Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Quakers Uniting in Publications (QUIP) 2015 Conference

After being part of Quakers Uniting in Publications (QUIP) for many years, I finally got to go to a QUIP conference! 

The location travels -- under the current schedule, the annual conference rotates between the US East Coast, Midwest, West/Pacific Northwest, and the UK.  So it comes to the UK every four years.  (The last year we lived in the US, the conference was in the UK.  Since then, it's been in the US.  Ah, timing.  And money.) 

This year, the conference was back at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, England, and this year, things came together so that I was finally able to go.  

There were Friends there from the US, the UK, Germany, and Russia, with a wide range of involvement in different kinds of publications and parts of the publication process.  QUIP also includes Friends from a wide range of traditions within Quakerism. 

For me, it was an extra treat to be at Woodbrooke with a truly international group of Friends. 

Workshops, talks, and plenaries ranged from not-quite-my-cup-of-tea, to interesting, to fascinating.  Social media and internet work played a big part in many of the sessions.  Some sessions had interactive pieces built in, from going on-line, to breaking into small groups, to looking at blog posts pinned up on the walls.  In one workshop exercise, we'd worked on hypothetical book projects in small groups, and the presentations back to the main group had us all in stitches, we were laughing so hard. 

It was lovely to see old friends and meet new ones.  It was really good to have the chance to catch up in person with people I already know, and to get to know other people a bit.  It was also helpful being in a group where enough of us were introverts that nobody blinked when people disappeared for naps or quite solitary time. 

And being immersed in a publications-centered environment was very helpful.  I'm definitely feeling more creativity and inspiration flowing regarding not just my own writing, but creative work in general -- and especially where they intersect and interact.  I'm definitely more in touch again with the connections between printed words, books, social media, community, and Doing Things individually and together in the in-person world.  It'll be interesting to see what comes of it, projects-wise, for me...

A number of Friends who were there posted to Facebook and to Twitter over the weekend. 

For a much better sense of what took place, along with lots of wonderful pictures of people and scenery -- it was very definitely spring in Birmingham, and lovely! -- try these links:

* On Twitter at #QUIP2015
* On Facebook at


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment

This is just beautiful -- and it calls us to action.

Please read it, and if it resonates for you, regardless of how you label yourself, please sign it.

You can read the whole thing, and sign as an individual and/or for an organization, at

An excerpt:

Many of our ancestors realized what has now been supported by the scientific method and our expanding knowledge of the universe — that Earth’s biosphere may be understood as a single ecosystem and that all life on Earth is interconnected.

The very atoms of which we are composed connect us to the entire universe. Our hydrogen was produced in the Big Bang, and the other atoms essential for life were forged in the scorching furnaces of ancient stars. Beyond atoms, the molecules of life connect us to Earth, showing that we don’t live “on Earth” like some alien visitor, but rather that we are part of Earth, just as a volcano or river is part of Earth and its cycles.

We are earth, with carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus making up our bodies one day, and incorporated into mountains the next. We are air, giving food to the trees and grasses when we exhale, and breathing in their gift of free oxygen with each breath. We are fire, burning the energy of the Sun, captured and given to us by plants. We are water, with the oceans flowing in our veins and the same water that nourished the dinosaurs within our cells.

We are connected to our families, through links of love, to their relatives, and so on to the entire human species. Our family tree goes back further than the rise of humans, including all mammals, all animals, and all life on Earth. The entire Earth is our immense and joyous family reunion.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17
By NASA/Apollo 17 crew; taken by either Harrison Schmitt or Ron Evans [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons