Decompose It!

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Diary 1The other day I suddenly got inspired to resume journal writing. I’ve been keeping diaries all my life (see this post) but as it is with zine-production, it’s kind of hard to find time to write when you’re a full-time mom. I tried keeping a pregnancy journal, and I have, but all the entries were actually saved as unpublished posts on this blog. At that time, I didn’t really feel like writing by hand. I don’t know why.

But anyway, the diary I’m writing in now is one that my friend from Salem bought for me when I was there for the Boston Zine Fest. It’s a rather large one, with the front and back covers decorated with black-and-white drawings of guitars, microphones, amps, keyboards, and drums. On the front cover, it says “Decomposition Book – 100% post-consumer-waste recycled pages – Printed with Soy Ink”. Whether any of that is true or not is irrelevant. But I LOVE the “decomposition” part. Really jives with the death metalhead within.

I added the title “Fertile Myrtle” with the H logo when I tried to keep it as a pregnancyDiary 2 journal. Some of the first entries were in fact written when I was going through the IVF treatments and when I found out I was pregnant. Then a few entries when I tried to get back to journal writing again and failed. Again.

So the other day, when I got inspired, I wrote yet another entry about trying to get back to keeping a diary, and I really hope it’ll work this time. Keeping with the inspiration, I added a few stickers that I received from zinesters and penpals I traded with. Cool stickers and decorations really do encourage me to keep writing. So far, I only wrote two entries and they’re short. But I had a great time writing them.

I should really practice my handwriting. I’ve been typing shit for too long, and all of it was on the computer. I mean, if I were typing on my manual typewriter (which requires quite a bit of finger strength and may cause broken nails, bruises, and blisters) I wouldn’t be so hard on myself for not doing much writing by hand. But as it stands, the only time I write by hand is when I write letters to penpals (awesome) and notes for clients (meh).

It might be because of my condition that I get kinda lazy and opt for blogging. But fuck it. I’m done making excuses. Myotonic Dystrophy be damned. I love writing by hand. Diaries and letter-writing shall prevail!

Peace, love and wouldn’t it be so cool if my typewriter could accommodate diaries?

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Longhandy Work (and Unveiling Split Zine!)

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I’ve decided. Although I really like this blog and I use it to vent or brag or rant or whatever you want on it quite a lot and love it, I’ve realized that my inner child wishes for something a bit more concrete.

I haven’t written in a journal for a while. I usually carry it around with me everywhere I go, and sometimes I use it to jot notes or whatever, but not very often. And whenever I want to write something substantial, I always opt for the blog, because anyway, after years of doing nothing but typing (on computer and/or typewriter), my handwriting started going downhill.

But now, I feel like journaling again. I miss the blue or black ink stain on the side of my hand. You know, that smudge you get after writing a lot? There’s something special about it.

I have two journals I got as birthday gifts a while back. One has a funky green/turquoise pattern on the cover, with some gold and black decorations, and another one has predominantly pink and magenta patterns and decorations, and has a black strap that snaps it shut with a magnet. Both are really awesome. So now that I feel the need to use a journal once again, I’ll get a chance to fill them with words to the rim. Also, I still haven’t finished the journal I had before – a regular red one with spirally binding. After I fill all these up, I wanna get a similar one, only in turquoise and decorate it with some of my washi tapes!

That’s not to say that I will never write on my blog again. I’ll simply write less often. And I will still keep you “posted” about new zine projects and art stuff and music and whatever else I think is worth mentioning to a wider audience.

Starting with: My split zine! Which is finally all printed and folded and stapled and being its awesome kickass little self. So you can now buy it on my Etsy shop along with all other issues of Purple Myrtle Squeegy. Or trade it if you prefer.

Here are some excerpts:

PMS cover 1

PMS 7 cover 2PMS 7-3PMS 7-4

PMS collection

Peace, love and ink smudges ho!

DIY Month – Day 15: Journal Entry

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Every form of writing for me is a form of art. One of my goals with this DIY Month is to explore these various forms of writing: Zine writing, poetry, fiction writing, letter writing, songwriting, novel writing, and constant blog writing. Soon, I will also be writing a text for spoken word. And last night, I also wrote a journal entry.

I’ve been keeping a diary ever since I could write. I still have a tiny pocket-size notebook I used as a diary when I was six. The writing is crooked and riddled with spelling mistakes, as a six-year-old kid’s writing ought to be. And I have several other diaries I kept in later years (I wrote an extensive blog on my diaries a while ago. Click here to read it if you’re interested).

Here is the journal entry I wrote last night:

December 15, 2012

It’s Saturday night. I’m tired. I haven’t slept much this weekend. I spent most of my day today recording that song I wrote. I’m not sure how I feel about it. All I know is that I feel accomplished. I always get a sense of accomplishment when I make something of myself. There’s something magical with the act of creation. No matter how mediocre the creation is (or how mediocre you think it is), the sense of accomplishment is always the same.
I really love this DIY month idea. What’s great about the activities I listed is that I can make them as easy or as complex as I want. It can take a little or as long time as I want. So it doesn’t matter if I have time to do these activities or not, I can always make time.
So basically, so far this month, I noticed that thanks to these activities, my days are filled to the rim, and the sense of accomplishment is grand!
I think that by the end of this month, I would have made or created more works of art than I have for the past three or four years.
I’m really excited for the end result. Maybe I’ll put all the stuff I made together, lay it out on the table and take a picture of it all. I think it would look super and I could see for myself just how much one person can do in a single month.
I also have International Zine Month to look forward to in July. That would also be a major challenge for me, but that only makes me more excited for it. And also another shot at a 24-hour zine.
Dude, can’t wait!

Journal Entry

Peace, love and fucking art night tonight! BRING IT ON!!!

Alive and Writing

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I have a huge collection of diaries from my early childhood until today. I started keeping a diary ever since I learned how to write. I have the old ones filled up in Hebrew with the wobbly script of a six-year-old, with stories about how I built a farm for my animals with my Lego or how I fell asleep on my bed with my cat.

The later ones I bought in Canada start out in Hebrew and slowly turn into French. The script is a bit more stable and neat. The stories are mostly about school, things that my best friend and I used to do, funny things that happened in class, mostly related to what we called “family life”  – a sex ed class. You know how pre-teens are, saying the word “sex” is like the funniest thing in the world. Then I slowly started writing in a somewhat broken form of English. I spent pages and pages writing about Michael Jackson, and how my obsession was consuming me, and about how hot he is.

Later, that obsession turned to Marilyn Manson, and my diaries got dark and morbid. My script was far from neat. There were times where I stopped writing for months or years at a time. I was 16 at the time and was going through some particularly traumatizing experiences I didn’t wish to detail (and still don’t). I boycotted reality because it was too hard for me to cope with, and boycotted my diary because I couldn’t put any of my feelings into words. Speech, written word, dialect, it all became surreal, unreal, powerless and meaningless. “Words are meaningless,” I kept saying. I tried other forms of writing and art to try to make sense of what I was going through. I wrote utterly depressing poetry and made scary pencil-drawings, which I all kept in a folder I have to this day. That was my diary. When I was in therapy a couple of years ago, I brought this folder to show my therapist. She said if she had been my therapist when I was 16, she would have strongly recommended institutionalization. Let’s just say I’m glad to have survived it by myself.

When I started CEGEP, I slowly began recoving. Though still unable to write, I tried my expression through a 35 mm lens. Photography was a great medium. “A picture is worth a thousand words” definitely worked for me. That was until I went to university and fell in love with journalism school. Writing an article about an interesting topic, yet still trying to keep it objective, was best for my purposes. I guess I was still not completely ready to resume using the first person, but I still managed to get a message across with all the articles I wrote during that time. My beat was the gay village, and I loved interviewing different artists, activists, and drag queens, and writing colorful articles about it. My parents, being rather homophobic, certainly did not approve of me hanging around queer bars and attending pride events, but as this was part of my education, they really had no say in it, and that was my form of quiet rebellion. I felt elated and ready to start writing again.

At 20 years old, I bought a diary of Emily the Strange and wrote mostly about losing my virginity and rather graphic descriptions of nights with my boyfriend at the time. I then retreated back to morbidity after he broke up with me. I quit writing again for a while until December 2004 when I started this blog. Blogging was a great means of escape. I could write anything I wanted to, and everyone could read and understand it but my mom. My dad came across my blog a couple of times, but I didn’t care much. But it was mostly complete strangers who read it, and I didn’t care either because they don’t know me and can’t really judge me, or because some of them had the same experiences as me and knew where I was coming from. 

When I moved to Israel, I continued writing my blog, with occasional interludes. I think the reason being, as I wrote in one of the blogs, that instead of writing about my life, I decided to go out and actually live it.

When I started going to therapy, I found myself reading all my diaries from start to finish, and told my therapist how wonderful it was to see how organized and how together I was. I decided to start writing another diary and hopefully reclaim some sort of organized frame of mind, so that later, I may actually be able to see how far I’ve come, how I’ve changed, evolved and empowered myself.

So in summer of 2009, I started writing a diary again, sometimes in conjunction with my blog, sometimes not. It was a magenta notebook I bought from Moked and decorated it with star stickers on the outer cover, and a picture of Michael Jackson (who I went back to after all these years), Angela Gossow (my role model) and Kurt Cobain (my guitar hero and DIY punk rock inspiration) on the inner covers. The script was still atrocious, the grammar and spelling was mediocre, but the style and attitude was amazing.

This past Sunday, I spent my entire evening reading it. Indeed, the diary served its purpose. It did show me how far I’ve come, how therapy has helped me in ways nobody or nothing can. I was amazed at how articulate and eloquent I became. My writing itself became more analytical. I didn’t simply say what I did today. I said what I did, how I felt, and what it was that made me feel that way.

Topics of discussion included detailed accounts of arguments with another one of my exes, and how he is so full of himself and how his head is so far up his own ass that he can’t accept that some people have opinions that differ from his. If they had different opinions, he automatically labeled them as ignorant, stupid, hypocrite or liars. He did the same to me several times.

I also wrote a lot about my job – the same one I had for a year, then quit, then went back to due to dire lack of funds and a sizable overdraft, then quit again just over eight months ago. I hated it back then as I always did. I even said I started bingeing on horror movies just to prove to myself that it could always be worse. I may get verbally and emotionally abused at my job, but I could always be tormented by a demon who wants to drag me to hell. Or have hooks stuck into my flesh, tearing my body to shreds and leaving me as a bloody pile of decapitated meat on the floor.

As I read this on Sunday, I thought “God, this job was so bad that the only thing worse than that are things that happen in horror movies!”

After I finished this diary, I started another one right after. I kept writing and although I still believed that “words are meaningless,” they are the only way I know I am still alive. I wrote diaries, blogs, zines, my book, and am still doing it today.

I think it’s safe to say that I have a long way to go before I reach the end of words.

Peace, love and writing about writing about writing…