Category Archives: you’ve got to have friends

#SUCKIT Lupus – It Takes A Cyber Village

Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen,

but give us the determination to make the right things happen. – Horace Mann

I collect quotes finding inspiration in the words of others. But there are some bits of wisdom I don’t understand. “Everything happens for a reason” is one of them. Some things don’t make sense and never will. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason.

Working as a writer and photographer for BlogHer, I met Erin Kotecki Vest, known to many as the Queen of Spain. Erin is a wife, mother, award-winning journalist and BlogHer’s Social Media Strategist.

In the last year, lupus has turned her life upside down. UP. SIDE. DOWN.

Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason.

I’m really lousy at seeing something I think is wrong and not being able to change it.  In the US, over one million people have lupus, and 16,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. And I am amazed at the strength of Erin, her husband, and children in facing this one day at a time. Never letting lupus win. Telling it to #SUCKIT even on the days it hurts most.

In times of difficulty, some bake. Others knit or meditate. As a child of the Lisa Frank sticker-loving eighties, I designed stickers and sent them off to be printed.

#SUCKITLupus is Erin’s twitter hashtag of choice. Words have power. These ones certainly do. I think it’s brilliant. As does their family dog, Nicky, who I think would have made the stickers himself if he had opposable thumbs.

Let’s make #SUCKITLupus a battle cry for Lupus and Autoimmune Disease Awareness. Let’s show Erin’s kids that a cyber village can, and will, come together in support of one another.

Help us fight lupus with a donation (whatever you can give) to the Lupus Foundation and I’ll send you a sticker. With a puppy on it. Who doesn’t want that?

DONATE HERE

First, click the link above to donate – all donations go directly to The Lupus Foundation.

Then, email me at alexandrawrote [at] gmail with your name and mailing address, and I’ll get your sticker to you.

And, in the great hashtag tradition, I’d love it if you’d tweet a pic of you and your #SUCKITLupus sticker to @alexandrawrote. 

One more thing, feel free to grab a button below for your site. Thanks to Lindsay for helping me code the buttons. #ittakesacybervillage xo a

DISCLAIMER: This is a project created by Alex Asher Sears with the permission of Erin Kotecki Vest, who thought I was kidding when I said I was going to make stickers. The Lupus Foundation did not not approve or sanction this project, but all donations made go directly to their organization with the hope of fighting this disease and retiring the #SUCKITLupus hashtag very, very soon.

Alexandra Wrote

<div align=”center”><a href=”http://www.alexandrawrote.com&#8221; title=”Alexandra Wrote”><img src=”https://alexandrawrote.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/suckit-lupus-blog-button-300.jpg&#8221; alt=”Alexandra Wrote” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>

Alexandra Wrote

<div align=”center”><a href=”http://www.alexandrawrote.com&#8221; title=”Alexandra Wrote”><img src=”https://alexandrawrote.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/suckit-lupus-blog-button-150.jpg&#8221; alt=”Alexandra Wrote” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>

(Nicky the Pup #SUCKITLupus stickers are 2×3.5 high gloss stickers designed by AlexandraWrote featuring the Sprik Space Collection. Please Link With Love if you’d like to share the images above.)

you’ve got to have friends

Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops. – Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five 

I began blogging because I was repeatedly amazed by the connectivity of it all. What I began calling the Shrinky Dink Effect – the triumphs, the tragedies and the mundane that brought people together. It made the world seem that much smaller. I began to see the way friendships started with a tweet or a comment on a blog post. Photographing BlogHer, I watched as online friends gather offline with the annual excitement of kids off to sleep away camp.

It’s why I love social media. This cyber village is vital and inspiring, and I put it on the list of things that I adore about this tangled web. I have friends who blog and those I’ve made through the blogosphere. And I am equally bad at leaving comments for them all. No one should take it personally. I am an equal opportunity lousy no-commenter.

I hope I can make up for that in some way when I talk about the things friends are doing online that I find inspiring. Like when Morgan was spearheading the fight against SMA or Eden decided to lead a guerilla art campaign or Paul and Cariann launched cargoh.com. Or my friend Jules’ 31 Days of William Morris project, which she just finished. Today.

I met Jules a few years ago, and then I finally met Jules, as is the way in which bloggy friendships often evolve. Although many online friendships remain in the cloud, Jules and I have the good fortune of living just a few freeways apart, and it was during the most ridiculous heatwave in late August we gathered with a group of friends to celebrate Holly’s Los Angeles book launch. Evenings like that remind me why artists need a community. Why writers and painters and photographers and designers get so much from interaction, when so often daily work is done solo. (I don’t care whether or not Al Gore invented the internet, whoever it was, on behalf of freelancers and indie artists everywhere, I thank you.)

Jules posted every single day for the month of October, taking to heart William Morris’ words: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Anyone blogging for thirty-one days in a row deserves some sort of medal, and I found this project inspiring. I consider The Container Store one of the happiest places on earth, but it wasn’t just the organizational aspects of this blog series that were so great. It was the story she wove throughout. The idea of how we live, what we live with and how it defines us.

While my style inspiration is certainly more Diana Vreeland than Mr. Morris, I loved the whole journey. I may be a bit of a maximalist but, like Jules (and Vreeland and Morris), I believe in cultivating your style – be it fashion, design or the wisdom of Strunk and White.*

So, go read and enjoy and learn from Jules. And tell me, what and where do you find inspiration in this blogosphere? I’d love to find out what great treasures I’m missing! xo a.

*I think this is an apt moment to say that I believe in the oxford comma, but it has its place. Sadly, the internet isn’t it. Neither are magazines. Which is why I don’t recommend editing a book and a magazine at the same time. You’ll thank me when you’re proofreading.