Tag Archives: writing

BACKLOG, and a hello

Hi folks! I’ve got a backlog of cartoons that I’ve drawn during my absence from blogging. While I go through them to pick the most “blog friendly” ones, here is a list of pieces that I have contributed to other sites during my hiatus.

Review of Feminist Disability Studies for Global Comment

Review of Don’t Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back for Global Comment

Lady Products: The Odd World of Cutesy, Pink Self Defense Weapons for Ladyish

9 Stylish Pieces That Will Remind You of Your Childhood for Ladyish

Review of Get Out of My Crotch for the print edition of Bitch Magazine

Don’t Let Unemployment Crush Your Soul for xoJane

I’ve Got Your “Useless” Major Right Here for xoJane

Please read and (I hope) enjoy!

 

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Quick update: My work, elsewhere

Hi, readers! I know I’ve been neglecting ye olde blog (and hopefully I will start to do better on the whole “updating it regularly” thing soon!), but I wanted to draw your attention to a couple of things in which I have been involved lately:

Last week, I wrote a guest post for Tiger Beatdown on Lars von Trier’s 2009 film Antichrist, and how it relates to the pop cultural depiction (or lack thereof) of depression and pain, women and emotion, plus the unintended backlash that the expectation of “strong lady characters” has wrought. Go and join the discussion if you feel so inclined. Content warning for discussions of some graphic violence that the film depicts.

s.e. smith and I recently wrote an article (on disability culture on the internets and online feminism, naturally) for the latest print issue of Bitch Magazine, which is currently available for purchase or download. I also did the illustrations, which is kind of (read: EXTREMELY) exciting for me. We were interviewed at length by Kjerstin for the Bitch Radio podcast as well. Hooray!

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Writing: Not that easy

There seems to be a pretty popular misconception — not just limited to the internet, by the way — that writing is somehow “easy” to do.

Good ideas, and good writing, do not just spring fully-formed like Athena from the mind of Zeus. Like many things worth doing, writing is a process. I used to be a writing tutor for undergrad students, and one of the things that countless students expressed to me was their shock that writing was hard work, and that most of the time, one could not “just” write a paper in a single sitting and expect to get a perfect grade.

I cannot tell you how many times I have written half-drafts of papers, or opinion pieces, or short essays, or blog posts, and either ended up doing away with them altogether or substantially changing them multiple times. Most of the writing of which I am most proud — not all of which I have posted online — has taken quite a bit of time, research, and energy to put together. I write things down in a notebook most of the time as part of my working-through-ideas “process” (if you want to call it that), but often these scribblings do not at all resemble the final product. Hell, I have bits sitting in my blog queue that are in constant need of expansion or revision; though I tend to complete pieces once I start them, there are times when I just cannot find a good ending for certain pieces, and they end up sitting around unused for weeks or months.

On occasion, I don’t use posts or pieces at all, or post them. There are some pieces of writing that are beneficial for the writer, but I may have reservations about exposing them to an audience. Or I may have trouble saying what I actually want to say in plain and easily-understandable language — in the past, this has ended up saving me from posting some real crap and some not-even-half-baked ideas.

The fact that writing can be very difficult is not a personal failing. A large percentage of my former students seemed to think it was — that if their ideas did not emerge brilliantly and painlessly the first time, then these ideas were not worth expressing at all. Utilizing the written word is a skill, not an innate talent. There is no formula for a “great” piece of writing, or post, or essay. If someone finds hirself sitting and trying, straining to write, grumbling, “Why is this so hard?” — well, that can be the nature of the process. It can be fickle, and it is almost never “easy” in the traditional sense.

[Originally posted on my Tumblr.]

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BADD 2010: “Exhibition”

For Blogging Against Disablism Day this year, I thought I’d share a poem that I wrote a while ago that I haven’t shared until now. I was going to turn it into a spoken-word piece but never got around to it. Better late than never, I suppose.

Exhibition

On my side
side/ways
eyes brain neck
spinning along with
everything else
and I haven’t even been drinking

this is not a workout
and yet, I am sweating
the body over (re)acts
does not know quite how to
respond
and I wish I
could say to
every non-believer, every “skeptic”

everyone who’s ever asked:
what’s wrong with you
why do you walk like that
is something the matter with your foot
what is it
why aren’t you getting better
why isn’t your attitude more positive
why can’t you

almost always accompanied
by one of these:
at least you can walk
at least you’re smart, so you can deal with this
at least you’re not homeless
or starving
or living in a Third World country
you’re luckier than most
how bad could your pain be?
just take some aspirin
stop complaining
why
why
why

for every
you should take vitamins
just work through your pain
I have pain, too
you’re too young to have something
like that
why are you so bitchy
that I hear
I smile a little bit, inside

because: someday
many of these people
will also know
pain

but for now
this is my reality
and I wish you could see it
feel it
for only a minute
and then maybe you’d
think before you
talk at me
or offer meaningless platitudes

every word that exits your mouth

random stranger,
friend of a friend,
asshole on the street who tells me to smile
because it can’t be that bad
every word
means less to me
than I do to you

I’m not your vehicle for
public service
I am not to be used
to show the world

what a great “liberal,” progressive kind person you are
or to be subjected to
your pity
masked as concern
so please step out of
my way
once I can stand, that is
for now—lucky for you
I am confined to vertigo
In my own carpeted purgatory

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