Today, I finally managed to get my ass in gear and finish the Monthly Zine Project zine for April. The zine is about pets, which I love, so why the fuck did it take me so long to finish it? I kept getting sidetracked by a variety of things, and once I had a chance to get back on track, I used that chance to do anything but work on the zine. But I finally did it! Here’s the cover.
I’m determined to have a monthly zine collection by the end of the year – 10 minis and 2 full-length ones. So I need to stay on track.
After I was done with the April zine, I was a bit stuck. The prompt for May is “Protection” and I got nothing to write about that. Back when the prompts were published, I said I’ll change it to “painting/drawing” and include some of the paintings I made in my drawing class. But I don’t have enough material for it, so I needed to come up with another topic.
I’m thinking lists… I love lists. I make them all the time. It makes me feel organized and it helps me to remember things – things to do, things to buy, things to make, things to bake, things to think about, etc.
I wonder if I can fill a whole zine with a bunch of lists. Check in with me at the end of this month to see if I made it work.
The prompt for this month was “Mirror”. I watched the movie Mirrors this month and it served as a good source of inspiration for the zine.
I meant to write about the mystical aspect of mirrors and I did mention it a bit, but I expanded it to other elements related to mirrors as well, such as how mirrors appear in pop culture, movies and songs (mostly scary ones). I also discussed how we perceive ourselves versus how others perceive us and the issue of body image.
I really like how the cover came out. Although it’s not perfect – I think I could have done a better job with the font – the picture I used is flawless. It’s a picture I posted here and there several times over the years because it’s such a perfect photo – creepy, dark, mysterious, just the way I like it. It’s a photo I shot with my semi-automatic film camera back when I was 18. It’s my reflection in the double-pane window in my basement room, after nightfall. It still amazes me how I managed to capture this with no flash, when everything around me was dark, and yet my face is clearly visible. Creepy ghostly image indeed.
The April prompt is “Pets” and I’ll have no problem writing about this! Yay!
As part of my attempts to not let the Covid crisis destroy my daughter’s childhood, a couple of months ago, I signed my kid up to some courses. We skimmed through the pamphlet I picked up at the community center and found a few that my daughter wanted to try, and finally signed her up to two of her favorites – a drawing class and gymnastics.
Shortly after that, my husband joined a basketball team and started playing in some kind of small-time tournament.
After a weekend spent with the in-laws where my sister-in-law along with her seven-members-strong family detailed the courses and activities that they’re having, it started to bug me. My kid has her drawing and gymnastics, my husband has his basketball, and what do I have? Laundry, dinner, dishes, work and sleep. And maybe a zine every once in a while. Fuck that shit.
And so! I signed up to the drawing class for adults at the community center, with the same teacher my daughter has for her class.
It wasn’t an easy decision. First, I don’t really trust my drawing skills and I didn’t really feel like proving to myself that I suck as much as I think I do. Second, the class is on Tuesdays, from 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. These are my laziest hours and the time of the evening where I start getting reeeeeaaallly fucking tired. I didn’t know if I could make it and not fall asleep on my canvas. But the first class is free, so I said why not. If I really can’t stand it, I can at least reward myself for trying.
As it turned out, I loved it so much that I forgot all about my tiredness. So of course, I signed up.
For my first project, the teacher gave me a picture of a ladybug on some kind of oats plant and said to draw it with pastel crayons on a bristol sheet. It took me three classes but I did it!
And I don’t completely hate it. In fact, I think it’s pretty damn good. I mean, I’m no Dali, of course, and I never will be. But this is my first real drawing since 2012, so I think I deserve a bit of credit, right?
Now, I’m upgrading to acrylic on canvas. My next drawing will also be a bug on a plant. I think I’ll make a series of those as long as the bug in question is not a cockroach or an earwig. And fuck arachnids too.
I’m so happy I convinced myself to give it a shot. Breaking out of my cooking-cleaning routine and making something of myself is awesome. It’s definitely a form of self-care and I never realized how much I needed it until I got it.
So what do you do to break out of your routine? What is you form of me-time?
Last week was a huge fucking turd of a week. Really, weeks like that should be outlawed. It’s weeks like these I wish I was still a pothead. Back then, I didn’t give a flying fuck about anything when I was high.
ANYWAYS! Since substance abuse is nowhere near the range of a possibility in the near future, I intend to use my synaptic charges for a bit more positivity and focus on things that make me happy at least for this week.
Step 1: Attempt to wake up my kid in a calmer way that usual. By usual, I mean rocking her back and forth and calling her name pretty loudly until she goes “weeiiiiinnnnn!!!” She’s a heavyweight champion when it comes to sleeping, so waking her up requires some heavy methods indeed. But last week, every morning started off with a crying fit, and virtually destroyed my day, every day. So finding a better way of waking up the kid was the first necessary step. She didn’t cry this morning, so yes, SUCCESS!
Step 2: Finish my drawing for art class. I started taking drawing lessons a couple of weeks ago and I am just about to complete my first drawing. I love the class a lot! I’m so glad I signed up for it. I’ll write more about it later on this week and post a picture of my drawing.
Step 3: Plan meals and cake for Shabbat in Be’er Sheva. We’re set to go to my parents for the weekend and I made it a tradition to bring something for the meal. I want to brainstorm a bit in my Zine/Bake Ideas notebook and come up with something decent to bring to my parents’. Baking and cooking shit always makes me happy.
Step 4: Order a Stephen King book. It’s been a long time coming. And Gwendy’s Final Task would make a great fix for my SK-obsessed brain.
That Monthly Zine Project’s February zine almost didn’t happen. I knew it would be a difficult zine to write because the theme I chose – Triangle Family – is a sensitive one for me. But I managed to get it done.
I was off by a couple of pages so I had to fill the extra ones with drawings I really didn’t feel like doing. So instead, I got my daughter to draw them for me. It turned out great! She drew three family portraits in the I’m-5-years-old-and-I-don’t-give-a-rat’s-ass-about-lines style she mastered. I absolutely love it.
The cover is also not as “happy” as the January zine cover is, and it really shows that I didn’t invest much effort in it as I did for the January one. But that’s ok. I think the content is powerful and was cathartic enough for my purposes.
Moving forward with MoZiPro 2022, the prompt for March is “Mirror”. I said I want to write about the mystical aspect that we attribute to mirrors, but I still don’t know how to approach that theme… I need some heavy-ass brainstorming and figure it out.
This month’s prompt is No-One Is Illegal. But as I said in my MoZiPro planning post, I have nothing to say about that. I changed the prompt to Triangle Family, and that was before I even realized that February 1st was in fact Family Day in Israel! It just occurred to me that the Triangle Family prompt fits February just as perfectly as the Trees prompt fit January.
I’m super excited about it even though it’s a difficult subject for me to talk about. I think it needs to be discussed especially because it’s such a misunderstood issue. People who are not only children or people who have more than one child especially do not seem to understand that and sometimes say the most stupid, ignorant and insensitive things about it.
Parents who did not plan on having an only-child (like my parents, as well as me and my husband) are often on the receiving end of these insensitive comments, and are always made to feel guilty for their inability to give their only-child a sibling. I am quick to react with anger to such people and never think twice about insulting them and cutting them out of my life. But I think that channeling this anger and frustration into something as productive as a zine can serve as a good, healthy and necessary form of catharsis for me.
And maybe educating these ignorant people is better than cussing them out. And what better way to educate people than through a zine?
And obviously, this zine can also serve as encouragement and support for other triangle families who can relate to my experience as an only-child who also has an only-child.
So now I’m off to brainstorm and start working on my MoZiPro February zine. Wish me luck!
Seeing as I was going to write a short zine about Tu Bishvat for That Monthly Zine Project’s January prompt – Trees – this year I actually did a bit more for the holiday than I usually do. I wanted to celebrate the holiday properly so that I could have enough interesting things to write about.
First, I baked a cake made with dry fruits. Dry apricots, dates, raisins, dry figs, dry pieces of banana, dry plums and others is the customary food for this holiday, so it was only fitting to make a cake packed with some of those. It came out fucking awesome and I added a picture of this cake in the zine.
Second, we decorated our small lemon tree. A couple of months back, when we just planted the tree, my dad told me that it’s a tradition to decorate new trees on Tu Bishvat, and I LOVED that idea. So my kid and I did it on Tu Bishvat morning, January 17, before we left to gan/work. We didn’t add too many decorations because I didn’t want to burden our tree which is still young and fragile, but it was good enough for our purposes. We took some photos and I added one of them to the zine.
I also wanted to take my daughter out to some field to plant a tree, and I saw a few organized events for that. Unfortunately, there were a few reasons that this didn’t pan out. The week that these events took place was a cold and rainy one. Also, Covid cases are on the rise and although I’m sure we’re eventually gonna get it, I still didn’t want to push it by going to events with lots of people. Another reason is a religious one. This year is Shnat Shmita – the year where according to Jewish Law, you’re not supposed to plant anything, and let Mother Earth take a breather. There was an event flyer that mentioned it and said that the planting of trees will take place in an area that is permitted in accordance with Halacha, or something like that. But in any case, I didn’t feel comfortable with it. Maybe next year will be better.
I decided that the zines I will make for MoZiPro will be in the size of a standard mini-zine (i.e. A7) but not in the same style of folding a single sheet of paper. Just small-sized regular booklets bound with a couple of staples. So it still looks like a zine, but simple to make and easy to read.
So the zine for January is an A7-size, 16-pages, full color, little beauty. Hand-written in cursive, which I hope people can read because my penmanship is mediocre to put it mildly. Includes a couple of tiny drawings and a bunch of Washi tape.
I’m happy with the way the zine came out. What do you think?
I hope that by the end of this year, I can have a collection of 12 MoZiPro 2022 zines, and post it on Etsy as a special MoziPro grab-bag. Yay!
I’ve heard of That Monthly Zine Project a while ago, but I never took part in it for various reasons. I actually wrote a post about it back in January 2020. Back then, it was called MoZiPro and the only source I found about it was on Instagram. Their Facebook page was close to empty.
A few days ago, I came upon their Facebook page again and was stunned to see how much better it was. I think Facebook groups and pages are far more user-friendly and also more interactive than Instagram. The new MoZiPro FB page now has a lot of pictures, posts, new members, including myself. The fact that members can post about their own projects on it is already a huge plus. Finally, I found the community and the zinesters who are interested in this project and participate in it. It attracts me more than it did before.
I still think that making 12 zines a year (one for every month) is far too intensive for me. And the fact that the prompts may not always speak to me is also still a bit of an issue. But in truth, I really want to make more zines and not just on International Zine Month or on ZineWriMo.
Also, the zines I make on this project don’t even have to be full-length ones. They can be mini-zines, micro-zines, as short and as simple as I want them to be.
The prompts are indeed very open-ended, so I think the trick is thinking outside the box and write about something that is maybe indirectly related to the prompt. Anyway, it’s not like I follow all the IZM and ZWM prompts down to the last detail. And what is a zine if not absolute freedom? Not following all the rules is acceptable and even encouraged in the zine community. The prompts only serve as a suggestion or a guide which you can choose to take or not.
So now, I’m actually very excited for next year’s MoZiPro! They’re already compiling a list of prompts. Maybe I can make some decent mini-zines to trade or share with the other MoZiPro participants on Facebook.
Day 29 – Mini Zine Kit: I finally put in the order for my kid’s Picabook photo album. I got a really nice discount for the Black Friday special they had, so fuck yes for that! The ZineWriMo prompt for today is super cute, but with all the excitement of the past week, I forgot to bring my zine material to work. It’s ok. I still have my zine-making travel kit from two years ago, (and a mini-zine kit will not be that much different) so all I need to do is make a mini zine about it. Maybe at some point later on. I want to get through this holiday first and then see if I can find a day with the right time, right level of energy, and right frame of mind.
Day 30 – ZineWriMo 2021 Wrap-Up: Today, I’m giving my completed zine to my husband to print tomorrow and then I can post more photos of it on here for your viewing pleasure. I also posted a request for trades on Facebook. I hope people respond because I actually miss trading zines. So ZineWriMo 2021 is officially over. I must say I didn’t accomplish as many things as I had hoped, but the most important thing is that I got a zine done! And that was great! Going over the prompts, here is what I did manage to do:
One mini zine – Stream of Consciousness call An Ant’s Footprints
Got a Zine/Bake Ideas notebook – Fucking love it!
Posted pictures of my notebook, my creative space, my tools and my zine cover.
I made a bunch of cute drawings for my zine.
I typed on my typewriter as much as I intended to.
I tried a bunch of new recipes: Minestrone soup, soufflé, corn muffins, Amsterdam chocolate cheesecake, rainbow unicorn cake. Plus a chocolate cake with chocolate mousse that is not a new recipe.
Completed my daughter’s photo album and sent it to print.
One full-length zine – Issue 18 of PMS Perzine
On top of all that, I did a bunch of other things and meetings and courses and appointments not related to ZineWriMo. This made for one fuck of a stressful November, but a very productive one indeed. There is still December to look forward to and I don’t see the level of stress dropping anytime soon.
Day 15 – Halfway Mark, Your Day Your Way: Today, at the office, I started the preliminary preps for the layout of my zine – counted the pages, calculated the exact number I would need for full double-sided pages (you know, multiplied by 4 and all that stuff), printed out a few backgrounds, started correcting and touching up typos and spelling mistakes in my written material (this comes with the territory of using a manual typewriter), and set up the outer and inner cover pages. I’m waiting for my husband to print a few color pictures I want to use in the zine before I officially start pasting the pages. It’s gonna be silly if I find I run out of space after everything is firmly stuck. I hope I’ll start proper layout tomorrow. So far, I especially love the way I planned my table of contents. I set it up like a recipe! Now I can’t complete it until all the pages are in place, but it looks great!
Day 16 – The Halfway Update: So my update for half of ZineWriMo is that I made one mini zine, got a new notebook and made it into my awesome Zine & Bake Ideas Book, and finished laying out half the pages in my work-in-progress zine! And you should have seen what my work space looked like – all sprinkled up and down with paper clippings and Washi tape snippings and all the fun stuff. I think it’s a pretty awesome achievement considering all the other non-ZineWriMo things I keep busy with. But in truth, this by no means indicates that I’m halfway done with my zine. After all the pages are laid out, I still have to go over the entire thing and correct the text wherever needed, number the pages and write up the final table of contents. But I am very happy with the way it looks so far, and I am pleased with my achievements so far. I hope to have much more to brag about on the second half of the month. What have you lovely zinesters been busy with?
Day 17 – Work-in-Progress Wednesday I continued my layout today but I didn’t finish the second half. I’m a bit distracted today by a bunch of motherhood-related things, mostly extra-curricular courses I want to sign my daughter up for. I’m trying to work all of these into my schedule which is packed enough as it is and I wonder if I really need all this extra stress in my life. And then I think, of course I do! My daughter spends half of her free time begging me to take her to a course her friends are going to, and then spends the other half pouting when I refuse simply because I’m still scared of Covid. But yesterday, I cracked, and took her to a Zumba class with her friends and she was so excited, I couldn’t stand it. So now, I’m trying to fit into my schedule as many courses as I can, without missing out on too much baking or too much writing or too much sleeping, and it’s driving me nuts. So with all this confusion, it’s no wonder I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped. I strongly doubt I’ll have any time at all for blackout poetry tomorrow as I’m planning a major baking challenge for the weekend and I’ll have to start it tomorrow after work. However, with all this stress, it should be noted I’m having a total blast! So much excitement and so many activities that I enjoy and that my daughter enjoys, with a bunch of new things to experience – new recipes to try, new courses and talents to explore, new zine coming up (distractions notwithstanding) – and the imminent holiday which is always a thrill for all of us – all of that is like coming back to life after two long years of doing jackshit. So worth it!
Day 18 – Blackout Poetry Original prompt: Stream of Consciousness No blackout poetry and no stream of consciousness. I spent the day at the office working on my zine layout. It’s nearing completion and I’m very happy about that. What’s left to do is: * Inner and outer back cover * Numbering the pages * Writing out the table of contents * Going over the whole thing, checking for typos and spelling mistakes I’ll probably do most of these on Sunday, Day 21, where the prompt fits. Playing with my art supplies to design the inner and back cover and finish the table of contents especially. At home, I have a specific time-managed schedule for the cake I’m planning, and as I see it, there isn’t a single minute of free time. Thank the goddess there are no courses today or I would just lose it!
Day 19– Friday Baking: Original prompt: ZineWiki Day (moved to Day 25) This morning was a busy one but I managed to finish all the things I had planned. First, my husband and I went to my daughter’s gan and helped her plant some tulip bulbs in the entrance. It’ll take another two months for them to grow but it was still fun. Then we went to the grocery store and I stocked up on some more baking stuff because next week is my kid’s birth-week and many cakes are in order. Case in point, the one I made today is the first one – the Amsterdam cake! I finally unlocked Pro-Level on Hashef Halavan website and I couldn’t be prouder of myself! This is a chocolate-cheesecake that took me two days to make and it came out delicious. I collected praises from my family left and right.
Day 20 – The Seventh Day at the Seven Wells Original prompt: Blackout poetry (planned for Day 18 but not done) Shabbat in Be’er Sheva was nice and quiet just as it should be and my kid was super happy playing with the new gifts she got for her birthday. I went on reading my Dean Koontz and I’m thinking maybe I should use one of the sections there for a Blackout Poetry zine. Remains to be seen when I have time.
Day 21 – Play with Art Supplies: Today at the office, I played with my markers, stickers and Washi tape while numbering the pages of my zine, finally completing the table of contents, designing the inner-back cover and the contact page on the outer-back cover. It was fun and I think it looks quite nice. I still need to find the right time to go over the whole thing and correct typos but that’s something I can only do at home because I use my typewriter for that. But this upcoming week is my daughter’s birth-week and the baking plans abound. I hope I still manage to find the time to complete my zine, print it, and reveal it to you lovely folks before the end of the month. I hope you’re drooling because this will be one delicious zine!
Peace, love and chocolate smudges and vanilla extract stains on the pages