A Tongue of a Different Colour

You have a green tongue. No, it’s not from a Popsicle or candy or anything like that. Your tongue became green when you lost your sense of taste. You’re not suddenly a fashion disaster (cause I know someone will think up that idea) you just can’t taste anything.

Is the green tongue better or worse the time your tongue turned red and everything (even an ice cube) tasted very hot and spicy?

If your tongue turned other colours like blue, purple or pink, what do you think that would mean as far as your sense of taste?

Spinning Perception

Tim Horton’s says you save ten cents on their coffee refills if you use the plastic mugs instead of the paper cups. They could have said you pay ten cents for the paper cups each time. But it sounds better to save ten cents than to be charged an extra ten cents.

My sister opened a business a few years ago. Her initial price for admission and birthday parties had to go up when she had a better idea of her expenses after being open a month. I told her to say it had been an introductory price for the new business, a sale price, but now the business was going back to charging the standard rate. (As if that was the plan all along). She really liked the idea versus just raising her price and explaining that she had to charge more. Instead, she let customers think she had been giving them a deal (which she had, just not intentionally).

Public relations and putting a different spin on things is always interesting to me. You can format or frame an idea in a different way and completely change the outlook of others. Does it mean people are gullible? No, I think it just means there is more than one way to look at things, like being optimistic or pessimistic.

“Subliminal perception is a subject that virtually no one wants to believe exists, and — if it does exist — they much less believe that it has any practical application. . . . The techniques are in widespread use by media, advertising and public relations agencies, industrial and commercial corporations, and by the Federal government itself.” – Wilson Bryan Key

“Public-relations specialists make flower arrangements of the facts, placing them so that the wilted and less attractive petals are hidden by sturdy blooms” – Alan Harrington

Petty Revenge for Annoying Word Verification

I really don’t like word verification, in case you didn’t already know this about me. So, just this afternoon I have come up with a plan!

I wrote a comment to a blog which uses word verification. At the end of my comment I typed:

Your word verification is scoff. Just letting you know since you have the thing turned on.

It really was scoff, ironically enough. But, that gave me the idea of telling every blogger what their word verification says. If they want to inflict the thing upon me I will give them updates about how it is working. You could even write up a prepared speech of a hundred words and just attach it to every comment you make which forces word verification or any of that annoying useless stuff on you. My comment note above was not nasty or demanding, just an additional note. But I thought of lots of less nice things to say and edited myself down to what I quoted above.

Will you do it too? Next time you are at a blog which makes you do word verification tricks in order to give them a comment, will you let them know their word verification is on?

Filling in Space

Journalism: an ability to meet the challenge of filling the space.

– Rebecca West

Have you ever written to fill in space, keeping your words to an exact limit for a print publication? It’s not just the amount of words but the actual space on the printed page so you need to edit the words you use for the amount of letters in them if it gets tight. Try it sometime.

Could You Really Just Let the Story End this Way?

You hear someone call you. But it’s early in the morning, on a Sunday and you’re all snuggled up and cosy in your bed. So you ignore it, just for a bit. You don’t hear any more. Still, you get up to check, you can’t just lie in bed and be the evil daughter/ sister/ wife/ mother who ignores them when they call you. Likely it’s just something silly, they want you to fetch something they could get for themselves.

Out of bed, down the hall, there they are, watching TV. No catastrophe. You say ” Good Morning.” They answer back, yet it’s an odd monotone, cheery “Good Morning”. It looks like they have been replaced by an evil robot, again.

However, this evil robot replacement is different from the last one. This one fetches for themselves, they even pick up after themselves, cook dinner, iron clothes, wash windows and offer you the last cookie rather than just eat it themselves. Could you really just let the story end this way?

In Deepest Sympathy

What do you write when you send flowers to a funeral? It would depend on how well you know the family or the deceased. People think about their own funeral now and then but you won’t be there for that one (as far as we know). Have you ever sent sympathy flowers or mailed a sympathy card? What did you write, what might you write if it were someone you didn’t know well versus what you would write if it were someone you knew but not a member of your own family?

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping
for that which has been your delight.
-Kahil Gibran

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
-From a headstone in Ireland

Sample sympathy messages on Simple Sympathy

Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.

Fix Writer’s Cramp

From LifeHacker: Loosen Up Your Writing Grip to Banish Pain.

If your hand gets cramped and sore when you write long hand try to give up your death grip on the pen. Don’t carve your words onto the page. If you work on not pressing down so hard or squeezing the pen like a hungry python, your hand will not tense up and you will be able to cure your writer’s cramp. I’ve found it does work, though it isn’t easy to get used to writing long hand again. I do like taking paper and pen out to the local coffee shop and just letting ideas come to me when I’m not looking for them.

Organize Grrl Zine Workshops

Have you ever wanted to create your own small publication, in print? Whether you think of them as fanzines, zines or ezines (which are not in print) the ideas for holding a zine workshop are great for getting together with a group and trying to create something of your own on paper.

From GrrlZines and GZAGG originally:

Forming and organizing the group and workshops:

+ Find other like-minded zinesters in your city (via word-of-mouth, the library, co-ops, zines at book and record stores, music venues, and the Internet). It is best if you have enough members so that you can rotate in providing workshops (we like to have at least 2-3 at each workshop)

+Organize your workshop tools. We always bring: A typewriter, scissors (more than one pair), glue sticks, pens (ball point and sharpie), blank paper, a stapler (a saddle stapler is best), and a scrap box with a variety of newspapers, magazines, clip art, rub-on letters, decorative paper, string, and other bits that can be used in making a zine. You can ask for donations, or “borrow” stuff from work.

+ Identify organizations interested in zine workshops such as youth, women’s and LGBT centers, feminist organizations, high schools, girls clubs, festivals, bookstores etc.

+ Present your idea about doing a zine workshop at the selected venue. Asking your friends is often a good way to get started. Ask if the venue can provide some compensation or contribution of materials, and if it can provide a photocopy machine or free copies.

+ When arranging for a space for the workshop make sure it has enough tables and chairs, and that it allows cut and paste activities.

+ Decide on a time frame for the workshop. We usually allow 1.5 to 2 hours for the workshop itself and another hour for copying and stapling the workshop zine.

+ If the workshop is open to the public (and not only for a specific group), make flyers and distribute them widely in the community and among your friends. Make use of activist email lists and website in your community too. You should probably keep the number of participants under 20.

The workshop itself:

+ First we introduce ourselves and our zines. Next we talk about the definition of a zine, zine history, the current “zine scene,” our experience making and distributing zines, and the basics of how to make and distribute zines. We always have resource guides available (a zine itself) that repeat this material.

+ Most of our workshops consist of making a zine in which each participant contributes one page. We make digest-sized zines, which are letter-size paper folded in two (so that each page is 4.25” wide by 5.5” tall). We suggest you have them draw a border approximately one-half inch around their page as a guide, so that their work doesn’t get cut off when copied.

+ Be sure to point out that color can be tricky when making black-and-white copies (red becomes black, for example), and encourage image-making that will copy well. Discourage pages with a majority of solid black as this tends to create paper jams when copied.

+ Then it’s DIY time! It’s important to allot the majority of the time for them to work on their page. It can take some folks a while to get comfortable, and some do multiple versions. While they’re working on their pages, the organizers can make a cover, an ad a page for your group (and for any upcoming events – a good way to balance out the number of pages if you need to) and a contributors page. Have them sign the contributor’s page when they turn in their page, and allow them to identify themselves as they wish, but do suggest email addresses if they wish to keep in contact with your or other workshop participants.

+ Assemble the master copy of the zine as pages are submitted to demonstrate how this is done. They will give you a half-sheet of paper, which you will then glue onto a creased full sheet of paper. Do consider the order of pages when you do this, and try to juxtapose contributions in an interesting manner.

+ Before the workshop ends ask the participants to sign up for a mailing list if they want to be informed about future events. Consider using this mailing list to elicit feedback on the workshop too.

+ Remember that you may not have a copy machine immediately available, in which case you will need to make arrangements for getting the zines to the workshop participants. If your workshop is part of a conference or festival, try to schedule it early in the day so that you can arrange a pick-up point for them later. You may need to provide envelopes for mailing, in which case it’s a good idea to ask for postage costs from either the participant or the organization sponsoring the workshop. Sometimes it works out for participants to go with you to make copies, in which case they can learn about copy techniques and get their zines right away.

+ When copying a zine with lots of images, select the ‘photo’ button on the copy machine for best quality of gray tones.

+ To staple the zine it’s easiest to use a saddle stapler (one designed to reach in to the center of paper). If you need to use a regular stapler: make a pile of newspaper, open the zine face down on top of it, open the stapler and staple down through the zine’s spine, then manually fold down the ends of the staples.

Grrrl Zines A-Go-Go – is an all-women workshop group based in Southern California. Since 2002 we have been facilitating workshops in community venues and college campuses in our region. We focus on the empowerment of young women through the production of fanzines and self published works.