Now that you have a seed worth exploring,
you are ready for step 2 of the creative process.
The goal of this phase is explosive growth,
following your curiosity out from the seed in everydirection.
You’ve heard of the shitty first draft?
It’s a nice sentiment,
writing full shitty drafts without fear or judgment,
but I think you can do evenbetter:
Write shitty piles of shit,
and leave the drafting forlater.
Drafting is an organizational problem.
You can’t organize ideas you don’t have.
Start by exploring and playing and wondering,
free from fear and judgment,
but also free from purpose, organization, andplanning.
Don’t start with outlines.
Don’t start with drafts.
A Shitty ShoppingList
Our goal is to develop all the raw (shitty) materials
we will need in order to start drafting.
I’m not talking about pen & paper,
or three cans of latex paint.
I want to know what concepts, phrases,
images, and aesthetics I am working with.
I want to soak up inspirations,
and understand myconstraints.
I start with threequestions:
What already exists?
What still needs to be gathered orcreated?
What will inspireme?
Working on the book cover for The Posture of Contour,
I asked the publishers and author for everything they had.
Based on their answers, I ended up with theselists:
They had done most of my work for me.
That’s not always the case,
but if you have a seed,
you have enough to getstarted.
The seed I developed in phase 1
can be used directly to start a list of materials
in phase 2. Unlike the cover art,
this project has no pre-existing material that I am required to use.
Most of the material will have to be found or created,
but I do have plenty of inspiration to drawfrom:
What already exists?
Format: a stack of note cards that can beshuffled
Some collaborative poems with Jacob Liechty that mightfit
What do I stillneed?
A writing style
More on trauma (ptsd,etc)
More on bodies (eating disorders,etc)
What’s the inspiration?
“The Invention ofHeterosexuality”
Research on out-of-bodyexperiences
Bodies & identity
Sex, gender, &sexuality
Memory & trauma
Hermaphroditus, Mother Clapp, & MollyHouses
Jacob Liechty, Tom Waits, & LouReed
It’s OK that this list isn’t complete,
it’s enough to make me curious,
and enough to point me in the rightdirection.
In the next few posts we’ll talk about
gathering vs creating,
blind variation and selective retention,
the viewpoints, and composition —
all useful tools for this explosive curiosityphase.
Working on a new CSS feature like Container Queries,
one of the most important considerations is
to ensure a “migration path” –
a way for developers to start integrating the new code,
without breaking their sites on legacybrowsers.
Horizontal text overflow has always been difficult to manage on the web.
The default visible overflow
is designed to make sure content remains accessible
no matter the size of a containing box,
but it’s not our onlyoption.
When we’re scrolling down a page,
or through a gallery of images,
snap-targets can help guide us from one section or image to the next.
but now we can manage scroll alignment directly in CSS
with only a few lines ofcode.
The display property has been in CSS from the beginning,
handling everything from block and inline boxes
to list-items and full layout systems like flexbox or grid.
Now the display syntax is getting an upgrade
to match it’s multipleuses.
There are a number of property & value combinations
that can lead to CSS being inactive,
and now Firefox will tell you why.
Open the developer tools,
and look for the greyed-out property with an info-box onhover.
Card layouts are popular on the web,
rows and columns of boxes with similar content.
CSS grids can help align those cards,
but it’s still be hard to line-up content inside the cards –
headers and footers that might need more or lessroom.
I’ve often used initial and unset in my CSS –
global keywords that can be applied to any property.
The difference is small, but important:
unset allows inheritance,
while initial does not.
But then Firefox implemented revert and I was confused –
how is this one different from theothers?!
The Journal of Mennonite Writing
asked me to submit
for their queer issue.
I don’t identify as Mennonite,
but I did grow up in the church,
so I asked my friends what to write about.
They suggested the common question:
In a world without rigid gender roles,
would anyone need to betrans?
I shared an article about my impending surgery,
and a request for help –
both social and financial –
as I go through this.
I was embarrassed to ask,
and not sure what to expect,
but your response has been swift and overwhelming.
I can’t thank you enough,
but I’ll keeptrying.
Denver Health has started offering vaginoplasty
in addition to their other trans medical services.
While I’ve been on the waitlist
for various surgeons around the country,
Denver Health called me this week
to give me a date: September 10,
less than two monthsaway.
Viewport units have been around for several years now,
with near-perfect support in the major browsers,
but I keep finding new and exciting ways to use them.
I thought it would be fun to review the basics,
and then round-up some of my favoriteuse-cases.
It feels like CSS Grid has been coming for a long time now,
but it just now seems to be reaching a point
where folks are talking more and more about it
and that it’s becoming something we shouldlearning.
I’m still reeling from this year of insults,
a traumatizing campaign turned traumatic election.
I’m not sad about a contest lost,
but what those results mean
for real people around me.
2016 is over,
but 2017 is going to be evenharder.
There’s a lot of language that gets thrown around,
but much of it comes loaded with
over-simplified baggage and misconceptions.
Here are a few that have been on my mind –
from gender identity to biological sex,
transition, passing, and visibility.
No matter what acronym drives your selectors
(BEM, OOCSS, SMACSS, ETC),
loops can help keep your patterns more readable and maintainable,
baking them directly into your code.
We’ll take a look at what loops can do,
and how to use them in the major CSSpreprocessors.
In this episode of the Versioning Show,
Tim and David are joined by Miriam Suzanne,
best known for Susy, a responsive layout toolkit for Sass.
They discuss going from being a lurker to finding your voice,
the importance of writing about what you’re learning,
stumbling into fame, approaching new projects, and unit testing inSass.
There are some questions that come up again and again
if you are trans.
A few of those questions are terrible,
but most of them are well-intentioned.
I’m lucky to have a supportive community around me,
so I thought I’d write down my most common answers
to help ease your stress about
getting it right,
and ease my stress about
answering the same questions over andover.