Keep It Unreal


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.


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


Bound to Books


OK bitchKinges. I finally decided that if I can’t manage to write anything, I might as well let the pros do the writing and I’ll be doing some reading of said pros.

My wonderful husband tagged me on a link to a post listing 18 new book releases this upcoming year that “Stephen King fans will love”. I just went through the entire list and read the synopsis of each one trying to see if any of them will tickle my fancy.

So other than The Outsider, by the King himself, coming May 22, I picked the following:

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
The Clarity by Keith Thomas
The Hollow Tree by James Brogdan
Glimpse by Jonathan Maberry
The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly

Now, I don’t know ANY of these authors. And anybody who knows me also knows that I have quite a bit of trouble reading books by any author other than Stephen King (or Richard Bachman, who is also Stephen King). I have trouble because King is not only my favorite, but also the only author I absolutely LOVE. Stephen King to me is more like Stephen God. Any time I try to read a book by anybody else, I always find myself comparing it to King Almighty, and seeing as the Holy Dude is second to none, my current read comes up short, I find it sucks ass, and I do not enjoy it at all as a result.

But I decided to try and get over my obsession (read: worship) and read other books by other authors. Maybe I’ll find one that I will love as much as King (or close enough is more plausible) and have a greater variety of books to read (if the five dozen King books I read is not enough).

As for the genre, I am only interested in horror/thriller/suspense/mystery novels. If my inability to fall asleep persists, I want to have a good enough reason for it, and it won’t work if the novel I read is romance or fantasy, i.e. BORING SHIT!

So the short list above looks like a good place to begin my search.

I just realised that this sounds a bit like my initial obsession with Arch Enemy and my unwillingness to listen to any other metal band… if I managed to increase my musical repertoire, it might be possible to do with books too!

Peace, love and oh my King!

Goose Flesh


I must admit. I am kind of upset that Stephen King decided to take a break from writing and publishing novels at a faster rate than I can read them and instead invest more time in movie adaptations and TV series.

My husband and I still follow his progress. We saw the Dark Tower (see review here), last night we saw the remake of IT (more on that below), we are currently watching the series of The Mist and Mr. Mercedes. Earlier, we also saw the remake of Carrie (review here), the series 11/22/63, and Under the Dome. I enjoyed all these to a certain degree, but not as much as I enjoyed the respective books/novellas.

The remake of IT was amazing. I definitely liked it way more than the 1990 version of IT. I thought it was wise to divide the story into two separate parts instead of making a single movie consisting of constant flashbacks where the viewer has to keep track of two stories at once. Also, Pennywise was far scarier in the remake, I mean, holy shit! Every time he appeared, I screamed out loud.

But again, nothing compares to the novel. I read it a while ago but I still remember how terrifying it was. My perception of reality was completely distorted, I’ve had nightmares, and spent my days looking over my shoulder in fear of seeing a creepy clown like Pennywise. It ultimately became the scariest book I have ever read, and still is to this day. You can read the full review I wrote at the time here.

But I still enjoyed the hell out of the remake. I highly recommend IT to all horror freaks.

Peace, love and I need a new SK book seriously

This Is the Painkiller


It started with pain, then continued with more pain, and along came another twist of pain. So I need to escape with everything I got because anything else happens and I’ll just give up.

So here are my plans to forget, ignore and self-medicate:

Metal night: I haven’t been since this whole ordeal began. I was happy about it at first – keeping a safe distance from a smoke-filled environment is always a good thing – but after a while, I missed it. And now that I feel like shit, I really need it. I’m going tonight.

Writing letters: I don’t know how much of an escape this will be as I will no doubt be revisiting the horror in letters to my penpals… but maybe I won’t. In any case, letters have been piling up for the past month and I really need to reply. And maybe reading and replying to other people’s problems will help me forget about my own.

FindersReading: Always the best escape. I just finished Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams and just started Finders Keepers. King’s fiction is so realistic that living in his world and forgetting about my own is so easy and feels so natural. The dude is my ultimate salvation.

Zine-making: I have yet to start the layout of my zine about my trip to Salem. I procrastinated on
that because the crap I had to deal with left no room for any will to make any crafts. All I wanted to do was go home, wrap myself in winter blankets and cry. But there is a certain sense of peace and comfort in the zen vibes of zinestering. I just need to get it started and let it carry me off to the land of forget-escape-heal.

Guitar-playing: I’ve been neglecting Melissa for far too long. I hope I didn’t forget the opening riff to Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law”. I need to set up a time to play with my husband again. Not just to refresh my fingers on the solos of Marilyn Manson’s version of “Sweet Dreams” or on the blistering riffs of Green Day’s “Basket Case”, but also to relive that elation that only playing guitar can cause. That sense of oh-my-god-this-feels-so-fucking-rad-what-was-I-sad-about-again is an escape like no other. And Melissa is a pro at that.

Peace, love and pain, pain, killer, killer.

Bang to the Beat of the Gun


Yesterday, I read the final story from a book my friend got me for my birthday – The Best Place on Earth by Ayelet Tsabari. Not a book I would pick to read on my own, but my friend sent it to me and I said I’d give it a shot, and was pleasantly surprised.

Anyway, the last story of the book, titled as the book, includes a part where the character describes the difference between living in Israel and living anywhere else. She says that the quiet that saturates every other part of the world (or particularly the place where she was at the time) feels lonely and boring. In a stark contrast to the noise and the stress of daily life in Israel. She says that maybe it’s the fact that in Israel, there is the ever-present shadow of death lurking everywhere, the fact that you can die at any moment that makes this place so fast-paced and so loud.

In another story, the author also depicts life everywhere else as safe and comfortable. But that it only depends on how one perceives it, because safe and comfortable can also be described as utterly boring.

This is how I view it. When I lived in Montreal, nothing moved. Everything was quiet, everyone kept silent and to themselves, nothing moved, and I was bored and depressed and I couldn’t stand it.

Moving to Israel, I was thrilled by the excitement and the flow of events. How people appeared to be moving together and thinking together without even noticing it. How people would all stop together whenever there was a siren on Yom Hashoah and Yom Hazikaron, and how life suddenly resumed when the siren stopped. Also how traffic and pedestrians stopped flowing into the street when there was a suspicious object in the area, and how they spilled back into the streets when the danger was removed. And how complete strangers suddenly become your only safety net when you all congregate in a safe space during a siren. How danger, fear and tragedy brings together people from different backgrounds, descents, origins, cultures, and yes, even religions.

During these times in Jerusalem, we all stare at each other to make sure the other person is of no threat. When a suspicious person walks onto a bus, again, this sense of togetherness comes through – everyone shifts together, everyone fumbles in their purse or pocket for a self-defense object (pepper spray, gun, a blunt object).

Stuff like that never happened in Montreal. In Montreal, you had to look for your community and your safety net, and even they might not want to join in your fear and may not care about your tragedy. This is the loneliness of a quiet place. The boredom in the overwhelming lack of danger.

One day in our office, we had a wave of clients waiting in the hall. A Muslim family walked in, facial expressions changed at once, the wave shifted back, the two people who owned a gun reached for it, all at the same time, everyone on high alert in a heartbeat. It was like some kind of morbid dance. But it’s through this dance and this atmosphere where I felt most at home. It was like I found my entire extended family, my true safety net, the only people I can trust no matter how sketchy and disappointing some of these people can be in other areas of life. In this one thing – danger – we all stand together, move, think and speak together. Because you can die at any moment, and you must dance with the crowd in order to survive.

I also wrote about this in my upcoming zine. I said that safe and comfortable are not adjectives that are usually used in the same sentence as Israel. But that is where I feel safe and comfortable. I know the dance, I learned the steps, I know what to expect and what’s expected of me.

I love this place. I love the noise, the stress, the danger, the fear, the excitement, the love and the hate. It’s the mindset you learn to accept – taking the bitter with the sweet, the life with the death – and appreciate every moment.

Peace, love and war and hate.

Zine Gems


Whenever I come across a great zine, I get inspired to produce more zines. And since a big part of zinestering is trading and sharing, please allow me to recommend the amazing zines I recently got/traded so that you may also be inspired!

SHEcho Publications
Nina (aka Zina) makes a slew of amazing zines and comics through her indie publication project Echo. I contacted her one day when I was looking for a new zinester to make a split zine with during International Zine Month. Since she has already found another zinester for the project, she suggested we trade zines and later on maybe a split-zine will work out. I picked some of the zines from her website and she sent me those and many more! She writes a pretty awesome zine called Different Heartbeats about feminism, punk shows, zine fests, DIY projects, and more. She also wrote a comics for International Zine Month called Scissors & Chainsaws. You know that “bonus points” section on the IZM activities list, the part that says make a comic every day and make it into a comics zine at the end of the month? Well, she did it! Scissors & Chainsaws details Nina’s activities all throughout the month of July all in comics form. I recently wrote her an email telling her that I wish I had half of her skills in comics, and that her art simply inspires me to try and create more of my own. Amazing talent, great sense of humor, endless inspiration, a feast for the eyes, and pure fun! I highly highly recommend you check it out!

PMS 9 - cover 2Zines by Nyxia
As if I WASN’T going to write about my zine crush and my best penpal friend! Nyxia Grey is the shiznit, and if you haven’t read any of her zines yet, you really should. Her perzine Everything.Is.Fine is mainly about feminism and eating disorders, but she writes a bunch of other zines as well and also makes her own feminist art – bookmarks, pins, amazing collages… I recently read her special 24-Hour Zine issue about the elbow injury she suffered and all the subsequent hardships she went through this past summer. Nyxia is a great writer. She manages to make the reader feel the pain that comes across so clearly and bluntly in her prose. As someone who suffered an elbow injury as well, I was amazed by how eloquently she described everything that I have also felt when I got injured and all though my healing process. I found myself nodding briskly in absolute agreement with everything she wrote. Other zines she wrote include the split-zine she made with me – Boo’ya Moon – about our mutual favorite author, Stephen King; Did That Hurt? a special zine about tattoo safety; Rad Rag – Your Flow Is Fly! about the period (Nyxia’s best seller in zine fests); Cure Huntington’s Disease – a special zine about the genetic condition (all profits made from this issue are donated to Kindred Laurel Lake, a nursing and rehabilitation center in Lee, Massachusetts that helps those with Huntington’s Disease); and a whole lot of other amazing stuff! Check out her Etsy shop and see if you don’t leave with a packed cart!

Twigz and DeadbeatSquimoo
aka Beth, makes a rad comics called The Deadbeats. During International Zine Month, we traded zines, and as I already wrote in one of my We Make Zines blogs, I was sitting at the office and thought I’d flip through the zine she sent me for a couple of minutes. I ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting. Her comics feature short one-liners that are cheeky, funny and sarcastic all at once. The issue she sent me (her first one actually) also featured a page where I could draw myself or my own comics character next to one of her deadbeats, so of course, I drew Twigz. I loved it so much and wrote her an enthusiastic message asking when I can expect the second issue of it! I don’t know if any of the readers of this blog are into comics zines, but if you’re looking into some sweet ones, The Deadbeats is a great one to start with!
So now that I read all these awesome zines, I am beyond inspired and have been working on a new split-zine with Nyxia all though this past week. Once this one is done, I have about half a dozen other ideas for future zines lined up, and I can’t wait to start on them all!

Peace, love and oh yeah, you should check out my zines too, they’re not half bad 😉

Real vs. Read


Once again, I am in that mode or frame of mind or whatever you wanna call it.

That frame of mind where I’m so conflicted, I feel torn in half.

It’s not as bad as it sounds since the conflict itself is not earth-shattering or life-threatening in any way. But still, I’m like, wahhhh!

On one hand, I got a bunch of kickass ideas and plans for creativity – flyers, zines, patches, even a DIY business card. And on the other hand, I have this huge Stephen King book (11.22.63 in case you’re wondering) staring me in the face and I’m dying to go on reading it.

It’s just so easy to let go of this thin creative thread and just fall into the mind-numbing make-belief world of Stephen King, and letting yourself drown and feel yourself sinking deeper and deeper until reality ceases to exist. This reality which sucks dick anyway. This reality which saw it appropriate to steal the life of an innocent 16-year-old girl whose only crime was to love and support a community which deserves to live in a safe, tolerant and democratic society and enjoy equal rights.

Who the fuck wants to stay alert and conscious when the world around them goes shithouse? And where in this morbid reality can you find the right amount of inspiration to create anything at all?

Reading is so much easier. You don’t need to move much to do it, except for turning a page every once in a while. You don’t need to think, because the book does all the thinking for you. You don’t need to talk to anybody or entertain anybody or take care of anything. You don’t need to be creative and find the right words and put them in a perfect order because you have it all perfectly done right in front of you, black on white.

But then, the book is over. And you come out of it only to drop like a brick right back into the shitpile that is this reality. And you come out of it to realize you haven’t made anything of yourself. And you come out of it to notice your back is aching, your eyes are bloodshot, and your husband fell asleep while he was waiting for you to give him his birthday treat, but you were too fucking busy cheating on him with Stephen King.

So which way do I go? Do I pick up my lazy ass and create some sweet shiny sparkly sunshiny art? Or do I give in to the torturous temptation of literature and disappear into the twisted dark worlds of the King?

I guess I’ll have to figure out after my husband’s birthday dinner.

Peace, love and happy birthday to my loverboy!