Kiss My Art!


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



Decompose It!


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?

Overthrow the Laundry Basket



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.




IZM 2017 Recap


This year’s International Zine Month almost didn’t happen. For the better part of the month, I was changing diapers and missing out on sleep while lamenting my lack of time to do any decent zine production. For the rest of the month, I was changing diapers and missing out on sleep, while trying my best to engage in zine-related activities and missing out on even more sleep.

Obviously, as I mentioned in a previous post, I couldn’t do all the activities listed for IZM, and unfortunately, I was also unable to do the 24-Hour Zine Thing. So instead I made a short list of activities I could probably do. Here’s what I managed to do with this year’s IZM:

Cover - pic

Create a profile on the new We Make Zines website:
To be perfectly honest, I don’t like the new website. It doesn’t have as many options to edit the profile as the Ning one did. But I still created what minimal profile was allowed on the website, joined a few groups and added a few friends.

Read some of my unread zines that I got in trades:
I had a pile of them on my desk for further reading. Some of them were pretty good. But there were some that put me to sleep and gave me a headache. I struggled to keep reading them hoping that I might actually find something of interest in them, but I couldn’t do it. At some point, I just told myself, fuck it. If the zine doesn’t draw me in, I’ll just drop it and find something better to do with my time. I’m trying to find some place/zine library/people to send these zines to. I don’t generally like to throw zines away.

Send a few more zines to Quimby’s Bookstore:
They actually manage to sell some of my zines! And I recently asked my friend from Boston to send back to me all the leftover zines I sent there for the zine fest of 2015. So now that I had a bunch of extra copies, I decided to send some of them to Quimby’s. They were happy to restock them.

Revamp my Etsy shop:
There were a few edits I had to make for the items I posted, and add a new item (the full postcard collection of Alternative Jerusalem). I also edited some of the prices, amount of items in stock, and categories.

Set up an inventory system for all my zines:
I spent a whole day counting the copies of all my zines and postcards. I wrote it all by hand in a notebook but that proved to be a mistake whenever I reprinted an issue or sold some and the numbers had to be changed. So I took my notebook to work and set up a chart on Excel.

Send trading requests and trade:
I once traded with Katherine Montalto. She sent me some pretty cool zines plus a few small drawings she made. I loved her drawings so much that I decided to frame them and hang them in my daughter’s bedroom. I contacted her again this year and we agreed to trade again. I can’t wait to see what she sends me this time! I also contacted Xyendra Fragola and just recently sent them a couple of my zines. Xyendra and I have been in touch since 2004 through the defunct MSN Spaces (before it was taken over by Windows Live before it was taken over again by WordPress. This blog started off as an MSN Space). I followed Xyendra’s progress with IZM activities on Facebook and I’m excited to see what they’ll send me!

Make an attempt to write a full-length zine:
I actually got all the written part down for this zine. Unfortunately, I wrote it all on computer instead of by hand or typewriter as this would have taken me way too fucking long. Also, the subject matter of the zine is of a sensitive nature so it will not be published here or posted for sale on Etsy. I will share it with a few select people (you know who you are) once it’s laid out.

Design a catalog for my Etsy shop:
It took me much longer than I expected but I got it done! I’m very pleased with it. I will send it out along with zines sold or traded.

Twigz 3What I planned to do but didn’t manage was: Make a mini-zine, respond to penpal letters, and make a new logo/flyer for my Etsy shop. On the very last days of the month, I even came up with an idea for a stencil for a new patch. I drew the image with a sharpie, hoping to make it as thick as possible. My husband printed it on a transparency, and today I attempted to transfer it onto the exposure sheet. But it didn’t work. It could be that the artwork wasn’t dark enough or maybe the exposure sheet was too old. I ordered it sometime around summer of 2015. Just like camera film tends to expire, maybe the exposure sheet does too. So when I noticed it didn’t work, I made the drawing a little darker and thicker and ordered a refill of exposure sheets. I hope to be able to do the rest of the activities as well as try the stencils again during August or something.

Lack of sleep notwithstanding, I had a good time on IZM anyway. I loved having the chance to deal with zines, talk about zines, read zines, being somewhat artsy after a longass time of being completely out of the scene.

Peace, love and hoping for more extensive and intensive IZMs in future years.

Welcome to Maternity


The reason I’ve been absent from my blog for so long and the reason I was rather cryptic in one of my previous posts was that I was pregnant. That’s right! I now have a mini badass I call my daughter. I wrote a whole bunch of blogs I saved as drafts on my experience as a pregnant lady. These drats are now saved as journal entries in a digital diary I recently started keeping. They won’t be posted here.

I will say this though. Being pregnant and giving birth (I had a natural birth with no epidural) was the most empowering, most intense and most divine experience I’ve ever had. I feel so blessed that the goddess saw it fit to give me this body, this ability to create life and of course to bless me with this beautiful child. This child is a living breathing miracle and proof positive that the goddess does exist if I ever needed proof in the first place.

And besides that, if you thought I was a feminist before, holy fuck, you don’t know half of it now!

One of the drafts I wrote was a list of reasons why being pregnant totally rules. So here it is.

1. You get to be a total bitch to everyone and no one can call you on it.

2. You get to eat everything in sight, put on weight, and have your doctor tell you that’s a good thing.

3. You get to belittle everybody’s stupid little health issues by saying “Well, I’m pregnant, so shut the fuck up”.

4. You get to order people around and you know they’ll do whatever you tell them because whatever excuse they use to try and not do it, you can say “Well, I’m pregnant. So suck it up”.

5. You don’t get your period! You don’t need to go to the mikveh, and you can still fuck your partner any time you want.

6. You get to shop for maternity clothes.

7. You get big hooters!

8. You get to tell people that you’re God because you make people.

9. (If you’re like me and you hate alcohol) people will finally stop pushing drinks on you.

10. (If you’re like me and you hate cigarettes) people will stay away from you when they smoke, or avoid smoking altogether.

11. You get kicked on a regular basis and enjoy the hell out of it.

I am pretty busy these days with taking care of my kid but I really miss writing. So I’ll try to write posts more often. Just today I was thinking how awesome it is that I managed to accomplish so much. I did the dishes, had breakfast, did the dishes again, baked a cake, did another load of dishes, had lunch, dishes yet again, and folded a load of laundry. And still have time to write this post. I must say I have a pretty awesome kid. I mean seriously, this past Shabbat, we slept for 11 hours! Usually, parents never get that much sleep.

Peace, love and Ima Badass

Rock On 2016!


In a few of my past end-of-the-year posts, I wrote about the utter nonchalance or outright hate I have for the Gregorian new year’s and respective celebrations. This year I am also planning on not celebrating per say because in Israel, you just don’t feel it too much, except when you write a check or an invoice and need to date it correctly.

But as opposed to previous years, I plan on actually enjoying December 31-January 1st. After the dark, deep and cold abyss I fell into during the past month (for reasons I will not detail) I deserve a good start to the new year.

So for the occasion, I’ll start by working on a new issue of my zine, and write a bunch of longass letters to my penpals. Then, I’ll have a New Year’s breakfast with my good friend, Rachel, who is planning on making waffles (hell yes!).

After that, I have a whole list of awesome plans scheduled for January. I laid out an extensive and well-detailed itinerary and plans to follow through.

The schedule includes: sleeping in, writing letters, working on a zine, playing guitar, reading, baking muffins, go to the mikveh, go to the post office, go to metal night, doing Tai Chi, and the usual yet exciting daily activities such as taking out my dog, showering and eating.

Aside from that, I also included specific dates for organizing all my belongings in preparation for my move to the new apartment. We are set to move sometime around the end of January and both my husband and I are so super excited for the prospect of having a bigger space for all our stuff – our seven guitars and respective cases, our three amps, our sound system, our four laptops and one desktop, our enormous yet awesome collection of CDs, DVDs, records, plus our record player and tape deck, my enormous yet awesome collection of zines, books (that is at least 50 books of Stephen King among others), art materials, snail mail stuff, our mounds of clothes which our closet can barely contain, and more.

The best thing about January 2016 is my plans for the Fun-A-Day event I recently joined on Facebook! That event involves picking one activity to do every day in the month of January. So I picked listening to an album I’ve never listen to before in order to discover new music and add it to my iPod.

I made a list of 31 albums I’m interested in checking out on every day in January. Though most of these are bands I’m already familiar with and like quite a bit, the albums listed are those I’ve never really listened to in depth or at all. And here the list in its daily order:

  • Kataklysm: Shadows & Dust
  • Lloth: Dancing in the Dark Lakes of Evil
  • Slash: World on Fire
  • Disturbed: Indestructible
  • Marilyn Manson: The High End of Low
  • Rammstein: Liebe ist für alle da
  • Sleater-Kinney: (self-titled)
  • Iwrestledabearonce: Ruining it for Everybody
  • Winds of Plague: Against the World
  • Earth Crisis: Neutralize the Threat
  • Warbringer: Worlds Torn Asunder
  • Krisiun: The Great Execution
  • Vallenfyre: A Fragile King
  • Arafel: Second Strike: Through the Flames of the Ages
  • Vogelfrey: Zwolf Schritte zum Strick
  • Bratmobile: Pottymouth
  • Le Tigre: This Island
  • The Julie Ruin: Run Fast
  • Kataklysm: Epic: The Poetry of War
  • Astarte: Rise from Within
  • Hatesphere: New Hell
  • Omnium Gatherum: Years in Waste
  • Gates of Ishtar: The Dawn of Flames
  • King Diamond: Fatal Portrait
  • Mercyful Fate: 9
  • Screaming Mechanical Brain: The Policy of Unilateral Hate
  • Einherjer: Odin Owns Ye All
  • Dypsomaniaxe: One Too Many
  • Winter of Sin: Violence Reigns Supreme
  • Be’lakor: Stone’s Reach
  • Pantera: Cowboys from Hell

So once January rolls around, that is this Friday, I’ll start listening to these records and writing a short review of them here. In case you care, and even if you don’t 😛

Oh man, I can’t wait to check out Kataklysm! I heard one or two of their songs once and loved them so much, they actually appear twice in my list!

Peace, love and music forever!

This Is the Painkiller


It started with pain, then continued with more pain, and along came another twist of pain. So I need to escape with everything I got because anything else happens and I’ll just give up.

So here are my plans to forget, ignore and self-medicate:

Metal night: I haven’t been since this whole ordeal began. I was happy about it at first – keeping a safe distance from a smoke-filled environment is always a good thing – but after a while, I missed it. And now that I feel like shit, I really need it. I’m going tonight.

Writing letters: I don’t know how much of an escape this will be as I will no doubt be revisiting the horror in letters to my penpals… but maybe I won’t. In any case, letters have been piling up for the past month and I really need to reply. And maybe reading and replying to other people’s problems will help me forget about my own.

FindersReading: Always the best escape. I just finished Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams and just started Finders Keepers. King’s fiction is so realistic that living in his world and forgetting about my own is so easy and feels so natural. The dude is my ultimate salvation.

Zine-making: I have yet to start the layout of my zine about my trip to Salem. I procrastinated on
that because the crap I had to deal with left no room for any will to make any crafts. All I wanted to do was go home, wrap myself in winter blankets and cry. But there is a certain sense of peace and comfort in the zen vibes of zinestering. I just need to get it started and let it carry me off to the land of forget-escape-heal.

Guitar-playing: I’ve been neglecting Melissa for far too long. I hope I didn’t forget the opening riff to Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law”. I need to set up a time to play with my husband again. Not just to refresh my fingers on the solos of Marilyn Manson’s version of “Sweet Dreams” or on the blistering riffs of Green Day’s “Basket Case”, but also to relive that elation that only playing guitar can cause. That sense of oh-my-god-this-feels-so-fucking-rad-what-was-I-sad-about-again is an escape like no other. And Melissa is a pro at that.

Peace, love and pain, pain, killer, killer.