It’s always an exciting time, new places, new zine events, new shops to try to woo into discount printing my zinester enthusiast work. I’m really excited that this Saturday is Queer Zine Fest London. Bloody hell, I haven’t been to a zinefest in ages because of health issues and mobility problems. I’m looking forward to seeing all my old friends, and all the new people, especially in a queer specific space. That’s awesome.
The last couple weeks have been really hectic. For fucks sake, I spontaneously managed to get over a litre of air trapped between the walls of my left lung! Damn, they call it “pneumothorax”, and it’s kind of a bad ass to fix. So far between the bad health, the waiting times in A&E, and being homebound, I’ve added a new page for you! This one is my comics! More is coming in the future… but feel free to take a peek, there’s a newbie up there.
Maybe I’ll see you at the fest on Saturday? Come over and say hello!
I don’t know what’s with this whole healing thing, but I no longer drink six cups of tea a day! Nobody told me that my sincere passion for tea would be less a necessity once I no longer had fatigue. So, hey, in retrospect, being ill makes you an awesome tea connoisseur.
I’m now in my family’s Yorkshire home but all on my lonesome. It took me less then 24hrs of being here before I broke the TV (what’s with the multiple remotes? I just want ON, OFF, change the channel!) In 48 hours I managed to lose my phone, which is on silent, somewhere in the house. And the most exciting thing to do in this town is go to charity thrift shops designed for 80 year olds (which is actually quite exciting, you should the English lady tea-time-at-the-horse-races hats). Basically, higher zine intervention is telling me it’s time to sit down and write my next zine. So I’m plonking away at the keyboard and hopefully there will be a new zine in your hands soon!
Join me as I’m as I’m about to drink my first cup of tea since the operation! “What operation?”, is probably the question kicking around in your noggin right now. Well, as usual, I am a person of perplexing and unique character. I am not one in a million but I am two or three in a million— those of us in the world who have Cushing’s Syndrome. This essentially means that I am one of those people who had a noncancerous tumour attached to my brain that was blocking off important messages (including the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol) from being communicated. I always said communication is important and, believe me, my neurology can testify to it!
My lack of blogging, zine writing, and schlepping along to zine fairs has been because I have been going through quite a difficult time. I’ve dealt with some not so endearing symptoms such as severe depression, fatigue, muscle weakness, and joint pains, among many others. Luckily, after a long misty journey to having this syndrome finally diagnosed, I had an operation to remove the tumour last week and I should be on my way to gradually getting back to good health now. I feel a bit lousy at the moment but I can feel my body slowly getting stronger.
In fact, hold on, I’m going to take that sip of tea now. Ahh a strong green tea. Fucking fabulous. I’d like to write a zine about my experience with Cushings, disabilities, gender and healthcare access. But as is the way with actually living it, feeling able enough to produce the zine may take time. I would like to eventually get my story to you, and I’ve learned that I’m a pretty determined woman so be on the look out for its eventual emergence. Until then, I’m going to take it easy and enjoy drinking green tea again.
Now that I am for sures in Brighton for a while yet and have managed to tuck away a completed master’s dissertation I can finally return to concentrating on all that my sweatervest wardrobe endows: zines, zines, zines. I am eagerly piecing together a new queer, feminist, mental health perzine which will hopefully make its luscious ways to you before the end of the year. I just marked my calendar to head on over to the South East London Zinefest on 12th November. You may also catch me meandering awkwardly with a tote full of zines and a shy shuffle at the London Anarchist Bookfair. If you can’t make it to any of these and are still wanting to grab some of my zines, the on-line shop is newly restocked. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some zines to catch up on reading. Send me yours if you want me to make me smile!
After countless hours of planes, trains, ferries, metros, rental cars, buses and trams, my thumbs are back to twiddling in Brighton. With a summer of literal and figurative hurricanes it is a wee unclear as to which city I will yet be spending the next year of my life. London may be usurping me or Brighton may keep anchoring me in.
It’s been some turbulent times for me over the last couple months. I have been juggled around quite considerably by the clowns of academia in a circus of discrimination. Long story short, I have been pretty exhausted and finding myself a bit stretched with generating new zines. The good news is that I am a kind of an anomaly and the more I am discriminated against, the more determined I become. Besides, perhaps eventually I can throttle the whole experience into a zine that invites you all to shake your fists at the system with me!
Despite the distractions, I am eager to keep on top of all that’s going on in zines. I am planning on having a stall at the Camden Zinefest on October 8th. I am also soon to invade my local print shop and make a ridiculously large stack o’ zines to restock my currently sold out shop. So please, come around to my website or to the next zinefest and say hello. Keep up the good fight and fight it with all the love you got.
Sometimes people are awesome.
I ran a Survivor Zines workshop at the Women’s Library Zinefest that was really inspiring for me. Ya’ll packed the place out! Even though I’m always nervous before running a workshop or speaking publicly about being a survivor I was able to leave this event ready to take on the world. It feels to me like there is an eagerness for a new (and yet infinitely old in its routes) feminist based survivor and allies activism, a movement to speak out about our experiences and challenge a society and culture that repeatedly silences us. I want to thank everyone in the workshop, especially the people who talked to me afterwards, for their kindness as well as their courage. I hope that those of you who came were able to find positives in it and that maybe it will have spawned more activist resistance in you!
In other news, it is my last month in the grand (ok, so maybe more petite, lovely and cliched) city of Brighton! I am going to be on a two month hiatus, first going to the USA and Canada (let me know asap if you’re in this neck of the woods and want me to send you zines for cheaps) and escapades up in northern England until settling into the confusing disconnections of logic and city planning that is London. Unfortunately, this means I won’t be distroing any zines for the entirety of August and parts of September. Dessole! However, the plan’s to spend some time catching up and writing some zines to birth to you all soon.
As one last plug- all yous interested in survivor & allies activism, get in touch and let me know if there’s any ideas you have, events you’re keen to create, things that you already have going on, or chats you want to engage in. If you’re able to come to London, there is also The Flip Side: When Sex is Not Okay… Art Gallery Night! on July 22nd at the Lambeth Women’s Project (Oh and to be extra sneaky, one last-last plug– somewhere along the line facebook has inserted its presence too much in my life, so Sarah Tea-Rex has tea infused my way into facebook fanpages, “like” me if you’re into that kind of thing).
The Women’s Library Zine Fest is coming up fast with all the ass kickin’, alternative press, and feminism making way in London. I am going to have a stall and be running a workshop on Survivor Zines. I hope that some of you can come along and say hello, trade some zines, or fill me in on your latest way of bringin’ about some change. Also, for those of you attending who want some of my zines if you e-mail me asap and let me know which ones you want I can put them aside for you and give them to you on the day (hooray for avoiding hefty postage costs). Otherwise, here’s the blurb about the workshop…
Survivor Zines: A discussion session on zines as a tool of self-expression, community support and active resistance for survivors of sexual violence. A look at how we can form more supportive communities and responses for survivors. Sarah Tea-Rex has written and compiled zines on surviving childhood sexual abuse, mental health, queer and trans youth resistance, reproductive autonomy, and unemployment. This discussion is open to people of all genders, to survivors and to their allies. A trained support person will also be present during the workshop.