Thursday, September 24, 2020

Musings From a Spazzy Crafter

Is a craft still my own when I feel like I am an assistant? I struggle with this question often.

I am working on a friendship bracelet and someone is working with me on it because I have trouble tying knots. The person makes the knot and I pull it tight. Is that my creation?

Does it matter how much help is needed? Does it matter the type of
help that is needed? If I string beads for bracelets but need help finishing the bracelets, can I still claim them as mine?

How do I show appreciation for people that help me create?

These are some of the questions that go through my head.

Do you struggle with these questions while you're crafting?

Musing and making,

Spazzy Crafter

P.S. The next post will be about card making.

Jennifer's Thoughts:  Personally, I think it depends on a few factors. If you need significant help on a type of project and are doing it as a business, giving your helper a share in the profits might be the way to go. If you're making something just for a gift, perhaps thanking them is all you need. Always work out what is expected beforehand. 

Little things like having someone tie a knot doesn't invalidate your ownership of the creation. You could consider the amount of time it takes for someone to help you, or how much of the project you need assistance with to determine if what you're working on is a collaboration. That's the thing: Even if you both put in equal amounts of effort, you are collaborating with someone to make something gorgeous and are not an assistant. It doesn't mean you're less of an artist (the design was still your idea, and you're providing labor and materials). It just means what you give to the person helping you depends on their amount of labor.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

gears by Su Zi (a Poem)


all night long I watch the traffic lights change,

and I listen for the coming of ice.

the police come and pet my hair.

day comes with watery shadows on the white walls

it comes with orange juice

rice taped into a diary

and the pale moments of tenderness with the cat.

but still every week I dream I lose my teeth

standing at a pay phone




and still there are those long dead weeds

at the freight yard

where I sit in my wheelchair

pulsing with the speech of steel.

Su Zi is a poet/writer and artist/printmaker and edits, designs and constructs the eco-feminist poetry chapbook series Red Mare
Publications include poetry, essays, stories and reviews that date back to pre-cyber publishing, including when Exquisite Corpse was a vertical print publication, and a few editions of New American Writing. More recent publications include Red FezAlien Buddha and Thrice. A resident of the Ocala National Forest, with a dedicated commitment to providing a safe feeding respite for wild birds, and for a haphazard gardening practice that serves as a life model for all aspects of her work.

Friday, September 11, 2020

New Workshop in Ableism

One of the tiny positives of our current world is the switch from in-person events to virtual ones.  No wondering if the conference is accessible for wheelchair-users!  No more fatigue from long flights!  Everything is just a bit more open to disabled and neurodivergent folks than it was before (barring website accessibility barriers and cost).

In July on Twitter, I saw someone advertising a two-week poetry workshop for fifty dollars. When a two-hour workshop can cost seventy-five dollars, fifty seems like a steal.  

I emailed the coordinator with a list of questions. Yes, the virus is what caused her to start workshops online. She has had multiple years of in-person workshops with all different kinds of people in attendance (specifically brought up LGBT+ folks and PoC). She mentioned that she's a graduate of Prestigious Writing Program. It was a nice response. I wrote her again and asked if there were any visibly disabled people who ever taught her workshops.

She responded:  "There are no divisive topics in the workshop."

Okay... what topics? She practically gushed about inclusiveness and how important it was in her first email. Surely, she couldn't mean disabled people were divisive!

I asked for clarification.  I thought she wrote an email meant for someone else.

Her tone was totally reversed from our first email.  She started using smaller words and became condescending. The workshop wasn't for teaching disabled people how to write "cute, little stories for their own good" but was for "serious, professional writers".  Instructors wouldn't have time to "babysit" people through trauma or "forming thoughts".

I replied one last time and assured her I wasn't asking for art therapy.  I told her many disabled people are professional, published writers.  Some of them might even pay to take her damn workshop!

Her last reply was simply,  "I don't think this is the place for someone like you".
As of writing this, I haven't seen anything else on social media about the workshop.  The post that talked about it on Twitter is gone.  There is no website with the name (though she said it wouldn't be up officially until autumn).  Did she change her mind?  Was it a scam (though, I don't know why she wouldn't scam crips)?  If I drop the name here, will she just change it?

I promise to keep you updated if anything happens.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Two Poems by Kathryn O'Driscoll


Bones dislocate from rawened sockets
as the perception of self is wrenched and wrecked aside.
Rib-bones snap and contract sharply concave:
they form a brackenel nest of the interlocking twig fingers
of mothers, of sisters, of brothers and starlight 
the defences set in sticks, in stones, in love, bend
and readjust to allow the shards of cartilage to slip inside
and pierce through a tough exterior, to the heart of the matter.
Dislocate everything and reassemble it differently
because we, ( I ), we, see what you might not;
you’re fucking beautiful.
An Elegy, A Eulogy

My body is a slow motion funeral. 
It is the shrieks of loss, echoing in a church's vaulted ceilings.
It is the reverberation in the votives flickering. 
It is stained glass liquifying in the sun
and dripping out of its frames,
tearfuls down the ledges. 
My body is an elegy, a eulogy, 
a goodbye long overdue. 
My body is a roof beam coming down on the whole damn place,
hymns and all. 
Biography:  Kathryn O'Driscoll is a spoken word poet, writer and activist from Bath who talks openly about her disability and mental health in her wide range of poems. Aside from performing poetry across the South West; she’s also a Bristol slam champion who has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, at multiple UK National competitions and on BBC Radio Bristol. She has a first class degree in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University.