Wreck & Roll

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My International Zine Month is slowly becoming a DIY Month, like I had back in 2012. Although not as elaborate, I am still finding myself doing different things. Aside from zine-making, I am engaging in the utter destruction of Wreck this Journal (more on that later).

I am also keeping up with my Writing Thursdays. This morning was yet another brilliant morning. I sat on the living room sofa with my husband’s laptop on my lap, typing away about anything at all that made my heart go pitter-patter.

Of course, I am also keeping up with blog-writing and journal-writing. Plus, I’m trying to add some drawings into the mix.

Yesterday morning, I met up with my friend for art morning. I bought my copy of Wreck this Journal by Keri Smith a while ago but never got around to decimating it, so I thought art morning would be a good time to get going. If you search “wreck this journal” on Google Images, you would understand why I found it so appealing. The ways that people use to destroy their copy are above and beyond anything that you could imagine. Using paint, crayons, scissors, glue, glitter, washi tape, needle and thread, hair, and absolutely anything, they turned the book into nothing short of a masterpiece!

I don’t know if I could produce anything as amazing as what I saw, but I thought of giving it a shot anyway. If anything, it might turn out looking like a zine, which is fucking fabulous!

I also don’t know how long it would take me to ransack the fucking thing, but I wish that if I managed to create (i.e. destroy) anything decent, I’ll post the results on here. In any case, destruction is another form of art I want to do this IZM/DIY month.

Peace, love and on with the jackhammer!

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Wake Up, Destroy!

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With absolutely no relation to the title of this post, my 31-Day Zine Thing project is coming along nicely. Although I’m writing some pretty mundane things, it encourages me to make my month slightly more interesting by planning every week ahead of time and filling my days with fun shit, so that I could actually have something worth writing about. My usual list of fun shit includes reading, writing, Tai Chi, sleeping, music and art. So I try to write mostly about these.

I wish I had more time to write on my typewriter though, but the only time I can do it is at home. I mean, I can’t very well carry my heavy-ass Rose Madder to work, now can I? Carrying my daughter destroys my back enough as it is.

This morning, after my Tai Chi routine, I thought I may have some time left to write, but then my stomach got in the way and I just had to make myself an elaborate breakfast, complete with scrambled eggs, fresh veggies, cream cheese, yellow cheese, whole wheat bread, and apple juice. I’m not complaining, it was great, but that basically meant I had to spend more time doing the dishes and have no time for anything else as a result.

Yes. That’s what it all comes down to. On a regular day, I actually have to choose between writing and eating. That is a very real decision that needs to be made on a day-to-day basis for me. I really did just say that. I wanted to write but my stomach got in the way. Pathetic.

Whatever. I hope I find time later on this month for both writing and eating.

Peace, love and when your toddler won’t stop singing “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, you know you’ve owned the whole parenting thing.

Ink and Blood Are One

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Manson1For almost all of last week, I’ve been hardcore reminiscing. It was triggered by my plans to organize my DIY bookshelf full of my old diaries and high school agendas. As I was organizing, I found myself looking through some of them, skimming, reading, admiring the elaborate collages and drawings filling the pages top to bottom, left and right.

I kept on reminiscing as I was writing about it on my blog and in my zine and as I was reading my old posts. And it reached its peak on Thursday when Marilyn Manson’s cover of “Sweet Dreams” came blasting through my earphones. I flashed back to my confused wayward adolescence remembering how the freaky artist, the god of goth, the worst nightmare for parents worldwide became my ultimate salvation.

I was terrified and thoroughly disturbed the first time I saw the video for “Sweet Dreams”. The trashy smudged makeup, the different color eyes topped by no eyebrows, the crumbling run-down spot they chose to shoot the video, the close up of Manson’s scarred and slashed abdomen, all these elements scared me to the core, but I couldn’t turn away.

Manson6I tried to convince myself that this is something I should hate and ought to avoid. I tried. I really did. I drew Manson several times with the tagline “Check out that freak!” I watched his 1997 performance at the MTV Video Music Awards with my friend telling her “look at this freak. Who listens to that music anyway?” But when she switched the channel saying “Okay enough of this crap,” I regretted it. I wanted to keep watching but didn’t know why. If I hate it so much, why do I love it so much?

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Soon thereafter, I couldn’t avoid it anymore. I had fallen for the fallen angel. My list of favorite artists changed. Manson had vanquished the top spot and Michael Jackson was relegated to the very bottom with a resounding crash. The posters in my room had turned dark and morbid. I plastered the walls with Manson’s trademark eyes and lack of eyebrows. Every visit to HMV or Music World left me with one more Manson record in my repertoire.  First was Remix and Repent, then Mechanical Animals, then Antichrist Superstar, shortly followed by all the others. I squirmed with delight with every “I AM THE GOD OF FUCK”.

My parents were mortified.

Everything I created, all my art, my writings, my poetry also turned dark and morbid. Manson’s influence was undeniable.

This past week, as I was looking at my drawings and read my poems of ages past, I thought how sad it is that I can’t draw as easily and as perfectly as I once did. I lamented my lack of time to write anything of substance and depth as I once did. My mind, fueled by Stephen King’s On Writing, which I read recently, frantically searched for ways to make time and set up an environment for me where I could reclaim my long-lost sense of creativity and my flawless prose. Back then, all I needed to do to write something brilliant was close the bedroom door and let it all out – no rules and no limits. I could even do it during some boring class. Bury myself within myself and sprinkle the page with magic.

But now, I’m filled with inspiration with no means for release and no way to use it to my advantage to fight the motherfucking end of words. The end of words which was my biggest fear, even worse than death itself, has grabbed me by the neck and I simply cannot wriggle myself out of its grip.

Fuck. This just made me cry.

I need to fucking write. I can’t take this. Even if my prose sucks. Let it suck, I don’t care.  End of words be damned, let go of my fucking neck. I need my oxygen, my ink blood, my life force.

What the fuck am I gonna do?

Writing for five minutes a day is far from satisfactory.

Peace, love and suffocation.

Zooted Zinester

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I just read some of the really old posts I wrote (like from 2005) and I thought “Hmm, maybe I should write something like that again.” And then I remembered, I’m not 22, I’m not living with my parents, I’m not single, I’m not a student, I’m no longer a pothead, I don’t live in Canada, I’m not a journalist, and I’m not childless. I’m a completely different person and whatever words I put down on paper will be lightyears away from the ones I did all those years ago.”

I do have fun with the zine I’m making for International Zine Month, though. And that’s good. Again, the stuff I wrote so far is by no means brilliant, but the mere fact of creating and zine-producing is totally exciting as it’s always been.

Sometimes I wonder how my life would have turned out if I had discovered zines earlier. Back when I lived in Canada, I could have attended some zine fests, which I never get a chance to do now that I live halfway across the planet (the Boston Zine Fest in 2015 notwithstanding).

What would I have called my zine? At 12, probably something Michael Jackson related. At 16, something Marilyn Manson related. At 18, undoubtedly something riot grrrl related. At 22, more like something weed related, as Buddah was at the center of my universe back then. In fact, I remember an assignment I had to do for my computer applications class was a newsletter I designed with a bunch of made-up articles about Mary Jane. I called it The Daily H (hence the logo I put on all my zines reading “Daily H Publications”).

A newsletter about drugs called the Daily H could be misinterpreted as a newsletter about heroin. But no. I used the letter H to stand for my name, as Hadass is also a plant and the newsletter was about a plant. The tagline of the newletter was “Get your daily dose of vitamin H!” Have some weed, and have some hadass while you’re at it.

Journalism school was fun, so I bet I could have totally dug being a zinester back then. Maybe smoke a doobie right before, to make the writing sound like the ramblings of a stone-cold stoner.

Reading my old diaries and high school agendas today is fun. But I bet a stoner’s zine would have been hilarious.

Peace, love and H is for High

The 31-Day Zine Thing

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International Zine Month 2018. Fuck yeah.

So being a mother, I barely have five minutes to spare for anything at all. But five minutes is all it takes for me to write one page of a quarter-page size zine. So here are (is) my plans (plan) for International Zine Month 2018:

  1. Make a zine

That’s it. Just that. If I can do that in 31 consecutive days, I will be one super fucking happy zinester. I’ll spend about five minutes of each day to write/draw/collaging one page about whatever. If I keep at it for the full 31 days, I will have a nice full-length zine by the end of July. And that will be rad!

Also, I’m totally up for zine trades if anybody’s interested. IZM is totally the time for sharing zine love. So hit me up!

Peace, love and cutie booty, just because.

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.

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

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