Site Network: Pica 12 | GLBTqZine | Photojournalism | Phoenix | FemmeNoir | Shop

About Pica 12

The rants and raves of an artemis woman. This is my space on the web to rant and rave about events in my life and in the news. You will also find articles here on my life with lupus, a disease I was recently diagnosed with which has probably been with me through most of my life.

About Pica 12 – The Name

1 PostScript pica = 4.23333333 millimeters

I love numbers like this. I love numbers that end with a host of threes. It’s a spiritual thing.

The word pica comes from the Latin word for magpie, a bird known for its large and indiscriminate appetite. Pica is also considered a serious eating disorder and I knew many kids growing up who craved nonfood items such as cornstarch, the red clay of Mississippi, coffee grounds and cigarette butts.

For me, Pica 12 means 12 points to a pica or the old Prestige Elite type element. When I first learned typography, one of the first lessons learned was one pica equaled 12 points. This marked the beginning of my venture into print. I learned keyline paste-up, typography, and I did a lot of boards in my life for photo offset. I still have in my possession the boards – not done by me – for the YWCA’s award winning annual report. I love those boards.

My first foray into typesetting was on an old Compugraphic’s machine. I loved watching type spill out of that machine.

I did a lot with type and loved it but my heart and soul was in documentary photography, film and now video and this is why there is Pica 12. Though I thought about the name Pica 12 often through the years as a publication, it was not until I had a dream about a magpie that stirred me to name my original Typepad site Pica 12.

male-oriental-magpie-robin.jpgIn the dream, I saw the Magpie as some sort of email or communication system that was constantly blabbing. Then the actual bird appeared in the dream which was black and white with a black bill – the Black-Billed Magpie. I’ve never seen an actual magpie here in Southern California, though I’ve heard the yellow-beaked magpie is common, still I’ve seen neither. I do have plenty of crows that fancy my front yard and Deodar tree but, the little bird known for its intelligence, like others in the crow or raven family, is also seen as eccentric. So, of course, I now love the Magpie and its eccentricity which for me is more about individualism than what many in the west would ascribe to the bird.

As an observer of life and in my own way a bit eccentric, this is my space where I will rant and rave about all I see, my constant blabbing or chattering about man’s humanity or inhumanity toward man.

About Lupus

Last year, April 2005, I was diagnosed with Lupus. In truth, considering all I’ve been through with my health, it’s quite possible I’ve had this all of my life and no one was able to properly diagnose it.

I will never forget a day – probably 15 or 20 years ago – while waiting for a friend I noticed a car parked next to mine. It was a bit ragged with things strewn everywhere. When my friend returned to the car I talked about the car next to mine and she informed me the woman who owned the car had lupus. I remembered thinking then, whoever owned that car was too tired to care for it. I was right.

The word lupus stuck with me from that point on though no one ever said I had lupus. When I first noticed something was not right with my system, the first word I thought about was lupus. However, once I received the diagnosis the first thing I wanted to do was ignore it, believe I didn’t have it, and I questioned my doctors.

Well, again, thinking back on all I’ve been through – two heart attacks, pancreatitis, gall bladder problems, problems with digestion and the list goes on, lupus is the nice little wagon I can put all of these maladies in to. It fits quite well. Here on Pica 12, unlike many African American women I’ve run across, you will read some of my own experiences with lupus, my treatment, what I’m doing about it, and the medications I’m taking. Hopefully, it will help others who have been likewise diagnosed.

About Me – Angela D. Odom

I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. I attended elementary and high school in Chicago and went on to attend Columbia College for photojournalism and film. I also studied publishing, marketing, and merchandising while there with the plan of creating a magazine or publication of some sort.

I was a fashion/commercial photographer for a time which led me to produce fashion shows featuring black designers and models. I also shot news stories, fine art, headshots, weddings, and model portfolios.

A number of my photos and articles were published in The Chicago Defender, the Chicago Sun-Times and other community publications and fashion mags.

Art is nice but it doesn’t pay the bills. As a result I went back to school to become a paralegal and I’ve worked as a word processor and paralegal for many, many years. It was supposed to be a means to an end but I got stuck. In conjunction with my 9-to-5, I have maintained a secretarial/paralegal service geared primarily toward attorneys and law firms.

I returned to writing and photography a few years ago after the death of my partner, Christine Tripp. Her death made it ever so clear that life is short and if there is anything I need to do in this life I need to do that NOW!

And so it is, Pica 12, FemmeNoir, ADO PhotoGraphiX and there will be more, much more, from me.