October has been grey and dreary so far. It’s felt a lot like inside days during elementary school, those days when the teacher let you stay inside during recess and lunch: silent reading, playing board games or with those math blocks that came in increments of 1, 10, 100. I used to write during those inside days, too, in my journal, which started as an assignment. Our teacher would give us class time to write every day, and I’m still doing the same thing, 30 years later.

Mostly, I’ve been sewing this month. Last Christmas, I picked out some patterns, bought the fabric, cut the pieces. But then I didn’t sew them. Last weekend was Thanksgiving, and I accidentally spent all three days of the holiday at my parents’s, finishing up a handful of projects: two dresses, a jacket, and rainbow fleece pyjamas.

And I made this: an 18th century pocket.

This pocket, one piece of what will be two pocket bags on a string to be tied around one’s waist underneath a dress, is one of the projects in my upcoming book. I had a pretty good idea in my head about how to sew it, but I had to test the instructions for myself. As much as we think we know something, making it–having it in our hands–reveals so many secrets.

I learned that bias binding is fussy and unnecessary for beginners. I learned that straight corners work, too. I learned how quickly one can make this pocket–perhaps during a future workshop?

Canzine preparations continue. This weekend, I’ll have a printing, cutting, stapling party, and there’ll probably be some hypnotic video. Are you following me on Instagram yet?

Solitaires is the zine I made during NaNoWriMo 2017. Instead of a 50,000 word novel, I wrote a new solitaire game every day that month. Some of them have table-sized setups; some of them can be played with one hand while you eat a sandwich. I don’t know if all of them are winnable, but solitaire isn’t really about the win. That’s why they call it “patience” in England. It’s a game about the cards we meet along the way.

The Canzine 2021 version of Solitaires is a half-size black-and-white zine, and every copy will have a playing card tucked inside. Maybe your card will tell your fortune.

But you can also get Solitaires right now, on itch.io. All of the zines I’m selling at Canzine this year are available for download. When I sell physical copies, I always add something extra.

We can’t do zinefests in person yet, but we can find new ways to connect. A little piece of me, sent through the mail, all the way to you.