Nicole J. Georges & Cassie J. Sneider in Montréal!

nicoleflier

Nicole J. Georges is an award-winning educator, illustrator and pet portrait artist from Portland, Oregon. Nicole has been publishing the autobiographical comic Invincible Summer since 2000, and has toured the country extensively, including two month-long appearances on Michelle Tea’s Sister Spit the Next Generation. Her work has been featured in Tin House, Bitch Magazine, The Rock n Roll Camp for Girls book, and more. In her spare time, Nicole gives advice at Ask Nicole Georges and volunteers with senior citizens. Calling Dr. Laura is her first full-length graphic memoir.

Cassie J. Sneider is the author of the life-changingly hilarious memoir Fine Fine Music, a memoir about growing up on Long Island, getting into rockandroll, and having many minimum-wage jobs along the way. She has been touring and performing around the country with comics and zines since 2008, including a nation-wide Sister Spit tour with Michelle Tea and Dorothy Allison in 2012. Cassie is a highly-acclaimed story teller, and hosts a monthly storytelling series called THE WORST! in Brooklyn and San Francisco.

This is a really great week for FUN FUN FUN in Montréal: the aforementioned reading and live advice-giving is taking place tomorrow evening, Thursday afternoon will see the Midnight Kitchen Library & Calendar Launch (where I’ll be tabling with the distro), and this weekend, we’ll finally be showing off our winter projects at the Fun-A-Day 5 à 7 and Show & Tell at the Ste-Émilie Skillshare. If you’re in the city, please come out to these fantastic events!

Fun-A-Day 5 à 7 & Gallery – Montréal!

funadayflier

Winter is almost over – it’s time to come out of hibernation and show each other what we’ve been working on during these endless cold days.

Saturday, March 2nd: 5 à 7 and Show & Tell
Sunday, March 3rd: Gallery Hours 12-6pm

Do you have a project you’d like to display? Send an email to amber.norreanATgmail.com.

What is Fun-A-Day? The premise is simple: pick a project, do it every day in January, then show your work in a big group show. More info at: www.artclash.com

Facebook event here.

SALE: It’s Winter, Fight Boredom with Zines!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ SPEND $10.00 ON ZINES, GET 1 ZINE FREE! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
(Spend $20.00, get 2 free zines, etc. Total before postage. You can choose your own free zine that’s regularly priced at $2.00 or under, or ask for a surprise. Sale ends on Sunday, February 10th.)

As usual, just click How To Order, send your payment, then check your mailbox in a week or two. By the way, this’ll be your last chance to order from Fight Boredom before the springtime, as I’ll be going on hiatus while I travel and work on other projects – I’ll have all kindsa new zines listed when I’m back.

Every year, I make a winter survival to-do list, something to keep me going through this season of chilly weather and early sunsets. But this year, I haven’t needed it! Just like I trained myself to become a Morning Person, I seem to have made myself into a Winter Person, too. People complain to me about the cold and I’m just like, “Huh?” I’ve been walking all over the city; eating lunch at the People’s Potato, going to shows, singing at karaoke… Still, there are many times when I’m just curled up in bed reading a book or a zine (I’ve already read six books this year!), and I’ll bet y’all are doing some winter reading too. Just to make sure you’ve got enough to keep occupied ’til springtime, I’M HAVING A DISTRO SALE YAY! Maybe you can get zines for your valentine and read ‘em together!

Sunday Afternoon Quiet Parties

Back in the summertime, we started having Quiet Parties at the Tulip Farm. The first one happened by accident. Kit and I were writing letters together, then Justin showed up with a pair of pants he was mending. Charline came over and wanted to join in, so I dug some supplies out of my desk drawers, and she sewed an old patch onto one of my cardigans, stitched a ‘C’ below. We didn’t walk much, just drank tea and worked on stuff. If I’m not mistaken, Hari and Frankie joined us later in the day, when they were off work.

At the end of the day, I realized that it was the Perfect Sunday. And I wanted it to happen again. So I started inviting friends over – Hey, I’m having a Quiet Party today. Bring letters, patches, crafts, whatever. People are welcome to show up throughout the day. Things usually get going around noon and then people are out by dinnertime. Generally, there are three or four of us workin’ on stuff at the kitchen table together, though I think we’ve managed to cram fifteen people into our little apartment on a couple of Sundays in the past. I set up a box full of stationery on the kitchen table, brew some tea, sometimes I’ll bake something. The thing about Quiet Parties is that for the most part, they really do remain quiet, and that’s what I like about ‘em. Often, when I’m reading a book or writing letters alone, I wish there was someone next to me doing the same thing. So when I have a Quiet Party, I have the company I’ve been wishing for, but without the pressure of being fun and entertaining and on. We’ll talk and catch up a little bit, we’ll listen to cassette tapes, but we’ve got our own projects to focus on.

The reason I’m writing about our Quiet Parties is because people often ask me what the deal is, and if they can start their own. Well, here it is: Invite a few people over, share your stationery, and you’re set.

Maranda Elizabeth & Their New Book

My twin and favourite writer, Maranda Elizabeth, will be in Montréal tomorrow to launch their new zine anthology, Telegram: A Collection of 27 Issues. The book was published recently by Mend My Dress Press, and has already seen launches in Toronto and Guelph – with Peterborough, Ontario to come and then a tour of the US West Coast. This is your chance to see them reading at the Ste-Émilie Skillshare, alongside friends Hayden Slays and Kit A. (Facebook event here).

telegramlaunch2

When: Sunday January 13th, 2-5pm.
Where: Ste-Émilie Skillshare, 3942 rue Ste-Émilie (métro St-Henri).
Who: Maranda Elizabeth, Hayden Slays, Kit A. and Fight Boredom Distro.
What: Readings, conversation, inspiration. Probably snacks.
$: The event is free. Copies of the book will be available for $25 and zines will be available for $1-$5.00.

From the back of the book: “In Telegram: A Collection of 27 Issues, Maranda tells tales of daily adventures, friendship, gender identity, falling in love with bicycles, getting tattoos, moving out, going crazy, and their experiences with inpatient hospitalizations. They also write about their relationship with their twin sister, and learning how to take care of their mental health within and without conventional institutions, identifying as genderqueer, getting sober, living a creative and meaningful daily life, and finding reasons to keep on going.”

“Telegram is the kind of zine that made me want to start writing zines in the first place. They write about their personal experiences with enough distance and care that they become not purging, but rather small maps that can help us to look at our own lives and the beauty of how we survive and become more fully the people we want to become.” – Cindy Crabb, Doris

Yelle lance aussi Télégramme #24, la traduction française de Telegram #24 qui inclut les articles Yelle Yelle Yelle Bla Bla Bla et Comment Être un.e Bon.ne Ami.e d’une Personne Cinglée. Le zine serait disponible via le Etsy de Maranda et Mad Pride Montréal.

Don’t forget to check out their launch at The Spill in Peterborough, Ontario with one of the funniest people we know – Dave Cave of Everybody Moon Jump (Facebook event here) – and keep up with their tour online. The book will also be available via Fight Boredom Distro in the coming days – keep up with the news here.

telegramlaunch3

It’s Time For Fun-A-Day!

From www.artclash.com: “What is Fun-A-Day? The premise is simple: pick a project, do it every day in January, then show your work the following month in a big group show. Started in 2004 by a group of friends in Philadelphia, Fun-A-Day began as a way to stay creative and motivate each other to make things through the winter. Now in its ninth year, Fun-A-Day has grown from its Philadelphia roots–in 2010 there were 10 Fun-A-Day shows, organized by different art collectives and groups of friends across the country. If there’s not a Fun-A-Day show in your community, consider organizing one. It’s fun, easy and you’ll probably meet new friends!”

My friends Frankie, Morgan, and myself, are organizing a Fun-A-Day event here in Montréal (Facebook event here). The perfect way to fight boredom and keep on goin’ through the winter. I thought I’d write here about what I’m working on, and also include suggestions for others – after all, January is only two days a way!

I’m gonna call my project Food-A-Day. One of my winter goals has been to cook more often and be less anxious about being in kitchens (seriously, I swear I live off of toast and cereal most days), so I’ll be documenting some of my meals and writing daily journal entries on various food-y memories, pizza dates, riots-not-diets… Food is a pretty broad topic that can take me on all kindsa tangents and I’m looking forward to it. In the end, it’ll probably turn into a zine (as I’m sure you may have already guessed).

Christmas Eve breakfast: Tofu scramble with sriracha, toast with avocado and alfalfa sprouts, banana smoothie.

Christmas Eve breakfast: Tofu scramble with sriracha, toast with avocado and alfalfa sprouts, banana smoothie.

When I was hangin’ with Dave Cave in the fall, he gave me a jar with alfalfa seeds, and told me how to sprout ‘em: put a couple tablespoons of seeds into a mason jar, seal it with cheesecloth, rinse it in the morning and at night et voilà – in a few days, you will have yourself some sprouts! So yummy, and fun to grow in the kitchen during the winter.

It may be too cold to grow things on the balcony, but it's never too cold to grow things in a jar!

It may be too cold to grow things on the balcony, but it’s not too cold to grow things in a jar!

Here are some ideas for things-to-do-a-day: Read a zine; create a self-portrait; make a comic; give something away; try a new tea; write a letter; call a friend; write a haiku; try a new recipe; say hello to a stranger; write down a secret; learn something new about yr neighbourhood; bake something and share it; mend an item of clothing; make a postcard; take a picture; draw something; write about a childhood memory; write a review; learn a new word in a second, third, fourth language; make a diorama; write a song; write down a fear, a hope, and a goal; tell your friends what you love about them; learn a dance move; play a game; pet a cat; make a poster; listen to an album you’ve never heard before… and document your daily efforts!

So, who else is participating in Fun-A-Day? And what are you gonna do?

Eat Well, Read Lots, Stay Cozy

It’s nearly four o’clock in the morning and I went to bed at midnight and just can’t seem to sleep. Blame it on the caffeine. So I’m gonna write about what’s on my mind and maybe if I pour everything outta my brain, my mind will stop racing and I’ll finally fall asleep. That, or I’ll pull an all-nighter and watch the sun come up.

Let’s talk about wintertime and fresh starts and the New Year. Every autumn, when the leaves turn gold and the nights get colder, I prepare my winter survival strategy: a to-do list to keep me goin’ through the months of snow, freezing temperatures, and early sunsets. This time around, I’ve been saying eat well, read lots, stay cozy, like it’s some kinda slogan. Simple goals. Over the past few months, I’ve been training myself to be a morning person and I’ve been doing pretty well at it. I figure if I can do that, I can train myself to be a winter person, too. Not like a let’s-hit-the-slopes winter person, more like a let’s-not-be-a-melancholic-hermit winter person. So far, so good! I’ve been keeping myself busy with a few writing projects as usual, and mostly just hanging out at the Tulip Farm, surrounded by papers and cats and bowls of rice and soup. I repainted and redecorated my bedroom, and made a comic for Zine Crush. I’ve even been going for walks in the snow just for fun, and that’s saying something – a few days ago, we had a record-breaking snowfall here in Montréal, levels that haven’t been seen since 1971. Lookit this charming video of it!

This is the first year ever that I didn’t visit my family for the holidaze. Really just because I saw them in November and I was tired of bus-ing it all over the place. I wrote letters instead, and my grandparents sent me a pair of slippers in the mail, which is super cute. It’s been very quiet around here, with my roommate gone, and my neighbour left for a few days, too. I’ve had a houseful of cats though – Sebastian, Thunder, and Marie – and it’s been so lovely. On Christmas Eve, I took the day to myself. I wrote lots, listened to tapes, went for a walk, picked up a copy of Putain by Nelly Arcan at a nearby used bookstore, worked on recording some audio zine-y stuff…

My silly face. In the background: A freshly-painted pink bedroom wall and a rainbow of zines.

My silly face. In the background: A freshly-painted pink bedroom wall and a rainbow of zines.

The best part about staying in Montréal for the holidaze: catsitting! This is Marie, my cousin's sweetheart of a cat.

The best part about staying in Montréal for the holidaze: catsitting! This is Marie, my cousin’s sweetheart of a cat.

Now there are only two days left in the year. For me, it’s a time of self-reflection. On Christmas night, I gathered around a kitchen table with friends (some I’d only met that night) and we talked about the things we’d learned over the past year. It was strange – I usually get shy and anxious in groups of people – but I felt so comfortable. The next day, I wrote a few pages in my journal about lessons learned: “I learned about the difference between loneliness and being alone. I learned about taking care of myself, even if I’m not always very good at it. I learned about the kinds of interactions I wanna have with people, and that it’s okay if I don’t wanna go to parties and do all the “fun” stuff. I learned more about communication and what I want/need from friendships and romantic relationships.” There is so much more, but nothing I wanna share online. It’ll stay in my journal, in letters, in conversations.

Fight Boredom with Fashion: Dyeing a denim vest in my kitchen sink.

Fight Boredom with Fashion: Dyeing a denim vest in my kitchen sink.

Looking back in an old notebook, my resolutions for 2012 were to learn how to approach people and be more sociable; to write reviews of every book I read; to stay sober; to travel lots; to make things happen. I feel like I’ve been successful and I can keep it up (except for the whole book review thing, but I’ll try again). In 2013, I’d like to learn how see the big picture – like, to able to work on bigger projects even if I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much, if anything, by the end of the day. I’d like to build up my self-confidence and I’d like to quit a couple of pesky habits. Oh, and start a savings account, and publish my damn book.

I also want to be more mindful of my sobriety. I’ve been sober for fourteen months now, by the way. Back in November, I picked up a copy of Each Day A New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women (I know I know, it sounds totally cheesy and unpunk, but hey, the book is stolen; I’m still cool, right?) and I’m looking forward to starting it on New Year’s Day. Each page features a quote from various women in history – Virginia Woolf, Billie Holiday, Carole King, George Sand… – with additional notes. It comes back to the Twelve Steps, but it doesn’t look too God-y. I tried to think about who I might replace God’s name with while reading, and fuck it, my inspirational people are Anaïs Nin and Kurt Cobain. They’ll have to be my version of God for now. (I am half-serious). (I just picked up the book to flip through it, and Anaïs Nin is actually quoted on the January 17th entry).

Writing a letter to Kate in NYC.

Writing a letter to Kate in NYC.

Aaaand now it’s five in the morning. I guess I’m in it for the long haul.

How is the winter treating you so far? Any plans for the New Year?