Category Archives: Uncategorized

Alisha Fisher: Nature-Inspired Shamanistic Fashion and Photography

Alisha Naomi Fisher’s artist statement:
I combine costume with jewelry, body-painting, hair design and background art in my work. I also take pictures.
I make myself and my models blend in with their surroundings whether I am doing scenes in nature or in the city.
I have studied Fine Arts in College and at university, Textile Arts and Painting. I also minored in college and University in Women’s studies. I have attended crafts workshops over the years.
For the past couple of years I have been working with plants. I am fascinated with the different textures and colors in the plant kingdom.
I love nature so much that one day I exclaimed “Why not dress people up in nature!” I first began my plant costumes in August 1999 on a trip to the Madeleine islands of the Quebec Maritimes , Canada . I am fascinated by the fact that many of my costumes look like fabric. In fact I have always been interested in fashion. All the materials I work with are free!
My work can go in many directions; fashion, performance art, photo art, movies, theaters can interpret any theme and transform it into an experience.
You are free to interpret my work as you wish but for me I feel that my work represents this: We are part of nature. When we die we will go back to the earth just like the plants. All that will remain is our bones like stones. Our blood contains chlorophyll and so do plants! Minerals in the earth we possess as well. By killing the earth we are thus killing ourselves. When we stop our busy lives by taking a slow walk in the forest and listen and touch then we are closer to god.
For me when I dress up in the plant clothes I become closer to the goddess/ god presence. The scratching of the branches against my skin wakes me up, brings me closer to god. I become the Shawomin; transforming myself into the nature spirit/nymph.
I believe that a fairy world exists in each species of plants, trees, and flowers.
My work can also be interpreted as ritual. A sacred act, performance.
I was born and raised in Montreal , Quebec to an artistic family. My father would give me fabrics and old hats as a child I would dress up in them. He was a photographer and would take pictures of me.
My work is owned by a number of celebrities and private collectors. I have appeared on TV in Canada and the United States. I have also had articles written about me. I have had solo shows and have been a performance artist in a couple of festivals.
I am available to hold/give workshops here and in other states or countries.

A Post-Racial Manifesto by Sodalis


A Post-Racial Manifesto
by Sodalis
This body is considered ‘black’ by this society, but it does not mean much to me as a person. It only means something to me insofar as other people define it for me. The colour of my skin is not a sufficient criterion for me to adhere to a certain behaviour pattern or subculture. It is not an impetus for me to buy rap and rhythm-and-blues albums, use stereotypically black slang, idolize Africa, or wear clothing that black people are stereotypically ‘supposed’ to wear. To me, it is a superficial physical property, and not something that defines my very being. I find that racial pigeonholing, particularly within my ‘assigned’ race, causes me to feel even less akin to those who are supposed to be akin to me. I diverge from most of the well-known black stereotypes, and to be forced into a cultural milieu that is alien to me intellectually and philosophically is quite offensive. I would rather be treated as a human being with the freedom to choose my own acquaintances, friends and sparring-partners, as opposed to being a Black Person who must do Black Things because My Skin Is Dark and My Ancestors Happened to Come from the Same Continent Three Hundred Years Ago.
Honestly, would blond people band together simply because they are blond, or blue-eyed people band together because they are blue-eyed?
There have been such movements in the past, or movements that wanted to embrace those who exhibited those phenotypic traits. Today, mainstream population rightly regards them as preposterous, and I believe that ‘race’, at least as a phenotypically-based construct, should be treated similarly.
I am post-racial. That is, as an individual, I do not view myself as belonging to a particular ‘race’; rather, I see myself as a human being, and nothing more. I am capable of viewing myself, and other human beings, outside a ‘racial’ framework, and become frustrated when others try to force me into such a framework, or when others try to force themselves into ‘racial’ stereotypes — as opposed to pursuing their own interests — in order to make themselves credible to their phenotypic compatriots.
I do not view phenotypes as a rallying point; rather, I see individual inclinations and proclivities as uniting points. I would much rather bond with someone over a mutual appreciation of the book Sophie’s World, or Imogen Heap’s music than someone’s being dark-skinned and of African descent. A black person who immerses himself in (in my opinion, largely pathological) ‘gangsta’ culture has less in common than the white person who shares my interests in historical linguistics and evolutionary psychology. The black person in question may share my phenotype, but he may not share my interests, ambitions or values, or any defining factors that would elicit my interest. The white person would have more in common with me intellectually, and I would be far more inclined to feel solidarity towards her than my black example. Certain activists would believe that because of immutable phenotypic traits that I would have more in common with the black person, and that I should join his ranks as a Person Of Colour™. Never mind that the hip-hop devotee might have had an entirely different upbringing and cultural heritage from me, even though our distant ancestry might be similar. Because he is black, he is my compatriot, and my white intellectual counterpart is not. Again, would this make any sense if one replaced ‘black’ and ‘white’ with ‘blonde’ and ‘brunette’?
I also believe that people can have their own cultural heritages independent from their ancestral cultural heritage. For example, my individual cultural heritage is very much Western European, as opposed to African-American or simply African. My ideas are influenced by Western thinkers and Western history. I was born in a Western country and have lived in two other Western countries. I speak a Western language and participate in a Western culture. I have never been to Africa, and do not feel particularly connected to it. For all its faults, Western civilization and culture are the ones that speak the loudest to me. I do not see that connection as a function of ‘internalized racism’: I appreciate many aspects of African cultures, and certain aspects of African-American cultures, but I do not identify with them in the visceral way that I am expected to, and do not care to have it shoved down my throat as the definitive way to see myself.
My people are my intellectual ancestors and peers, not simply people with the same colour as me. Perhaps you may think the same.

Sodalis is a San Francisco-based autistic transgender male blogger sharing his experiences here: He’s also working on a science fiction novel tracing the lives of a diverse group of gifted schoolchildren, set far into the future in an age of intergalactic travel, several sentient species, and genetic enhancement.

Flash fiction – “Sand” by Fletcher Goldin




                                                  —Fletcher Goldin



Fine and white, it tingles under your feet, between your toes.  But under your nails it grates.  Green fills the sea, foam tinges its waves; salt fills your nose.

          The bright sandcastle is new and smooth, the stooped man old and cracked.  The castle must be young, built so near the rising tide.  The lapping water drains a sliver of sand with each gentle, relentless caress.  Each wave reaches higher than the last.  But it’s not a castle, it’s a house. 

A simple, single-story house.  The roof is lightly pitched.  The sand is just wet enough to retain the finely etched features—the outline of the front door, the sills below the windows, their panes.  The veined, mottled hands tremble on their way to the chimney.  One holds an X-Acto knife, the other a child’s plastic shovel—small, yellow, flat.  The shaking hands near the frail sand, and are suddenly steel-steady.  The knife-edge scores a laser-straight line across the chimney’s side; the grains fall into the shovel’s plate, a finger’s width above the shingles carved into the roof.  A small step higher, and the blade scribes again.  A quiet but distinct splash—a wave-tip crests the slight dune in front of the house.  Waves at sea grumble, signal the tide’s rise.  The large nose, the watery pale eyes, the crevassed face remain fixed on the work:  the knife’s point begins at a horizontal groove and creeps down.  It stops at the next groove, the yellow shovel again catches the sandy waste.  The knife hand above and shovel hand below move to the right in unison, and a second short vertical scribe completes the tiny sand-brick.  The next wave plants its leading bubbles of foam at the doorstep. The knife, the shovel, the focused eyes continue.  Brick, brick, brick.  The chimney is finished, the house complete.  A crack as the back straightens, another as the legs slowly fight gravity one more time and bring the old man to a stand.

The man turns and walks away.  The next wave seeps into the foundation and steals enough sand for the house’s front to cleave and crash.  The man does not look back.

— Short piece by Fletcher Goldin, electro-optics engineer working on nuclear technology, docent at the Chabot Space and Science Center, and aspiring novelist with a satirical tale of dark office politics. I enjoy what I’ve read of his novel so far – gently funny, dry style. Would encourage interested publishers and agents to look into it.

Freelance Writing Gigs site – November’s issue coming very soon!

November’s issue is on its way – the theme will be Choosing to Create Amidst Challenges. Includes a novel review, photography, essays, and flash fiction. Also – encouraging everyone to check out another good opportunity for publication, the Freelance Writing Gigs site at This site attempts to collect freelance writing jobs (onetime things, major book projects, and many jobs in between) into a one stop site updated daily or every few days. Real people search out and blog about the opportunities – it is not a search engine and everything is described and commented on in detail. They aim to showcase legitimate, paid opportunities and provide a place where an aspiring or established freelance writer can go to find work.

We’d like to hear from you (contributors and readers) about what you’d like to see in and from Synchronized Chaos.


This webzine was conceived as a collaborative effort by and for artists and writers, to build community and help meet needs that we have as we develop our crafts and move forward in creativity. So I’d love to take a moment to hear from all or any of you, from our contributors and readers and anyone involved with Synchronized Chaos.

Please feel free to leave comments here about anything to do with this webzine. What directions would you like to see the magazine take in the future? How can Synchronized Chaos best assist you with your artistic and/or professional development, with networking, with getting published, with meeting whatever goals you have set for yourself? What interests you, and what would you most like to read or see here? What would be the most informative, or interesting, or worthwhile for you to see and read? What features might we add, or whom should we contact for an interview? And how might you see yourself helping to contribute to Synchronized Chaos, or getting involved to improve the magazine?

Several people have mentioned that they would like to learn more about publishers or other paying markets for their work, and here is one I came across in another writing community: – A new and upcoming webzine with a lovely floral background focusing on well-crafted short pieces (poetry, prose, and nonfiction) of any style and topic. Does pay upon publication, not an awful lot but it would put some extra cash in your pocket.

Also I ran into someone last week who’d volunteered at the SF Writers’ Conference and obtained free admission in exchange for helping with timekeeping, recording lectures, etc. The conference features several well-known writers and workshops on improving craft and networking opportunities and volunteers are able to participate in at least half the event. They’re online at and I’ve already emailed them offering my services and mentioning that I could potentially bring some friends and colleagues along also 🙂

Invitation to create how-to articles for a project for those with Asperger’s syndrome

Here’s someone in the United Kingdom with Asperger’s syndrome (a form of autism where people can find it easier to understand concepts and social norms if they are presented directly and logically, rather than having to rely on being able to pick up social cues) looking for volunteers for a writing project! I personally know a few people with Asperger’s and they are highly sensitive, creative, interesting, and beautiful people – and this project would greatly help at least some of them.

She’s looking for people around the world to join her free online LiveJournal community and write up short step by step guides to handling various social situations (job interviews, public transit etiquette, shopping, business etiquette, when and how much to tip, etc.) There are already some guides posted for ordering coffee, taking yoga classes, etc and she’d love to see more and will compile them into an upcoming freely distributed nonprofit book and credit the authors.

You may access her online community, “aspergers_howto” here:

If you have any problems logging in or using LiveJournal please comment here and let me know, I’ve become somewhat of a geek/expert over the years 🙂

From Stacey’s introduction to the community:

My name is Stacey, and I am a 19 year old university student from the UK. I have a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, and have found it difficult to get ahold of helpful literature concerning how to deal with the every day social situations in which I find difficulty. With some encouragement from the people close to me, I have embarked upon a project to write a book to fill in this gap.

The book will be aimed at people who have Aspergers, but will be useful to a range of people who have social difficulties. The format so far is that of a ‘how to’ guide, with a series of stand-alone guides which outline step-by-step many of the tasks which cause people with such difficulties problems.

From how to plan a bus journey to what you should do if a homeless person asks you for some spare change, I hope to compile a decent selection of guides which will be applicable to most people.

Submit art regarding gender-based violence to Amnesty International exhibit

I encourage people to submit art or writing related to this issue to Amnesty’s exhibition – they do plenty of great work to reduce violence and human rights violations around the world. I would have preferred the more inclusive terminology of ‘relationship abuse’ or ‘intimate partner abuse’ when referring to domestic violence – however I applaud the way the intersections between society’s marginalizing certain groups of people and violence against them are explored, and the sympathetic treatment of community-based grassroots responses to violence and different forms of discrimination, and the use of art as a healing tool.

Call for Submissions: Amnesty International‘s Stop Violence Against Women Campaign Art Exhibition
Amnesty International organizers for the Stop Violence Against Women campaign announce a call for art submissions. Be part of an inspiring art event that tells women’s and girl’s stories of both struggle and victory over violence and motivates people to take action in support of the International Violence Against Women Act. Exhibition will launch March 8, 2009 and travel to six cities throughout Northern California through June.

Now accepting artwork and media that raises awareness about the diverse forms of violence women and girls face around the world, such as trafficking, body image, Ciudad Juarez, or domestic violence, and that offers inspiration about women overcoming violence such as art therapy or activist campaigns. Anyone is invited to submit. All forms of artwork considered. Submit work no later than January 10, 2009. For an application form, find one attached or email       

If you have any questions please contact Renée Gasch at svaw.norcal@gmail.comFor more information on Amnesty International USA’s campaign to Stop Violence Against Women please go here:

Invitation to cross-submit to the 23 Press webzine (seems like a fun project ;)

Occasionally we at Synchronized Chaos find other zines or publishing projects we find interesting and help publicize them. The 23 Press is an independent media project based on Discordian philosophy, a free-thinking way of embracing chaos and contradiction as a jumping off point for creative thinking and personal growth, rather than brushing the chaos under the rug with some type of over-arching system that can too easily become repressive. Inspired by the works of Robert Anton Wilson and others, Discordianism affirms the individual and the local community and grassroots pragmatic efforts to improve the world and create/find beauty while having fun in the process. Many people were into Discordianism back in my college student/hippie activist days and it provided the theoretical background for many of our progressive projects and campaigns. You can read about Discordianism here:

Call for submissions to the 23 Press:

have  you ever written silly poems, surreal works of short fiction, discordian puns, or situationist epics? drawn ‘bob’ dobbs’ head, recorded merry pranks, written limericks or zen koans or flying spaghetti monster fanfiction? magick? taken photos of hot dog buns?  created any kind of radical discordian art? then oh please send it to us – twentythreepress at – so that you can be a part of twentythreepress’ first ever Discordian Compilation Zine! All High Emperors (everyone) who are selected for inclusion will receive a free copy of the project. 



Please send submissions to

Two charity shoutouts – children’s art needed around the theme of Good Ideas, and encouragement to visit the site of a poet/writer fighting Lyme disease

I’m also helping to put on an art auction of very young children’s art to benefit a global humanitarian project of San Jose State University’s Entrepreneurial Society. As the quarter proceeds we will brainstorm and decide on an organization dealing with some global issue (malaria, AIDS, hunger, child labor, pollution, tree planting, clean water, literacy, etc) and auction art off to wealthy venture capitalists to fund our chosen project. This event takes place December 4th at the reception after we present our own business plans to the investors.

They’re looking for art by young children (any style/medium OK but something that can be hung up on a wall.) The theme is “Good Ideas” – either a business idea they child has, or an invention, or a place filled with things they child thinks are good ideas.

If anyone here has young children, teaches, works with kids, or knows of kids who would like to participate (and the kids can come see their art on the walls in SJ State if they would like) then please send a scanned PDF/JPEG to our vice president Ruth Gonzalez at with the child’s name, age, and an artist’s statement describing the work.

You may also send artwork via mail to:

Ruth Gonzalez
700 Vasona Street
Milpitas, CA 95035

Also I encourage you to check out – website for Fran Varian, a talented poet/author/human rights activist/community builder from San Francisco who’s battling late stage Lyme disease. She was bitten by a tick and came down with recurrent flulike symptoms, then was misdiagnosed for years before finally receiving a correct diagnosis and finding out she needed expensive treatments not covered by insurance.

I attended a benefit auction and art performance for her last night in SF near the Civic Center – excellent variety, from a guy playing bicycle handlebars as a musical instrument, to singers, folk music, poetry, humor, lovely art and music, etc. Some acts were serious and beautiful, others more lighthearted and fun. Lots of love for Fran, which I admired though I’ve never met her.

So if you have some kind of chronic symptoms, please get a second/third opinion, don’t let the first doctor tell you it’s nothing or just stress. He/she might have inadvertently made a mistake and there are diseases which go undiagnosed till they are much harder to treat (Lyme, Crohn’s autoimmune digestive disorder, etc.) Also please check out the site…there is a place to donate but it’s not just about money, it’s about passing the site on, leaving notes of encouragement, perhaps donating some creative use of your time and talent to a benefit auction in your area, etc. People last night were offering to write stories on command, send recipes, etc in exchange for donations to Fran’s treatment.

If people are interested, for Fran or for any other charity or cause readers or contributors support, we can auction off advertising space or host a charity writing/art auction around the holidays. Please let Synchronized Chaos know by commenting and we can all organize something in the next couple of months.

Editorial position from some of the staff as private citizens (contributors and anyone else who helps out with SC feel free to editorialize also.)


What follows is an editorial statement endorsed by at least one of the people helping facilitate Synchronized Chaos, as a private citizen without intending to speak for everyone or set policy or a precedent for the magazine. We welcome and publish all comers and all views and hope to encourage intelligent and informed dialogue on issues affecting our world.

I, Cristina Deptula, editorialize as a citizen to support the Author’s Guild amicus friend of the court brief in the Antidote Int’l film company versus Underdogs Inc/Laura Albert case opposing the use of breach of contract claims against authors who choose to disguise their identities for any reason. A number of the Synchronized Chaos staff agree (as private citizens editorializing, as said above the magazine takes no official position and simply serves as a venue for artwork and opinions.) In the interest of protecting those who wish to write under a different name (bloggers wishing to discuss their workplaces without risk of cease and desist orders or getting fired for ‘not being a good fit,’ those who live in areas not tolerant of their race/politics/values/identity/etc who want privacy, those in Burma, China, and other countries with less freedom of speech, etc) we oppose any misguided legal precedent setting that could be turned against a future unpopular author to silence them.

Hopefully we’re closer to having national shield laws for journalists to protect them from legal action for not disclosing sources to whom they have already promised anonymity, too. Reporters should not be forced to break promises and people need the protection of anonymity/privacy at times in order to speak the truth. Government prosecutors should not interfere with the freedom of the press any more than they should with the confessional booth, to respect and allow for the private social functions of those institutions.

(Of course, ethical journalists should do their homework and ask around and not take the word of one anonymous source, either.)

October’s Apparent Theme … Transformation through Surprise


Welcome to October’s issue of Synchronized Chaos Webzine! Thank you so much to everyone who has stayed with this project since our first early clumsy posts in August, and to the new readers discovering our group venture.

October saw fewer submissions, and we put in the time to communicate and connect and conduct interviews with many of our contributors about their unique projects.

For example, Melissa Peabody creates artistic nature documentaries meant to inspire as well as educate people about the impact of returning large wildlife species on our urban ecological landscape. Telling the story of the coyote began for her when she and her family suddenly spotted one in an unlikely place, atop a hill near her home. She then turned that experience into an opportunity to convey the majesty of nature and ways humans can live peacefully amidst other creatures. Paul Gamble’s paintings stem from his fascination with the egg…the biological fact and artistic symbol of huge, complex creatures emerging from much smaller beginnings, only to produce eggs/beginnings of their own. The biological surprise which hatches from an egg, and the transformative experience of growth, fuel his fanciful, surreal paintings. Caryn West describes an artistic transformation of her own as she found herself unexpectedly painting a whole series of children’s portraits, and how a simple project for her son’s room kicked off an entire coffee table book centered on international humanitarian issues affecting children. Faracy Grouse’s free verse poetry reflects both the anguish and uncertainty of lost love, and the hope and determination to heal sparked by something as simple as the rain stopping for a moment, or blinking and looking at the city one more time. Seemingly ordinary surprises become extraordinary when her speaker notices them, and takes the opportunity to decide to move forward and love herself again.

I do believe that sudden surprises, small or large, can spark inner transformation. However, as these contributors show and suggest, there is also the component of preparing and positioning oneself to be receptive to and appreciative of the world’s surprises. Isaac Newton may have thought of gravity after an apple hit his head…but his careful thought and years of attentiveness to the world around him prepared him for that insight. So I would encourage us all to see moments of beauty in the everyday, to read and think and learn as much as we can, to hold out an open mind receptive to the possibilities of wherever life has us at the moment.

Years ago I attended a traditional Celtic Samhain/All Hallows’ Eve celebration, and the ceremony leader described fall as a time of increasing darkness – but also a time when seeds fall from plants and lie buried under ground resting and preparing themselves for a new beginning. He explained that many beginnings can seem dark and uncertain – as can many great, necessary transformative stages in our lives. But that if we could trust in our hopes and dreams through the lengthening nights and cooling weather of fall and winter, and take the rest and reflection we need, then there could be hope in the next season of growth.

In keeping with the theme I selected a few of my own pieces which I felt reflected surprise and/or transformation in some way: a nonfiction research article on people’s experiences with new telecommuting technology, and a short fiction piece on a supposed car accident and a woman’s grieving process.

I would like to encourage dialogue, feedback, and networking through Synchronized Chaos – please take the opportunity to comment on other artists’ work, offer to pass on the word about their projects, ask questions, suggest ideas to them.

Happy Rosh Hashanah to my Jewish readers, happy early Halloween/Samhain to those who celebrate. Please enjoy the luscious harvest feast that is October’s Synchronized Chaos!

My short story, “Frozen in Time”


We had a little more space than expected this month, which is wonderful in some ways as we conducted in-depth interviews with some contributors I found especially amazing, resourceful, and creative. However, we’d have loved to hear from more people, so please don’t be shy about submitting 🙂 All are welcome.

Here is another short story of mine, I wrote this piece a few years back after looking through an old college photo album. And I won’t give you a whole long intro to my own piece – so it’s just posted below.

Frozen in Time


Imagine a series of snapshots frozen in time, each representative of one singular moment, one instance, leaving the viewer to make the connections needed to tell the story.


This was the state of Sarah’s mind while she stared at the three-car pileup by the side of the interstate. At the blue sports car and the grayish sedan that had collided with her husband’s aging Honda in the fog, at the crumpled center divider separating the two halves of the road’s curve.


The rescue vehicles had already arrived, their workers hauling two disheveled men out on stretchers and checking vital signs before loading them into the backs of two ambulances. Their walkie talkies buzzed as they relayed messages back and forth, asking questions and giving instructions for a series of daily tasks that they knew would never become completely routine.


All Sarah could do, as she looked out from her position amidst the moist iceplants by the side of the road, was to watch the scene, without emotion, as if she were viewing a movie. Only time would tell if the paramedics and Highway Patrol officers would be able to save the lives of her husband Jose and their young daughter Sharon.

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