Into The Wild

Front CoverI’m so excited (and relieved!) to release The Heart is An Echo Chamber into the wild today. Proof that good things are worth the wait and amazing friends will always stand by you.

Many thanks to the authors — Adam, Tom, Kristin, Stacey, Ben, Lois, Helen and Rus — for their patience in letting me see this through in my own time, at my own pace. A double thank you to Stacey who debuts as a cover artist who also earns special stripes for being the ultimate motivator in getting-shit-done. Thanks to Rob for his proof reading prowess and Kim for being sanity at the end of a text message. Last, but not least, thank you to my Mr Ds who travelled the ever-so-bumpy road that ran parallel to the publication of the chapbook these last two years.

The collection is available as a limited edition, hand number chapbook ($12) or an ebook (pay what you want), each bundled with a digital copy of the companion collection No Need to Reply.

More information can be found here.

 

 

Where The Poet Things Are, Part 1

IMG_5330Anyone following me on Twitter during the month of February, would have seen me building poems from existing texts using the cut up method.The poems were cut from Calvino’s “Six Memos for the New Millennium”, glued to rice paper and origami squares then mounted on re-purposed cardboard. I used Post-It Note Poetry  as a kind of boot camp to see if I was able to build ‘on-demand’ as well as trialing a commission-style way of building for others.

At the conclusion of the month the answer to both those questions was ‘yes’.

AN EXTENDED FIELD OF CREATION

Two weeks ago I started sticking the poems to the zentangles I had been drawing as part of my sleep training practice. The ones not sent off for birthday presents I put up for sale on Twitter and Instagram with no expectation of what would happen next. I was unprepared for the speed in which they found new homes (thank you Chris and Sophie!).

My most recent foray into birthday presents have left five poems for sale (these poems are the second half of The Turquoise series).

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Each poem square is:

  • one of a kind
  • hand cut, post-it note in size
  • original ink on paper compositions (note they are actually darker & greener)
  • mounted on re-purposed cardboard
  • backed with plain blue paper
  • hand numbered
  • original poetry  cut from Jeanette Winterson’s “Art Objects”

Would you like one?

Poem Squares are $15.00 each, including worldwide postage.

You can claim yours by clicking HERE and adding in the comments the poem you’d like to purchase (each are numbered for ease of identification).

SHOP, COMMISSIONS AND BIBLIOMANCY POEMS

I’ll be opening to commissions and bibliomancy poems in the next few weeks, along with rolling out an official poetry shop that will include poems built during February.

In the interim, please email author(at)jodicleghorn(dot)com if you are interested in a commission or a bibliomancy poem.

 

Hello World, It’s Me, Jodi

It’s been a while.

I could write several volumes about what has happened since I last blogged in September, but I won’t. That’s the past, and this is me, here in the present, peering off into the future.

IMG_6286To state the obvious, the blog has had a make over. Thanks go to Shauna O’Meara for the sublime artwork (and for working with me when I was at my least amiable and most scatterbrained). I’ll blog a little more about the inspiration for the artwork in the next week or so because there is a bit of a story to go with it.

Pursing Parallels refers to the fact that life is often an multiple overlay of any number of roles and responsibilities. At any one time, I’m a licorice-allsorts combination of writer, partner, mother, friend, daughter, publisher, editor, poet, teacher, depressive, psychic, lover… and the list goes on. For me, pursuing a life of passion and fulfillment means living in parallel worlds. Sometimes to my benefit and other times to my detriment. Pursing Parallels is also about chasing characters across the unchartered landscape of the imagination, immersing in nature when my default is the (sub)urban and having an interface with the weird and wonderful.

Bit by bit the inner renovations of the site will unfold (many new tabs have ‘coming soon’). Thank you for your patience as the work continues. If I’d have waited for everything to be completed, I might never have started blogging again.

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The most important things to know (and yes, I am going to dot point them!):

  1. I am back, how regularly remains to be seen, but with the shift of focus there will be plenty of new, exciting subjects to write about. From a health and wellness perspective, I am moving into a better place and with this comes a desire to engage with the world again,
  2. the revamped blog will focus (primarily) on three areas: writing, wandering and ‘the woo’ as I want this to reflect who I am now, and who I am still becoming,
  3. yes, I am still writing but not editing or publishing anything new (just yet!) and since I last wrote there’s been a few new publications (I’ll take time to talk about them in a separate post),
  4. I am still on extended sabbatical from Facebook (its now been 13 months and honestly, I don’t think I will ever go back), however I do use Twitter and Instagram. I’ve found these allow for meaningful engagement without the attendant anxiety I still find attached to Facebook, and
  5. over the next month several new ‘services’ will come online  – one offering custom built poetry and the other involving tarot, again, each deserve their own post explaining more. There will also be word on the publication of a companion chapbook for No Need to Reply.

I hope this finds you well, content where you are and where you are going. Until next we talk,

Burn bright.

XX

Maybe I Was Only Then Becoming

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“You know you need to think of it as giving folk the opportunity of doing something that will make them feel good. You are doing them a favour really!”

~ Kim Roberts

Yesterday, I did two things that pushed me so far out of my comfort zone I’ll need a telescope to try and ascertain the faint smudge of its boundary if I ever choose to return there. I could say that launching my first ever mentoring program was the scariest thing I’ve done all year (maybe for the last three or four years) but it’s only the second scariest thing.

DO IT YOURSELF

In The Art of Asking Amanda Palmer says there’s two ways to do DIY.

The first is “Minimal DIY” where you literally try to do it yourself. Where the emphasis is on total self-reliance and individuation.

The second is “Maximal DIY” which is about expansion and asking. The emphasis is on collectivism; you throw your problem out to your circles to see what solutions might arise. (Page 100)

GO YOUR OWN WAY

I have always been a Minimal DIY when it comes to business. For most of eP’s life there was me at the forefront editing, designing, launching, financing and dealing with the day-to-day challenges that arise in a left-of-centre publishing model. I was terrible at delegating. I had no money for help, so I couldn’t source additional paid help if I wanted to. I didn’t feel I could ever ask anyone for help for the love of it. It was one thing for me to do it, but another thing for others to give it. (The few months when Laura Meyer helped me with admin  — because she refused to take no for an answer — was heaven and I sorely missed her when she couldn’t offer that help any longer!)

The irony of it is that all of eP’s publications exist because of collectivism. But for whatever reason (okay I could list them all but I wont), I would never allow the collectivist approach to encroach beyond the creative stage of storytelling.

TIME FOR A CHANGE

Amanda refers to a problem in her references to DIY. My problem was: right now I am in the middle of my 105 day social media sabbatical.

To promote For the Asking I was faced with two options:

  1. break my social media sabbatical (the minimal DIY approach and my fall back) — take sole responsibility for the promotion of For the Asking at the expense of something that is equally as important, or
  2. contact people, explain my situation, and ask for their help in spreading the word.

I opted for number two, the Maximal DIY approach, and spent an entire day wound up and feeling sick at the idea of emailing every close friend, every old friend, every person I have ever worked in publishing with to ask them to help me promote my new program. But I did it, because I had no other option. In reality, number one never existed.

AND IT PAYS BOTH WAYS

Years ago, my friend and colleague, Janette Dalgliesh, said I had a responsibility as the head of my business to lead by example, to be a role model for those who worked with me. At the time it was in regards to ensuring I was completely honest with the people I worked with about how I was coping and for me to care and put myself  first (especially with my mental health), get plenty of rest and to pause projects when I needed periods of down time to get well.

If this was the expectation I set for myself, if this was how I treated myself then not only did it encourage others to treat themselves the same way, it instilled confidence that they would receive the same understanding and allowances if they found themselves in a similar position while working for me.

Yesterday I thought of her again. I knew that by stepping out and asking, I was giving other friends, other writers, other creatives ‘permission’ to ask too. The confidence to say: could you lend a hand? If I could do it, then they could do it too. I don’t just want to be be part of a culture of generosity, of always being willing to help, and giving where I can, I want to be part of a culture brave enough, and stubborn enough (to get over themselves) to ask.

It’s something I know I have to learn to do. This is the beginning. Not the end.

Maybe now I am starting to ‘become’. I hope so.

What is one thing you want to ask help with but are scared to?

“Because, Science” is not a Valid Argument

I’ve noted a growing trend in social media, what I’m calling “Because, Science.” At it’s least extreme it is permission to structure a discussion in such a way it invites lynch mobs of people to take the piss and have a good laugh at those on the other side of the issue. At it’s most extreme, it’s the propagation of all manner of hate-speak toward anyone with differing or dissenting views, where science is used as justification for it: because science says XYZ I have the right to accompany this information with commentary that is degrading, aggressive and insulting.

I’ve realised it’s the most insidious of persecutions, because it often comes from intelligent and articulate people, people I respect and admire. People who hold themselves up as advocates for civil rights, social justice, equality and freedom of speech. The people who would stand up and rally against similar degrading, aggressive and insulting commentary on a “Because, God” argument.

And it’s sinister, because of the gag that comes with it. Why open yourself to a full frontal assault by being honest about your position, from sharing your personal experiences or the facts you’ve accumulated in your research, from being able to articulate your different point of view, to engage in a discussion, when everything is couched in vile, degrading or derisive judgement. Of people. Like you.

From being summarily dismissed and silenced.

Because, Science.

What happened to agree to disagree, without the vitriol?

I’ve always been lead to believe science was the objective exploration of ideas, and the articulation of those ideas, in theory and practise. That science was based in the rigors of methodology; of the efficacy, objectivity and transparency of results; a passion for debate and RESPECT for divergent and alternate schools of thought and the appreciation that such discussions had the potential to be a catalyst, the genesis, of the next great hypothesis. Of the next big discovery.

I want to read both sides of a debate. I want to widen my understanding, my knowledge base. I want to read ‘evidence-based’ outcomes that rely not just on empirical, ‘quantitative’ evidence but also on anecdotal, ‘qualitative’ evidence’. I want to see where these two different forms of inquiry merge and cross. How they mirror and diverge. I want to share ideas and be part of feisty and insightful discussions. I want to feel safe to do so.

I don’t want to convert you to my opinion — after all it is only an opinion and we all have the right to have those — any more than I want to be converted to your opinion. I’d like to explore your opinion, to help me understand how you came to feel like this, to believe this, maybe learn something new along they way, as I’d like to invite you to explore my opinion in the same way. I want to be respected, like I respect you.

I don’t want to read science accompanied with emotive, offensive and abusive frames and comments. I don’t want to read anything that is accompanied (intentionally or unintentionally) with shaming or humiliating language. It doesn’t matter that it’s generalised; that it doesn’t specifically name me. But it ‘names’ those who don’t agree with you, which might be me or a friend, a family member, a colleague, someone you care about. It has the potential (at best) to offend, at worst to leave someone feeling victimised, in fear of recriminations and ostracism if they were to speak openly.

When you couch your information like this, it invalidates everything you want to say. And maybe I want to hear what you have to say. It denies me the chance to have my say. Do you want to be someone who steals the voices of others?

It’s not Because Science at all. Science is just facts. Science is not personal. Only people are.

Image: Christian Mohn, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License