The 24-Hour Nothing Thing

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This is like the fifth blog post I’ve been trying to write. The other four drafts have all ended up in the trash section of my admin page. For some reason, my writing has turned stale and my level of inspiration is so low, I’m tasting dirt. Another piece of paper gets ripped out of the typewriter, crumpled and tossed.

Anyway, I read a few of my posts from a few years ago (because they’re always so much better than the recent ones) and came across a post I wrote when I first signed up to the 24-Hour Zine Thing challenge. It was my very first time and I was excited at the prospect of staying up all day and all night and doing nothing besides working on a zine.

Since then, I have participated in this challenge three times and produced three motherfucking AMAZING issues of my zine.

But since 2016, I’ve done shitall. Throughout July, as International Zine Month was in full swing, I tried doing something zine-related. I came across posts from other zinesters who were taking part in it and also reread my older posts from my past experiences with IZM. I couldn’t believe how inspired, creative and driven I was, and how I’m the exact opposite of it these days. Even if I manage to create a zine or something here and there, I still don’t feel that enormous sense of accomplishment I felt in the past. Inspiration is still super difficult to come by, and my writing still sucks ass.

There is no way I could participate in the 24-Hour Zine Thing ever again. I know that. But as I was reading that old post I thought “Why not do it anyway? Not in the conventional no-sleep-no-shower kind of way, but in increments. Keep the spontaneous no-prior-planning aspect of it, but take the necessary “breaks” that come with the territory of taking care of a toddler.”

But then I think, how is that any different from making a regular zine? The point of a 24-hour zine is to make it in the space of 24 consecutive hours, start to finish. As it stands, the only way I could make a 24-hour zine is by leaving my baby in my husband’s care, temporarily move to a remote location, with no reception or internet connection, and switch off the maternal part of my brain that is on constant worry-mode.

No way that is happening.

Inspiration is still miles away. I am absolutely disgusted by how stale and moldy my writing has become. And the only thing that could potentially turn any miserable spark of inspiration I have left into an all-consuming blaze (i.e. the 24-Hour Zine Thing) is desperately out of reach.

Fuck this. If I can’t write, I might as well read. Thank Goddess for my constant flow of books.

Peace, love and this is what the end of words feels like.

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Kiss My Art!

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I’ve been saving most of my zine-production mostly for my art meetings with friends. And they’ve been fun. They’ve been super fun. But then, this week, my work schedule was all over the place. On Sunday, I had the whole day off. And on Monday I worked a full day, which I haven’t done in ages. So on Sunday, I had a couple of friends over and had quite a pleasant crafternoon. And on Monday, I used any downtime in the office to continue working on my zine. I continued it on the following days and just now put the finishing touches on it.

I honestly can’t believe I managed to finish it. When I worked on the cover, I marked the release date as “April 2018” because I found it hard to believe that I’ll have it out any time before then. But the end of March is 10 days away, and I finished this zine that I’ve been planning for the past couple of years and never got around to producing because I’ve been too busy pushing a human being out of my gina and then raising her.

Also, this particular issue was extremely difficult for me. It is the Silent Issue. That is, it includes a fuckload of artwork, visual art, and little to no text. Whereas all my other zines are rather text-heavy because I consider myself more of a writer than an artist, and I focus most of my work on the written word. Also, expressing myself with the visual rather than the written element was always hard for me. I would get headaches every time I attempted to draw something half-decent. I would get frustrated whenever I saw something in my head and could never reproduce it on paper. All the people I draw would always have the same blank look on their faces, their gaze pointing down, their faces would be too long, and their noses too small, and their heads would be immense compared to their scrawny bodies.

But for this zine, I forced myself to avoid the written art as much as possible. As a result, I found myself doing most of my talking through the visual one. The photos I shot across Jerusalem came out pretty fucking rad. The collages I made, simple but powerful in their message. The drawings still came with a certain degree of difficulty (and my people still came out the same as I described them) but I don’t particularly hate it. In fact, some of them are some of my best work, especially because I added color – something that is lacking in all my previous attempts at drawing.

Aside from that, I added four pieces that were not made by me. One is a drawing of me by my friend. And the other three (get ready for this one) are by my daughter.

Yes, you read that right. My one-year-and-four-month-old daughter made three drawings and I used them in my zine! Of course, they’re nothing more than scribbles and squiggly lines, but artists throughout the ages have made big bucks with less, so there. I call these squiggly scribbles total fucking art.

I feel so totally accomplished. I am the mother of a toddler and have managed to bang out a 32-page visual zine. And I love the shit out of it! I had such a blast with all of it and hope to start on another new zine pretty soon.

The Silent Issue will be printed and stapled and posted on Etsy at some point next week or so. Until then, here is the bitching cover, still marked as April, but whatever. Kickfuckingass!

Peace, love and ART4EVER

cover

Keep It Unreal

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I read something upsetting and then I get upset. I don’t know when I became so goddamn sensitive. And why. I try to keep a positive mindset but it’s becoming harder and harder to do because I’m surrounded with so much negativity, mainly brought about via social media. Sometimes I consider the option of suspending my Facebook account for a little while so that I can avoid the barrage of negative feed I’m crushed by every day. Maybe I should do that…

Fuck the “if it bleeds, it leads” journalistic standard. I wish it would stop bleeding so much. I wanna read something positive for a change. Something that doesn’t make me want to shut off the world. I wanna read children’s books. Not the ones about a grandmother being devoured by a wolf, and not about a couple of kids shoving a witch into a furnace. Maybe about a baby throwing her toys and playing guitar. Or about a cat befriending a mouse.

Also, I’ve noticed that confusing books do not jive so well with me anymore. I recently got the book Kissing Dead Girls, which I’ve read a few years ago and remembered it being amazing and inspiring. In fact, after the first time I read the book, I was so inspired that I wrote two short poem-style stories using the same style and confusing sentence structure as Daphne Gottlieb uses in her book.

So I finally bought the book and have spent the past two weeks trying to read it. Some of the stories are just as wonderful as I remembered them. But most are just plain confusing. Fragmented sentences, beginning and ending nowhere, the lack of capital letters where they should be, a tone and voice which sound like the ramblings of senility itself, incoherence galore, boring nonsensical bullshit, all served to make me tired and restless at once and eventually I either skipped to the next chapter or just put the book down. Every time I think about resuming reading it, I get tired. Just thinking about it, I get bored out of my fucking mind.

I came up with a theory. The reason I enjoyed this book so much all these years ago was probably because it reflected the confusion I lived on a daily basis. Back then, my life was a mess. Nothing made sense. My life was as fragmented as the sentences in that book, and somehow those fragments seemed to complete me. The fragments fell right into the places where my essence was lacking. But now, my life is complete. I feel so right and organized. Even if my sleep is fragmented, because being the mother of a toddler, it kinda comes with the territory, that is part of my predictable routine. Everything has its rightful place. I’m married to a super awesome guy, I have a brilliant kid, I have a sweet dog, I have a decent job, I have a decent house, I have peace of mind, and I simply don’t want any bloody news piece or any fucking confusing book ruining it for me.

Another theory I came up with was that the first time I read Kissing Dead Girls was before I became exposed to Stephen King. Yes, eventually it all comes down to that. Once I read Duma Key, my whole view of literature drastically changed. I have immense trouble reading books that are not written by King. I think it’s also because I love fiction more than anything because as bloody as it gets, I know it’s not real. Even if Stephen King is such a master storyteller that it seems as if his fiction IS in fact reality, deep down I still know it isn’t. So for me, keeping a positive mindset is totally possible with fiction books.

clarity

And so, being bored to tears and utterly frustrated by Kissing Dead Girls, I ordered another fiction book, The Clarity by Keith Thomas. I just got a text message from the post office notifying me that this book I ordered from Germany just arrived. I’m excited by the prospect of escaping into fiction, and even more excited that come May 22, I will score me a brand new Stephen King novel, The Outsider.

You know what? I’ll just go ahead and reclaim “If it bleeds it leads” but add “in fiction” at the end, because in reality it just serves to fuck me up.

Peace, love and fiction forever

Positively Zen

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Tai Chi Thursdays are totally where it’s at.

Today, I did my first Integral Tai Chi routine since maybe February 2016. It was slightly more difficult than I remembered since I’m so out of shape, but it was just as much fun and rewarding. I had to use the videos I used in the past because I got a little rusty and didn’t quite remember all the movements and the mantras, but eventually, it came back to me and the workout flowed as naturally as it had in the past. A couple more times and I’ll be able to do it with ambient music instead of videos, meditating with Sheila Chandra’s “Sacred Stones” in the background, and all will be right in the universe again.

The final segment of the workout, as always, is meditation. There are several stages of this segment, one of which is the stage of appreciation where you have to think about two good things that happened to you in the last 24 hours or the past week. So I thought about my daughter finally being healthy, no more fever, no more suppositories, no more sleepless nights, and I smiled a huge and honest smile. Then I also thought about yesterday. I had the day off work and used the time to bake a broccoli quiche. Both my husband and my daughter loved the holy hell out of it, and my huge smile became even bigger. Thank the Mother Goddess. Blessed Be Her Name.

As I came out of the meditative state, I made a decision to try my best to reduce the amount of negativity in my life. I want to stop lamenting the weather. Instead of thinking about how much winter sucks, I should focus on the warmth I feel when I’m at home with my loving husband, my amazing daughter and my beautiful dog. Instead of thinking about politics and getting all pissed off, I should focus on the peace of mind that I always have when I surround myself with my art and music. Instead of worrying about my health, I should focus on my Tai Chi routine and look forward to next Thursday so that I can indulge in yet another workout and recharge my state of positivity.

Always focus on the positive. A grateful heart is a happy heart. Namaste.

Peace, love and invocating the dragon.

As I Was

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Yesterday, I made a few lists in my journal to see how my habits and hobbies have changed from my pre-maternity to my post-partum time. I wanted to see if I would be able to reclaim some semblance of my pre-pregnancy life.

Things I regularly did before pregnancy and motherhood include:
– Zines
– Tai Chi
– Baking/cooking
– Reading books
– Writing letters
– Power walks
– Playing guitar

Things I do now:
– Laundry
– Raising my kid
– Sleep

Despite that enormous shift, I have managed to engage in some of my earlier activities. I made a zine and am working on another one, I baked cookies, I read two books and am ordering a few more, and I wrote some letters. This is not bad at all considering parenting is a full-time occupation. And yes, I did most of these while neglecting laundry and sleep.

Now, I am not stupid. I know that all these activities will never take a front row seat in my life ever again. I’m under no illusions about that. My life right now is all about my daughter and everything I do is for her, and I love and cherish every minute of my life as a mother. So these other activities that define me in every other aspect of my life will not be regular activities as they have been before.

But since they are important as part of my self-care, I will still try to find/make time to do them. I think it’s also important for my daughter to see her mother engaging in self-care and doing things that she likes. I want to lead by example and teach her that she too should take care of herself and do things that she enjoys and that are important to her, whatever it may be. If she grows up to love art just like her mother, that’s great! I will be thrilled to make art with her. If she grows up to love playing basketball like her father, that’s amazing! I’ll sign her up for lessons or encourage her to play with her father in the backyard or the park.

I think it’s especially important with activities that promote good health, such as Tai Chi and power walks. I want my daughter to lead a healthy active lifestyle and make exercise a regular part of her weekly routine.

SO! The next item on my list of things to reclaim is my Tai Chi exercises. I seriously need to get my ass back in shape, dammit. Not to mention my back, my legs, my arms, my neck, my abs… I feel completely wrecked. Integral Tai Chi should do the trick. I am attempting to make it a weekly thing as it was once before. But instead of Friday mornings (during which I am too busy with my daughter) I will set it on Thursday mornings.

Fuck sleep. Sleep is for the weak. The Dragon will devour any shred of my drowsiness and The Phoenix will team up with The Tiger to make me own the day and fuck shit up.

Peace, love and Corpse is for the Living

chakras

 

Zinesteritis

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Zinesteritis. Definitely a virus worth spreading!

I planned to have an art night or whatever crafty event with a couple of friends on Tu Bishvat. The friends invited are all mothers (all but one) and living on opposite sides of the country, so finding a time and place for the art event, plus an arrangement for the kids that would work for everyone was tricky, which is why only one friend showed up.

However, it didn’t take away from the awesomeness of the time I had and only served to encourage both me and my friend to try and set a future date where more people would show up. That’s for later. But for now, I was just happy to be creating again.

After spending a rather frustrating night where I couldn’t fall asleep because of my on-and-off problems with insomnia for one thing, and my daughter’s inability to sleep due to intense teething for another, I was sure that this morning’s art endeavor would go down the drain and I would simply fall asleep on my pile of papers and art supplies.

But no. Quite the opposite. I had such a blast, I totally forgot my sleepiness. And in the spirit of zinestering the winter blues away, I even forgot it was winter and just how much I hate it. Not only did I manage to produce several collages for my upcoming silent issue of PMS Perzine, but I also taught my friend how to make a mini zine! It was her first time making a zine and I gave her my copy of Overthrow the Status Quo zine by my friend (which I already wrote about here) for inspiration and to show her that anybody can make a zine. ANYBODY! And she did, and it came out even more amazing than I expected. For a newbie zinester, she wrote one biching zine! She packed so much power into such a small zine, I was totally blown away that this was actually her first shot at zine-production.

Not to mention that she also felt rather proud of herself and proved to herself that yes, she too can make a zine. I totally know what that feels like. I remember the pride I felt when I first held my first zine in my hands. There is no other feeling like it.

“Not only can we make human beings, we can also make zines,” she stated in a coincidental rhyme.

So yes, indeed an awesome, productive and satisfying morning. I can’t wait for the next time I get to engage in badass zinestering, and hopefully have some more people to share it with.

Next up for my silent issue, hand drawings. I’ll try to use color crayons this time.

Peace, love and yes, laundry basket, overthrown.

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Corpse

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I’ve been a winter hater, like, forever. But never like this. This winter is getting on my last nerve and if I don’t get sunshine any time soon, I’m gonna fucking scream.

This past weekend, I was in Be’er Sheva.

And it simply. did not. stop. raining.

You know these people who love rain because it’s awesome to be indoors, in bed, under a big fat winter blanket, with a blasting heater, drinking tea or some shit. The problem with this so-called pleasure that these amoeba-brained winter-lovers seem to forget is that they are not bears and they don’t hibernate. They will not spend their entire winter in bed, under big fat winter blankets being all warm and cozy. Eventually, they will have to get their ass up, get out of their warm winter covers and into heavy winter gear – coat, tuque, gloves, scarf, boots, the works – and out into the wet, coldass, winter wind and frost and suffer every miserable minute of this crappy weather. Your warm cozy ass is nothing more than an illusion. Get your ass out there and face the everyday reality of the chicken leg you keep in your freezer.

After going through a whole weekend of nothing but rain, I got back home, doubled and tripled my layers, blasted every heater known to man and resumed detachment from this frosty reality under my enormous winter blanket.

This morning, when I woke up, I wanted to murder my blanket because it only served to remind me that I am indeed not a bear.

When is it gonna be summer already??? I want the sweltering scorching heat. I want to dress my daughter in shorts and a tank top. Fuck all these layers already! I wanna sleep in my underwear and wake up in a pool of my own sweat. Fuck these ice-cold fingers! I’ve so had it!!!

I honestly do not understand you people who love winter. You might as well love swimming in a pool of diarrhea. It’s all the same to me. The love of winter simply sabotages my common sense.

Peace, love, cold and stiff.