It took me all month, but I wrote a zine in February. I finished it at 20:59 on the 28th, which happened to fall on a Sunday. There’s a lot of good energy on Sundays, particularly if you have my kind of day job. Teaching kids isn’t 9–5, but it’s usually M–F. Sunday is both one more chance to get something done for the week and the first opportunity to start out with an achievement.
(I love my job, I’m grateful for my job, but I will happily walk away from this job as soon as I can. That’s always been the plan; that plan is inching closer.)
After February was written and published, the March issue of Congenial Telegram didn’t take very long. The theme was obvious right away: PAUSE. I’m going to hit pause on CT for the rest of the year. I almost made that decision in February. In fact, for most of the month, the Pages document sat open on my desktop, the ⏸️ already chosen as the cover icon.
But I only restarted CT again in November. If I paused in February, that would only be 4 new issues. What kind of habit is that? CT07 just happens to be all about habits.
If the year between March 2020 and March 2021, has taught you nothing, I hope it taught you this: we are not meant for daily habits. The longer this pandemic continues, I’m not sure we’re meant for weekly, or even monthly, habits either.
I don’t write every day; I write most days. I don’t publish a zine every month; I publish most months. 20 years after I created my first blog, I can tell you I’ve blogged most years. In 2021, I’ll be sending you a letter most weeks, and most weeks, it’ll be about how I’m writing a book about how to sew pockets into your favourite clothes.
I signed the contract last week with Microcosm, and I’m writing the first chapter (though not necessarily the first in the table of contents chapter) this week. You’ll be getting all of my flailing and fretting as I go along, but I hope I can also share a lot about the process and answer some questions for the younger versions of myself. For all the books I read in the 002 section of my local library, my path to publishing this book at this time was anything but clear.
But the path forward is spread out in front of my like a forest to be explored. Instead of a blog post or a zine, I’m thinking about how to turn my curiosities and obsessions into a book. I only have to choose which path I want to follow next.
At this moment, I can’t tell you if this book means I’ll write you more and less. I’ll certainly have less to announce over the year. At this moment, for more reasons than this one project, All Day Breakfast won’t be returning to the White Rock Farmers Market. But that doesn’t mean ADB will disappear, only that it will be solely online for the next few seasons. I opened up the shop with last year’s inventory, and I hope to add a new section with sewing and crochet soon!
I teach my reading students in a second floor office space uptown, across from the library, with a Chinese restaurant and a pet store below. In the corner first floor space, there used to be a florist; they didn’t survive the pandemic. Unlike so much empty retail space in my city, this shop is tiny–just 440 square feet. The rent is less than $2,000 a month. It’s exactly the right place at exactly the wrong time.
I wish I was ready to jump. Usually, when I discover these empty spaces, it’s the money I don’t have. This time, it’s support. It’s energy. I can’t do it by myself, and myself is all I have.
So I’ll hold onto the dream a little longer. I’ll tend to my online general store. And I’ll imagine a time in the future when I can sell my own books in my own shop.