On my Facebook Page I am having a bit of a halloween extravaganza 🙂
Through out today the spooky will play and I shall share stories rare of goblins and witch and monsters and kitch so sit back and relax have a bloody snack! On the hour every hour they will be here, stories to scare and bring you to tears! Images of the grizzly ghoul now get reading you fool!
enjoy (and don't forget the free colouring sheets!)
So a few years ago now I wrote a series of halloween poems for Jean who wanted something spooky but not scary and could only say spoogy as she was four or something. I then did a few more poems and typed it all up and did some illustrations the originals having been lost in a water drink spillage. And I got the Little Book of Spoogy Poetry which I put out as a down load, then I saved monies and got it printed and have been selling them and giving them as presents ever since.
Last year me and the yeti set out to do readings and halloween craft activities and the like so I sorted a couple of illustrations into colouring sheets which I am now posting on the internets for everyone to spread a bit of spoogy fun 🙂
Tonight the 22nd of October 2015 is the launch of Kissing The She Bear by the amazing poet Anna Saunders - Anna's poems are dark and deep and whimsical and pull you into the other whilst wrapping the very real world and experiences around you. This time she has teamed up with the excellent Will Humphreys as the books photographer - Will's images are always emotion stirring and thought driving, he is one of my favourite composers within this art form. I am very excited about the combination of these two artists and will also be getting the chance to perform some of my own mythos based poetry at the event in Cheltenham - it is free entry at Copa.
Ada Lovelace was a victorian lady who loved maths, she was also the astranged daughter of Lord Byron the poet, she has a computer programming language named after her and a day... the day is to celebrate women in science and technology. A chance to tell their stories.
Me and Alaric have written quiet a few stories of women who have inspired us or we feel are essential to where our current modern tech and meds are.
We have covered innovation, science, engineering, computing, medicine and technology. We love reading the stories that pour onto twitter each year.
But... that is not what I want to talk about today - not the successes but the struggles. As one of the most dangerous thing is not being allowed to fail.
If you are the role model, or figure head, or just in an environment where some aspect of you like gender or race or disability is highlighted continually and you are fighting to maintain your position... there is no room to fail, no space to just step back and go "you know I could use a little help here" because as soon as you do that it becomes because of that difference that marker, that things that makes you not one of the boys. And all those who have helped you and believed in you will be let down.
But if you can't fail, can't ask for help without undermining your own position then you can not progress as smoothly or easily and when the stakes are high it adds to the stress.
Because failure becomes not a little set back but a full blown retreat - a being chucked out the door.
When you can be a lousy scientist and it's just because you are lousy (or need more training) and not because of your gender, orientation, disability... - then equality isn't reached - until then it is just another stress to add to catastrophic collapses and retreats from the world of science and tech feeding the "leaky pipeline" we hear so much about i.e. why there are less and less women as you go higher and higher in science and tech even though the numbers are up and have been up for a decade or more at the lower ends like A'levels and undergrad degrees.
This is one of the reasons I actually hate quotas (I am not saying they are not needed) - I've seen good arguments for them but my personal experience of them has been being told I am not actually good enough - "you're only here because you tick three different boxes, you fill three quotas" this is crushing and if you are not careful it makes you feel that perhaps you really do not belong. You try and hide what subjects you are struggling with rather than just getting help with them and if you didn't "tick the boxes" then it would be fine to ask for that help - ask for it whilst being one of these groups and get told "this isn't the place for someone like you" and you end up having to threaten legal stuff and that just makes it all extra stressful. And how do you know you if you were good enough to get in?
Cheer yourself up with some of my puppet comedy involving Ada (not for kids this one!).
Also I made pendants, and key fobs and badges using the pictures of Ada I had drawn and hot melt glue straight from the gun! They are not the best - they were the first attempt at this technique but the girls loved them 🙂
I was going to do cake but am saving that for the actual Bicentinnial in December.
And yes I am grumpy - I never felt as if I'd left science, I felt like it was taken away from me and worse that I had let down those who had invested in me. I actually dread trying to talk to those people again but life is crock full sometimes. Maybe one day....