Archive for the 'Indie Bloggers' Category

Published by PaintingChef on 22 Sep 2015

Dusting this place off for the worst possible reason.

For people who never crossed paths with her, online or in real life, I’m sure they are saying to themselves… ENOUGH ALREADY about Stacy Fucking Campbell. But those people had a hole in their lives that they couldn’t possibly know existed. There will never be ENOUGH ALREADY about Stacy Fucking Campbell.

She was part of a loosely defined group of writers, bloggers, who had been around the block a time or two. Those of us who wrote just to write, when nobody was reading and then everyone was reading and then nobody was reading and most of us were still writing. And then… we stopped writing. Why did we stop writing? That’s probably one of the things that delights Stacy the most. That out of this, her people, her OG blogger family, her Indie Bloggers and then her IndieInk people, we faced down that taunting, blinking cursor once again.

So many hours of the last few days have been spent in reflection. Re-reading emails, chats, instant messages going back a decade. Mourning text messages lost to old phones…pre-cloud communication. The time we were going to actually meet in person in San Francisco as I was on the way to Napa and it just didn’t pan out. But every email, every message was just so full of Stacy. Seeing her endearing greeting of SUNSHINE to open an email, her adamant refusal to put up with the shit of what she called “girl on girl hatred against yourself” when I lamented not going to the gym and the changes I was seeing from fertility treatments. Her excitement at the start of a new project… Indie Bloggers, IndieInk, The I Survived Project. Every word from Stacy was something to treasure because words were just one of her art forms.

And then she would just disappear for a while. Facebook gone. Blogs gone. Radio silence. Emails sent just to check in would go unanswered.

I am forever grateful to Stacy for the beauty she introduced me to. Every few days, my inbox would be flooded with IndieInk submissions to review and I would sit and just drink in the incredible rawness that people poured into their writing. She had a gift to draw that out of people, to encourage us to look inside ourselves and find the beauty in all our shit. That’s the thing about Stacy… she found the most beauty in the things and places everyone else wrote off as broken and nowhere was that more evident than in her haunting photography. Abandoned buildings, closed amusement parks, trashed alleyways. They all became beautiful if you were lucky enough to view them through Stacy’s eye.

We can talk about the sad and the broken and beauty all we want but please, please never forget the humor. The completely irreverent, always inappropriate humor and completely wicked sense of humor. I was never lucky enough to witness it in person but it shown through every interaction I had with her online.

Far more beautiful, eloquent and artistic tributes have been written to honor this breathtaking woman who touched so many lives and mine fall short. But they are the words I have and I loved her so very much. She was always open about her struggles with depression, childhood abuse and the other demons she carried around with her. But she was also the person who pulled so many people back from the brink. Stacy was the one who was in your face (or at least your inbox) telling you that depression lies. That you are worth more. That people love you and need you.

Oh Stacy. So many heart are shattered that you weren’t able to hear your own words. I desperately hope that you are at peace now but I also hope that you are able to see these tributes, read these words bled by so many of us that loved you. You matter. You are important to us. We love you.

Fuck. This sucks.

Reach out. Ask people if they are okay. Check in on those you know struggle. Be a shoulder, an ear, an arm to hug. Sometimes it won’t be the difference but maybe, somehow, somewhere it will be.

Stacy Fucking Campbell

Published by PaintingChef on 09 Sep 2009

I think if used the word “blogger” in here one more time my eyeballs would have started to bleed.

Blogging is kind of like high school. Everyone has their little niches and groups. There are the mommy bloggers, of course. There are political bloggers, infertility bloggers, food bloggers, music bloggers, gossip bloggers, television bloggers, the list goes on forever. And the internet as a whole tries to fit everyone into one of these categories all nice and neat-like and when it cannot label you precisely, it becomes somewhat uncomfortable with you.

At times I’ve been close to being shoe-horned into the infertility blogger category but quite frankly, there is nobody that needs to hear about my busted uterus and punk ass ovaries on that regular of a basis aside from my doctor and my husband.

Were I reliable enough to take my camera out in the kitchen on a regular basis, I could probably be a food blogger but then what if I want to talk about my uterus and I’ve recently made a strawberry pie? Nobody needs those two things next to each other. That’s just messy. Besides… I’m not sure if I want you to know just how deep my loves for Velveeta Shells and Cheese is when I have a blog names “PaintingChef”.

And what of the painting? Oh internet… I am creatively tapped right now. I have not picked up a paintbrush in so long that it aches. My paints and brushes are becoming that friend that you NEED to call and you THINK about calling but eventually it has been so long that you just feel awkward and then it’s like… well what am I going to say? What’s my excuse?

But I digress… the internet is positively BURSTING with incredible writers who don’t fit into one specific category. What are we? Are we life bloggers? Are we here’s what’s on my mind bloggers? Well, someone brilliantly defined us. We are Indie Bloggers. We write about the things that move us. We write about the things that keep us awake at night, the questions that cause us to zone out, the situations and interactions we observe and try to understand. But what often moves us more than anything is the writing itself. We are people who are captivated by extraordinary writing.

Stacey Campbell of Jurgen Nation (fellow canine enthusiast, truly kick ass photographer and my long time MAJOR girl crush) once put together a website that showcased the very best of this long-overlooked genre. Sadly, life got in the way, as it has a habit of doing, and the website went by the wayside. However at the recent urging of those of us who regularly submitted our writing to the site, she has decided to revive it, provided we get off our slackerific asses and pitch in.

In preparation of the re-launch, comb your archives. Find your favorite post. Write something new. There are some people out there I FULLY expect to be involved in this project. You know who you are and you’ve been warned…