[Warning. LONGGGGGG post.]
So... I've been thinking... not that I don't always think... but I've been thinking a lot over the past few weeks about zines and newsletters... just little thoughts.... little teasers in my head. Violet (of L&V podcast) first asked me if I'd considered doing a zine. Then, someone else mentioned it... and so... it's been simmering in my head a bit.
On the way to Flax yesterday for a "kid" thing, I was thinking about something I'd meant to talk about on the show that is "tip" oriented... and I thought... well, I should just include something like that in the announcement newsletter each week. But, my mind says... no... that's not enough. I'm a layout person at heart... the nature of the grid and all... and so just textin email doesn't totally do it in terms of communication with "all" of you.
And then I started thinking about a publication I did as a graduate student... stranded in the swamps of LA (swamp not Hollywood) after being lured (suckered) there as a playwright and finding the performance tangent of the department disheartening, I focused again on fem. theory and women's studies, and poetry... the same mix I'd been doing for the previous four years... I rocked a lot of boats, I guess, when it came to reading things like Milton and Wharton... but I had a wonderful director there and the chance to work with a few wonderful poets... And, I don't remember why I started doing it... maybe because there was a need for more discourse and more subversive thinking and more deconstruction... but I started producing my own weekly newsletter and distributing it around the English department.
I haven't thought of that in years. (Amazingly... it has been years.) We can refer to it as BG. Really, BG is a thing of the past. In my head... it's a publication full of commas, and slashes (/) and parentheses and hyphens... all the things that turn traditional discourse into something deconstructed and full of new meaning above, beyond, and beneath the surface-level rhetoric.... which is how I read and think and even talk (if you know me well enough). How did I fill the newlsetter? I can't remember. But I know I did fill it. BG was a single sheet... a legal-sized page... double-sided... and I printed each issue in a bright color... black type on a bright colored sheet... and the sheet was crammed full of articles.
And very well-received.
Driving yesterday, I was thinking about BG... it's just this faded thing in my memory... something I did... along with all those poetry readings and performance readings those years in the bayou... years where I joke now that all we did was look at a map and try and figure out where I should land myself to do my post-Master's work. Love bugs, swamp, Hurricane Andrew, a fellowship with a small stipend, and then a year of teaching remedial English 101... and heat... lots and lots of heat. It was not the place for us. The highlights there... a Sonic where we could get a Route 44 Diet Cherry Vanilla Coke (we are still saddened that there is no Sonic in the Bay Area) and a Wal-Mart just down the road from our apartment.
But... the two years culminated in a creative non-fiction thesis that centered on the importance of quilting and sewing and was, itself, a quilted narrative of theory and memory and story and personal history. (Also something I haven't thought of or looked at in years.)
And then... many, many years of Web stuff and hundreds of technical and how-to articles.
And then... last year... we took on the co-op newsletter (well I did) after something happened during the year and there was a need for a new editor. And what fun I had with that despite the fact that it was a ton of work and the fact that I seriously doubt most people ever realized how much work it was. I didn't take it on this year... but... how much I taught myself in the production of the issues I put out.
And then... somewhere in that process, concurrent with the school newsletter and with the first seed of an idea about the Creative Mom Podcast, I started creating and producing the Kids PuzzleBlast newsletter... an idea, at the time, that meant so much to me... but got closed out for various reasons... in part because I had to choose between it and the CMP and in part because the realities of printing and mailing such a publication make it hard to come out ahead or even break even.
And then... I deliberately did not volunteer to work on the elementary school newsletter. (We are over-extended already is my argument.) But... I did suggest a new art-focused column for the new year... which means I need to write the first several of those (samples of sorts) to see if they want to run it as a regular section. (More non-paid work, just what I needed, right?)
And so... now... I'm thinking again.... This week, I've got a super-short show planned for EP58... unless I just can't help myself once I start talking... I'm interested in trying that... the super-short show... and yet... it means there are a lot of things I'd like to talk about and show you and share with you that won't get included this go-around.... a newsletter (PDF maybe) would solve that a little bit... even a SHORT newsletter.
It would be nice if I could still just "do it" and print them out at Kinko's and drop them in office mailboxes as I was able to do all those years ago with BG.
But, I can't. So... I'm still thinking.
And, clearly, I'm gonna have to stop sleeping.