In 2011, MailChimp bought TinyLetter, the company where I started my very first newsletter. Because we all know what happens after being acquired, I left TinyLetter then, roaming around until I came back, where it–surprisingly–remains unchanged 10 years later.
Last month, MailChimp announced it had been bought by Intuit, the company which makes TurboTax. It seems there are no ethical mailing list choices to be made in 2021, and I’ve moved again, to ConvertKit, a company that does email, but also a little bit more of what I want. With CK, I can combine my mailing list with two items on my dream list for 2022: digital downloads and email courses.
Nothing changes on your end, except maybe the look of some emails. This weekly letter will always be free. In fact, I might even be able to give you more for free, now that it’s built-in.
This weekend is Canzine 2021–online again, as it was last year. You can find me in the Ravioli Revolution section. Lemme tell you about the zines I have for sale.
The One About Ringo Starr is a zine made from a letter I sent you last summer. I bought a turntable in 2020 for two reasons: because I was alone during quarantine and because my parents have a huge record collection. During my time alone, I accidentally listened to a lot of solo projects: Stevie Nicks’s first post-Fleetwood Mac, Harry Styles’s new album, and Ringo by Ringo Starr. This zine is about favourites, about what it means to go solo, and why we sometimes have to get the band back together.
White Rock Parks was published by Poor Quality in collaboration with Aaron S. Moran. It’s a guidebook to every designated park within the city limits of White Rock. One sunny summer day, I walked to each park, sat on the bench (if there was a bench), and wrote. You don’t have to walk to every park in one day. That’s why I made you a guide, to help you find your way back.
Voyager 2 was launched on August 20, 1977. (Voyager 1 followed on September 5th.) For a game jam celebrating the 40th anniversary, I made Golden Record, a storytelling card game. Your task is to choose what we tell people about ourselves now, 44 years later. What’s new on Earth? What didn’t exist in 1977? If you could choose just one song to add to the mix tape for space, what would it be? What belongs on the new golden record?
Depression Cards is a game for how to get through life. I created these cards for myself, first, to help me with gentle reminders to get things done. The best part is you cannot lose. Each card is the smallest task you can accomplish. If you discover one night that you haven’t completed a single card, make a new one, and do it right away. The game keeps going because you want it to. My zine comes with 10 cards to start you off.
Canteen is a solo RPG where you play as a kitchen object, passed down through time. I wrote this game for a jam using a game system called Lost & Found, created by Mousehole Press. It’s a system of questions and choices, leading to a quiet, contemplative experience—journalling as gaming.
Solitaires are also meant to be played alone. During a NaNoWriMo, I wrote 30 different ways to play the game we call solitaire (the English call it “patience”). Every copy sold during Canzine comes with a random card from my deck–perhaps it will tell your fortune.
(This year, I’m calling my NaNo challenge NaMaZiMo. Come out and learn more!)
And Sourdough. This weekend is also the last weekend for All Day Breakfast at the White Rock Farmers Market. It was a grand experiment, bringing together my writing and baking to make this zine and sourdough starter package. You get 1 oz. of my now 3-year-old starter to help boost your sourdough dreams. The zine contains instructions for how to start, how to maintain, and how to use your sourdough to bake bread.
Of course I still wish we could do zinefests in person, but the setup for Canzine is pretty nice. The best part is that Broken Pencil have created one shop for everyone. You, the readers, can buy zines from anyone, and it’s just one transaction. You’ll receive all your zines together in one package.
So look around! Over on Instagram, I have a story called Zine Friends, which highlights some favs from last year. There’s never been a better time to get into zines than right now. As the norms of our world are breaking down, it’s time to start telling the stories which have long been stuck the cracks.
I hope you’ll join me on November 1 for the launch of NaMaZiMo–National Make a Zine Month! During this one hour online talk, I’ll be recounting some of the wild challenges I’ve set myself, like a zine every week for a whole year, poems written with Harry Styles lyrics, and daily broadsheets made in Apple Pages–on my phone! 30 days goes by faster than you think, and this webinar will help you feel prepared to make a zine in November. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.