Monday, May 17, 2010


I'm getting a lot of headaches right now, as well as flare-ups of fybromyalgia. I'm not a patient patient, so I get frustrated quickly. I try to remember that when I'm feeling crappy, my life looks a lot worse than it is. Maybe that's not exactly it, I think it's more that it feels so overwhelming when I've got a headache and I'm in constant pain from the fybro.

So I'm struggling right now. I can only do so much, and I fall behind on everything. I don't respond to emails from friends, and I feel guilty. I don't have the energy to do art projects and I really need that art-making. I feel enthusiastic and excited about doing the art, but then I'm too exhausted physically and mentally to do it. My art room is a huge mess. I have these nice new shelves along one wall that J. put in for me right after Christmas, but then that's when my headches et al. got so much worse. So there's stuff scattered all over the floor, the desk and work areas are cluttered with piles, and there's barely any room to walk on the floor. I hate it. I want it to be all clean and organized and I just can't catch up on other priorities enough to do it.

Okay, now I'm crying. It's so frustrating. I don't want to be sick! I want out of this club! I remember when we found a support group after we had a miscarraige of our first baby, back in 2003. The facilitator said, "Welcome to the club you never wanted to join." It wasn't meant to be cheeky, but very honest, and it hit the nail on the head. I'd wake up in the morning and remember, every day, that I was still in this club of parents who'd lost their babies. It was never going to end. I'll feel that loss the rest of my life. And now I'm in this club of sickies. It affects every aspect of my life. And even when it's better, I'm still in the club. Because I don't have a lot of good days right now, when I have a good day I feel this craziness because there's so many things I want to do and I won't be able to do them all and I have to decide how to spend my time best. It's a weird way to live.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Freaky Freaky

I was just working on my Minneaoplis zine, drawing a picture of a scorpion, when--oh wait, you're wondering why the heck I'm drawing a picture of a scorpion if the zine is about Minneapolis, right? Well, I'm talking about learning about where you live, and how when I lived in Arizona, I learned a lot about scorpions.

Okay, so back to the action: I'm drawing a picture of a scorpion, when out of the corner of my eye, I see a large something go skittering across the floor. I look, and all I can see is a long brown blur, because I have my reading glasses on, and, thank God, it's far enough away that I can't focus on it. Well, it stops in its tracks when I move, so I try to squint at it, or at least lean over in my chair to see more. It's huge! Okay, 4 inches long. Too stretched out and rectangular to be a spider. Long feathery legs. Only the word "feathery" would seem to imply beauty. But all I feel is revulsion.

I decide that whatever the hell it is, it's going to die now. I cross my fingers and hold my breath, then toss my Puma high-top at it. Hooray! Squish successful! I sit there for a few minutes before I dare to go look underneath the shoe. Well, I don't know what it is still. A centipede? Not enough legs. So what's in between an arachnid and a centipede on the leg-o-meter? I don't know. And I'm not researching it tonight. I'm probably already going to have bug dreams.

Lalala let's talk about something else. But seriously, how weird is it that happened? We don't get a lot of bugs in Minnesota. That's one of the things I like about it very much. Ants, brown house spiders, that's about it. It was almost serendipitous, except that word implies a happy coincidence, and I was not happy. There must a word that means a negative kind of coincidence. Anyone? Bueller?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

I Have a Distro for my Zine!

I am so excited! Someone reviewed my zine Bookstore Thief in a review zine called Zine World, and soon after that, I got an email from someone at a distro called Microcosm wanting a review copy. I sent it happily but didn't pay much attention. Zine distros are all over the place and don't last long. Well, I got a follow up email within 2 weeks (that's lightning fast in zine time), and they want to carry my zine. So then I looked up their website and found to my amazement that Microcosm Publishing is one of the largest and longest-lasting distros of zines in the country! They're very professional-looking and it looks like they carry some great stuff. I'll know soon, as I just ordered and recieved a big pkg of about 15 different zines.

It's just so gratifying to have them seek me out, you know? I don't have a lot of time to spend on publicizing the artwork that I sell, including this zine, and God knows if anyone ever sees it on my Artfire shop. I love Artfire, but I never get any traffic on my studio. I don't like using Etsy very much, but every now and then, I get sales there.

A couple weeks before all this happened, I'd been writing more and deciding that I want to do a bunch of different zine projects. I am trying to get past my inner critic about writing (well, and everything else, too, but this is my latest focus), that voice that interrogates me every time I just feel like writing about something. Is it going to be a book? What will you do with it? What use will it be? These are some of the pushy, annoying questions I get. So, to make that little voice distracted (you really can't shut it up, you just have to work with it), I've decided to do a bunch of small projects. That way I get the satisfaction of sharing my writing, and it doesn't have to be the Great American Novel, whatever the heck that is.

And now I have an established distributor! So when I finish some of these other projects, I will send them to Sparky at Microcosm and see if she feels they would appeal to the Microcosm audience. This is very life-affirming for me. I've been feeling really disconnected from doing things I love that connect me to the rest of the community. Well, really several communities. There's my art group community that I meet with monthly, and this last time we met at my house and we did a round robin of doodle ATC's, just sort of decided on the spot to do it because my sharpies were out on the table. It was wonderful! No pressure, just have fun and share. This is why I'm in this group, after all, to have fun! Then there's the zine community, which I miss. I used to be very involved in it and have subscribers to the zine I wrote, and then life interfered as it does. That was almost twenty years ago. Okay, now I feel old. But I digress. I miss that quirky community of art and writing that is far removed from corporate culture.

I joined We Make Zines a couple years ago when I finished Bookstore Thief but I haven't been active on it in a while. Maybe that will change now. But maybe not. I do what I can, and I have to stop feeling guilty that I can't do as much as I could in my twenties. I'm a mommy, for goodness sake. And then I have all that migraine crap to deal with. So I do what I can and I choose carefully how to spend my time.

Anyhow, here's some ideas I have for zines:

1. an occasional zine about things I love about living in Minneapolis. I took some photos the other day of the 46th st. light rail station and I'm hoping to include one or two of those in the first issue. I love finding out about the city I live in, and I know doing this project will help me find even more fun things about Mpls.

2. A robot coloring book. I'm working on this one right now. I've had it in my head for about four years, and I finally pulled out some of my old robot drawings and then looked on the web for inspiration for drawing more. My goal is to have 14 and then I'll make a 1/4 size booklet of them. One of my fave drawings so far is called Thrift Store Lamp Robot. Oh yes, I'm having fun.

3. A migraine zine. There are just so many things I want to put in this, it's not even funny. And I have not seen anything out there like this. Maybe because no one feels like writing when they have a stinkin' migraine. I'm fighting one right now, in fact. I want to get this down before I have to break down and take some Perco. Because then my brain will be too mushy to talk all organized-like.

So there's some of my ambitions. I realize now, after writing this, that although that's not all of my ideas, I am actually actively working on all three of those right now. That's pretty amazing, don't you think? I rock.