new apartment, new zine?

well. jared & i moved into our new apartment this weekend. i knew all along that our new apartment was pretty sweet (having seen it many times before while cat-sitting for previous tenants), but damn! it’s an awesome apartment! there’s a big spacious living room that wraps around & feeds into a small-ish kitchen. the bedroom stretches across the entire length of the apartment along the west wall, with spacious eaves for storage space (we’re on the top floor of the house–apparently a former boardinghouse from the late 1800s). the wall behind out bed is all windows, so we can lay in bed & watch the sunset if we want. there’s a little extra room between the kitchen & the bathroom, & this room is my OFFICE. i’ve been living with jared for two years now & this is the first time i’ve had an office. we always sought out apartments with extra bedrooms before…for him, because he’s in grad school. i was always like, “well, grad school is more important than zine stuff, doing well in grad school & getting a nice tenure-track professorship down the road is going to keep food on our table for the next fifty years.” & then i’d spread out with my projects on the kitchen table or the couch or the floor. but jared has an office at school this year (it’s his first year teaching), & he acknowledged that i spend a lot more time at home than he does, so it makes sense for me to have the office.

i love it! i found an empty case that used to have a manual typewriter in it while we were moving, & i tied it to the wall to make it into a little shelf, & i filled it up with all my books about writing. we finally have the space to bring my desk in from its exile in the basement, so i once again have a regular adult desk with drawers. (the old place had a desk built into the wall, but it didn’t have drawers…though it did have shelves along one side.) a german candy box featuring sad-looking kittens is propped up in the window. my typewriter is right next to me. six crates full of zines are piled up next to the desk. ailecia loaned us her car on sunday afternoon so we could dumpster dive for furniture (especially a dresser for me & a kitchen table–our last apartment was too small for either of these hallmarks of adult living). we cruised around for a bit, but everything was pretty picked over. we didn’t want anything broken or moldy. finally we gave up & bought new. we had to assemble the dresser ourselves, & it was really complicated (though jared did most of it without my help, thank goodness), & the table was a slightly scratched floor model, so we got a nice discount on it. we realized too late that it is heat-sensitive (even just a warm coffee cup leaves a white mark on the finish), so we invested in a table pad & tablecloth. are we in our 30s or what?

while i was in the process of moving, the internet was blowing up over topics touched upon in my last two posts. new people have subscribed to my blog & i’ve been averaging literally about five times as many views as usual thanks to various folks that have linked to me or found my blog through google while seeking more information. kind of makes me wish i had it in me to make a more specific statement, but i just don’t. like i said in other posts, this is something i have been dealing with to varying degrees for ten years. i’m kind of out of energy. but the fact that public statements have been issued by the athens accountability team & by alex herself have made me hopeful that resolution is on the horizon…or at least that a lot of the criticisms that have been leveled at me & others that have spoken out in the past will finally be put to rest. i have no illusions that public statements urging a boycott of microcosm publishing will magically inspire every zinester to give a shit about standing up against abuse & patriarchy, but hopefully it will be a nudge for the ones that have been on the fence, or reluctant to take a stance.

i have been fairly bitter about zines at least since the end of last year–not just because of this issue, but for a lot of reasons. i made the right choice for myself, shutting down my zine distro in january, & have just kind of ignored the zine scene ever since. sometimes i’d hear about an old zine friend coming out with a new issue, & i would wonder if they planned to send me a copy for old time’s sake (pander zine distro was really supportive of my old zine, “a renegade’s handbook to love & sabotage,” so i still send her new issues when i make them, even though pander shut down almost five years ago), but few people bother. it’s kind of weird. like friendships i thought i had built through the distro were maybe just matters of convenience for the zinesters, like they were keeping me happy so i’d distro their zines. i guess i am not that mercenary, so i don’t expect it from others. let this be a warning to anyone who currently runs a zine distro: don’t get too comfortable.

i still have my moments of hating zines, but most of the bitterness is gone now. i’m pretty sure that i still don’t love the medium as much as some people, & certainly not as much as i did ten or fifteen years ago, but…i might make another zine after all. i know i have been talking a lot about getting into fiction writing for more mainstream audiences because i am in pursuit of more of a challenge to my writing abilities, & all of that is still true. but it can also be comfortable & familiar to write in the medium & for the audience i’ve been working with for so many years. almost like a vacation from “real” writing.

in the meantime, i am off to whip up a batch of stuffed shells for dinner. tonight will be our first night in over a year of sitting down to a civilized meal at our very own kitchen table! i made pizza last night (tomato/basil for one & mushroom/basil for the other), but we were just speed-eating before working on setting up the apartment & unpacking more, & the table was piled with bags of cat food, cans of paint, my new bathing suit, receipts, etc. tonight we dine like adults.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “new apartment, new zine?

  1. New zine? Yes, please!

    When I wrote my new zine, I did it much like you said, to take a vacation from “real” writing. I’d been working on my book for a long, long time and I needed a break from it. A zine was perfect for that, because I could just write about whatever I wanted without having to stress about meeting standards beyond the (admittedly pretty high) ones I set for myself.

    P.S. Did you get my message through facebook about my new zine? I’d like to send you a copy!

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