Saturday, September 4, 2010

from my blog: donuts at home

When I engage people in conversation today at my SFZF table and tell them I am here from NYC, they ask me "Did you come here for this?" Not in a sarcastic, but possibly surprised way. Did I come all the way across country to sit at a table to sell four-dollar zines?

"No", I answer. "I also did the Portland Zine Symposium last week. I used to live in both cities, so I come to see friends and also do the zine fest."

Then some people went on to tell me their NY moment in life, while other people didn't seem to care whether I was local or not, disinterested in me or their zine.

One guy used the zine fest to try to pick me up. "What's a zine?" he asked. I explained it innocently. He then went on to ask about my Blackberry Pearl and if I was satisfied with it. Is this guy a shill for the company I thought. Trying to market below the radar to the indie crowd. Still not getting his angle, he pretty directly told me I was a cute NY Jew and did I want to get a drink after the show. "It's OK you have a boyfriend, a drink doesn't mean anything. Man, I would move back to NJ for you." This went on, and never one to slam the door, waited for him to take the hint. Wrong. While standing there going on about his hots for me, he actually got a boner. I got rid of him by giving him my email. Should have given a false one, but oh well.

So, what did I come here, to the zine fests, for? In fact, why do I do a zine in the first place?

I don't know.

I am not having a bad time. My one complaint being, why does zine fest have to equal not showering? Happily my table neighbors both at PZS (Hi Seth and Gabby!) and SFZF (hi Tomas and Amy!) are clean and delightful, but there was some serious hygiene issues happening today. Also, I have been selling zines and trading, when I want to. Mostly I don't accept trade. But, truthfully, am I the person doing this? I don't read a ton of zines. I don't trade except on occasion. I wouldn't sleep on someone's couch to do this. I constantly tally my sales and make cost versus earnings updates. I am 39 years old, well beyond the mean.

Also, I am not selling and printing my writing. That's the whole other new question for myself. Why am I working this hard to solicit submissions for complete strangers, sending reminders, sometimes practically begging, for someone's shot in the dark work. I read submissions that frankly suck. Folks who couldn't have possibly ever tried their piece out on a friend first. Who haven't read my zine first to get an idea, or if they have, miss the mark. I am a hard-to-please, greying, middle class fuck.

Sales. I love to sell. I am sure every zinester in the world would spit on me for the capitalist bend, my handicapping priority, but it is true. It is a thrill when someone buys my clock, zine, two-dollar hair clip, one-dollar hand made card. Print. I am a sucker for print and paper. Community. Zine folks are great, mostly. People with less money than me are ready to give me their zine for free, 'just take it'. Leadership. I like being the zine curator. This is my visual plus verbal art that is mostly all mine.

Also, the name We'll Never Have Paris is too cool to give up yet.

I got offered a gig interpreting a cruise next month. I was requested specifically by name. Sweet! I checked my calendar though, and bummer. Same weekend as Richmond Zine Fest.

See you Oct 16 in Richmond. With Volume 7, after I harangue more folks for submissions.

Check it out on the blog or buy or borrow a copy, then submit an essay, drawing, laundry list.