Cleo, whom some of you may know from here and other Romanceland venues (DA, SBTB, my previous blog, and elsewhere) has written a lovely post about the Monument Quilt Project. It’s over at Smart Bitches and you definitely want to go take a look. Like the AIDS Quilt Project, the work is a giant quilt made up of individual squares, with each contribution memorializing survivors of sexual violence. Cleo has a photo of her own contribution, which is beautiful. And there are photos which include Cleo (yay!) and her cat (adorable).
In the post Cleo says:
I was uncertain about asking SB Sarah if I could write about this for SBTB, since it really has nothing to do with romance novels. I’m delighted that she said yes because this blog is one of the places where I’ve practiced being more open about my experience as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Reading and sewing are also two of the things that have sustained me for most of my life, since I was old enough to learn both skills. So it seems fitting that I’d write about sewing for a romance blog.
I think a romance blog is exactly the right place to post this, because romance novels are about finding love, hope, and support in a difficult world. What better place?
The quilt will be on display at the National Mall in Washington DC from 31 May to 2 June. If you’re anywhere near, go see it! I guarantee you won’t regret it. And thank you, Cleo, for sharing this with us.
Courtesy of Chris at Stumbling Over Chaos, here’s a story we can all relate to: the condition of So Many Notebooks. Notice I don’t say “too many” because you can never really have too many notebooks. Or at least I can’t.
This tweet really hit home, though:
They are not BLANK. They each have 2-4 pages messed up.
— quing of the dykes (@hooligantactix) April 13, 2019
Yup. Although in my cases it’s usually 10-25 pages. 2-4 pages, pah. I can cut those out with a paper knife. But double digits means confronting my shame that I started, got going for a while, and then stopped. I have Moleskines from the days when Moleskines had good paper (think of how long ago that was).
It’s a chronic condition, no question. As long as I am able to write, I will have half-finished notebooks hanging around to remind me of half-abandoned projects.
This is a strange and fascinating article about a category of mommy bloggers who monetize their blogs through affiliate links and printables. Doesn’t sound unusual, right? Except, as the author asks,
Once printed out, wouldn’t these lists just clutter up your kitchen? In a world that increasingly demands that content be free, it made no sense to me that people were willing to pay money for amateur graphic design adorning boxes marked with the days of the week. Can’t people make their own lists, with a pen and paper? Are the templates really that appealing?
Yes, yes they are. And it’s not just printables:
There is also a huge wall art subgenre, featuring graphics you can personalize with a name or initials, or positive affirmations like “Rest and Recharge,” or seasonal exhortations like “Let It Snow!” Most wall art printables remind me of decorative features you might find in the knickknack-filled dining room of a rural bed-and-breakfast: homey, unpretentious, but maybe a little bit overbearing.
They remind me of what used to be sold via catalogs that came to our houses unsolicited (I can’t remember the name of the main ones, Carol something?) and then migrated to Sky Mall. There is always a market for this kind of thing. And really, how different is it from Erin Condren and the other planner systems, except that here you can print out your own? It’s as much about being part of a community as anything, or more precisely it’s joining a community while hoping to make money on the side.
Oh thank you Sunita!
And that article about notebooks looks good.
You’re most welcome, Cleo! I only wish I were going to be in DC to see it.
Oh goodness, the for-profit printable mommy blogs. I love how these articles always have this wide-eyed wonder about them, like this sort of thing is a surprise. When really they’re a natural offshoot of the larger mommy blogs if you’d stop for 5 seconds and think about it.
Wait until they discover planner blogs! And home organization blogs! Or even–GASP–book blogs!
Natalie, I was thinking about you when I read this, because I was reminded of that woman who copied all the GTD stuff and sold it as her own. It occurred to me that if she’s in this type of environment, she may have thought she was just doing what everyone else does. Of course, she did seem a bit more savvy than that, but I can imagine that a lot of these bloggers never think about the original provenance of the printables they’re using.
That’s a beautiful quilt square, Cleo.
I expected Cleo to look more like a cat! What a beautiful quilt square, Cleo, and a lovely post.
Carol Wright? I had to do some googling. My sister and I obsessed over that catalogue. The kind of knickknacks dear to a middle-school girl’s heart. I think one year she actually got some lucite makeup organizers from there and she was so thrilled. Now I would much prefer a catalogue full of notebooks.
Yes, Carol Wright! There was another one too, and like you guys I was mesmerized by them. I don’t think we ever bought anything from them, but I always wanted to.
Cleo looks so warm and lovely in that photo. It’s wonderful to be able to put faces to names.
@Janine – thanks!
@Liz MC2 – Hah! After so many years of using my cat’s pic as my avatar, you’d think I would look more like my cat.
@Sunita – aww, thanks. I felt a little naked including my picture but it felt important to include and I’m glad I did. It’s nice to look at the post and see me in that sea of red.
Coming out as a survivor feels as awkward and vulnerable as coming out as queer – actually it feels more vulnerable. Romancelandia, for all its problems, really has been my safe space to practice coming out. And I like what you wrote – romance is about finding love, hope and support.
I probably look more like my Corgi than you look like your cat, Cleo. 😉