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May we be free of torture, may there be peace in hearts and minds Below are 20 entries, after skipping 20 most recent ones in the "ladycatherina" journal:

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April 10th, 2010
06:43 pm
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John Culp's Poetry
Poetry from John Culp, aspiring poet and member of our Castro Valley writers' group:

Last meeting I wrote:

windows for Truth.

with meaning and tooth.

Tear my veil
of laden sediment.

Answer the letters
I have sent.

Last Saturday I wrote:

If with complaint is no solution,
words can friend with noise pollution,

but where too poised and never spake,
silent forms a crust on lake.

Frozen quiet darkens.
Laws beyond that stop all that is said,
that the lake itself might waken the dead.

Here is spun
for a pleasure or fun.
First ice breach
is Freedom of Speech.
Then view the lake
for all of our sake.


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06:40 pm
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Freelance paid poetry markets
Blog post available in its entirety at the wonderful website http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com - here’s the link: http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2010/01/21-poetry-markets/

21 Poetry Markets
Agni - Pays $20 – $150. Contact for guidelines.
Alaska Quarterly Review - Pays $10 – $50. Contact for guidelines
Antigonish Review - Pays $30/page. Please see online guidelines.
Antioch Review – Pays $15/page. Online guidelines.
Arc – Canada’s National Poetry Magazine – Pays $15/page.
Black Warrior Review - Pays up to $75. Contact for full guidelines.
Boulevard Magazine – Pays $25 – $250. Online guidelines.
Clean Sheets -Pays .03/word (erotica)
The Capilano Review – Pays $50 – $200. Online guidelines.
Dreams and Nightmares – Pays $10. Online guidelines.
Electric Velicipede: Pays $15 for poems under 100 lines. Online guidelines.
Grain Literary Magazine - Pays $40 – $70 – See online guidelines for more details.
Chatahochee Review - Pays $50. Online guidelines/
Island – Pays $60. Online Guidelines
Leading Edge – Pays $10. Snail mail submissions only. Online guidelines.
New Myths – $15. per poem. Online guidelines.
Orion Society – Pays $100/poem. Contact for guidelines.
The Pedestal Magazine – Pays $40. Online guidelines.
Ploughshares – Pays $25 – $250. Online guidelines.
Poetry - Pays $150/page. Online guidelines.
Three Penny Review – $100/poem. Snail mail submissions only. Online guidelines.

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06:39 pm
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Freelance writing gigs...from Deborah Ng of www.freelancewritinggigs.com
May 2010 be the year you prosper and profit!

Unless linked to full guidelines, please contact the publication directly for complete guidelines before querying. Also, before querying, please take the time to read through several back issues to familiarize yourself with the magazine’s tone and style and to ensure you’re a good fit. One of the biggest pet peeve of magazine editors are blind queries where the writer knows nothing about the market. Because buying all those past issues isn’t very cost-effective, I usually browse back copies at the library.

40 MORE Freelance Writing Markets Paying $100 or More
AAA Living – Pays $150 – $1800/assigned article
American Kennel Club Gazzette – Pays $300 – $500 per article. Scroll down for email address to request guidelines.
America’s Civil War – Pays $300+.
Art Calendar – Pays $250.
Astronomy – Pays $100 – $1000
Auto Pilot Magazine - Pays $100. Contact for guidelines.
Baby Talk Magazine - Pays $500 – $2,000. Query by mail to 530 5th Avenue, NY NY 10036 and be sure to include a SASE.
Bee Culture – Pays $100 – $250
Bike Magazine – Pays .50/word. Follow contact info for guidelines.
Blade Magazine – Pays $200 – $300. Contact for current guidelines.
Bridal Guide – Pays 50/word. I’d query for more comprehensive guidelines.
Broken Pencil – Pays up to $100 – $400.
Business Traveler - Pays .50/word. Contact for guidelines.
Car & Driver – Pays $750 – $3,000 per article. Send email to editors@caranddriver.com
Chidren’s Advocate – Pays $225 -$450. Contact for guidelines.
Chile Pepper – Pays $600. Contact for current guidelines.
Credit Today - Pays $200 – $1400.
Dance Teacher - Pays $100 – $300. Try emailing jtu@dancemedia.com to request guidelines.
Discovery Channel Online - Pays $1/word.
Dog Fancy – Pays .40/word
International Living – Pays $100 – $500
Family Fun – Pays $1.25/word.
Family Motor Coaching Magazine - Pays $100 – $500. Contact for guidelines
Her Sports - Pays $200 – $600 per assigned article.
Kitchen and Bath Design News – Pays $200 – $650. Contact for current guidelines.
Laptop Magazine – Pays $150 – $1250. Contact for guidelines.
The Meeting Professional - Pays .50 – .75/word for assigned articles.
Minnesota Conservation Volunteer - .50/word.
National Parks Magazine – Pays $1300 for features and travel articles.
The Network Journal – Pays $150 – $200. Pitch career articles or articles related to business.
New York Spirit – Pays $150
Northwest Travel - Pays $100 – $500
On Wall Street – Pays $1/word. Contact for guidelines.
Persimmon Hill – Pays $150 – $300
Robb Report - Pays $1.oo/word.
Romantic Homes – Pays $500. Contact for guidelines.
Snafu Designs – Greeting card market. Pays $100/idea. Guidelines at info@snafuguidelines.
This Old House – Pays $1 per word. I’m not sure how old these online guidelines are as they’re from another site, so I’d contact for fresh guidelines.
Threads - Pays $150/page. Contact for current guidelines.
Wine Enthusiast – query by sending email to tmoriarity@wineenthusiast.com – Pays $750 – $2000

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April 6th, 2010
11:15 pm
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Tony Du Shane, Solo Sundays, Kristie, Writers' Groups, Networking events
All four local writers' groups are up and running - including the new one in San Rafael, which is at a coffeeshop I found on Yelp that's a nice place but with a slightly different vibe than I expected. I thought it'd be showy/fancy/organic in that area, but it's more laid back with green diner chairs and a big fridge full of Cokes in the middle. Attracted a few nice people though, including a guy who goes to Burning Man and whose sister wrote a children's book to illustrate the lyrics to Monkey and the Engineer.

Went with the San Jose writers to join the First Friday art walk last week - forgot somehow that I'd scheduled it on Good Friday...that and the rain brought out a small turnout. I admire Works Gallery especially for the quality of the art and the ICA Print Center for the intellectual artist's statements.

Met a woman from http://www.artshiftsanjose.com who said the magazine's looking for writers on any aspect of the South Bay art scene...email editor@artshiftsanjose.com if you're interested.

Kristian's family has three new baby kittens...saved from their trash compactor hideout, now they're maybe a month old. He's also looking into working with installing solar panels and I gave him my mother's guide to government jobs.

Last week also dropped by Last Gasp Publishing's 40th anniversary celebration. Diane Di Prima, Michelle Tea, and others gave live performances of their writing.

I received Lauralee Summer's memoir, Learning Joy from Dogs without Collars (the girl who grew up occasionally homeless with her creative but eccentric mother, who traveled the US and stayed in shelters...and eventually became a serious wrestler and attended Harvard while developing a writing career) in the mail and sent it off to Katy and Liz Hughes with a little cash - and said I believed in them, that they could get jobs and get into school and do better in life, and would be cheering for them and would send them my autographed Diane di Prima memoir to celebrate with them once they found work.

Went to a NCSWA science writers' dinner, learned about restoration efforts for the Monterey Bay ecosystem. The head of the biology department at SFSU invited Synchronized Chaos Magazine to come cover their May conference on genomics and genetics and better targeted cancer therapy...we're also reviewing a San Jose Opera performance of La Rondine and writing on makeup and hairstyle artists for a SF Fashion Week benefit, where they're inviting people to submit poems defining beauty on their own terms.

Went to a networking event for young nonprofit professionals - some good organizations represented, lots of folks from this legal aid group, and others from an international literacy society which is hiring (but only finance and HR professionals) - Room to Read, which I'd love to work for if I could. Also another event on nonprofit marketing that was at the Castro Valley Library.

Wrote on some interesting women for Ada Lovelace Day, also finished my consent forms for my thesis, now the ball's in my professor's court to take an online training class. For St. Patrick's day had one of my famous three hour BART and bus commutes, heading into San Jose for a magazine meeting and then to SF at night for a Lincart reception, celebrating "St. Patty's Day Around the World with a Brazilian Artist." Ran into a bunch of people who'd come visit UC Davis once and we'd chatted in their vans outside an art gallery...they totally remembered me, and I remembered them telling them they were from SF, I just didn't make the Lincart connection for awhile, and they actually got Davis mixed up somehow with Sacramento. Did get to enjoy a Guinness in San Jose though and met a professional violinist at the bar who was younger than I am.

Judged the Hayward Poetry Slam, great crowd of 60+ people, excited to foster the development of an emerging art scene! Bananaritis also went well, plenty of energy and potential for a MFA thesis student project.

UC Berkeley hosted a day on women in leadership...attended a seminar on negotiating and another on nonprofit careers, where I was very inspired by a woman talking about her organization defending the legal rights of refugees to work and earn money in their new countries.

Kristie's dealing with stuff in her life again and I'm trying to help as much as I can...what she needs is a Hella Pretty Army, like goodbadgirl! I wonder how you can build such a group for someone with a lesser known disorder which affects her personality...but this is a team effort, more than I can handle on my own, as her family realized about themselves years ago (when they abandoned her to me and other non-blood relatives) and I'd like to get more of an infrastructure of support for her, especially as I'm leaving for Europe next week and will be gone for two weeks. She knows now, I told her on Monday, and she called me crying and freaking out saying she couldn't handle me being gone and having to deal with strange social workers. And yes, she's more important than Europe...but the trip's a gift from family I'm living with at the moment who don't allow me to care for Kristie as they think she's taking advantage of me and it's "their house, their rules."

Everyone's struggling now, JobSeekers is getting bigger and last weekend at the theater for Solo Sundays, http://www.stagewerx.org/index.html#solo) Bruce Pachtman (who produced and emceed that show) came out between performers and tossed Tootsie Pops to people like a high school youth pastor, then came onstage and said that now he had our attention and an empty bucket. And we should know that 100,000 arts nonprofits had to shut their doors for financial reasons last year in california and he was worried, so to keep the theater around, he'd appreciate us putting some change in there on the way out.

I wanted to give something actually as it was a fairly good show and Bruce and the actors did quite a good job, someone even stood up to thank him, and I've seen how this experience of performing can transform people's lives. But I had no change left, only Chapstick, which I gave to a homeless lady with a dog outside the theater, and she was a published novelist! We ended up comparing favorite books and chatting for quite awhile.

All kinds of people read about the show, even people in our writing group in San Jose who have much less money than the Solo Sundays crowd, and they said how sorry they were the theater had to resort to that...my father, who used to fix planes and haul food out of freezers for a living, said he'd like to show Bruce and all the other artsy folks I knew in SF the 100,000 laid off assembly line workers in the East Bay now moving back in with parents or sleeping in shelters. He said they might not be funny or artsy but they were hurting worse from the recession than the artists who should know to expect it.

I get his point, and I get the theater people's point....hard to know what to do or where to give. Our magazine gets that issue too - people think Synchronized Chaos should do all this international and local philanthropy, and we do and we want to, but do we give to Haiti or very poor developing countries, or do we give to larger arts groups doing work we like or helping people we know and work with? What about our own contributors? We publish folks who live in their cars and who stay in shelters and who are on disability...maybe do something nice for our own writers and artists? I guess it's all about the heart and the intention and whatever we can do at any time.

Anyway...I'll be gone from April 11 to the 25th, will check comments though. Just heard author Tony DuShane (Teenage Jesus Jerk) speak and he said blogposts should be revised and polished...too late for this one.

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March 26th, 2010
04:11 pm
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Hayward Poetry Slam THIS Saturday, the 27th, 2:30 at the Hayward Main Library
This Saturday, March 27th, is the Poetry Slam at the Hayward Public Library. 835 C Street, 2:30 pm. All welcome, I'm serving as a judge!

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March 25th, 2010
12:15 am
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Fourth draft of the story on social networking helping the homeless family
Katy Hughes has always loved to draw and paint, and carries her sketchbook with her most places she goes. Just sixteen when she and her mother lost their apartment and moved into their Oldsmobile, Katy Hughes started selling artwork online to raise cash for food.
Her drawing, along with creative writing and volunteering at her local Campbell library, help keep her sane while she and her mother, Elizabeth Hughes, look for work and continue to endure homelessness.
Katy chronicles her experiences through a Blogspot blog, also sharing photography and art from her sketchbook.(destinationanywherebuthere.blogspot.com)
Read more...Collapse )

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March 24th, 2010
03:31 pm
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Ada Lovelace Day - Wednesday, March 24 - my post about Dr. Marilyn Winkelby, Stanford epidemiologist
Happy Ada Lovelace Day! I'm joining in with the international effort to acknowledge women's contributions to math, science, and technology fields every March 24th. For more information, and to sign up to read others' blogposts, please visit http://findingada.com

I dedicate this post to Dr. Marilyn Winkelby, Stanford epidemiologist seeking to look at the big picture in terms of how diseases and chronic health conditions differently affect various socioeconomic and cultural groups. She's looking at the biology and medical science, but also looking at what the lab findings mean for actual people.

Also, Dr. Winkelby launched an initiative to interest and help empower and educate more young people about going into health science careers and studying biology and chemistry while in high school. She's working to ensure the future of these fields while advancing them herself.

Here's a link to the Winkelby Lab through Stanford's website: http://winkleby.stanford.edu/

I would also like to mention Kenya's Dr. Wangari Maathai, botanist, ecologist, and author as well as the mother of Kenya's Greenbelt movement, which works to plant trees for erosion control in rural farm areas. She's brought about concrete results all over Kenya and other parts of the world, in ways backed up with scientific evidence, and in ways which immediately, directly benefit ordinary people growing food for their families as well as address the long-term concerns for the natural environment.

Dr. Maathai's book, Unbowed, is an inspiration and I would recommend it to anyone reading this.

Also, Dr. Dawn Sumner of my own alma mater, UC Davis, is a geologist looking at the Martian soil for evidence of past and present water and possible life. I had the privilege of interviewing her for a feature story I put together on the Spirit and Opportunity rovers and she was very articulate and well-informed. She also came to speak at a public lecture put on by the Explorit Science Center, helping to educate others about geological research.

Dr. Sumner just finished a research expedition to Antarctica to observe conditions in dry lakebeds and the bacteria which thrive in those environments, in hopes that the project will shed light on possible geologic conditions in which life may exist in similar environments on other planets or in our Earth's early days.

She blogged throughout her experience, detailing not just her research but the daily living conditions and procedures involved in maintaining camp in such a harsh and unique environment. She's very personable and an engaging writer...you may read her posts here: http://dawninantarctica.blogspot.com/

Also, I acknowledge the female researchers, staff and volunteers at our own Chabot Space and Science Center!

Happy Ada Lovelace Day! Wishing everyone the best as we celebrate and honor the progress being made in many fields.

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March 16th, 2010
10:48 pm
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Ada Lovelace Day - Wednesday, March 24 - blog about a woman in science/technology whom you admire!

Everyone, I'm going to do this and our Synchronized Chaos writers have done this before...great idea, consider joining me in your blogs! And there are all these local Ada Lovelace Day events...in Europe, so far - but we in the US can start our own event! 

Synchronized Chaos also sponsors Theano's Day...a similar event on June 24th for women in philosophy. Theano was the mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras' wife and Mom of his five children, all while supporting him financially and serving as a full intellectual partner and collaborating on mathematical and intellectual work. She's said to have invented the Golden Mean. More promotion for that as the day approaches...but let's do Ada Lovelace Day for now. Just sign up for free at the link below, http://findingada.com - and then post your blog entry on the 24th! Signing up means that others can read your blogpost, and I'd love to see it if you write one!

Please join us on March 24 for Ada Lovelace Day

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging (videologging, podcasting, comic drawing etc.!) to draw attention to the achievements of women in technology and science.

Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines, whatever they do. It doesn’t matter how new or old your blog is, what gender you are, what language you blog in, or what you normally blog about – everyone is invited. Just sign the pledge below (click ‘pledge’ after you have completed the reCaptcha) and publish your blog post any time on Wednesday 24th March 2010.

Sign up here: http://findingada.com/

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March 15th, 2010
02:36 pm
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Katy Hughes' artwork, Anne Lamott's beloved aunties
First of all, I'm adding an item to the Synchronized Chaos Wish List.

We'd love to see folks buy artwork from our contributors Katy and Liz Hughes, who are quite talented but live in their car for the time being while trying to get back on their feet. They've got work and housing in another state and are raising cash to move over there. Katy's blog entry about the artwork is here, with some sample work and the family's story: http://destinationanywherebuthere.blogspot.com/2010/02/for-sale.html

Some of her work's about to get exhibited in the local Campbell library! And I've got samples of it at the end of this post. If you're interested in ordering art, please read the instructions in Katy's blog and email hugheselizabeth@rocketmail.com

Katy sells sketches for $20 and larger pieces for more money - and accepts checks made out to her mother, Elizabeth Hughes (she's a teenager) and PayPal payments to hugheselizabeth@rocketmail.com

Also, just as a gift for you all...here's an empowering essay from Anne Lamott on body image and all types of insecurities and embarrassments:


My favorite section:

I was not wearing a cover-up, not even a T-shirt. I had decided I was going to take my thighs and butt with me proudly wherever I went. I decided to treat them as if they were beloved elderly aunties, who did embarrassing things like roll their stockings into tubes around their ankles at the beach, but who I was proud of because they were so great in every important way. We walked along, the aunties and me, to meet Sam and our friends on the beach. I could feel the aunties beaming. They had been in the dark too long. It did not trouble me that parts of my body -- the auntie parts -- kept moving even after I had come to a full halt. Who cares? People just need to be soft and clean.

My 'aunties' are more economic and lifestyle-based than physical, but this works for everyone!

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March 11th, 2010
01:52 pm
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Synchronized Chaos Wish List
My friend and fellow writer/graduate student/writing workshop leader Gina De Vries blogged today to remember and celebrate a list she’d made of things she wanted and needed in various aspects of her life…and she’d achieved and been blessed with most of them. So, in that same spirit of wonderment and gratitude and curiosity - here’s Synchronized Chaos’ Wants and Needs Wish List:

Wishlist for Synchronized Chaos – and the local writers’ groups:

More worldwide publicity

The latest Writers’ Market book.

More CD’s and books for the lending library..how to write, how to market, etc.

Web design support – someone who knows WordPress and/or laptop repair

Mentors! People to work with and advise our artists, photographers, writers, etc.

Conference speakers for our local free writers’ conference and networking event (planned to take place sometime late next fall.)

Carpool drivers for each of our local spinoff writers’ groups (San Francisco, San Rafael, San Jose, Castro Valley)

Career advising for our writers

People who will volunteer or barter to read and critique/edit people’s writing

Donations to our scholarship fund to send one person (recipient to be determined based on their personal readiness and interest, will NOT be myself) to the San Francisco Writers’ Conference - $450 left to raise

Donations to a random and discreetly available slush fund for folks (not myself!) down on their luck who need contest entry fees, paperback books on writing, bus fare/gas money for literary and art events, cash for coffee and meals at our events, etc.

Resume editing and job networking for our staff and contributors - in this economy we offer this as a service for anyone who’s interested, but would love to have a volunteer with some career counseling/job finding experience offer to take a look

Help finding paid advertising or otherwise increase our sustainable income stream without annoying our readers.

An apartment somewhere mass-transit accessible in the San Francisco Bay Area we can use occasionally to host events and potlucks and receptions.

Pen pals and mentors and sponsors of writing and stamps and other supplies for the incarcerated ladies we write to through Free Battered Women’s survivors’ project. Have invited several to submit to Synchronized Chaos, hoping to print some of their work soon!

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March 5th, 2010
12:31 am
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Second half of the last update
Just watched another WordsFirst performance last night...saw two of my favorites, Zahra N. and Thao Nguyen, tell powerful stories about race, coming of age, being between various cultures...and I'm still laughing and thinking about parts of their pieces. Lots of energy and creativity this time...and watched an excerpt of Lisa Marie Rollins' piece about being a woman of color adopted into a midwestern White family - very intense, she knows how to capture mannerisms and attitudes, although I was left wanting to hear more about the issues she brought up. And now I've seen Bruce Pachtman's piece with his fantasy life he develops to cope with getting dumped and laid off a total of three times, just by chance. He's clever, funny, and I did laugh...but that show strikes me as bittersweet every time because the poor guy never finds any happiness in his real life, just from going out in a sunny day, etc - it's all in the imaginary-life diary.

Just put Synchronized Chaos live for March, theme of "The Process of Going Beneath the Surface." Really was two themes by the time I got into it...should have probably stuck with the Process of Discovery or the Creative Process rather than trying to turn two themes into one sentence. Received some amazing work though...our gloom and doom painter, Matthew Felix Sun, sent in flowers this month, and Janine Canan contributed wonderful poetry about Georgia O'Keefe and Amma and other female artists and humanitarians.

Visit the site at http://www.synchchaos.com - and we're getting more folks interested in mentoring, which is awesome. Put out the networking blurbs where we dropped names of folks looking for jobs, too - that'll probably become a regular feature, at least till the economy improves. People are sending me job listings, and I hardly have time to apply for them and feel bad I'm not sending more out there to others - but did publicize the list of Bay Area companies which are hiring.

Received the craziest new press release to be announced in Synchronized Chaos, for a dance showcase called Bananaritis, chronicling societal and cultural hegemony and the forced disciplining of people's bodies and emotions ... all through giant dancing bananas! The producers say it's a reflection of how societies can get obsessed with the most ridiculous ideas...actually this piece sounds so silly it might be good, think I'll check it out ;)

Speaking of magazines, my sustainable-restaurant article's cleared to come out in Access in a few months,they’re just tackling the video editing. And my piece on the Hughes family and social networking’s finally in the editing process, on the third draft, down to 1600 words, needs to go down to 1200.

People keep trying to get it down to the main point, that social networking got people to help the Hugheses…but the hard part is that this isn’t a success story as the family’s still in their car. It’s more of an exploration of the potential and limitations of online social networking to solve social problems. So, where are all those artists and English professors who told me for years to avoid pieties and easy answers and let things stay unresolved, when I need them?

Graduate Studies reviewed my IRB Human Subjects request…apparently I do need actual SJSU letter head consent forms for the surveys, even though I got an exemption from the full board and committee meeting review. Concerned about the environmental impact of all that wasted paper for an anonymous, voluntary survey!

Over last weekend helped with a scout group at the museum, was a Comet Chef with dry ice and ammonia and dirt and corn syrup – and a star-studded chef’s hat and apron. Then went out to a volunteer night to help feed the homeless – ran into a bunch of middle aged folks out of work and some elderly Vietnam vets, two guys who said they’d been together 30 years and were taking care of each other out under the overpass near the Greyhound station. Brought them some plates of beans and rice…those things are always so hard for me as I always wish I could do more, fix everyone’s lives, sometimes have to learn to be content with what I can do. Not to let the fact that I can’t do everything stop me from just going out there and sharing what I can, just saying hello and smiling at some lonely people.

Watched Lori Rivera and Joe Ortiz’ cabaret show SMOKE over the weekend...don’t know how authentic about gypsies it was, but Rivera said she’d just come from India to learn some music. She has a lovely and very strong/hearty voice and the piece was fun and they did a good job with the variety of songs.

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12:29 am
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Random busy two weeks
Busy two weeks...watched much of the primetime Olympics, very happy for the skiers and skaters and bobsledders...and admire the biathletes and the long track skaters and cross country skiers for their dedication. Kim Yu-Na and Evan Lysacek are personal favorites of mine - for humility and hard work, for doing what we always advocate at Synchronized Chaos, getting the craft down first, then integrating publicity, heart, and flair.

Launched each of our three local writers' groups, three different cities, three different cultures and atmospheres. In Castro Valley everyone showed up precisely on time and greeted me from their seats as I wandered in at 7:02 - and there were many Christians with praise poetry, as well as folks seeking day-jobs.

San Jose's meeting was smaller, with folks wandering in off and on throughout the night, dropping by after tech jobs or academic research. Got into long conversations with each person...some new people came by, including finally a SJSU student (the campus is technically our parent organization, or at least was, before Synchronized Chaos stepped up.)

San Francisco's Mission District group brought a smaller, younger crowd than I expected - mostly college students. People were very serious and dedicated to writing though, brought long-ish pieces of sci fi and short stories, and we emailed them to each other. The young son of Cafe La Boheme's owner befriended us and helped refill drinks, move chairs, for us.

Everyone's welcome to join any or all of our groups, please comment and I'll send you the dates and times. We're meeting again next week.

In other exciting news - Mom and I are finally planning the trip I received as a gift for college graduation! It's been years since then but we're finally in a place in our lives when we're both healthy and able to take off a few weeks at a time, so we're planning to visit London, York/Bronte county (the parsonage where Charlotte, Anne, and Emily stayed, the school inspiring Lowood in Jane Eyre and the ruins of the place inspiring Heathcliff's home in Wuthering Heights.) Then on to Paris, the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, etc.

To practice we're taking a conversational French class - and I accidentally made a rather telling slip of the tongue this week...said je voudrais le cafe au lait rather than je voudrais du cafe au lait...requested all the coffee in the world to be brought to me rather than asking for a cup. Our whole family laughed when I told them ;) Sarah's taking a Rosetta Stone course in Russian and is quite good, and a woman on BART wrote out the Arabic alphabet for me to practice.

In the midst of a unique and interesting library book, which I had better finish before getting swamped with books to review for Synchronized Chaos...called Buddha's Wife, by Gabriel Constans, about the life and family of the Buddha, after he left them to become enlightened. About the balance of work, family, and spirituality. Has a self-published, second or third draft feel to it, but I'm glad in principle that it exists and that her voice gets to be heard, even through fiction.

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March 4th, 2010
02:23 pm
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Can you drop a note of encouragement to a homeless Mom and her teen daughter?
Personal update coming soon, for now here's a request:

Everyone, let's send a little love to Elizabeth Hughes...she's out of work and living in her car for now with her daughter Katy, they're taking nature photos and writing poetry in their blogs to relieve the stress...just drop her a note of encouragement if you can.

The mom's blog is here: http://elizaann914.blogspot.com/ and the daughter makes and sells some pretty interesting artwork here: destinationanywherebuthere.blogspot.com

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February 18th, 2010
12:56 pm
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Putting this list out there for everyone - SF Bay Area companies which are hiring
Heard this at JobSeekers - companies hiring in the SF Bay Area, check out their websites to see what positions may still be available:

John Muir Physicians' Network
Cisco Systems
The U.S. Census
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories
Wells Fargo
Clear Channel
Saba Software
Renewable Funding
Blackhawk Networks
New York Life Insurance
Massachusetts Mutual
Pacific Bioscience

http://www.phase2careers.org - special website to help people over 40 develop new careers

http://www.idealist.org - nonprofit jobs related to social services and the environment

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February 13th, 2010
03:10 am
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From Synchronized Chaos - opportunity to mentor incarcerated, aspiring writers and survivors
Everyone, if you’re interested in a writing mentorship opportunity which takes place at your own schedule through the postal mail and costs nothing other than the price of a few stamps, please comment or email me, Cristina Deptula (editor-in-chief) at cedeptula@sbcglobal.net

Over the past several years I’ve become pen pals with several women incarcerated in California’s prisons who are survivors of domestic violence and determined to educate themselves and rebuild their lives. These women are part of the organization Free Battered Women, (http://www.freebatteredwomen.org) which works with and looks into the stories of women incarcerated for crimes they committed to some extent as a result of the abuse they endured at home. Many of them would receive lighter sentences nowadays for the same actions, now that there is more awareness of the problem of domestic abuse, and also nowadays more shelters and resources exist to protect people in these situations - resources the women might not have had at the time of their crimes.

I acknowledge that anyone of any gender identity can experience domestic violence and support all survivors’ ability to live in safety and to receive education and help rebuilding their lives - this organization, which I’m already familiar with, happens to serve female survivors.

Quite a few of the Free Battered Women ladies take part in volunteer groups and pursue art, therapy, work and job-skills training, etc…one lady I remember was a gardener and raised a collection of plants from her cell as part of a vocational program, another created elegant stationery and holiday charity stockings for others while earning a college degree, another served as a volunteer with the Forest Service’s firefighting program, another works towards a career in journalism to help tell others’ compelling stories.

Many of them write and would love to learn from and be in contact with other writers…some want to create and sell memoirs and give profits to charity, others would like to put together poetry or stories or magazine articles, or are interested in a head start on their education while they wait for room and textbooks to become available in the overcrowded prison education system in California. There are correspondence school programs available to them, however, they cost money - and prisoners here work full time, but only make cents per hour to use for hygiene supplies, stationery, stamps, and maybe education if they can afford it. They often end up receiving parole at some point, and it serves them and society better if they go back into the world with some more education…also many of them have gifts to develop and nurture and writing is a way for them to give back to society.

I, or the organization’s leaders, would love to put you in touch with a person or two who would love to receive encouragement and advice/critical feedback on her writing, and/or suggestions for publication. Please let us know if you would be interested!

California’s inmates don’t have Internet access and are not always able to make phone calls regularly, so the regular mail is the best way to stay in contact. Again, please comment or email me if you are interested, and I will ask one of my pen pals for permission to give you her address!

By the way - as a former Slam poet, I’m very excited and honored to see slam poetry incorporated into Vancouver’s Olympic opening ceremony!

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03:06 am
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Accidental Tripod? (Mid-February update)
Ensconced in informational interviews (spoke with a lady from Radix philosophical magazine yesterday over French coffee and toast) and creating a piece for Access (the San Jose university publication) on what happens when idealistic, socially and ecologically responsible businesspeople hit reality and a recession - how to work towards one's ideals even while making difficult choices, through looking at three local downtown restaurants.

Watched the Superbowl - as much as I could from my car while driving around among three parties ;) One of them was hosted by a couple with a baby and a toddler...fun times!

As a former Slam poet, very excited and honored to see slam poetry take center stage during Vancouver's spectacular Olympic opening ceremony..and the 'accidental tripod' looked just fine to me after that panoramic light-projected tour of the country!

The RENT show last weekend was powerful - this time more affected personally by the love story of Angel and Collins, the more stable of the various couples. The performers seemed younger and more at the beginning of their careers - which gave the show some rough edges which seemed appropriate and really worked for the subject matter.

The Economics of Art went well too - economically themed cocktails, even a taste of absinthe, from a chocolatier whom we'd love to bring to our spinoff writing groups once we have enough people. Shorter forum discussion than I would have liked...just enough though to give a reality check to many up and coming 'starving artists' that they'll have to consider their work a business venture to be marketed. I've personally thought about going back for a MBA, although I'm just about to finish a master's in journalism already. Maybe the MBA would bring me a job sooner? Maybe just since I'd be around people with jobs? Would love to help folks find work by publicizing resumes, etc through Synchronized Chaos' local groups...but so far we have way more folks who need work than who seem to be offering it - even very professional people include their dayjob searches in their newsletters.

Completing forms for permission to use human subjects in my research - wonder if I'll get an exemption as I'm anonymously surveying consenting adults about their interest in a news article.

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February 4th, 2010
12:52 pm
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Natalie, eight year old niece of someone I care about very much, has leukemia and needs bone marrow
Announcement from the family of someone I dated in college and still care about very much...his niece has cancer and needs help. Please spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, LiveJournal, etc.

Natalie is 8 years old. She has a little brother, Sean, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

After five difficult rounds of chemotherapy last year, Natalie’s leukemia was in remission. Now it’s back and we have just weeks to find the bone marrow donor match that Natalie needs to save her life.

Natalie's greatest chance for a match is from those of ASIAN descent. Please help us spread the word through the Asian community.


To register as a potential bone marrow donor...I just did this - (free and easy, cheek swab test, kit mailed to your home and you send the swabs back in a prepaid envelope, only 1 in 200 donors will ever go through the simple outpatient procedure to give marrow to save a life) go here: http://www.dkmsamericas.org

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12:17 pm
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Secret Diary of Synchronized Chaos' Editor in Chief
• Attended Diane di Prima’s inaugural address as San Francisco Poet Laureate last night…she’s an amazing storyteller, with a whole sixties-ish vision of how the world should become (jobs and welcoming committees for artists and writers, local gardens with food and work shared and plenty left over for immigrants and the poor and sick.) Plan to recruit Synchronized Chaos folks to volunteer at some of her future writing workshops. And I liked how they introduced her as the mother of five children and paid tribute to how raising her kids played an important role in her life – because realistically family is important, to so many of the male and female artists and writers and influential people I know. One shouldn’t have to give up one’s art for the sake of family or vice versa…and Di Prima is an example of playing both roles well.

Ran into people I know from the writing world which I hadn’t seen in months…the publisher from Last Gasp and the guy who runs the midnight poetry slams at the 16th and Mission BART station…wanted them to meet each other, but they disappeared before I got a chance. Picked up Di Prima’s latest book though, Reflections of her Life as a Woman…she said that Memoirs of a Beatnik was fictionalized as her publisher said the book wouldn’t sell without more sex scenes – but that now she’s well-known enough to tell her own story on her own terms, to look at all the different dimensions of her life.

• Pitched a new article to Access, on the downtown student culture which has grown up around two delis, Caffe Trieste (Italian coffeeshop) and Good Karma (environmentalist and vegetarian.) Would like to look into what happens when idealistic business owners start out trying to practice social responsibility, what happens in the real world with real businesses…how to live out ideals as best as possible. So – let’s see what topic I end up with from Access, as they completely changed my topic last time. Theme is Lifestyle and Social Trends.

• Solar install went all right – now I know another hundred percent more about panel installation than before. Ended up watching more than I’d hoped, but did get to drill holes in the wall to hang the inverter and help bend the conduit wire. The other team built a whole support system for the panels up on the roof. Caught up with some folks after our install and heard the inverter did not work when they turned it on, but they’re sending people out to fix it this weekend.

* Visited Kate Leffler and other amazing artists at Emeryville's Bakery Lofts this weekend, also danced to Alma Desnuda's melodic soul folk rock riffs at Ashkenaz for their homeless-shelter benefit event. Writing up liner notes and band bios for the group...my father compared them to Simon and Garfunkel, said they were young and positive for now but in twenty years they'd probably get cynical and grumpy ;) Encourage you all to check them out on MySpace or wherever else online, pretty good music!

* Progressing with the job search, applied to Golden Gate University as a social media advertising coordinator and to the Public Library of Science as an editor. Helped fix the washing machine this week, helping with laundry and trying to introduce some folks to each other in the environmental and the fashion worlds.

* Tomorrow will attend San Jose's Works Gallery's Anti-Valentine's show, and the Anno Domini exhibit down the street on zines. Met a zine producer last night at Counterpulse Theater...and others elsewhere.

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January 30th, 2010
12:10 am
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Update on the Hughes family, homeless mother and daughter living in their car in Campbell (South San Francisco Bay Area.) Good and very bad news - they've apparently got someone helping them look for work and trying to get them settled in Pennsylvania. But they have to come up with moving costs themselves, and are back in their car for the time being.

It's a pity - I wanted to bring them out to see RENT with voces and I next weekend and invited them, but they said they have too much to deal with at the moment. Synchronized Chaos Magazine sent them some cash we collected at our reception but it wasn't too much as many of us are starving artists ourselves...can anyone reading this spare anything for the family? I know them personally and they could use the help.

Received a thank-you email from Liz...their PayPal account is down at the moment so they're asking for prepaid Visa or MasterCards to be sent to their P.O. Box.

You can mail Visa and MasterCard gift cards to:

Elizabeth and Katy Hughes
PO Box 111525
Campbell, CA 95011

Pretty please? Comment here if you send them something and I'll send you an original piece of poetry!

From Elizabeth Barone's blog site, Letters for Katy: How You Can Help.
Read more...Collapse )

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January 27th, 2010
01:12 am
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Late January - museum, reunion, writers, Dad, fashion, romance
* Wednesday Writers starts up again tomorrow the 27th, 5 to 9 pm at Caffe Trieste San Jose, 315 South 1st Street. Come one come all, bring some writing to share!

* Dad was taken to the hospital after he became dizzy and pale over the holiday weekend...after MRI's, EKG's, etc they said he was fine, just needed to get out and walk more. He joked a lot about not taking the beta blockers, statins, etc but once they let him go home he took them and he and I walked several times down to the flowing creek in the rain...he does care about his health, was just a way for him to assert his personality.

* After a short bout with flu I went out to my writing group, the one where I'm learning from the leader, and created a new piece. Also visited Femina Potens' closing ceremony for the sexecology pieces, Earth/Nature as a lover rather than a mother, someone to care for rather than vice versa. If I'd made one of those decorated maps I'd have included subtle green, blue-green, and peach shading and some Emerson or Romantic poetry.

* Attended a lecture at the museum on radioastronomy - using large arrays of scopes so as not to have to build a single one with a huge diameter. Miss having a place for my review articles on these talks!

* Helping plan my HS reunion...allowed to invite three teachers, chosen with a class vote. Also, suggested that we have nametags with convo starters to deflect attention from the 'what do you do?' question in this economy.

* Synchronized Chaos' reception went well...totally different group of folks at Trieste North Beach than Castro Valley, but larger group though. Members of the band Alma Desnuda showed up, and one of our contributing writers interviewed them on the spot for an article. Also, SF poet laureate Jack Hirschfield showed up and gave a live reading, and was followed by this young guy I'd just met before the party at Vesuvio's who turned out to be a heavy duty blogger and aspiring novelist. Some random folks who'd just come on out to have a coffee at Trieste asked about our magazine, and one of them had a short story on baseball that was perfect for the anthology someone else published...and a few of them threw in cash for Haiti relief, too. Reconnected with old college and postcollege friends.

* Attended the last of the Fashion Feud events at the Mighty - the designers received brown checkered fabric and this orangish paisley! They did their best with it though...everything from a comfortable dress designed to fit all women, to an elastic cocktail dress, to something in more of a Japanese style. We sampled handmade crafted chocolate - with an absinthe flavor - and I was introduced to a woman putting on a local documentary film festival which aimed to raise funds for social and environmental charities and publicize emerging filmmakers, with food, live music, fashion shows, and art as background entertainment! Hope she has lots of help...gave her my card and SC's URL so she can contact potential performers/art donors.

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