Here & Now, Art, Steven J. Fowler, Olga Kulish, Søren Solkær, Dave Young Kim, Murmuration Sounds (Jan van IJken), Miguel Montalban, and Jake Shimabukuro.
HERE & NOW
One of the “problems” of being a freelance copyeditor (receiving no benefits or job security, and constantly hustling for work) is that you may be offered a job that you don’t feel you can refuse—even though you have other pressing deadlines to meet. Yup, I did that, this fall. And I’ve been spending a lot of nights blearily staring at my computer screen, my art and personal writing projects put aside (except for this newsletter)—possibly for months, as I deal with my obligations.
The pressure of that tension has led to some much-needed reflection on my part, regarding the work I do, and have done for over a decade now. Many would imagine that at my age I would have a lot of time on my hands—as if “retirement” is an option for everyone. No, not really. I work hard; my partner works hard. We get by, and have always done so, somehow, and with a little help from our friends/family.
Nevertheless—I’ve been reflecting on how I was raised as a girl, with certain expectations for women, and women of color during the 1960s/70s, coupled with various assumptions about values, production, and what a woman should aim for in this American life. Well, you know what? I’m getting too old for this bullshit.
Which is to say, I’m going to make some changes, beginning in the summer of 2023. I’m going to focus and go deeper into certain areas of interest that keep rearing up, but which I have continued to push onto a backburner. Let go of some old work patterns.
Also, next year, I will add the option of paid subscriptions for readers who would like to do more to support my work—although I will not be putting up a paywall.
Anyway, I hope you’ll stick around to see what happens!
I grew up in a time when “secretarial work” was considered my proper area of career interest. That was the 1960s to 70s. So, I taught myself to type on my parent’s Royal typewriter at around the age of 11 or 12. I quickly got myself up to about 80 wpm, and I can still type pretty fast. But I’m kind of haunted by that era and its expectations (or lack thereof) like an unsettling dream or a bad tv movie.
Recently, I found a “high-speed” typing instruction book from the 1950s, cleverly shaped like a secretary’s shorthand notebook—the kind you use when you diligently and quickly write the minutes of a meeting. I thought I would rip it up and make it into art. But first, it makes an interesting backdrop to a teensy art book that I made, about a month ago (before my current contract cycle started) in a lovely Lokta paper blank sketchbook from Maybe on Monday. The pages are slightly translucent, and I love the way drawings/paint on each page show through to the flipside, influencing what I draw.
Ink and watercolor drawings and asemic* writing on Lokta paper, 2 x 3 x .25 inches. Jean Vengua.
*And see the links below: Steven J. Fowler and Olga Kulish on asemic writing.
Steven J. Fowler gives a very good 20-minute talk on asemic (or pansemic) writing. This is a repeat from early days of the newsletter; worthwhile if you’re interested in asemics:
Olga Kulish - Asemic Writing and Sound (Project Spotlight):
Søren Solkær’s Starling Murmuration photography project:
The sound of a murmuration is pretty intense — by Jan van IJken:
Guitarist and busker Miguel Montalban plays Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” on Tottenham Court Rd.:
Jake Shimabukuro playing Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” on ukulele:
Thanks for stopping by. See you next weekend . . .
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