Alright, friends, those new zines I’ve been talking about? Here they are! I debuted issues 24 and 25 of Telegram at the New York City Feminist Zinefest and the Chicago Zinefest, and now I am finally ready to send ‘em snail mail. Both of these zines are available at schoolformaps.etsy.com, or if you’re local, come talk to me, I’ll trade for toonies and/or copies of your own zines.
Telegram #24 begins with a conversation about pronouns, asking questions like, ‘How come we can remember hundreds of names but we can’t remember more than two pronouns?’ and, ‘Why is using a different pronoun scary? Why is using more inclusive language scary? How are your confusions and your assumptions and your fears potentially harming those around you?’ I also write about having an encouraging conversation with a friend about our frustrations & anger & exhaustion over having what I’ve come to call ‘The 101 Talks’ over and over again, and wondering how & when & why & where we can provide access to information on such things as gender, disability, class, queerness, feminism, etc., so that rather than repeating our conversations, we can move on to more complicated and wonderful ideas & strategies & identities.
This zine also provides questions & suggestions & thoughts on How to Be A Good Friend to Crazyfolk. I write about how to hang out with us & talk with us & support us while we are in the hospital, and getting over fears and/or assumptions about life on the psych ward. And I talk about how to do all these things on the outside as well, in our daily lives, and I write some brief notes on self-care both for crazyfolk and for our pals.
There is also a little bit about being 300 hundred days sober, and the idea, borrowed from 12-step groups, of Clean-Time vs. Recovery-Time (the former of which means how many days clean/sober/whatever, the latter of which is a more complicated and nuanced idea of self-care & spirituality & actually changing your daily life and whatnot). And on the topic of quitting things, I also talk about how me and a friend of mine are learning how to quit the internet (or at least spend way less time online and more time enjoying real life), and encouraging our pals to do the same.
EXERPT: “While I acknowledge and am grateful for having the privilege of access to information and resources that led me to become a feminist, a queer, a weirdo, a genderqueer, a genderqueerdo, a radical person, and a delightfully crazy person, I am also exhausted with having to explain what each of those words mean and why they are relevant and meaningful in my life. People have been writing about all of these things, and more, since before I was born, so why is it still so new? Even in so-called queer communities, feminist communities, safe/r spaces (no such thing), I need to give the 101 talks, I need to try to erase the assumptions about who I am or live with them quietly and ragingly.”
Telegram #24 is quarter-sized, 24 pages, cut&paste, text-heavy.
Telegram #25 is about feeling good, wanting more than just survival, and creating a daily life that supports & encourages the imaginary/ideal life I really want for myself, and attempts to ask questions and provide ideas for YOU, the creative weirdo who doesn’t quite feel at home or okay or content with life, but wants to find a way. I ask questions like:
What does your ideal daily life look like? What is holding you back from living that life? What kind of art do you make? What is your home like? Do you move a lot? Why? Why not? Do you carry a notebook wherever you go? Where would you like to be one year from now? Five years? What will you do today to bring yourself closer to that place? And so on…
I talk about making priorities: daily to-do lists, monthly goals, etc., and breaking them down into small, do-able things that will grow into even more magical and wonderful things. Some examples of my goals and priorities include: finishing projects, time outdoors, friendship, getting rid of stuff, challenging myself, and creating meaningful days (or stumbling into them).
I write about my morning ritual of drinking coffee and deciding what to do with my day, all the questions I ask myself every morning, and I talk about how I used to want somebody to guide me through my life and hold my hand and make my decisions for me because I was too depressed to do it on my own, but now I am trying to become that person for myself because nobody else can be. I write about my need for validation & acknowledgment, and my secret dream of being some kind of weirdo life coach. I try to briefly dismantle the myth of Crazy Artists and discuss one of my affirmations that sometimes really saves my life: “I would rather be Margaret Atwood than Sylvia Plath.”
And I write about attempting to deal with manic episodes without romanticizing them, I write about starting writing clubs and whatnot locally, and I write about finding inspiration and destroying writer’s block. I write about a lot of things.
This zine is dedicated to a friend of mine, another writer/zinester, who died recently. My heart is broken, but/and I feel more determined to keep myself & my pals & all of us weirdos alive & strong & smiling because I don’t want the world to destroy us, I don’t want to join The Twenty-Seven Club.
Telegram #25 is quarter-sized, 24 pages, cut&paste, text-heavy.
IN OTHER ZINE NEWS:
Hey, local-ish pals! Did you know that the Kazoo Zine & Comic Expo is coming up here in Guelph?! It’s happening on Saturday, April 14th, and I want to see you there! I’ll be tabling, of course, and so will some good friends of mine, and my sister, too. Adventures! I’ve been tabling every year since it began, and it’s always a good time!
As you might know, I just got back to town after hanging out in NYC and Chicago for zine fairs and general adventures with friends and pen pals and whatnot, so I am currently recovering from the trip, as well as re-adjusting to life without the internet at home. So please be patient with me as I attempt to catch up on messages, read about fifty new zines and a few new books, catch up on my friends’ lives, get back into real life, and continue working on my secret and not-so-secret projects. The trip was grand, in fact, it was my favourite yet (and the Chicago Zinefest totally rules my heart), and now I am grateful to be home, bringing back all my zinely inspiration and carrying it on into Springtime…
P.S.: Don’t forget to follow me on the internetz at my new fanpage, Maranda / Telegram!
P.P.S.: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me reiterate that I DO NOT HAVE INTERNET ACCESS AT HOME. I just don’t, and I don’t know when I will again, so please be patient. I try to keep on top of things, but I am not going to be checking my email everyday, nor will I be sending out Etsy orders every single day, and you will just have to accept that. (I write in all caps because it seems that no matter how many times I say it, people just forget that not everyone can / wants to be online 24/7, you know?)
A THIRD P.S.: *I also accept payment the old-school way: well-concealed Canadian or U.S. cash via snail mail! Just complete your transaction as usual, choose ‘Other’ for your payment method, and the confirmation email from Etsy will tell you my snail mail address. Please include a note telling me what zines / other items you ordered, and I’ll send your order once I’ve received payment. Thank you kindly!*