I wasn’t going to write anything about Orlando. So often, when something brutal and devastating happens, the last thing I want to do is post about it, and mostly I don’t. And yet as I tab back and forth, social media to my manuscript to this window I’m typing in right now, I can’t stop thinking about something a friend said the other day, in comparing the ways we navigate our jobs and lives with respect to identity: “You’re in deep cover.” My Wikipedia entry notwithstanding, if you know me in my day-to-day life, my queerness is invisible unless I talk about it, and I don’t always talk about it.
But today I can’t not talk about it. I want you to know, whoever you are reading this, that I feel gutpunched, that I sent money to the Zebra Foundation as a small but hopefully useful action, that I listened to Nia King’s We Want the Airwaves podcast and read from The Collection: Short Fiction From The Transgender Vanguard and Glitter and Grit: Queer Performance from the Heels on Wheels Femme Galaxy and As The Crow Flies because I needed to experience queer voices, and that I’m trying to work on my own book-in-progress but I can’t stop thinking about all the voices that have been silenced.
I’ll be tabling and speaking at my first Denver Comic Con in just a few weeks, June 17-19. I’ve heard great things about this show; I’m excited to participate! Here’s my panel schedule:
How Educators and Librarians Can Collaborate to use Comics in the Classroom Friday, June 17 10:30 am 11:20 am Room 302 – Education
LGBT Comics You Should Be Reading Friday, June 17 5:15 pm 6:05 pm Room 401 – Comic Books – Mainstream
Genderbend It! In writing Saturday, June 18 11:00 am 11:50 am Room 502/503 – Literary / Authors
All in the Comics Family Saturday, June 18 1:30 pm 2:20 pm Room 607 – DCC Presents
How Comics are Focusing on Women Characters to Encourage Female Readership Saturday, June 18 2:45 pm 3:35 pm Room 303 – Education Classroom
It’s Okay to Be (Geeky and) Gay Sunday, June 19 2:00 pm 2:45 pm Lab 8bit Stage
Hope to see Denver folks there!
This past weekend, the vast majority of posts showing up on my various social media feeds were from or about AWP. Now I’m starting to see a flurry from comics comrades about ECCC, and from library pals about PLA.
When many of your colleagues and friends are at Professionally Useful Gatherings (let’s call them PUGs) and you’re not, it’s easy to feel like you’re Seriously Missing Out.
by Christopher Michel via Creative Commons
Even the complaints about PUGs can seem enviable. Your PUG-attending pals have bags under their eyes from being out so late! They’ve lost their voices from talking to so many people! They’ve wrenched their backs from carrying all the amazing books & swag!
When you’re wishing you were where all the Cool Kids (of whatever variety is appropriate for your endeavors) seem to be, here are three things you can do besides endlessly scrolling and feeling sorry for yourself:
1. Look up information about next year’s event. Could you propose one or more sessions? How much would travel & lodging cost? Have you got friends in the area you could stay with? Are exhibitor booths/tables available and can you afford one? If you’ll be selling your work, how much would you need to make to break even? If you think it would truly benefit your career and/or morale to participate in the event, start planning how you can get there in the future.
By Sam Lavy via Creative Commons
2. Make plans with a local friend. If it’s nice out, you can go for a walk.
By e_haya via Creative Commons
3. Do the work. Whatever the thing is that the PUG you’re coveting is about, get off the Internet and do that thing; it’ll get your mind off wishing you were somewhere you’re not, and you’ll have more experience by the time the next PUG comes around.
By Isabella Li via WallFocus.com
I’m looking forward to being one of the editors for the Twist Fate Challenge! Let me quote from the press release:
Two popular apps that support young artists and writers are calling on teens to create works, twisting the fate of heroes and villains. “Twist Fate,” an art and writing challenge for 13 to 17 year olds, is being hosted by DeviantArt, the world’s largest community for visual art, and by Wattpad, the world’s largest community of readers and writers.
“Wattpad and DeviantArt are home to some of the most active and inspiring creative youth communities on the net. They offer a rich and motivating context for young people to connect, learn, and get feedback from others who share their interests and passions,” said Mimi Ito, co-founder of the Connected Learning Alliance and UC Irvine cultural anthropologist who specializes in learning. “This challenge is an opportunity for more educators and youth to tap into this creative energy and experience how social online platforms can fuel learning and engagement in the arts.”
Young people are invited to submit entries on the website of either DeviantArt or Wattpad from March 6 through April 6. The best stories, comic panels, illustrations or other creations will be chosen as finalists that will be reviewed by a panel of editors who will decide which ones to publish in a book. And, the book will be made available to the public in libraries across the country.
The editors are: writers Sara Ryan (author of “Bad Houses,” “The Rules for Hearts” and “Empress of the World”) and Lauren Kate Morphew (author of “Fallen,” Torment,” “Passion,” “Rapture,” “Fallen in Love” and “The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove”), Disney/Pixar artist and animator Brian Kesinger and Antero Garcia, assistant professor of English at Colorado State University.
I’m excited to see what heroes and villains the writers & artists choose, and what forms the entries will take!
If you or someone you know wants to enter, the challenge is open from March 6 – April 6, and you can submit via either WattPad or DeviantArt.
- If you’re attempting to have more precisely groomed/styled eyebrows, getting a magnifying mirror does not mean you’re “cheating.” Neither does using brow gel, the existence of which I was unaware until like a month ago.
- If you find it difficult to cram a change of clothes plus the giant stompy boots you want to wear afterward into your gym bag, wear the boots to the gym and pack your gym shoes.
- If you’re out of cinnamon, five spice makes a decent substitute. (In part because cinnamon is one of the five.)
- Baked oatmeal is the Platonic ideal of oatmeal. I just made some with chopped pecans, apricots & cranberries.
- Meta: when you’re learning something new and you get super frustrated, it’s useful to remember that frustration the next time you’re teaching something you find easy/intuitive, but perhaps is exactly that frustrating to your student(s).
More Recent Articles