from the slug files

i have been feeling really low-energy recently. yesterday was monday, & i am different from garfield in that mondays are my favorite day of the week. (i am similar to garfield in that i love lasagna & hate spiders.) i always like the idea of a fresh start. that’s why i love the first day of a new month, new year’s day, my birthday, moving into a new apartment, etc. i love that monday comes every single week, offering a new chance for redemption. but yesterday, i remained sluggish & didn’t get to a few of the higher priority items on my to-do list.

i have been swamped with orders since the new zine came out. ailecia & i made one hundred copies to start, & we each brought fifty copies with us to portland. i ran through my stash in a single day & had to borrow from ailecia to make sure i had copies to give to all my buds. i knew we needed to make more copies right away, but i wanted to re-write my introduction, & then i dragged my feet doing it. sometimes pulling out the typewriter & setting up a work space seems like an insurmountable chore. i finally got it done, & set a date with ailecia to go make the copies (we need her student discount to get 50% off photocopies & keep shit affordable–plus, i prefer to travel by car when i’m going out to 31st st., because it’s all intimidating strip malls out there), but when i came by to see about heading out, she had forgotten & didn’t want to do it that day.

we finally made another batch of two hundred copies last week. i lugged the box up to my apartment & spent the next several days collating, stapling, & folding.

my zine folding station. note wooden utensil doubling as folding tool.

when that was done, i put fifty copies in a bag for ailecia & had 150 left for myself. we decided i would handle most of the mail orders, since i have been more consistently involved with the zine community for the last ten years & have more contacts than ailecia does. so i felt good about having 150 copies. i figured they would last me a while.

it’s a week later & i’m all sold out again. & the orders are still coming. which is really awesome! & i can fill them. i’ll either borrow copies from ailecia’s stash or go make more copies. i am just dumbfounded at how quickly the zines are selling. this is the first time i have done a zine without running my own distro in over eight years. my zines always sold well…but i thought maybe it was because of the distro. like maybe people ordered my zine to be nice while placing larger orders for other zines. like they were maybe throwing the distro lady a bone & checking out her zine. but i guess people really do like my zine.

anyway, due to the sheer quantity of orders, it’s taking me a while to get them in the mail. i finally addressed all the envelopes & that alone took about two hours. even using the new address stamp i made for myself. i packed all the zines into the envelopes, but i didn’t have the energy to drag out the typewriter & write little notes to people. maybe no one cares about the little notes. maybe they just want to read the zine. but i think it’s better to try to include a note, however brief. so that’s on the agenda for tomorrow. that & the post office.

i am skipping karaoke tonight because i just don’t have the energy for it. on sunday, cait came to town & interviewed ailecia & i for her nerd lady podcast. i am concerned that i came across as kind of brusque & sarcastic…but maybe that’s just how i am. i wound up hanging out next door for ten hours that day. we grilled some burgers, & i had a heart-to-heart with a friend about some shitty stuff that’s been going on with her, & we played apples to apples (at which i dominated), & ailecia & i told ghost stories until we were too scared to be in the yard alone. on saturday, jared, ailecia, max, & i went apple picking.

jared is shining up a snack for which he did not pay.

we also bought pumpkin butter, which we haven’t tried yet because i think it will be better on something nice like french bread, instead of the hippie seven-grain we have on hand right now. & i got to pet a calico kitten. & i was swarmed by ducks. one of them had this crazy hairdo going on.

jared called him the lyle lovett of the duck community.

on friday, we stayed in & watched “america’s next top model” & “project runway” on the internet. on thursday, we went out with jared’s grad school cronies. such forth & so on. i guess it’s no wonder i feel tired. socializing always takes it out of me.

ailecia said that i should write a zine about self-care, since that is pretty much my full-time job, & yet, i so rarely write or talk about what it entails, or what i think it should entail for other people. i think this will be my autumn project. so…maybe look for a special self-care issue of “love letters to monsters” come january. i think it will be good for me to work on it & think about it as we lead into winter, because the wintertime is always so hard. it’s even hard on me physically because the cold weather makes my arthritis really bad. i realized the other day what arthritis feels like, in case anyone was wondering. it feels like having your skeleton stung by wasps. i was reminded recently of this time when i was seven years old & i was cleaning my brother’s room (because he was four & therefore too young to really clean that well himself). i picked up a pile of clothes, & a wasp was hidden beneath them, & it stung me seven times on my left hand & arm. it was an agonizingly painful burning feeling. that’s what arthritis feels like. if you have ever slammed your hand in a car door or hit yourself with a hammer, it can also feel like that–if that initial moment of impact just goes on & on without end.

i found out yesterday that they just opened a new american girl place in kansas city. i am so pumped that there’s an american girl place i can get to on the university of kansas shuttles. i don’t have any extra money to spend there, but really, just making the trip is enough of an experience. field trip!

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.

3 thoughts on “from the slug files

  1. I totally LOLed at the “Lyle Lovett of the duck community” comment. The timing was perfect too because I was having a crummy day.

    I would be interested in reading a zine about self-care. I’m also really interested in discussions and writings about disability and chronic illness. I am a pretty physically healthy person, and it’s very easy for me to forget what a privilege that is. I’ve been trying to educate myself about the politics of health and illness, if only to avoid being so presumptive about things.

    BTW I can’t wait to read your new zine. I’m not surprised people were buying it up like crazy.

  2. I know what you mean about simple things turning into insurmountable chores. And then you finally do them and you’re like, “why did I keep putting this off?” because it took you all of two minutes.

    I am really excited to read your new zine.

  3. Yo, thy zine was utter boss… No wonder orders are stacking up. Take it easy on them hands, though. They got a lot of things to say.

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