Zinesters Shall Zine

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Zine-production, oh how I missed thee!!!!!!

The tap-tapping sounds of the typewriter, the smell of the glue, the stripes of cut paper falling all around, the sticky fingers, the zine coming together with total punk rock DIY perfection… Motherfucking A! What a feeling!

Today was Writing Thursday, but instead of sitting down to continue my random musings on my husband’s laptop, I decided to take advantage of my free morning to start my IZM 2018 zine layout.

There were a few things standing in my way and I tried to get them out of there as fast as I could.

  1. Dinner: I’m planning Ravioli for tonight and as such, I need to make the sauce for it. I use fresh mushrooms that need to be peeled and chopped. And since that shit takes me forever, I couldn’t leave it for tonight because then we would sit to eat super late, by which time both my husband and I are starving and my daughter is super hangry and super tired. So taking care of the fucking mushrooms struck a whole fucking half hour from my morning.
  2. Lunch: I had nothing already made so I needed to make me a sandwich for this afternoon. Strike another 30 minutes.
  3. Dishes: Cooking breeds a mountain of dishes. And if I were to leave these for tonight, the mountain would only get higher. Stike another 15 minutes.
  4. Sleep: Since I already knew this list of things would need to be done before I can get on with my writing Thursday, I also knew I’d have to wake up early to get it done. But alas, the call of the pillow was far too powerful and I slept in until the ungodly hour of 8:20 when I had to see my daughter off to gan and have breakfast.

After doing all this shit and setting up my workspace, I only sat down by my typewriter at 10:20. I pulled my beautiful machine, my pretty shiny red Rosie, aka Rose Madder, out of her box, slipped in an A6 size paper, set the margin and started making a whole bunch of noise.

As I was working, I was delirious with joy, laughing occasionally, flashing back to a time in my life where I had all the time in the world to make a whole bunch of paper art magic. And here I was now, back with my typewriter, my scissors, my glue stick, my papers, my backgrounds, all neatly set up.

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I was still madly typing away, with the tips of my fingers slowly developing bruises, when the clock struck 11.

With angry Amon Amarth playing in the background and the DIY rush flowing through my veins, I stood up fast, nearly toppling my chair, pointed at the clock and screamed:

“FUCK YOU, CLOCK!! FUCK YOU!”

I had no more than 30 minutes left to revel in zine production before I had to start getting ready to go to work.

Of course, I lost track of time and of course, I missed my bus. But nothing could destroy my mood this morning. I can’t wait for my next free morning (which I’m planning for Sunday) for my fingers to get bruised up some more!

Peace, love and zinester at heart!

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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.

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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Overthrow the Laundry Basket

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OTTSQ

I really miss being crafty. I miss writing and making zines. I miss drawing and making collages. I miss trying out new crafts I’ve never tried before. But mostly, zine-production is my most missed activity. Especially after reading my friend’s zine about zines, Overthrow the Status Quo (which everyone should get, and I would link this to her Etsy page if the issue was being sold there, but it’s not. Here’s the link to ZinesByNyxia anyway because all her zines are awesome).

Good zines inspire me to create zines. Great zines inspire me to go crazy with more inspiration and create more zines. And zines that tell me that I should put off mopping the floor and make a zine instead make me feel silly for doing house chores when the time could be better spent with zine production.

I have free mornings on days when I work the afternoon shift, and I have a couple of free hours in the afternoon on days when I work morning. But then, I have my laundry to wash, dry, fold and store. And then I have dishes. And then I have my daughter’s laundry to wash, dry, fold and store. And then I have more dishes. And if I have any leftover time, I try to sleep (and fail), and then it’s time to go to work or go pick up my daughter, depending on my shift, and any hope for zine production dies.

This is why I write blogs. Because seriously, if I didn’t have that, I would go mad. Writing is important to me. Whether my writing is being read or not is completely irrelevant. Writing is the end in and of itself. But at the same time, deep down, I feel that these blog posts are a temporary treatment until I find time for the ultimate cure (i.e. zines).

So that’s why I miss it. And that’s why it’s not just mopping the floor that needs to be put off but everything else. And my house would need to be a mess, I would need to run out of dishes and my daughter would need to run out of clothes, and then maybe I would actually be able to get cracking on paper cuts and sticky fingers.

Peace, love and thank the goddess that at least my husband does his own laundry and sometimes does the dishes too.

 

 

 

Ecstazine in Messy Mass

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October started with my birthday and a trip to Massachusetts for my very first zine fest!

I just came back a couple of days ago and while I’m still struggling with jet lag, I thought I’ll write an entry about this awesome experience.

First, the flight there was much better than expected. My friend and her husband waited for me at the airport and it was so awesome to finally meet them in person! So you see, not everyone you meet online are total scammers and trolls and criminals. Every once in a while, you fall on someone who really is a kickass zinester.DSC03394

I spent my nine-day vacation at her place with her crazy dog and her big fuzzy cat, mostly making art, buttons and patches and getting ready for the zine fest.

We also toured Salem a bit, checking out some of the Haunted Happenings that Salem is known for around the month of October.

We went to check out Hawthorne’s House of Seven Gables. We checked out the Salem Witch Museum. We also went to this enormous art shop where we bought some things for the zine fest. That store was so big and so cool, I almost got lost there.

We also went to see a movie/documentary about the Salem witch hunt of 1692. That movie turned out to be a flop, which is odd, because I think it takes real talent to make a BORING movie about witches. Seriously.

The highlight of the Haunted Happenings was undoubtedly the Texas Chainsaw Musical. Yes, you read it right, Musical! My friend managed to score tickets in the front row known as the “splatter zone”. So the musical, which was funny as hell, and far more entertaining than that movie mentioned above, also left us with a bit of bloody stains here and there. We were wearing plastic ponchos, but this didn’t help people who were in the center of the front row because they really got drenched. If you’re currently around Lynn, this show is running until October 31, so you should totally score tickets to that! Highly recommended!

DSC03391Another Salem highlight was getting my new tattoo, based on Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, which I have been planning for about two or three years. My friend’s husband works at Salem Ink and he tortured me for two consecutive days, for five hours every day, and I came out of there in pain but still a happy camper because I now have a totally kickass half sleeve on my right arm. I don’t have a photo of it yet because it’s still peeling and I want to shoot it only once it’s completely healed. But trust me, it’s gorgeous, worth every penny out of the $1000 it cost!

The Boston Zine Fest took place on the last two days of my trip. The first day consisted of a marble-paper-making workshop, a panel about zines as a means of resistance, and a zine-reading. The day started out ok, but slowly, I started feeling a headache coming on, followed by what felt like fever. I had been on a sneezing-and-runny-nose fit for the previous couple of days, but I didn’t think it was anything more than allergies. Turned out I was wrong, and ended up suffering for what felt like an eternity on the first day of the fest. And I was totally bummed out because I was really looking forward to it.

Before heading back to Salem, I bought a pack of cold and flu medication so I could at least have it with me on the second day when I would be tabling and needed to keep somewhat of a healthy demeanor.

The second day was a blast! It was so refreshing to be in a place with a bunch of people who love the same things you do and create the same things you create and who don’t look at you with a questioning expression every time you say the word “zine”.

12095300_855130887916017_9189003167126566748_oThe zine fest was also pretty elaborate. Aside from the tabling, there was also a screen printing workshop. I got to print the BZF logo on a canvas tote bag and on one of my new tank tops. There was also a photobooth set up for zinesters to take pictures. I sold more stuff than I expected, and traded a shitload more. I now have a huge stack of zines to read and be inspired by all over again.

I will definitely write a zine about this experience which was by far the best zine-related experience I ever had!

I really hope that at some point, the zine scene in Israel will take shape and sizable proportions and perhaps, there will be an awesome zine fest in Israel too! That will so rule.

For now, as hazardous as Jerusalem is these days, I am so happy to be back home. I missed my husband, my dog, my family, my daily routine… And the entire time I was in Salem, I was itching to play guitar, but didn’t have one. So I also missed Melissa, my new Fender Strat, which I love to little pieces!

Peace, love and more shredding coming up!

Zine Gems

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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

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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!