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!
Wahoo! It’s finally arrived for you all- a wonderful and completed Graduating into Unemployment zine is now hanging out and waiting for you to download, order, or pinch from an upcoming zinefest. You can get all the scoop on it here. Thanks to all who put their time, effort and talent into contributing to the collection.
I’ve been lucky enough to do two workshops over the past month. One of them (at the Lesbian Lives conference) was on Zines and Community Support, and the other (at Brighton Zinefest) was with Red on Survivor Zines: Telling our Stories of Sexual Violence. I am really thankful to all of you who came to the workshops and either listened or shared with us. It meant a lot to me personally to see how courageous and supportive people within our communities can be. As one of the Brighton Zinefest organizers, I really had a great weekend of workshops and stalls and I now have heaps of new zines to keep my mind churning while I escape the rain. Thanks.
Microcosm Publishing, well over a month later, has never replied to the e-mail I sent them on boycotting their distro due to their, frankly, fucked up approach to dealing with an abuse perpetrator on their collective. But more independent and lovely distros are starting to pick up my zines so they’ll be available from friendlier sources anyway.
The Graduating Into Unemployment Zine is officially getting its act together and it will hopefully be complete in two shakes. Additionally, will has awesomely translated Get A Grip into Braille! So if you have an interest in nabbing yourself a braille edition, send me an e-mail and we can work something out. Also, will, thanks– you rock.
In case you were feeling a bit in the pits about yet another gregorian calendar popping into the rubbish bin, here’s some zinester updates to tickle that geeky side of you into excitement.
Firstly, in all of my infinite tech savvy, I have managed to get to you lots of my zines, totally for free and accessible from anywhere in the world. Just go to the zine section on this website and get downloading.
The Graduating into Unemployment zine has gotten lots of really fantastic submissions which I’m in the midst of organising and putting into a beautiful compilation zine. There’s also still a chance of getting a piece of yours included, if you send it over to me asap.
I’m helping to organise the Brighton Zinefest, taking place on Feb 19 & 20th, which is set to be chock full of awesome workshops, zine stalls, music, and lovely zinesters. Contact us if you want to hold a zine stall or workshop, otherwise just mark it on your calendar and come check us out.
In my supreme zine excitement, Microcosm Publishing wants to stock my latest zine, Get A Grip! Plus, there’s a possibility that I may be getting inspired to churn out a second edition of the zine… so keep your eyes peeled ’till the next round of updates. See, so much zineing to anticipate in the new year, enjoy!