Kate Leth Appreciation Day 2014

Hey Internet, you’re a beautiful thing. Well, you can be; you can also be a cesspit of wrongheaded entitlement and unmerited keyboard ownership at times, but there are plenty of diamonds to be found, if you only know where to look.

I’ll readily admit that I didn’t (and often still don’t) know where I was looking. When I was looking for podcasts, I could Google “podcast women” and maybe find some decent suggestions, but even then I know that I’m missing out on heaps. I’ve found it even harder for comics: apart from studying the new releases each week via Comixology’s poorly-optimised mobile site, I wasn’t doing much to find the interesting and novel work that women are doing in the medium.

This is where the Internet showed off its brighter side. I’d been a fan of Kate Leth’s work for a short while before the Ladyist kicked in (I’m slow on the pickup with some things, OK?), but all I knew were a few of her excellent kate or die strips that appeared on Comics Alliance.

Straight to my heart, Kate.

I started to pay more attention to the person behind this amazing work, and Kate quickly completed the Ladyist Holy Trinity (alongside Neko Case and Kelly Sue DeConnick). Not only is she a passionate fan, she’s also worked in comics retail for years, so she knows how to channel that passion into exciting and unexpected recommendations.

What, that’s not enough for you? OK, try these on for size: a small sample of the staggering stuff I’ve been introduced to via Kate’s recommendations.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

 Less Than Live listeners will recognise this instantly, as Kate’s been talking about it for months now. I took a while to get to it, but I was already imploring people to read this before I was halfway through. Through the Woods is Emily’s first printed work, and the book itself demands to be read in the dead-tree format; not just because of the gorgeous paper-stock and embossed dust jacket, but for the slow-dread that comes with every slow turn of the page. I mean, you could flick through it and still enjoy Through the Woods, but taking it slowly emphasises the stony fear at the heart of each story (kinda like the clunky, slow door-opening cutscenes in the first Resident Evil game). Emily’s stories have a Brothers Grimm feel to them, reaching back to some doomy ancient folklore as she tells of menacing woods, ghosts and dismemberment. She’s an incredible horror writer, wrapping threads of panic through each story until you realise you’re wrapped up tight on the final page. Her art is the star, though, and another argument for the print edition. Her style often resembles old European woodcuts, with ominous inks and spilled-blood reds seeping across each page. Her ghosts are unlike anything I’ve seen elsewhere, and the body horror of the collection’s final story still has me squirming.

Babs Tarr

How could you not love Babs, seriously?

Like a whole lot of people, I first heard about Babs Tarr when DC announced her as part of the new creative team taking over Batgirl and released a picture of the yellow-booted costume redesign that set the internet on fire. When Kate interviewed her on Less Than Live, they talked about Babs’s background as an artist, particularly her Tumblr-famous biker-style redesigns of Sailor Moon. Her style taps into fashion with far greater panache than so much of mainstream comics art, with plenty of rosy-cheeked ladies dressed fantastically and ready to kick butt! She also brings a very different approach to drawing women’s faces, which often have a limited range; her Barbara Gordon is cartoonish and broad in some ways, but Babs does wonders with her linework in providing real complexity to Batgirl’s expressions. In her chat with Kate, she talked a bit about the challenges of moving from standalone images to sequential art with the help of co-writer Cameron Stewart. I love the tone of her work, and I’m really excited to see how her work evolves over the course of her run on Batgirl!

Lumberjanes, by Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson and Brooke A. Allen

Lumberjanes #1 (image via publisher Boom! Comics)

Comics about summer camp do not sound inherently awesome. Mix in three-eyed foxes, shape-shifting bear-women and a bunch of kick-ass girls who say things like “What in the Joan Jett are you doing?”, though, and you have my attention.

Lumberjanes manages to be hilarious, silly and tense within the same issue. Ripley, Molly, Mal, Jo and April have great chemistry, and are just as likely to face the challenges of in-group teenage crushes as they are a three-eyed river monster (that’s just issue #2).

Being a summer camp, the girls get Scouts-like badges, though these badges (designed by Kate) aren’t exactly standard issue. So far, they’ve earned the Pungeon Master, Naval Gauging and Up All Night badges, just to name a few. And all that goes on while they try and figure out the mysterious animals and mythical goings-on around their camp.

Lumberjanes is published by Boom! comics, who’ve become an unlikely source for amazing all ages books, including the Adventure Time and personal favourite Bee and Puppycat. Don’t let the all-ages tag put you off, though; this is necessary reading for anyone who likes the idea of awesome, adventuring girls (which really should be everyone reading this). Friendship to the max!

She-Hulk

Jennifer Walters is an under-appreciated force in the Marvel Universe, and not just because she can get big and green like her cousin. She’s a gifted lawyer as well as an intergalactically-regarded smasher of things, but she doesn’t always get the treatment she deserves, often pulled into team line-ups as a heavy-hitter without much regard for her as a character. Dan Slott’s run from a few years back is a personal favourite, but the pairing of artist Javier Pulido and Thunderbolts writer Charles Soule seemed like a strange choice for Jen. Pulido’s flat art style didn’t seem like an obvious fit, and I wasn’t familiar with Soule’s work, so I hadn’t jumped in.

I was so wrong to hesitate. Soule’s version of She-Hulk is a great balance of spandex-clad clobbering and courtroom drama, with each somehow complementing rather than undermining the other. Pulido’s art turned out to be an incredible choice — distinctive, sure, and not always capital-P perfect like Marvel usually pumps out, but his flat style makes Jen feel like a hero from a bygone era, recalling the (terrible) animation of cartoons like Mighty Mouse to surprisingly lovely effect.

The saddest part is that the Soule/Pulido run on She-Hulk only has a few more issues due to decisions by Marvel HQ (who obviously haven’t read the sternly worded letter I’ve been meaning to send them), so please buy the next couple (or at least spring for the trade paperback when it comes out)to show Marvel that we still need Jen Walters in print.

You’re awesome.

That’s just a few of Kate’s amazing recommendations. Follow her on Twitter (@kateleth) to catch some of these suggestions first-hand, and to eavesdrop on her awesome friendship with other amazing comic creators like Matt Fraction, Chip Zdarksy, Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. And of course, you should listen to her podcast, Less than Live, which is definitely Ladyist-approved. Seriously, every episode of the podcast is packed with great things to read, especially when Kate has an equally interesting guest on (like Babs, or Kevin Wada, who drew the She-Hulk cover above). And please, tell us about the ways you find new stuff: is it a friend, or a celebrity, or a particular site? Let everyone know in the comments below!

Kate Leth Appreciation Day 2014

Top up your podcast queue!

I’m hard-pressed to find a medium less Ladyist-friendly than podcasting. For something that seems so open and accessible, there’s a serious shortage of podcasts hosted by or primarily featuring women. Maybe it’s because women are tacitly discouraged from anything technical, or maybe (like stand-up comedy) it attracts a kind of self-promotion not traditionally allowed in women; whatever the reason, it’s bullshit, and needs to change. So if, like me, you’re in need of some podcasts with a lower-than-usual Y chromosome count, here are some new things to add to your podcast queue.

 

Less Than Live with Kate or Die

Less Than Live with Kate or Die

Kate Leth is a Canadian comic writer, artist and sometime retailer whose wonderfully heartfelt and funny work has appeared in collections like Womanthology as well as in her own self-published books (under the name Kate or Die). She’s written a bunch of terrific Adventure Time comics, contributed to Locke & Key, and has recently taken over writing the comic of Bravest Warriors.

Her podcast is a casual affair, with Kate talking in a very familiar way that feels like a rambly, sweet Skype chat with your super-cool bestie (except it’s even better because you don’t have to reply). She’ll talk about comics she’s reading, conventions she’s been to, the amazing writers and artists she meets, and all in an awed tone that says ‘I can’t quite believe this either’. She also gets her fellow comic creators on for some very laid-back interviews: her chat with Brooke Allen and Grace Ellis (co-creators of the most excellent comic Lumberjanes) is delightful, and I’m actively having to stop myself from putting aside this paragraph to go listen to a new interview with Babs Tarr, who’ll be drawing the new run of Batgirl.

It’s incredibly endearing, plus it has a sweet electro-pop theme tune. GO LISTEN.

 

6qum0ts3w8y3x6e0wta5_400x400Tabled Fables

I studied Cinderella as my central text in Year 12 Advanced English, so Tabled Fables is right up my alley. Amy Kraft and Sophie Bushwick are science journalists who also like to dig into the symbolic meanings of fairy tales. With the help of some experts, Amy and Sophie look at a particular fairy tale each episode, and note how it changes over time and across cultures.

If that sounds dry and academic, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the light touch and curious minds of the show’s hosts. They really relish the gruesome roots of modern fairy tales; some of the older variations on Sleeping Beauty they talk about in their eighth episode make Roald Dahl’s Revolting Ryhmes (a staple of my childhood) seem like Disney by comparison.

GO LISTEN.

 

tumblr_static_bxzuj8vm06os8gc0g8080co4wRachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men

The history of X-Men is more convoluted and confusing than any fairy tale, so it’s very generous of X-scholars Rachel Edidin and Miles Stokes to take the time to explain the “ins, outs and retcons ” of the superhero soap opera to save us all from wading through generations of back-issues, lifting spine-bending omnibuses or falling prey to an overdose of Chris Claremont melodrama. They’re both clearly immense fans of the series, and their enthusiasm (as well as their awareness of the pure ridiculousness at the heart of X-Men) is enough to carry even the most casual X-fan through. Their chemistry is brilliant, and X-Plain has rapidly gone from a curiosity in my podcast queue to the top of my list.

If you’ve ever wondered how Scott Summers figured out that ruby quartz would stop his optic blasts, or groaned at yet-more Wolverine titles, GO LISTEN (and even if not, listen anyway; it’s really fun).

 

icon_510282NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour

Over 200 episodes in, PCHH still has an air of joy about it that’s impossible to imitate (trust me, I tried). A few months ago, one of its founding members chose to move on, leaving a chair vacant. Sad I was to see Trey Graham leave, though, it’s been wonderful to see this excellent podcast include a rotating roster of new guests, many of whom are women. Audie Cornish, host of NPR’s All Things Considered, and Kat Chao, a journalist working on NPR’s Code Switch blog are just two of the people who fill the fourth slot on occasion, and the show is thriving on the new range of perspectives that are brought to bear on movies, TV, books, and other pop culture ephemera. Linda Holmes is an attentive and self-effacing host, but their recent live episode confirmed by long-held theory that she’s funnier than everyone else lets on. Fellow regulars Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon are delightful and charming, but it’s Linda’s thoughtfulness and warmth that makes this podcast my go-to. GO LISTEN.

 

NTC_Logos_FINAL_200x200New Tech City

It’s immediately obvious that NTC comes from the same radio station that produces Radiolab. A more traditional radio show than most of the other podcasts listed here, New Tech City shares its fellow show’s elegant production and journalistic intent. Nominally about technology, host Manoush Zomorodi and her team find the human heart of whatever advances they investigate, and look at our ever-evolving relationship with technology. It’s the kind of podcast that changes the way you look at the world around you, and leaves you feeling a little smarter with every episode. If you like feeling a little smarter, or just want some info to make you seem smart and technologically savvy, GO LISTEN.

 

There are always more podcasts out there (don’t forget ones I’ve talked about before, like Stuff Mom Never Told You and Wham Bam Pow with Cameron Esposito), and I can’t possibly find them all, so please, recommend your favourites! What podcasts do you go to before all others? Share them below!

Top up your podcast queue!

Experiment #5: ‘Stuff Mom Never Told You’ [Podcast]

The term “ladyist” comes from stand-up comedian Maria Bamford’s 2001 Comedy Central special. I’d link to it here, but the only place I could find it online is geo-blocked, so trust me when I say that it’s a great set. If you aren’t familiar with Maria’s comedy, she’s a brilliant and inventive comic, whose unpredictable voices and manic grin soften you up for incisive observations about the social attitudes to women, mental illness and depression (and it’s way more fun than I’ve made it sound here). Go check out her latest album, “Ask Me About My New God!“, which showcases some of her funniest and most vulnerable material to date.

I obsessed over that special in the early ’00s, when I was hooked on stand-up. Even then, I recognised something totally different in Maria — not simply because she’s a woman, but because of that complex relationship between her sweet-natured delivery and its more incisive message. The phrase, “I support the ladies; I’m a ladyist” has stuck with me, and seemed a perfect fit for this experiment. The biggest appeal is the silliness of the word itself: it’s meaning is clear, but the construction is so foreign that it undercuts any self-seriousness. Even so, it struck a nice balance between identifying the female focus of this project without infantilising women (‘girl’; ‘girly’) or reducing me to stiff, biological terms. One working title for this experiment was ‘The Double XX Axis’, complete with a cutesy plan for a graph-based rating system, but I couldn’t get past the fact that it’s a pretty boring title. That, and it focuses too much on gender as genetically determined, which I was also anxious to avoid. On top of all that, I was, and still am, very cautious about using the term ‘feminist’ or ‘feminism’ in the context of this project, even though the principle is, I feel, feminist in nature. I never want to be seen to be preaching about the ways in which feminism must be enacted or defined; at its heart, this whole affair is about a boy being more thoughtful about the pop-culture he consumes, nothing more.

After all that, I panicked a little when I started listening to Stuff Mom Never Told You, an excellent podcast that’s mainly concerned with women, and in particular the complex expectations placed upon women. Again, I’m making it sound like a terribly dry affair, but it’s anything but: hosts Cristen and Caroline are naturally charming, and their curiosity and wit make this podcast fascinating and fun. In the last few weeks, it’s rapidly become one of my favourites: like Radiolab, the conversations are so wide-ranging and well-informed that you leave each episode feeling smarter.

The first episode I listened to happened to be very relevant to this Experiment: “Hey Ladies!” saw Cristen and Caroline dig into the etymological roots of the word ‘lady’, and its very complicated history. This is where I panicked. Mere days before, I’d committed to the Ladyist Experiment as a name, but in all my over-thinking, I never considered the loaded meanings of ‘lady’. Was I wrong in my choice of name? (Maybe). Do people find the word unpleasant? (Sure). Cristen and Caroline’s discussion let me off the hook for the most part, thankfully, but it was a reminder to me that I’m on foreign soil here. In a way, this is one of the goals of this Experiment: to root out the lazy thinking, the unchallenged assumptions in the way I think about women, and replace them with more respectful, considerate and nuanced modes of thought.

Thanks for the wake-up call, SMNTY. I hope it won’t be the last.

Experiment #5: ‘Stuff Mom Never Told You’ [Podcast]

How ‘Wham Bam Pow with Cameron Esposito’ was everything I was looking for.

Part of the drive behind this project was the need to hear fresh voices. It seemed like my podcast feed in particular was crowded with indistinguishable voices, the same opinions on the same things in an infinite loop. Probably no coincidence, then, that so many of the podcasts I listened to were dominated by men. It’s not like I listen to footy shows and download car commercials; this is in the less traditionally male domain of a pop-culture nerd, but even so, the women’s voices were surprisingly few. It was stifling, and one of the starker changes when I began this Experiment.

One of the shows that survived was Wham Bam Pow with Cameron Esposito. I’d listened to the beginning of their 39th episode before my April 1st cutoff, and wasn’t immediately hooked. I left it sitting in my feed, Downcast silently judging me for having only “partially listened”, for weeks. Looking back on it now, having finished the episode tonight, I was probably a little premature in my judgement; not only had I barely listened to 20 minutes, it’s also an ensemble podcast, and they tend to grow on you. One of my all-time favourites, NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, was not an immediate love, but as you listen and learn about the people (as well as their tastes, their biases, and so on), you build a connection with them.

So it was that I found myself converted to Wham Bam Pow. It seems odd now to look back, and realise that this podcast, which fit so neatly into what I’d wanted, was sitting on my phone this whole time, but it took a famine for me to see its value. When I picked it up this evening, Cameron (along with panelists Rhea Butcher and Ricky Carmona) was talking about Spike Jonze’s film, Her. I’m unabashed in my love of Her, even though I can see plenty of issues with the gender dynamics. And mostly, I  found my opinion repeated back at me on other podcasts and reviews, with greater or lesser degrees of emphasis on said gender issues. It was even more stark, then, when Cameron and Rhea gave a number of well-articulated and considered opinions on the film’s flaws. Most of their criticisms were valid observations about the film’s portrayal of women: you can argue about the dynamic between Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlet Johansson, but they were rightly unimpressed by the treatment of Rooney Mara’s character, and the Joaquin-centric nature of Amy Adams’ role. Ricky’s opinion of the film was closer to my own, but the moment I found most interesting came when Cameron (or Rhea — I’m still new, and can’t always differentiate their voices) pointed out the different ways in which men and women seemed to experience this movie. That was what sold me. This is exactly the kind of voice I wanted to hear more of: one that is different to my own. And it was right under my nose all this time.

I still like the movie, Her. Cameron and Rhea’s criticisms are totally valid, and will factor into my experience of the movie when I watch it again (some time in 2015, probably), but aren’t enough to spoil the film entirely. What I will relish, though, is the contrasting voice. If it does nothing more than challenge my opinion, and help me to sharpen my argument, then it can only be a good thing.

You can check out the episode I listened to, along with heaps of others, on iTunes or here.

Give it a listen, and let me know what you think. If you have any other podcasts made by and starring smart, opinionated women, please tell me! I’ll run out of episodes of Stuff Your Mom Didn’t Tell You too soon if I keep devouring them at this rate, but that’s a subject for another day!

How ‘Wham Bam Pow with Cameron Esposito’ was everything I was looking for.

Thanks, Carol.

Thanks, Carol

Image

This whole idea came about by accident.

A few weeks back, we were recording the most recent episode of the podcast I do with my friends Jen, Dan and Lucas (cross-promotion alert!). Coming back from a long break over the new year, we eased back in with a free-wheeling conversation about the stuff we’d seen, read and played in our absence. One of the things that had thrilled me was Kelly Sue DeConnick’s terrific run on the comic Captain Marvel (the dynamic woman pictured above). It’s a brilliantly drawn adventure that finds real depth and vitality in a character whose history is otherwise generic, but the thing that stuck with me was the simple fact that this was a comic about a woman (rare) written by a woman (rarer still). Not only that, but the rich characterisation didn’t revolve around Carol Danvers’ gender. She grappled with friendships, with the heroes she’d idolised since childhood; pushed against limits and fought to mark out her own identity. She is a normal person, albeit one who can fly into orbit at will and blast energy from her hands. This should be normal, I heard myself say (though I think I used more swearing for emphasis).

That was enough to plant the seed. It didn’t take long for me to realise that most of the stories that had resonated most strongly with me in recent memory were stories about women. Friends know better than to get me started talking about a treasured game, The Last of Us, but it’s hard to go past Ellie as one of my most beloved fictional characters. Her journey is amazing, with stellar storytelling supported by Ashley Johnson’s intense, sincere, and deeply human performance. In a very different way, Laura Jane Grace of kinda-punk band Against Me! made an impact on me. The band’s newest album is a roaring, defiant statement that deals in no uncertain terms with Grace’s struggle in identifying as trans, and ultimately living as a woman. Raw and unapologetic, Transgender Dysphoria Blues (probably the best album title in living memory) couldn’t be further from my own experience, but it resonated with me in a way I hadn’t experienced before. Part of that is down to Grace’s breathless ability to turn dense sentences into singalong choruses, for sure, but it’s the emotional energy on display that keeps me coming back.

 

After realising that, it was only a matter of time before I came up with this project. It didn’t hurt that I found myself cringing and pulling away from the dude-heavy podcasts that seemed to be everywhere, so the decision to cut my media consumption back to ‘More Sisters, Less Misters’ was pretty much inevitable. I can’t say for sure why I chose to commit to the plan for a year, only that it felt right. And as soon as I’d decided that, I started to look at my library in a different way. I saw with fresh eyes all of the musicians I’d meant to listen to, all the shows I’d meant to watch, and realised how many women I had overlooked or taken for granted. Having chosen this path, I found myself more excited to look at my shelves again; I positively gasped with joy when I found a copy of Patti Smith‘s autobiography, Just Kids, that I’d been meaning to read since god knows when. So maybe there’s a certain amount of selfishness in play, or at least as an unintended consequence — a feminine filter to pare down the near-infinite pop culture around me.

So this is it: as of tomorrow, I’m going to try to live a year listening to, reading, watching and playing things that star women. It’s going to be hard; I picked a start date mere days before Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Lego Movie premiere in Australia, so I’m going to have to wait until next year for that. Hell, I’ve basically failed before I started: I committed to review the new Chet Faker album well before I came up with this decision, and that’s not including the frank impossibility of escaping male-dominated pop culture in the world at large. I can’t control the world around me, though; only what I choose to consume, and that’s all that really matters right now. This is a decision I’ve made for myself because I think it’s a good idea — I don’t want to make a martyr of myself, nor am I trying to tell anyone else how to live.

That said, I need rules: rules to keep me honest, and to give me guidelines so that I don’t end up a guilt-ridden mess every time I wander into the DVD department at work (I am the son of a lapsed minister, so guilt comes naturally).

Laying down the law

This is the most complicated part of this whole experiment. Some media are relatively straightforward: music, for example, is pretty clear cut. I’ll be listening to heaps of solo female musicians like Joanna Newsom and Gillian Welch, and all-girl bands like Sleater Kinney and First Aid Kit. Things get curlier when you get to groups, but I’ll make it easier on myself by allowing any bands fronted by women, as is the case with Against Me! or Camera Obscura.

Reading is also pretty clear-cut: female authors like Zadie Smith and Donna Tartt make life easy, not to mention the Brontë sisters, Jane Austen, and the like. I’ll do my best to stick to stories by women about women, but I might allow for the odd novel by a guy, so long as its protagonist is female, and/or the majority of the key cast. Comics are more complicated: returning to the example of Captain Marvel, it’s written by a woman, about a woman, but drawn by a man. Dexter Soy’s involvement doesn’t negate the importance of that book, though, so I’m going to keep reading it, along with G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel. I’ll make excuses for stories about female characters created by men: Ed Brubaker’s Fatale and Velvet, Dan Slott’s She-Hulk and Brian K. Vaughan’s Runaways are potent stories about complex female characters, so I can’t hold their Y chromosomes against them (I also bluntly refuse to miss out of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s forthcoming series, The Wicked and Divine — there are only so many sacrifices I’m willing to make).

The pain starts when you get to more complicated media like film and TV. Giving credit to creators becomes a lot murkier when you have writers, directors, producers and a thousand other roles feeding into every show and movie, and I don’t have the time or patience to go through the credits of everything I watch before I can start it. I’m going to be forgiving on myself, and work on the idea that any film or TV show that has a woman as its protagonist or a majority of women in its central cast will get the OK from me. That means 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation and The Killing make the cut, but I’ll have to leave it for a while to catch up on Game of Thrones Season 4. Even otherwise progressive stuff like Brooklyn Nine Nine, which I fucking adore, will be outside my remit for a few months.

Gaming is worse still, due in no small part to a serious underrepresentation of women in the industry. There are many talented and brilliant women working in games, but they’re as rare as a redhead on a beach (as a Class 4 Ginger, I can say that). As such, my games will be limited to those that feature women as protagonists, but only if they’re considered important enough to put on the cover. That means I could theoretically play the hinted-at PS4 re-release of The Last of Us, but Bioshock Infinite will gather dust. Of course, I also have the escape-hatch of games that either let you dictate your character’s gender (Mass Effect, Skyrim) or that don’t identify your avatar’s sex (many puzzle games don’t even have a humanoid figure in play), but since the point of this is to open myself up to women’s stories, I’ll try to keep that all to a minimum.

Podcasts, thankfully, are easier to navigate. Like music, I’ll be mainly concerned with podcasts that feature only women, but I’ll make my peace with podcasts like Pop Culture Happy Hour that include men, but have a woman as host. Maybe I’m making excuses for PCHH because I love it, but I’m ok with that.

At the end, though, I’ll follow my gut. I can’t quite articulate why, say, Game of Thrones doesn’t feel right, only that it does. I’ll prioritise those stories that are by women, about women, but I’m also content to support men who write female characters, so long as they do it well, and with empathy (also, I’d rather not make myself any more of a hypocrite than I already am).

It’s getting late now, and my time with guy-heavy media is almost at an end. I’m going to update my music collection on my phone in preparation for tomorrow, then go read Powers before I fall asleep (Brian Michael Bendis has a female POV character, and he writes her well, but the kind of gender-specific torments that he puts Deena through make his work a poor fit for this year).

Thank you to everyone who has followed my @aLadyist account on Twitter, to those who sent me brilliant recommendations, and to those who shared word of this Experiment. It’s starting to get scary, because I’m not sure what you all expect of me, and I don’t know whether I’ll be able to hold your interest. What it tells me, though, is that this little project, so small and personal in its conception, it resonates with some of you. I’m really pleased by the amount of support and interest you’ve all shown me so far, and I appreciate every bit of it. If you have any suggestions for me, or have a question, or just want to say ‘hi’, you can e-mail me at theladyistexperiment[at]gmail[dot]com.

Now…wish me luck!

Joel

Thanks, Carol.