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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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?

Manson2

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.

Order Rules and Toddler Shreds

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I know this sort of post bores you to bloody tears, but hey, do I give a rat’s ass?

Organizing the house is one of my favorite pastimes. And passing the time it does, pretty much until I lose track of it and get to work late.

This morning, I planned on organizing a couple of garbage bags full of my kid’s winter clothes and giving them back to my sister-in-law. But after getting some kitchen chores out of the way, I found myself with less than an hour to take on that heavy load, so I decided to do some more minor organization tasks… which turned out not to be so minor after all and I got to work late anyway, but yeah.

Somehow, I always manage to have a bunch of papers piling up on what I call our “front desk”. It’s all bank statements and credit card statements and salary slips and a whole bunch of other boring shit that I fail to put away. So I organized that.

But as I was going to the other room to get the folders where I store said boring shit, I came across my DIY bookshelf. This bookshelf was once a product of an order-obsessed chick, with her zines organized by date, traded zines organized thematically, a shelf for her diaries, a shelf for her high school agendas (also organized by date) and sketchbooks, and a shelf for folders of boring shit.

The bookshelf that was once neat and tidy looked like it was hit by a shitstorm, followed by a hurricane with a touch of a flash flood. Though none of it was wet as the allegory would suggest, this bookshelf is now the product of a demolition-obsessed toddler, with shelves filled with torn papers. Luckily, she’s still too short for having inflicted such devastation on my zines and traded zines in the top shelves but, goddamn, what a mess!

To organize my annihilated bookshelf would mean putting torn agendas and diaries back together first before putting them in the right place, and that alone would take me a whole morning. So after a five-minute long longing look at the decimation before me, just begging me to be organized, I reluctantly walked away and back to the pile of boring shit papers.

Once that was done, I decided to organize our dining room table. I don’t know how we always manage to clutter it up, but I was getting sick and tired of having to constantly push a bunch of random stuff to the edge of the table just so we could have dinner.

The things that bothered me most on that table were the electronics – three remotes for our TV and sound system, a wireless keyboard and mouse and a wireless joystick. So I moved these to our electronics drawer, but not before reorganizing the drawer itself which was a whole other shitstorm – a bunch of intertwined cables and wires and chargers and spaghetti running up, down and around cameras, 3-D glasses, batteries, users manuals, a handheld vacuum cleaner and a broken iPod. I blew a hearty 20 minutes fumbling around with all of it and trying to Tetris the wireless keyboard into it, along with the mouse, the joystick and three remotes.

Even though we can now see the actual dining room table and the “front desk”, my mind keeps going back to my DIY bookshelf. I can almost hear its cries of disorder anguish.

I also have the living room bookshelf to look forward to. My growing Stephen King collection isn’t going to organize itself, and space shall be cleared to make way for the King, oh yes it shall.

I’m excited for the imminent return of the order-bug. I wonder how long it will take for my toddler to exterminate it. I bet not long. Not long at all.
Peace, love and happy International Zine Month!

Mother vs. Writer

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I am currently reading Stephen King’s On Writing. I never thought I would read that book because I was pretty sure none of it was going to have any zombies or vampires or aliens or ghosts. The reason I finally decided to read it is because Stephen King is a master storyteller no matter what the theme is. And I was right. So far, I had just read the first part, “C.V.”, and I was transported.

As I finished the part, I started thinking about my own experience with writing. Sometimes I look back at my writing life and it feels like I’m looking at someone else’s life. I filled pages and pages, drowning myself in metaphors and similes and tea-refills. I lost track of time. I forgot to eat, sleep and shower, and sometimes even breathe. I would write an essay, then move on to a journal entry, followed by a blog post, and then an article to the entertainment section of the Jerusalem Post. And I would still be left scratching my fingers down to the bone as the writing adrenaline was rushing, and I burned to write something more.

Looking back at these old writings, I marvel at how brilliant it is. I discovered a girl with endless inspiration and hope for a glorious future in writing.

Now I can make excuses about why it hasn’t happened and say something cheesy like “life got in the way” but the honest truth is that I simply don’t want to. I rather spend time with my daughter. The drive and the elation I felt when I was writing pales in comparison to the constant unyielding ecstatic joy I feel when I’m with my daughter. She makes me happy in a way that nothing else can. Even when she cries, even when she refuses to sleep, even when she flails her little hands at my face when I try to change her diaper – my daughter is the light of my life. Even mundane activities that I sometimes complain about, like endless piles of laundry, can make me happier than any journal entry or personal essay can. When I dress my daughter in her fresh new clothes, and see how beautiful she looks in anything she wears, I thank the Goddess for the piles of laundry and wish for more.

Back when I had a constant flow of words pouring out of me at any given time, I was only a writer. I wasn’t a wife and I wasn’t a mother. I changed as a person. My list of priorities has changed. My identities changed. When I added wife and mother to the list, they went right to the top.  While back in the day, my mind was running wild with more ideas for writing, now it is running wild with more ideas for what children books to buy, what toys to get for my daughter, what new food she might like to eat, what new things I should teach her, what I can do to make her life better and happier. Basically, anything that has to do with being a mother is the only thing I am interested in now.

I might still create something or write something here and there (if this blog is any indication). My daughter is a year and a half. She loves books, she loves to draw, she absolutely adores music and dancing. Teaching her about art and writing is definitely something I want to do. So maybe I can lead by example.

Stephen King says that art is a support-system for life. And this was true for me for most of my life. I can safely say that if it wasn’t for my art, my writing, my music and my zines, I would undoubtedly be a maggot-infested, decomp-ridden corpse, six feet under a cold tombstone right now.

But today, it is my daughter that keeps me going. It is the intense desire to see her grow up and learn new things and discover her own unique passion that keeps me scratching my fingers down to the bone with anticipation. Motherhood is an adventure. Any mother would tell you that. But to me, motherhood is, like my art was in years past, a support-system for life.

Peace, love and all writers begin with ABC.

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.