Bound to Books

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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!

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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!

All I Leave Behind

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I had great plans for the Passover holiday. One of them was rereading all my old diaries to find entries that I could include in a new split-zine I will be writing with my friend. This was an activity that I underestimated in terms of just how long it will take me to read all my diaries, which was basically the entire week. So all my other plans fell through, and I just kept on reading, marking pages, highlighting, noting stuff down…

I also underestimated the emotional effect that rereading all this shit would cause. All the corpses that would resurface. It was a rollercoaster of emotions – some parts made me laugh, some inspired me to no end, some parts even turned me on. But some parts were also shocking and terrifying, confusing and utterly heartbreaking, mainly because I couldn’t believe that this was once me. That I would express myself this way, and that this was how I thought I felt and how, in some instances, I completely misled myself. In 2003, I spent half a diary talking about my boyfriend of the time in excruciatingly graphic detail. Not one page would go by without my mentioning how much I love him and all that shit. After a hiatus of at least a year an a half (about a year after he broke up with me), I wrote an angry entry, in big capital letters:

“[name] is a motherfucking shitty asshole! The only good thing he ever did was reveal his true colors when he broke up with me.” Then I went on to say how guys are only good for one thing and that’s fucking. Then I wrote a note to myself to read this entry a couple million times before ever allowing myself to fall into the abysmal hell also known as love.

Although I knew this before, it was only after I read this entire diary that I realized how true this was – I was never in love with this guy. I was obsessed with him. None of it was true, none of it was real. I was misled into thinking I was in love. I was blind to that until I went through therapy and learned to love without killing myself and without focusing my world around “him”. It was only when I met my husband when I learned what true love feels like. And I wrote about that too in my later diaries, when I first met Elad and felt true love for the first time: “I still feel like I come first. Like my inner child comes first, but I love the shit out of this guy – how is that possible?”

I told my husband about the journal entries I wrote when we first met. It turned both of us on. When I put all these experiences in perspective, I suddenly became more attracted to him, even more than before.

Later on I also wrote about the horrible job I had for two years and how I was struggling to keep myself sane by keeping a steady social life, hanging out with my boyfriend, and writing endlessly, even if it kept me up well past my bedtime and I woke up the next day feeling like a zombie. I was amazed at how strong I was and how I pushed myself to write even if I was beyond tired (or as I put it: “somewhere between excruciatingly exhausted and comatose”), and how I managed to overcome my fatigue with the help of my art.

As I read these entries, I felt overcome with a sense of inspiration like I haven’t felt in a long time.

I want to resume my journal writing and I think I’ll start this week. I’ve just been bogged down with zine plans and zine writing (which is no less awesome, I must say!), plus I have a contribution to write to this riot grrrl anthology, plus I have some letters to write, packages to pack, and shit to mail out, plus I have to start this split-zine as well… basically all the stuff I had planned for this past week and managed to do nothing.

AND, I just got word that I’m about to receive a new stack of Stephen King books… oh boy. You’re just gonna drown me in your prose again, Steve, aren’t you? And keep me from getting any decent writing done, isn’t that right? Why must you always be so fucking awesome?

The inspiration to read Stephen King somehow always demolishes my inspiration for creativity. Always. Without fail.

I feel so happy and so sad at the same time. *sigh*

Peace, love and Deicide show in Las Vegas. Can you dig it?

Restocking on King

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King MercedesThis post is inspired by Catherine Elms‘ post on the same subject.

My birthday is coming up on the eve of Succot (my Jewish birthday is always the most accurate one). My family knows me as a Stephen King book addict (see this post and this post, and like a bunch of other ones) and on every birthday they buy me a gift certificate to Steimatzky to help me along my latest book binge.

However, I’ve come to realize that Steimatzky rarely has any Stephen King books that I don’t have. I think this is because I have 38 of his novels (and collections of novellas), and it’s hard for me to find a book of his that I don’t yet own. In fact, the only time I found SK books in Steimatzky that I don’t own is when I had none.

So it’s for that reason, I decided to score books online and made a wishlist of these books, which will complete my Stephen King novel collection short of only four books (Dreamcatcher, Cujo, Insomnia and Eyes of the Dragon). King’s nonfiction, comic books, screenplays, short stories not included in any collection, and anything else the dude’s published will have to wait until later. The novels are what’s really interesting me now.

If anyone reading this is interested in buying me one of the books from this wishlist, here are some pointers:

1) The book must be in English: I can read French and Hebrew just fine, but too much is lost in translation and makes me a sad panda.

2) The book must be brand new: I made the mistake of ordering used books in the past. Never again. And if it’s a gift, new is best.

3) Paperback over hardcover: I find paperback books easier to handle and easier to read. Hardcover ones are too heavy, especially if I’m taking them with me on a trip (and also shipping costs increase significantly). But it’s not a must. If no paperbacks are available, I’ll gladly take hardcover.

Here is the list of my coveted books in no particular order:

11/22/63
The Colorado Kid
From a Buick 8
The Regulators (as Richard Bachman)
Blaze (as Richard Bachman)
The Bachman Books
Cycle of the Werewolf
Nightmares and Dreamscapes
Skeleton Crew
Everything’s Eventual
The Tommyknockers
Mr. Mercedes
Gerald’s Game
Firestarter
The Dead Zone
Revival (pre-order, to be released in November)

I have a dream that one day I’ll have the complete King collection (until he publishes yet another one) and then I could take a picture of me with towers of his books all around me, wearing my PJ shirt that reads “Keep Calm, all things serve the beam.”

Ah, that’ll be a grand day!

Peace, love and oh, the picture must also include the King tattoo I plan on getting based on the Dark Tower!

Horrorland

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Making a split zine was great. It actually went faster than I expected. All I have left to do is complete the cover, scribble a short table of contents and add credits. Pictures will be posted here once it’s all done and printed.

For now, I can’t deny the Stephen King DT’s that are creeping up on me since I finished the second reading of Under the Dome. My withdrawal symptoms include short breaths, fidgeting hands, lack of concentration, lack of interest in anything else, fantasies about my next fix, all these things that amount up to a pounding headache due to unbelievable boredom, which eventually leads to a fucking useless blog post like the one you’re reading.

Since the Under the Dome TV series credit Stephen King as nothing more than a formality, I decided to start a second reading of Bag of Bones to treat these symptoms, at least to some degree, until I get a fresh stash of books. It’s like the difference between scraping cloned indica off a leftover roach, and scoring 2.5 gs of sticky White Widow in Amsterdam. It can hold me for a limited time, but soon enough, I’ll have to get some fresh King books that I never read before. I need this detachment from reality.

So until I do, I’ll keep on fantasizing about my next dose and compile a list of my coveted drug:

Different Seasons
– Dolores Clairborne
– Gerald’s Game
– Hearts in Atlantis
– Pet Sematary
– The Tommyknockers
– Needful Things
– The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon
– Everything’s Eventual
– Joyland
– Doctor Sleep
– Wind Through the Keyhole

Peace. love and in the sun I feel as one, in the zone I feel alone.

IZM – Day 17: Review a Zine

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Today’s activity came at a perfect time. I just checked my mail this afternoon and found the zines I ordered from Bottles on the Sill Distro earlier this month. I ordered a zine called Orange & Blue by Isabelle Bourret from Quebec, and got a complementary zine Katzilla which is apparently a zine from Germany about the Israeli punk scene. I’m somewhat reluctant to reading the latter due to the fact that I know the Israeli punk rock scene and am completely put off by the swamp of anti-Zionism that comes with it. Just skimming through the zine and coming across some of the extremely anti-Israeli names these so-called bands give themselves made me upset and made me want to read it even less…

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Moving on! I just finished reading Orange & Blue, the Intro Issue. I ordered this zine primarily because it’s from Quebec, where I spent 15 years of my life. Reading any zine that comes from this province always makes me feel nostalgic and always makes me smile. Amber’s zines (Culture Slut) are especially powerful on that aspect because she’s based in Montreal, which was the city where I lived. She mentions things and places that I knew or have been to so many times throughout my high school, CEGEP and university years, and I can’t help but giggle with glee.

Isabelle, however, lives in a part of Quebec I’ve never been to. In fact, I don’t recall being anywhere else aside from Montreal, when I lived in Quebec. I think I was in Laval once, but that’s it.

In any case, she still mentions things that I remember from my years in Quebec. In one of the articles, she talks about French and French Canadian. She mentions words, mainly curse words, I haven’t heard in ages, and it made me laugh hysterically as I could just hear these words in my head the exact way they’re pronounced.

The Intro Issue of the zine is exactly what it is, and I don’t think I could have come across a better intro issue for a zine if I tried. She introduces herself and the little town she comes from, describes Quebec City and the ancient style architecture of the city. She talks about the important things in her life, her love for the colors orange and blue, her cat, her diaries, train rides and more. There are also some additions and updates she made to the zine since it was written earlier on. I love how she added those updates. It’s an aspect I don’t find in almost no other zine.

I especially loved the first few pages where she talks about how she feels alone with her zine as she has yet to find other French-language perzines from Quebec (Orange & Blue is originally a French-language zine), and has not managed to do so. I strongly identify with that feeling, maybe even on a larger scale because I don’t know of any zines (perzines or others) or zinesters from Jerusalem. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if you Google “zines” and “Jerusalem,” my zines will most likely be the only ones to come up. I even tried to look for Hebrew zines from Jerusalem, and found none. I mean there is Af magazine, but it can’t exactly be called a zine because it’s more of a magazine with sponsors and some other capitalist bullshit that has no space in independently produced publications. There are tons of other zines in Israel but all of them are based in Tel Aviv or wherever else. So yes, I do feel alone in my Jerusalem zine scene (or lack thereof).

Another thing I liked about Orange & Blue are the illustrations. The drawings are impeccable, and fit the subject matter of the respective article perfectly.

I loved learning about Isabelle’s charming little town of Levis, how she has a view of the St-Lawrence River from her apartment window, her 10-minute ferry-boat rides whenever she needs to go to Quebec City, which is practically every day.

I laughed again when she was talking about how some Americans have no idea what Quebec is, and how they think that Toronto is the capital city of Canada. She expressed exactly what I feel when people from outside of Israel think that Tel Aviv is the capital city of Israel. For those of you still ignorant on that matter, Jerusalem is the capital, dudes! Get it right next time!

The only thing that kinda bothered me about this zine, and I don’t know if it’s Isabelle’s doing or if the distro I got it from reprinted it this way, is that the order of the pages seems to be completely off. I’m pretty sure it was not intended, and it’s no doubt a mistake on the printer’s part, but reading the second half of an article on one page and finding the first half of it a few pages later kind of takes away from the pleasure of reading it.

Again, I’m not saying this was intentional, as I strongly doubt it, and it’s still a great read despite that glitch. And just in case Isabelle reads this, I hope she doesn’t take that to offense. I’m sure it was not her fault.

I highly recommend this zine to anyone who loves perzines.

I don’t know if Isabelle still produces this zine, or any other one she may have today (the edition of the intro zine I have is from 2004), but I will definitely try to get in touch with her. Maybe we could trade zines or perhaps share laments of our respective lacks of local zine scenes. It might make us feel less alone.

Peace, love and I love finding new zines that I enjoy reading!

IZM – Day 8: Make a Zine Flyer

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Last night was AWESOME! Making a flyer to advertise my zine felt just like laying out a page of a zine.

Before I actually got started, I was gobbling down chapter after chapter of Under the Dome. Stephen King tends to have that effect on me. But I forced myself to tear myself away from the book which seemed to have fused with my hands, and get the IZM activity done. And once I got started, I realized just how much I missed that feeling: the sticky fingers, the layers of paper and construction paper, the accidental ink smudges on my fingers, the twisting and turning of the scissors along the outlines of the letters, and the final coming together of all the elements creating something that is totally DIY requiring absolutely no use of computer whatsoever.

I seriously can’t wait for the 24-Hour Zine Thing coming up this Thursday!! I’ll be avoiding computer use and making something that looks just like this, except that it’ll be at least 24 pages longer and it will be for 24 consecutive hours! How exciting!

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As an aside, I decided to make Twigz a regular part of Purple Myrtle Squeegy. It’s a comics segment I created. She was featured first in last year’s 24-Hour issue of the zine as an introductory thing. I used Twigz again in the Af magazing I made. So I think I should add another segment in the next issue of PMS Perzine.

Peace, love and happy snail mail week.