Categories
mindfulness Musings

Monday Musing: Zen Again, Zen Again

On Friday, with only three weeks left to go before Christmas, I stopped at my local CVS for laser paper. It’s a little more expensive there than at Staples, but it’s a shorter walk, and I like to save my steps for walking in the woods and not the big box stores.

Standing in line with my laser paper and a mini Panettone — it’s the holidays after all — I realized I was going to be waiting a while. There was a long line, one open register, and a family having a serious discussion with the cashier:

Can we use this coupon? (No.)

How about this one? (No.)

Is this eye pencil sharpener on sale? (No, it’s the other one, with the case.)

Can’t you apply the sale to this one? (No.) (Did you want the lip balm that’s on sale?)

Oh yes. Hold on. Let me run back and get that.

The laser paper was getting heavy, and I almost dropped the mini Panettone. Plus I was hot now — and a little annoyed — and since the only other cashier was busy putting out the Valentine’s Day candy, I decided to leave.

Not huffy leave. Or angry leave. Just put down my things and move on to the next errand leave, practicing my best versions of Surrender and Acceptance.

Truth be told, I ended up having to do the same thing at the post office 10 minutes later. No big deal. I wasn’t in desperate need of laser paper (or that Panettone), and the letter I was mailing could post on Monday.

Since I’d saved all of that time not waiting in lines, I headed across town to one of my favorite places to walk. A trail that winds across a marsh, and up through the woods to an overlook with views of Long Island Sound and a monument to poet Jennie Vedder that reminds:

I would be one with Earth again,
and grieve not as the seasons pass,
but joyous in the pulse of grass,
exultant with the beat of rain.
I would be one with Earth again,
one with her joy, one with her pain.

It was such a pretty almost-winter day. Sunny with a nice chilly breeze. Quiet except for some lingering gulls and the Amtrak heading to New York. Perfect…marred only by the Festering I was still doing about the holidays, the lines, the people at the register back at CVS.

Then a little inner voice yelled: STOP!

You went to all that effort finding your Zen spot; you made decisions to leave the things that were not serving you; and here you are full-up with thoughts about those same things. STOP!

The thing is, we all have that choice every day. Do we sit in the muck of thoughts about this or that, or do we move on about our business? Get our shoes stuck down in the mud or walk around the edge and move forward?

But I’m not perfect, and mind-control is not my forte whatsoever…so I found that Festering’s thoughts kept trying to find their way back in again. You know, sort of in that same way your thoughts push through your moments of Meditation? Zen then Me! Me! Me!  Zen then Think Over Here! Think Over Here!

So we all sort of walked together for a while—me, my thoughts, the folks in line at the post office, and the family at CVS. Until I lost site of the family, and the post office line dissipated. My thoughts wandered off about a new writing project, and there I was — alone at last! Me and my Zen, again.

There is nothing like a walk in the woods to chase away the pesky thoughts. To reconnect you with Here and Now. To show you the way to Grace and Gratitude. And Zen.

©2022, Jen Payne

Categories
Creativity

Creative Gift Ideas

A Gift Subscription to MANIFEST (zine)
is a one-of-a-kind gift idea for the holidays!

It’s like sending a mini art installation that features interesting images and creative rabbit holes, quotes, poetry, a curated Spotify playlist. Layered with colors, textures, meanings (and music), the result is a thought-full, tactile journey with nooks and crannies to discover along the way. Gift subscriptions cost $25.00 include a custom holiday greeting/gift acknowledgement and four printed issues of MANIFEST (zine) starting with our upcoming winter issue, Great & Small.


MANIFEST (zine)

Visit our Etsy Shop to order individual issues as gifts or stocking stuffers. Each costs $8.00, which includes some cool extras and shipping. (Each Etsy listing includes a sneak preview video.)


Our Books

Perfect for the book lover in your life, consider giving a book from Three Chairs Publishing. Each comes signed by the author with a few creative extras.


Don’t Miss Holiday Expo!

Looking for a festive shopping experience? Then be sure to visit the Holiday Expo at Guilford Art Center (411 Church Street, Guilford). You’ll find many of our Three Chairs Publishing creations on display, along with ceramics, pottery, glass, jewelry, homewares, fiber art, ornaments, accessories, toys, specialty foods, stationery, leather goods and more. More than 200 American artists, makers and designers are featured in this year’s event. Click here for more information.


Thank you for your support!

Just like shopping local during the holidays, shopping at Three Chairs Publishing’s online shop has ripple effects. Your purchases help to support the women-owned printing company that prints our books, the locally-owned print shops that print our marketing materials, and the U.S. Postal Service which reliably delivers our products to your doorstep. You also help the self-employed editors, proofreaders, typesetters, artists, and tech support folks who help turn my ideas into things I can put into your hands to enjoy.

For all of that, and your continued support of my creative work, thank you. Happy Holidays! — JEN PAYNE

Categories
Memoir Poetry

Breath Counting

When sleeping with a bear
it is critical to pay attention to the breath —
his and yours.

His will tell you when it is safe
to muck about in dreams
and when it is time
to curl up and play dead.

Death
     in this case: to feign sleep
is a practiced thing

slow     deep     breath     in

slow     deep     breath     out

slow     deep     breath     in

slow     deep     breath     out

Most nights, he’ll forget his hunger
and roll over — you pray
hands clasped around your knees
making yourself small
a burr in the blanket and of far less importance
than himself and his sleep.

©2022, Jen Payne

Categories
Nature Poetry

They’re building infrastructure in the woods


There are tractor marks in the rabbit warren,
that sweet spot on the path where the
bittersweet and grapevines arbored the trail,
where the sounds of commerce faded just enough to hear
the rabbits waiting for you to pass.

It’s bulldozed wide, now four-persons across
nevermind the rabbits
or the winter sparrows who found refuge there
or the jays who loved the grapes
or the pileated whose only recourse
is to tap out an S.O.S. on a nearby dying ash

They’re building infrastructure in the woods, you see
plowing back desperate saplings,
piling debris where the wild asters grew
flattening out the turtles’ fertile slopes

laying instead their misplaced traprock paths
and sweet-smelling lumbered bridges
giving us more room to tramp about
another ingress marked by colored flags
nailed deep into the skins of trees

Tell me please…
Will the rabbits find sanctuary before the snow?
Were the turtles buried alive?
Do the trees weep before the hammer strikes?

Poem and photo ©2022, Jen Payne

Categories
Poetry

Chronos Weeps

What happened to the shape of days?

The slow unfolding of dawn, the clear delineation of time — beginning, end, respite

that marked space for pursuits of gods — Hypnos, Eros, Hephaestus. (Though rarely in that order.)

Our haloed mechanisms godlike now — omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient.

            Hey Siri: Who is Hephaestus?

And so we worship false gods, bow down to their divine scheme,

keep talismans close at hand for fear to miss their callings

their new demands of sacrifice — silence, sabbath, solitude.

I fear they’ve killed Atlas, too, left our world spinning

without the stars to guide us,

without the sun and shadow, our shape of days

and time.

Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. Photo by Scotch Mist, Head of Sculpture of Chronos in Knights’ Hall of Royal Castle, Warsaw, Poland.

Categories
Creativity

Thank you.

This past year has been a whirlwind for my little publishing imprint, Three Chairs Publishing. In February, I published my fourth book, Water Under the Bridge: A Sort-of Love Story. It kicked off with a warm welcome at the Guilford Art Center on Valentine’s weekend, and was featured by the Independent Book Review as part of “45 Books We’re Excited About from Indie Presses & Indie Authors.” 

Close to my heart has been my zine project, MANIFEST (zine). I created five issues this year — WaterEndemic, Heroically Found, and The Lola Poems — each with a different tone and theme. I think that’s what I love most about the zine format. It allows my creative voice to speak its peace — maybe loud, maybe sweet, maybe rambling — hopefully always interesting.

Participation in THE EXCHANGE this past fall introduced my work to a new audience, as did a mention in the 25th anniversary issue of Broken Pencil magazine and reviews by Ken Bausert and Silver Nyx. My writing was included in Sunspot Literary Journal’s Geminga 2022 Contest for Tiny Prose, Poem, or Art, the Connecticut Bards Poetry Review 2022, and the Poetry Institute’s zine Circumference. Good stuff, right?

This Thanksgiving, I find myself thinking about good stuff like that, and about all of the people who have supported my work in 2022…from my regular zine subscribers and the folks who bought my books, to the staff at the Guilford Art Center and the Blackstone Library.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the ongoing influence of my friend and mentor, author Dale Carlson, who passed away in January. And I am ever grateful for my ongoing creative conversations with Judith Bruder, Tara Buckley, Joy Bush, Laure Noe, and Mary O’Connor.

If you’re reading this, I am grateful for you, too! I could not do what I do without your kind and generous audience. Thank you.

With love and wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!

— Jen Payne —

Categories
Nature Poetry

Osprey Sighting at Thanksgiving 2022

A lone osprey circles in the near-winter sky
bides time with the resident gulls
and wonders at the familiar landscape
now gone foreign

The sudden slow change went unremarked,
the memo of departure mislaid,
and communal cues misread

For wont of thermals, aloft now on fortitude alone
it flies along the coast — searching maybe
or reeling in the easy, quiet solitude
a spin, swoop, spiral dance

Perhaps both, like me —
a jubilant embrace belies
the ache of cold, empty air.

Poem ©2022, Jen Payne

Categories
Nature Photography

Friday Photo 11.11.22

Contrails and Train Rails, Old Saybrook, CT by Jen Payne
Categories
Nature Photography

Friday Photo 11.04.22

Is this a missed opportunity?, RWA Recreational Space,
New Haven, CT by Jen Payne
Categories
Creativity Storytelling

Fairytale

A  100-WORD STORY

Last night, while I slept in the just-right bed, my feet pressed against the tower wall, the Bears came and ate what was left of the wise Scribe’s apples. His favorites, he told me, bewitchingly red and wild, but rare these late fall days.

It’s quiet enough here to hear the wings of the Crow King as he flies through the stars, but not — apparently — the sound of Bears crossing the meadow in Moonlight. It seems they ate the Mountains too, or so the Fog might tell. Tell if it could speak that is, but all I hear is birdsong.


©2022, Jen Payne.

Categories
Nature Photography

Friday Photo 10.28.22

Relatively Linear, RWA Recreational Space,
New Haven, CT by Jen Payne
Categories
Nature Photography

Friday Photo 10.21.22

Brilliant Fall, RWA Recreational Space,
New Haven, CT by Jen Payne
Categories
Photography

Friday Photo 10.07.22

Window/Gallery 7, Eli Center for Contemporary Art,
New Haven, CT by Jen Payne
Categories
Books Creativity

Looking for something to read?

I am always inspired by those life moments that move us most — love and loss, joy and disappointment, milestones and turning points. When I’m not exploring our connections with one another, I enjoy writing about our relationships with nature, creativity, and mindfulness, and how these offer the clearest path to finding balance in our frenetic, spinning world.

Very often, my writing is accompanied by photography and artwork. As both a graphic designer and writer, I think partnering visuals and words layers the intentions of my work, and makes the communication more palpable. I hope you will agree!

Categories
Creativity

Banned Books Week 2022

Three Chairs Publishing

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Banned Books Week 2022 will be held September 18 – 24. The theme of this year’s event is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The ALA Office for Intellectual…

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Categories
Creativity

NEW! Limited Edition Issue of MANIFEST (zine)

Issue #10, The Lola Poems

“I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats,” writes Eckhart Tolle in his book The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. “Watch any plant or animal and let it teach you acceptance of what is, surrender to the Now. Let it teach you Being. Let it teach you integrity —which means to be one, to be yourself, to be real. Let it teach you how to live and how to die, and how not to make living and dying into a problem.”
 
THE LOLA POEMS is a limited edition, memorial issue of MANIFEST (zine) that honors the passing of my own little Zen master, Lola, by considering the lessons she taught me in our time together.

16-page, 4.25 x 5.5 booklet, Cost: $8.00 or subscribe and get 4 issues for $25.00.


You can pay through PayPal using a PayPal account or any standard credit card. If you prefer the old school approach, please send your check, made payable to Jen Payne, P.O. Box 453, Branford, CT 06405.

Categories
Memoir Poetry

Upon Meeting My Dad at the Library

I want to be the one
who sharpens the tiny pencils
tucked neatly in the cubby
next to the Library’s
digital card catalog.

They are all that’s left
of the long wooden drawers,
their well-worn finger pulls,
the alphabet instructions:
how to get from here to there.

The tap-tap-tap machines
have replaced the tactile cards,
the rhythm of sorting,
the meditations of
this simple space where

The clocks tick
and pages turn
motes settle
on memories

and there at my fingertips
as close as those pencils
he appears, my age now
this young or this old
I do not recall…

except for the moment
he said I want to be the one
who punches the clock,
works from here to there
and nothing more

nothing more
after giving so much more
for so long

but it was too late
for anything else
or anything more
than that beautiful secret
said out loud

this young or this old
I do not recall…
his whisper of a wish
the change of heart
frozen in time as

The clocks tick
and pages turn
motes settle
on memories

and now I want to be the one
who punches the clock
or sharpens the tiny pencils
or something quiet and simple
so very simple
for whatever time I have left.

 

Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. Reprinted in memory of my dad who left this planet 27 years ago today. 
Categories
Grief Storytelling

The Sense of Grief

Akin to the “just a bad dream” trope, my sense of grief is this: something has gone dreadfully wrong with the Universe and if I just do this ONE THING, it will all revert back to normal. One sees this frequently in science fiction and fantasy films — the heroine on a quest to find a key, a portal, a magical lever that will right the wrong. Not unfamiliar with a strong work ethic, I slip easily into the task. And the expectation. Anticipating that each effort, no matter how small or insignificant  — an action as simple as opening a door even — may be that ONE THING. Now? It’s fleeting of course. The hard weight of reality always presses firmly on sweet hope. At some point, you accept the new way of being, that empty empty space, but not without the occasional beautiful moment of Now?… weeks, months, years later.

©2022, Jen Payne

Categories
Creativity Storytelling

Sleeping on Arch Street

A  100-WORD STORY

I slept on a cot near my grandmother’s bed in a room that smelled like eucalyptus. The aluminum frame squeaked when I moved, despite my small size and efforts to keep quiet. My grandfather slept in the adjoining room, his presence as unnerving as the Jesus portrait on the wall. The story goes he woke her once with a pitcher of water, threw it on the bed so she’d make his breakfast. I wonder if the train whistle ever disturbed him, pulled him down the tracks to the steel mill, back to the stacks and hot slag where he belonged.

 

 

 


©2022, Jen Payne.

Categories
Zine

Now Available! Manifest (zine): Heroically Found

Issue #9, Heroically Found

Taking its theme from the William Butler Yeats poem “A Crazed Girl,” HEROICALLY FOUND considers how we improvise as we go along “no matter what disaster occurred,” finding balance, like the crazed girl, in “her music, her poetry, dancing upon the shore.” Quoting from a variety of spiritual and creative sources, HEROICALLY FOUND posits that the way to find equilibrium in these challenging times is through mindful presence — a meditation that opens our hearts and minds to art, to poetry, and to unexpected blessings. For writer Jen Payne, those blessings often include creativity, inspiration, and beautiful rays of insight revealed during her walking meditations in the woods and along the shore. Come along and see what you can find yourself!

INGREDIENTS: appropriation art, collaged elements, color copies, color scans, colored markers, digital art, ephemera, essays, found art, found objects, found poetry, hand-drawn fonts, handmade rubber stamp art, ink jet copies, land art, laser prints, original photographs, poetry, and quotes. With gratitude to Keri Smith and guest appearances by Dale Carlson, Joseph Cornell, Ami McKay, Charles Simic, William Butler Yeats,  and more!

Special thanks to the James Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford, CT for its support of MANIFEST (zine).

24-page, full-color 5×7 + inserts, Cost: $8.00 or subscribe and get 4 issues for $25.00.


MANIFEST (zine): Heroically Found is part of THE EXCHANGE, a statewide Connecticut Artist Treasure Hunt on view, August 15 – November 1, 2022 (rain or sun). It includes GPS-tracking, QR codes, and adventuring to 15 unique public art installations by 23 participating artists. The designated sites can be accessed through a map with GPS coordinates found at www.SomethingProjects.net.


You can pay through PayPal using a PayPal account or any standard credit card. If you prefer the old school approach, please send your check, made payable to Jen Payne, P.O. Box 453, Branford, CT 06405.

Categories
Zine

THE EXCHANGE: A Statewide Connecticut Artist Treasure Hunt

I am psyched to be part of THE EXCHANGE, a statewide artist treasure hunt happening in Connecticut from now until November 1! CLICK HERE for an interactive map, GPS coordinates, and video clues from all of the artists!

SomethingProjects is launching its first project, a statewide Connecticut Artist Treasure Hunt called THE EXCHANGE, on view daily, August 15 – November 1, 2022 (rain or sun). It includes GPS-tracking, QR codes, and adventuring to 15 unique public art installations. The designated sites can be accessed through a map with GPS coordinates found at SomethingProjects.net beginning August 15.

Get ready for an adventure! Plan your outing to visit the many exciting projects in which the public is invited to engage in fun and meaningful ways in the towns of: Beacon Falls, Branford, Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Hamden, Hartford, Meriden, New Haven, North Haven, Washington Depot, and Waterbury. Learn about these artists selected from your community by participating in the act of discovering what they have created to exchange with you.

THE EXCHANGE ARTISTS

Jeff Becker, Easton
Meg Bloom, New Haven
David Borawski, Hartford
Susan Breen, Bridgeport
Joy Bush, Hamden
Susan Clinard, New Haven
Jennifer Davies, Branford
Sierra Dennehy, New Haven
Ellen Hackl Fagan, Darien
Crystal Heiden, Milford
Allison Hornak, New Haven
Fritz Horstman, Bethany
Joe Bun Keo, Vernon/Rockville
Judith Kruger, New Haven
Susan McCaslin, New Haven
Bailey Murphy, Meriden
Adam Niklewicz, North Haven
Jen Payne, Branford
Roxy Savage, Fairfield
Max Schmidt, Meriden
Rosanne Shea, Waterbury
Kim Van Aelst, Hamden
Jo Yarrington, Fairfield

ABOUT SOMETHINGPROJECTS
In 2022, longtime friends and artists, Howard el-Yasin and Suzan Shutan decided to partner and launched SomethingProjects: a nomadic and provisional space providing short-term exhibitions that dually highlight artists as well as introducing communities to new viewpoints and practices by state, regional, national and international artists. As an incubator for ideas it encourages artists to step outside their boundaries and experiment with the intersection of materials, production, presentation and means of engagement with audience and space. Their locations will change, and offer site-specific opportunities. For more information about SomethingProjects and THE EXCHANGE, visit www.SomethingProjects.net.

Supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the federal ARPA.

Categories
Poetry

The Pond is Quiet Today

**CAUTION** DO NOT USE WATER FOR THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES: SWIMMING AND OTHER WATER CONTACT, FISHING, IRRIGATION, LIVESTOCK WATERING, DRINKING…

Did the green heron see the sign?
Or was he given advanced notice
to vacate his perch on the east side of the pond?

As he left, did he call out to the wood duck brood and mallards?
Warn the turtles, frogs, fish?

“It’s only moderately toxic they say, but I don’t want to take chances.”

(Would you?)

The swan keeps a 40-foot distance, wonders if the chemical floats downstream, wonder if it’s as harmful as the turtle who snapped up her babes last spring.

The northern water snake who often skims across the pond knows not of half-lifes or bioaccumulations.

Nor will the field mouse debate the meaning of practically non-toxic with the bees who remain.


©2022, Poem & Photo by Jen Payne

Categories
Creativity

Upon the Death of a Friend, 1986

Of course you were the one to call. It was late, I remember, a rainy night like the last time we met. Cars on the wet, weathered pavement, wipers marking time. Starshine in puddles and you, light years away, saying you knew I’d want to know, knew he’d been important. You knew despite the distance in our orbits, despite our final kiss that birthed a galaxy between us. My heart. You knew.

Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. Image: Mark Plötz.

Categories
Creativity Poetry

Summer Song at 4 a.m.



Lone Seagull

due east of the

Bell Buoy at Mermaid Rocks

is background vocal for

katy-did
katy-did
katy-did
she-did

and the
cicada cricket
chorus

while the frog
in the marsh
sings solo tenor

only
interrupted
by the
footsteps
of a deer

so I,
barefoot too,
ask her:

do you hear
the sound of stars?

Poem ©2022, Jen Payne

Categories
Creativity

Subscribe to Manifest (zine) today!

Three Chairs Publishing

I hope you’ve enjoyed celebrating International Zine Month 2022 and have learned a little more about zines and zine culture along the way.

Want more? Then be sure to subscribe to MANIFEST (zine) today! This hold-in-your-hands art installation features writing, photography, and artwork, along with bits and pieces of whatnot that interconnect with themes like change and transition, solitude, time, storytelling, and finding refuge in these turbulent times. Each issue includes fun inserts and a curated Spotify playlist. Layered with colors, textures, meanings (and music), the result is a thought-full, tactile journey with nooks and crannies for you to discover along the way.

The Fall issue, coming in September, includes an interactive component and I think you’ll have fun with it, so subscribe soon!

SUBSCRIBE NOW AND GET 4 ISSUES FOR JUST $25
To order individual copies, click here.

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Categories
Creativity

Now that you know about zines…

Three Chairs Publishing

Order copies of your favorite issues now!
Buy one at a time for $8 or subscribe and get 4 past or future issues for $25.

Issue #8, ENDEMIC
MANIFEST (zine): ENDEMIC is a response to the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, the proceeds from which will be donated to Sandy Hook Promise. Includes a curated collaborative Spotify playlist. (Color, 12-page 5×7 booklet, $8)

Issue #7, WATER
Inspired by the release of Water Under the Bridge: A Sort-of Love Story by Jen Payne, this 7th issue of MANIFEST (zine) is a collaborative effort featuring work by friends and fellow creative spirits Tara Buckley, Joy Bush, Jimine Camille, Anne Coffey, Juliana Harris, Rhonda Longo, Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely, Kristin Merrill, Mary O’Connor, and Laurel Valli. Includes a full color, 24-page booklet, inserts, and a curated collaborative Spotify playlist. (Color, 24-page 5×7 booklet + inserts, $8)


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Categories
Creativity

Swan Song

The swan has lost her mate,
so I wade ankle-deep in the
shallow pond and

with breath like water

crossover
lie child pose
in her nest
surrogate heart
close to her side
and whisper

Far away, there once
lived a king
who had eleven sons
and one daughter…


Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. IMAGE: The Wild Swans, illustration by Joseph Smith, Tales from Hans Christian Andersen, 1965.

Categories
Creativity

Want to Know More About Zines?

Three Chairs Publishing

CURIOUS? Want to Know More About Zines? Then check out these links for even more of the zine scene!

Find out What is a Zine?

Visit Wikipedia: Zine

Read Stolen Sharpie Revololution

Check out a Zinefest near you!

Then…Make a Zine!

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Categories
Creativity

Preview: Cat Lady Confessions

Three Chairs Publishing


You can pay through PayPal using a PayPal account or any standard credit card. If you prefer the old school approach, please send your check, made payable to Jen Payne, P.O. Box 453, Branford, CT 06405.

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Categories
Creativity

MANIFEST (zine): Cat Lady Confessions

Three Chairs Publishing

Poor Cat Lady. She always gets a bum rap. No one ever makes fun of Ernest Hemingway, whose Key West home was filled with cats — and he of a certain age. His strapping action figure includes a typewriter and a shotgun. Cat Lady? She gets six cats, bed head, and a ratty bathrobe. Doesn’t she earn points for opening her heart wide open? for loving even the most unlovable? for her strong, independent nature; Her patience and acceptance? for her superpower ability to nurture trust, stillness, solitude, balance? This issue of MANIFEST (zine) explores the oft-maligned life of the cat lady: crazy or contemplative? recluse or dancing to the beat of her own drum? You decide.

OTHER INGREDIENTS: acrylic paints, appropriation art, collaged elements, color copies, color scans, colored markers, colored pencils, cracker box, crazy cat lady action figure, Golden gel medium, hand-drawn fonts, hand-dyed paper, handmade cat mask…

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Categories
Creativity

Zines Should Be Treasured

Three Chairs Publishing

“Creating zines is a radical act. People create zines to provide an outlet for their inner voice in a raw way. That should be treasured.” — Zahra Swanzy, artist, activist

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Categories
Creativity

MANIFEST (zine) Part of State-wide Art Treasure Hunt

Three Chairs Publishing

MANIFEST (zine) Part of State-wide Art Treasure Hunt

I am totally psyched to announce that I am one of 15 artists selected by SomethingProjects.net as part of their Connecticut statewide art treasure hunt called THE EXCHANGE, supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and Connecticut Office of the Arts!

THE EXCHANGE is the brainchild of New Haven-based artists Suzan Shutan and Howard el-Yasin. In the New Haven Independent article “Artists Map Our Treasure Hunt,” Brian Slattery explains: “The idea behind The Exchange…is ​to encourage artists to embrace and promote curiosity and precarity as action, to support and explore; ​to enliven and challenge the communities at our landings; ​to be the spark that ignites possibilities; ​to dually highlight local artists as well as introducing communities to new viewpoints and practices by national and international artists; and to ​encourage artists to step outside their boundaries and…

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Categories
Creativity

Hold-in-Your-Hand Art Installations

Three Chairs Publishing

When I published my first book, LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, I imagined a complementary art installation: framed photos from the book, poems printed large and hung like tapestries, a CD of woodland sounds in the background.

I had other ideas, too. (I still do.)

A show at New Haven’s Kehler Liddell Gallery (2017) was a start. “Random Acts of Writing: Common Ground” — featuring three of my poems and one photograph — was included in INAUGURATION NATION, an open forum exhibit that responded to the political and social climate of the time.

That same year, large framed photos from my second book, Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, were featured in the exhibit WHERE THE WHOLE UNIVERSE DWELLS at Perspectives, The Gallery at Whitney Center.

You might recognize the theme of my very first art installation effort. Random Acts of Writing: Pushing…

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Categories
Creativity

What is MANIFEST (zine)?

Three Chairs Publishing


According to Wikipedia, a zine — pronounced zeen — is a small circulation, self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier. It has no defined shape or size, and may contain anything from poetry, prose, and essays, to comics, art, or photography.

A zine is a multi-purposed publication form that has deep roots in political, punk, feminist, artistic, and other subculture communities. Original zinesters are rumored to include Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Margaret Fuller.


Let’s consider…

MANIFEST (noun): a list of contents

MANIFEST (verb): to make a record of; to set down in permanent form

MANIFEST (adjective): easily understood or recognized by the mind

Then see alsoMANIFESTO (noun): a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer;

and see also, especially, MANIFESTING (noun) : the creative process of aligning with…

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Categories
Creativity

I wanna publish ‘zines…

Categories
Creativity

But I Love The Zine

Three Chairs Publishing

If you think the digital age destroyed print culture, this short documentary may surprise you. But I Love The Zine explores the thriving zine scene in the San Francisco Bay Area. To devotees, zines are more than just self-made publications, they’re tools for building community and offer an antidote to the disconnectedness of internet culture. In this film, viewers are taken to studios, galleries, and zine conventions where they’re introduced to a dynamic small press community. Publishers like Jeffrey Cheung (Unity Press), V. Vale (Re/Search), Tiny Splendor, and Jess Wu (Mixed Rice Zine), share their process and explain why self-publishing matters. A film by Fiona MacDougall.

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