December 16, 2004


I am in Minneapolis, in a existential k-hole, in a coffee shop, internetting outside the home as my boyfriend, despite having "everything" - does not have the internet in his home. Which makes coming to visit feel like a time warp into 1993 and I spend my time getting real things done (needlepoint, cleaning, baking pies for my man (no, I am not kidding - please do not tell the other old riot girls I employ such trad. gender roles in relationships))). Not being around "my stuff" or "the internet" then gives me real space (like the infinite, Stephen Hawking kind) to think about "things", and get tangled up in it's hot purgatorial space.

Like the six books in my brain trying to get out, trying to get written and me being very scared of them. Britt and I have the discussion about the books we cannot write until everyone in them dies, we have that talk often. About the books we will publish in 67 years, and how great they will be.
But right now, I am petrified of the book I can/could/cannot write, which every night and noon starts to breach birth itself. Being more fearful of success than failure is a real bitch.

I interviewed Sasha the other day for Media Reader (ride or die for nepotism!) and he told me a lot of stories, about being in funk bands and not about being in the Dustdevils (I had that cassette!) and my most meaningful favorite parts were when he told me about being a writer, and growing up writing, and how while he struggles with one part, or this/that, he grew up with permission and he grew up with much encouragement towards his writing and deep-wound literacy. I was jealous - I mean, yes, I did have encouragement on occasion, as a tiny writing lady -- my fanzine certainly got attention as soon as I started doing it. Maybe not the same thing as encouragement - I'd get a writing assignment from a magzine from one issue, my entire high school class burning an effigy of me the next... right now, I am so like, wanting the permission, feeling like my knuckles are all splintered and red from knocking on the clubhouse door, my brain exhausted from debating WHY I EVEN WANT IN, why making my own magazine is not good enough of an in...

I fear I am being obtuse, here, so lets just go balls deep. I am trying to write for some magazines and people, and being told no because my "writing voice is so distinct that it would be hard to edit you and work you in," or because I work doing PR still, and thats a conflict of interest and or just makes me entirely suspect, somehow. I am not trying to make some big-living off writing, I just want to land pitches in magazines that do not make me feel like living out my days strolling the sanitarium grounds. Not to floss like I am so genius, not to espouse what a burden it is to not be a passably mediocre writer. I am just saying. I remember when I showed J. Caramanica the writing of a young Chris Ryan, maybe 5 years ago, and Jon said "His writing is going to get him as many jobs as it loses him" - which is a compliment, a burden, and possibly an irony - and now, as I try and get legit, 'tis my story too.

It makes it hard to decifer whether the bad smell is you, or them, when you are getting the "I really like you as a friend," style fat-girl-prom-date-dis from editors. And all you want is to be edited, to learn and be grammatically correct. You wind up sitting there, making puppy eyes at them going "What if I promise not to use "steez" and made up words? What if I promise not to skew my review-thesis with gender?" and they tell you, affirmingly, that they really love your writing, you are a favorite perhaps, and that "emo is sexist" essay was 'really important' - but. But.

So, I am going back to doing what I did last time everyone gave me the gasface. Make my own magazine, get back in the lab with the pen and the pad. Which, as much as I love doing Hit it or Quit it, and despite, knowing in my heart that it really is the best American fanzine ever published since Creem (if you've read it, you know it's not just cockiness here), right now, I am daunted by the struggle of it. I kind of wish someone would just gift me editor/publishership of say JANE or Teen Vogue, and me and Julianne could just run it into the ground slowly by putting The Black Peppercorns and dead prez on the cover, with a giant paper mache Biz Markie doll sandwiched between them.

So, yeah, thats the really extended remix version of telling that Hit it or Quit it is back in action again, and is going to be a real magazine. As real as we can get it. As real as we keep it.

If you would like to pitch an idea, essay, drawing or beg inclusion in our forthcoming issue, hit Julianne and I up via mcfrenchvanilla at yahoo dot com. Difficult, deeply politicized and snapriffic ladies and sirs encouraged to apply. Rank amateurs and those with bloody knuckles tired from knocking, you too.
Come in, baby, cos we want you. We will watch the box for your quiet storm.

Posted by Jessica at December 16, 2004 04:13 PM | TrackBack