality), while also experiencing the frustration and internal conflict that comes from the process of becoming an adult in an oppressive society (full of media messages) that actually gives fuck all about folks being kind, sharing, working together, having empathy for others, celebrating individuality.

Written by lovemotionstory

October 18, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Teaching is the best 4EVAR

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Yesterday, I had my first day of Zines Class at the middle school I work at. I am so excited for this batch of potential new zinesters and I still have returning students, which always makes me feel so accomplished! This afternoon, I’m teaching Debate and then Puzzles and Games… I love life.

Have I shown y’all the posters that I’ve made for the classes I teach in order to boost enrollment? One features art from Katy Ellis O’Brien, another from Matthew Rainwater, but the Puzzles and Games poster is cheesy photo style, featuring images of girls playing games. The photos amounted to about 2 hours worth of googling, I’m hoping to subtly recruit more girls! Getting kids interested in SUN is really important to me, a lot of SUN classes make up for the lack of arts programs during the school day, as well as help the young people in the school have a constructive place to go with purpose (school work support, skill-building, community-developing) in the afternoons.

DebateClassSUNPoster  ZineClassSUNPoster  PuzzlesGamesClassSUNPoster

 

I am really excited about ANOTHER year teaching at the school I’ve already spent three years teaching within. I am also really happy to be put in charge of yet another class, Puzzles and Games. I had told the director of the SUN program I work for (who is a really amazing, hardworking lady, you wouldn’t believe how much this woman juggles), that I was really interesting in teaching this more recreational class last year, so I am incredibly flattered and excited it’s now on my plate!

I am hoping to teach a leadership class this year as well, where I can feature some material from Stay Solid!

Written by lovemotionstory

October 2, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Another Crazy 24 Hours…

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So, the last two years, I have actually finished the 24hr Zine Challenge (it was HARD) and I am organizing yet another with Portland Zine Symposium. When we started this event and then I had the rad idea to turn it into a fundraiser, I had no idea how helpful a fundraising event it would be!

So, here’s the deal… If you sponsor me for $10 or more, you only pay if I finish. All the money goes to PZS. I donate a copy of the zine and get it to you.

Here I am at the end of the 24hr Zine Challenge last year with my finished zine, “24 Hours of My Innermost Fears.”

24hoursofmyinnermostfears

That one was crazy. I wanted to do a mini zine to give myself a lighter challenge in terms of the amount of content I needed to get together because I was also organizing (like every year), but then I ended up going way past 24 pages.

This year, I will have to take a 4 hour break from the challenge to go to the rock camp showcase (because I am volunteering to be a band manager for the second week of Rock’N’Roll Camp for Girls, yay!), so I think I might also do small zine. But, as per the rules of the challenge, I won’t be making in concept plans or anything else before the big day. Which is July 27th!

Sponsor me? You’ll get a copy of my zine while also donating at least ten bucks to the Portland Zine Symposium. In fact, if you sign up to sponsor me for at least $15 and I do complete the challenge, I will give you a copy this year’s 24hr zine and a copy of last years. And this, I promise you, if the only way you will get a copy otherwise for at least another year.

And maybe you want to sign up and do it too?

Yeah, I certainly would encourage you too. It’s a great challenge even if you don’t finish (I didn’t the first two years). If you DO finish though, you’ve got an awesome new zine to hand out jut in time for PZS!

Also, check out this cool drawing Matt made for me about 24hr zine making because he’s a supportive  partner and awesome and draws things for me sometimes!!!!

24hzrCHbyMJRainwater

 

Written by lovemotionstory

July 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Teachers are so important.

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I just wanted to share this beautiful story I read, linked to by my friend and former PZS organizer, Doug… http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/05/a_portland_teachers_gift_chang.html#incart_river

As someone who had neglectful parents and felt lost in the world growing up and moving around a lot, a had a few amazing teachers that helped motivate and support me to get through it. I had three different science teachers that were women I bonded with (and even built a wetland with at one high school to filter the campus water, this is why I originally wanted to study biology), as well as some great English and Spanish teachers (again, all women) that kept me in love with the language which also got me into comics and zines. They gave me something I didn’t have at home: positive, female role-models who cared about me in healthy and empowering ways. Women who encouraged my intellect and also helped me get help to get out of my bad home environment.

I believe that is why I am so passionate about teaching and community organizing now. It’s a damn shame we don’t pay our teachers more. It’s also a damn shame that we don’t all work to take care and support each other more. To see when someone is vulnerable and empower them, those are very lasting and radical actions in a divisive and painful world.

Written by lovemotionstory

May 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I think it’s avoidance, I think that’s a problem.

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You know, I have been uncomfortable with the focus on the neighbor’s recounting in a recent news story and here’s a great article that helps verbalize some of part of why I think it makes me uncomfortable… http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/05/07/charles_ramsey_amanda_berry_rescuer_becomes_internet_meme_video.html

I would like to try to verbalize why, however, further thinking on my part of why the working-class bystander (that intervenes in a terrible situation or that speaks about something terrible) being pointed to and focused on as a colorful hero in a tragic news story really bothers me, because look at the longer clips with him really talking.

Something really, really awful happened and I think putting the spotlight on the working-class, verbose neighbor to have a laugh is part of the collective unconsciousness’ way of avoiding dealing with the troubling story. And it’s a really messed up way of avoiding the serious thing that happened. It speaks to how rampant sexism, classism, racism is in our society, that people will have a laugh at someone that they imagine fulfills a stereotype of poorness, or blackness, or some other kind of objectification to avoid dealing with a tragic event or to avoid processing something awful. Whether it’s  toward a poor person, a nonwhite person, a nonmale person, or some other marginalized person. I think it’s really unhealthy and I think it upholds the social justice problems that contribute to the dehumanization of poor people, female people, queer people, people of color, and other oppressed people in our society.

Basically, it’s like a lot of people are unconsciously avoiding dealing with the seriousness of the story .”Something horrible  just happened, but let’s have a laugh at this person!” The problem is, we really need to deal with the seriousness of what happened, we need to talk about it..

I would like to point out that the person that everyone is laughing at, is doing more then just calling 911, he’s offering any reward money to the people who were actually affected by the tragedy. You know, because they went through the trauma and it’s not magically over because they walked out of a basement. They are alive, but they are not yet safe. But the way the news reports it, suddenly they are “alive and safe.” To me, that’s a more important part of the story, because they are not safe, it’s not just over. You know what else is important? Asking ourselves, how did this happen? Why did this happen? What do we do in awful moments like this? How so we support and rebuild the lives of the people affected by the horrible thing that happened? The person that a lot of people are laughing at is actually dealing with the situation and you’re focusing on him as joke. I have so much respect toward this man for trying to refocus the spotlight on the people who went through the horrible situation.

I would implore you to listen to this person’s words before you make a caricature out of him.

I am not saying you’re a horrible person if you laughed at the condescending or demeaning memes going around, what I am saying is that you might want to really sit and think about why you’re laughing. What’s so funny about it?

It might be a little uncomfortable, but, as a society, we need to start dealing with this shit.

Written by lovemotionstory

May 8, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Happy May Day!

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I wanted to share a couple photos I captured during the May Day march I went to on May 1st. I don’t normally take photos at marches and I didn’t have a fancy camera with me, but commentary I had seen on various social networks from friends expressing their apathy toward marching or protesting caused me to want to share a bit more.

Here was the event description…

We find ourselves facing unprecedented cuts to public services, including education and Social Security, increased poverty, homelessness, and ongoing attacks on people of color, immigrants, working families, women, students and our right to organize.

Our response to this onslaught against humanity is to organize and FIGHT BACK!!

People Over Profit!!
No Human Is Illegal!

We want to encourage everyone to come out this May Day and stand united for human rights and social & economic justices and demand for an Immigration Reform that’s just and humane!!

JOIN AN ORGANIZATION WORKING FOR JUSTICE!!

When: Gather at 2:00 PM; Rally at 3:00 PM; March at 4:00 PM
Where: O’Bryant Square- 9th and Stark.

Sponsor organizations (partial list): VOZ Proyecto de Educacion de Derechos Laborales, American Friends Service Committee, International Socialist Organization, Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán, Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (former ONSM), Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition – PIRC, Portland Jobs with Justice, Comite de Solidaridad de Apoyo Mutuo, Oregon AFL-CIO, The Black Working Group, SEIU Local 503, Portland IWW, Oregon Fair Trade Campaign OFTC, Labors483.

If you’re not sure what some of those organizations are, I would totally encourage you to check them out!”

Anyways, here are the few photos I took…

maydayportland_1 maydayportland_2 maydayportland_3

 maydayportland_4 maydayportland_5 maydayportland_13

 maydayportland_6 maydayportland_7 maydayportland_8 maydayportland_9 maydayportland_10 maydayportland_11 maydayportland_12  maydayportland_14 maydayportland_15 maydayportland_16

One thing I love about events like this is seeing people come together, peacefully, to talk about how to make things better. People from all kinds of backgrounds and consisting of such a broad spectrum of ages. There were speaches and performances as the people gathered before the march, opening statements (in English and Spanish!) made, and then the march began! The march itself was peaceful and it was a beautiful day to be out on the streets, visibly being a presence for worker’s rights. The end of the march was where it began, O’Bryan Square, where organizers had some closing statements and then opened the mic for peaceful and respectful spoken word from the crowd.

Here’s some media coverage of the May Day march…

http://www.kgw.com/news/local/Protesters-Police-gear-up-for-May-Day-events-205507081.html
http://www.kptv.com/story/22137231/police-no-arrests-at-portlands-may-day-rally-as-crowd-was-peaceful
http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/05/county_budget_avoids_big_ax_ma.html
http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/05/hundreds_bring_immigration_lab.html
http://photos.oregonlive.com/photo-essay/2013/05/may_day_protesters_take_to_the.html

For me, marching this May Day had a lot of meaning to me. It was about supporting my own rights as a working American. It was about being in solidarity with other workers around the world. It was about being visible, because being visible helps represent what’s important to me and the communities I organize within. It was about being in solidarity with other people who care enough about something in their lives that they showed up to participate. It was about continuing my journey in learning throughout this life by being around people I both know and don’t know while they are organizing, speaking, or just being visible in a space that was trying to be safe for that and bring people together.

I believe we all have something to learn from each other, but I especially want to learn from people who care enough to show up and participate. People who care enough to try to help. People who care enough to act. people who care enough to organize. People are very diverse and can accomplish a lot individually, but they also have so much strength and growth when working together.

One thing that I still find beautiful in this world is that, if there is something that you identify with or find meaningful, you can find other people who will share that with you and, if you’re willing to work together, you can build a community and try to grow together. Sometimes people disagree about what a community’s priorities should be, sometimes people clash, sometimes people are hurtful of even predatory. But, if the people who care keep trying to put aside their egos and keep trying to help each other, a community can go really far and the people within it can grow. If people stick around and keep trying to support and learn from each other, the community can grow. That is why there are so many millions of communities, because people are very diverse, so communities get more specific. I think it’s still important to go to the broader events, however, to keep reaching out and keep visible. If there is something you care about, I would encourage you to go to marches, to conferences, to events. Find the people who will care with you and who will work to make community so that each of us, as individuals, can thrive.

Well, gosh, I just went on, but these kind of things make me gush. I have had so many heartbreaking and inspiring experiences that have come from being an active member of communities and being an organizer in communities. All while also being a well-meaning, sometimes-clever, but-still-flawed person entering into all of it in my early twenties. So, I have come to some pretty strong conclusions about how much I’ve grown from all of it because I am really, truly, the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been. All because of the time I’ve spent showing up , trying to step up to be there for others. It made me incredibly vulnerable, but it has made me work through so much. Anyways…

Speaking of community and labor issues, I should probably take this time to promote the next AmaZine Day! I am facilitating the readings during the next AmaZine Day, which is labor-themed, in honor of May Day. This is the poster, drawn by Matt and designed by me…

There are two FREE workshops and the readers will be Alex Wrekk (reading from some of her several writings about work experiences), Sarah Mirk (reading from “Rodeo City,” an article she wrote for Oregon Humanities). Aron Nels Steinke (reading from his comics extensively about working in teaching), and Sarah Curtis (reading from a new, original work).

One thing that is cool about this AmaZine Day is getting a chance, thanks to Sarah Mirk, to connect Oregon Humanities into the event. Oregon Humanities is a non profit that bring Oregonians together to share ideas, to listen, think, and grow. Oregon Humanities published and distributes a free, printed magazine, that pays contributors. Oregon Humanities recently awarded $87,870 in grants to 20 Oregon nonprofit organizations. We’ll have several copies on hand or attendees of AmaZine Day and we’re thrilled to highlight an article by AmaZine Day tabler and in such an awesome community project.

Check out the full info here… http://www.portlandzinesymposium.org/amazine-day/

If you want to sign up, the sign up was recently opened at IPRC and PBW.

On Oppression, Intersectionality, and Solidarity

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I wanted to share this comic that I saw thanks to my friend Chelsea.

 

Word! I love that this was this person’s final project, the comic highlights a common misogyny in nerd culture and it is so bravely personal. Total respect for the feminism here, this person showing their own struggle and being vulnerable, while recognizing another perspective for women in nerd culture who is also struggling even though they might conform to narrow guidelines of beauty-based-on-size.

If you relate to being left out by the rampant sexism in comics and nerd culture, if you relate to being belittled, objectified, harassed, etc. based on your gender despite thinking that nerd space should be a safe space… Well, you might also want to check out this amazing article by super intelligent nerd, Rachel Ediden. http://feminspire.com/idiot-nerd-girl-has-a-posse-taking-back-the-meme/

Speaking of super intelligent nerds, I went to the really awesome panel “Looking Past the Target Audience” at SCF this past weekend, but missed it at ECCC. It was really great to listen to the conversation with Rachel EdidinAndy KhouriFaith Erin HicksScotty IseriSfé M., and David Walker sitting on the panel. There was a lot on intersectionality, which was crucial! Intersectionality is a concept often used to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are INTERCONNECTED and cannot be examined separately from one another. Third Wave Feminism, especially, thrived on the concept of intersectionality in order to redefine Feminism as inclusive. The concept of intersectionality first came from legal scholar Kimberle Crenshaw in 1989 and is largely used in critical theories, especially Feminist theory, when discussing systematic oppression.

If you missed it or if you want to be having these kinds of discussions, I would recommend checking out their tumblr (thatonepanel.tumblr.com).

For me, one of the most moving moments of the panel was when Sfé was talking about how an aspect of their process for creating Kyle & Atticus was to write a gender queer character with positive support and acceptance in their life. I think it really hit home for me because a lot of the stuff Matt, Marco, and I have been dealing with Matt’s parents understanding what our polyamorous relationship means and learning that I am a queer atheist. Essentially, he’s been coming out to them and it’s been really hard. That in addition to struggles I have always had with people being unsupportive toward me. This struggle, having parents, acquaintances, lovers, and even a long-time best-friend have acted as if they are shamed by me or have been demeaning or hateful toward me for any of the various reasons people have antagonistic or problematic relationships with me. That I am a woman, that I am queer, that I am polyamorous, that I  am or do all these things that they can’t relate to, that I fall under any of the labels in their mind that they view as “bad” and then I go on to dare to have opinions, ideas, boundaries, and confidence to be myself. I am motivated to work with kids exactly because I want to try to be that influence in their life, to be the person who says, “You have a voice and it’s important.” Or, “I accept who you are and I will treat you as a person with their own autonomy and agency.” To be a supportive adult. To be an educator that empowers kids to think for themselves and to be themselves. I write about my experiences in the hopes that I can grow and that I might provide support to peers who can see themselves in me because I realize the positive impact that people have had in my life by being themselves and being open about it, as I have written about a few times on this blog. I really respected that Sfé talked about writing supportive roles in the comics on purpose, because I agree with her that creating those characters in stories feeds into the mothers and friends and parents and whoever seeing themselves in the life of a gender queer person or other underrepresented, marginalized people in our society. We really need those role models.

I also want to give huge props to the panel “The Big Picture,” where a bit of gender and intersectionality issues were discussed kind of inadvertently, with Alison Baker, Kelly Sue DeConick, Jen Vaughn, Shannon Watters, and Emi Lenox. As well as the focus of the panel, discussing how the internet has changed comics, especially independent publishing as, to my knowledge, most of the panelists had roots in indie comics and zines.

Personally, I believe that one of the biggest steps in activism is showing up, being visible.

If you have the ability and patience just to be there, that is a huge step.

Do what you can, REALIZE WHAT YOU CAN DO.

Do say hello to the creators and organizations you do want to support. Do buy zines and comics or whatever from the creators you think deserve it for whatever reason you value them. Do go to the panels that talk about issues you care about. Do say thank you (in person or online) to the panelists, we can’t hear it enough. Do blog/tweet/whatever about it. Do talk to your friends about the creations and panels you do enjoy or support. Do volunteer for an organization you think serves a valuable role in your community. Do go to an event that highlights creators and issues that you feel are important or meaningful. Do start your own event, especially if it’s an event you wish existed but doesn’t. Do make your own stories and creative work that reflects your experience, your passion, your values, your ideas. Do listen to or support the people who have different experiences than yourself.

I long lost the patience to volunteer for SCF, but I try to keep showing up to support the people who I do see promoting real conversations and ethical work I commend those who love comics and other cismale/white dominated communities. I have been able to devote myself to working on the Portland Zine Symposium as an organizer for so many years because it strives and works hard to be a safe space, an inclusive community with anti-oppressive ethics.

Also, I want to take this opportunity to promote the Women of Color Zine Symposium at PSU happening this summer, on June 8th. This is such an important event to support to me. It was started by Tonya Jones, a long-time Portland Zine Symposium attendee, powerful writer, and zine educator. The WOC Zine group that she started has self-published three issues of “Women of Color: How to Live in the City of Roses and Avoid the Pricks.” All three issues are available for $3 from the group, Powell’s Bookstore, and In Other Words. The zines can also be checked out from the Multnomah County Library!

And, speaking of the “Women of Color: How to Live in the City of Roses and Avoid the Pricks” zine, they have a submissions call up right now for their fifth issue! The fifth issue is themed for interviews and it’s an opportunity to interview a fantastic woman of color/person of color that you know doing great work in Portland and contribute to a great project. You can read more on their websitehttp://wocpdxzines.wordpress.com/woc-zine-collective-submissions.

If there is a theme to this post, it is that, whatever your battle in coping with oppression, you are not alone.

Keep showing up and we’ll find each other at all the nerd cons and wherever.