In 2012, I published my first book, Telegram: A Collection of 27 Issues, an anthology of a decade of my zine-writing, with Mend My Dress Press, and in 2013, I self-published my first novel, Ragdoll House. I recently published my second novel, a teenage-trauma magic-realism small-town prison-abolition fictional experiment titled We Are the Weirdos. Currently, I’m working on a sequel titled We Are the Nobodies, as well as a book of non-fiction titled To Be True to My Own Weirdnesses: Re-Incarnations, Re-Iterations, & Re-Imaginings. And (!) I’m working on a short story collection called Those Knives Were Her Security Blanket, and a #CripLit disability-justice near-future novella, as yet untitled, which you can read an excerpt of here. And many more zines, of course!
WE ARE THE WEIRDOS
In this work of experimental fiction and magic realism, Maranda Elizabeth writes a vulnerable tale of perpetually misunderstood and powerless teenagers in a small town. We Are the Weirdos explores trauma, gender, poverty, invalidation, and memory, as well as themes of trust, abandonment, confinement, and revenge. The characters encounter one another, as well as authority figures and ghosts, at home and through institutions: school, court cells, a detention centre, and a group home. Each of them dream of magic and escape.
Indigo is a 13-year old goth and teenage criminal with a history of antisocial tendencies, shoplifting, destructive impulses, cutting, and dysmorphia/dysphoria. When they start bleeding petals and flames along with their blood, they make connections between alienation, witchcraft, and survival.
Grey is Indigo’s best friend, a shy trans girl with stolen Sharpies and heavy sketchbooks whose illustrations escape borders and panels to make spells come true.
Both are the only children of poor, depressed, single moms in a small, mostly-white town in Southern Ontario. In 1999, their favourite movie is The Craft, their favourite band is Marilyn Manson, and their favourite activity is spell-casting. When they find a book about witchcraft hidden in a box of letters written between their mothers, who claim not to know each other and refuse to speak – one is mostly-absent, the other is obsessed with a talk show hosted by a psychic and Saturday night episodes of Cops – they choose to communicate with ghosts, and each other, instead.
As the two are separated, and Indigo is charged with crimes they barely remember committing, each of them continue casting spells – or trying to – in dangerous and painful attempts to stay alive.
Shuffled through the juvenile injustice system, Indigo meets Sea, a clumsy and curious social worker who hates her job, and Mint, a 16-year old Black girl with a stick-and-poke tattoo of moon phases on her wrist, rage of her own about isolation and incarceration, and a longer sentence for a non-violent crime.
Each of them wants to be believed, to be real, and to craft their own form of justice.
Maranda Elizabeth is a capital-C Crazy writer, zinester, witch, identical twin, high school dropout, cane-user, cripple-goth, recovering alcoholic, and white non-binary amethyst-femme. They write about recovery with borderline personality disorder, complex-trauma, and fibromyalgia; writing, creativity, & friendship; disability & accessibility; politicizing recovery; magic & witchcraft & Tarot; self-care, support, & $upport; queer mad poor crip lineages; and surviving social assistance and poverty.
Maranda’s work often explores themes of loneliness, isolation, abandonment, and disposability; synchronicity, reciprocity, gratitude, joy, and meaning-making; and memory and making a home.
In 2012, they published an anthology of the first decade of their zines, Telegram: A Collection of 27 Issues, and in 2013, they published their first novel, Ragdoll House. They write zines, offer Tarot readings for misfits and outcasts, and publish a fortnightly-ish column on LittleRedTarot.com, See the Cripple Dance, re-imagining Tarot through disability and madness. Maranda grew up in Lindsay, Ontario (Ojibway, Chippewa, and Anishinabek land), and currently resides in Toronto, Ontario (traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and the Métis).
They’re a Libra Sun, Sagittarius Moon, and Gemini Rising, with Venus in Libra, Mercury in Scorpio, and Chiron Retrograde in Gemini.
TELEGRAM: A COLLECTION OF 27 ISSUES by Maranda Elizabeth
In Telegram: A Collection of 27 Issues, Maranda tells tales of daily adventures, friendship, gender identity, falling in love with bicycles, getting tattoos, moving out, going crazy, and their experiences with inpatient hospitalizations. They also write about their relationship with their twin sister, and learning how to take care of their mental health within and without conventional institutions, identifying as genderqueer, getting sober, living a creative and meaningful daily life, and finding reasons to keep on going.
Maranda is a zinester, writer, and daydreamer, and self-identified weirdo and genderqueer. Maranda began writing their zine, Telegram, as a way to connect with others when they were feeling shy and isolated in their hometown of Lindsay, Ontario. They wrote messages of encouragement alongside tales of depression and anxiety, and traded zines through snail mail. With each zine Maranda made, they learned to become more honest and open, began making friends by photocopying thoughts and feelings and confessions, and found that writing and sharing would be crucial to their survival. Maranda especially loves writing about mental health, self-care, and creativity, sending letters to friends and strangers, and sharing ridiculously personal stories. They currently reside in Guelph, Ontario.
“Telegram is the kind of zine that made me want to start writing zines in the first place. They write about their personal experiences with enough distance and care that they become not purging, but rather small maps that can help us to look at our own lives and the beauty of how we survive and become more fully the people we want to become.”
– Cindy Crabb, Doris zine, http://dorisdorisdoris.com/
PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2012
Brick & Mortar Shops
Kent Bookstore – Lindsay, Ontario (my hometown!)
Bob Burns Books – Fenelon Falls, Ontario
Concordia Community Solidarity Co-Op Bookstore – Montréal, QC
Portland Button Works – Portland, OR
Wooden Shoe Books & Records – Philadelphia, PA
Bluestockings Café and Bookstore – New York City, NY
Quimby’s Bookstore – Chicago, IL
RAGDOLL HOUSE: a novel by Maranda Elizabeth
Ragdoll House is the story of two girls who must decide if their hometown is still their home. Ruby, a shy sometimes-writer, meets Maria, a femme dyke with a painful past, when she responds to a roommate wanted ad. Exploring girl-friendship and survival as queer, weird girls in a small town, they share an apartment that once functioned as a home for lost girls. As they struggle with their own secrets and losses, Ruby and Maria rely on coffee, booze, and each other, to learn about jealousy, support, and letting go.
Maranda Elizabeth has been writing since birth and self-publishing for over a decade. They recently published a zine anthology, Telegram: A Collection of 27 Issues, and have toured throughout Canada and the U.S. Maranda’s writing has been influenced by growing up with riot grrrl and punk, living in a small town, being a proud misfit, and constantly seeking magical friendships and creative adventures. They identify as feminist, genderqueer, crazy, and weird. Maranda grew up in Lindsay, Ontario and is currently living in Toronto. Ragdoll House is their first novel.
PUBLISHED APRIL 2013