So you might have heard that three other friends and I made a zine called Habits of the Mouth…but in case you haven’t, here are some photos to whet your whistle! Lulu, Rebecca, Francesca, and I asked dear friends, scattered near and far, to send us their mouthiest prose, poetry, and art.
We put it all together in the little book you see here, hand-bound by the ladies-who-get-shit-done-themselves. We had a baller reading and release party last week, and are already brainstorming for the next one.
But what’s that? You want a copy? You’re in luck: we’re in the midst of our second print run, so we’ll have zines to spare. If you’d like one of these bad boys for a mere $3, drop me a line. If you’re local to San Francisco (or the surrounding Bay Area), we’ll hand-deliver it. If not, snail mail is no problem.
A little teaser for ya! We (Rebecca, Lulu, Francesca, and I) hosted the zine release party and reading for Habits of the Mouth on Friday night. Beautiful night, wonderful people who were great listeners, friends who brought things, strangers who became friends, the list goes on.
We’re doing another print run of the zine because we ran out of copies, so give a shout if you’d like one ($3 each). More posts to come with photos of the zine and some of the work.
Photo credits: Lulu Richter (top) and Shashin Chokshi (bottom).
This Saturday, some dear friends (above, stopped at Marin French for a quick cheese-and-champagne break) and I rode a bit more than a “century” (100 miles) around the Bay Area. Some of these more hardcore friends rode another century on Sunday. The sick route that Lulu devised is here.
Photo credit: Daphne Cheng
Throughout National Poetry Month, we’ll be featuring a letter/postcard of advice from 30 Poets. Today’s is from Elizabeth Robinson.
Brilliant, beautiful wisdom.
A Found Letter.
I’m writing this because I love you, even though I may not know you. RIght now, for a brief moment, we know each other and in this moment, we’re connected in some small way. Wherever your life goes, please don’t lose sight of what’s important to you. Hold onto it in some small part of yourself and please don’t give in. Please don’t tell yourself that you are unimportant, stupid, ugly, worthless. Please don’t sell yourself short. Your life is important to others. I hope that it’s beautiful. I hope it’s a life you’re proud of, that brings you quiet and contentment. I know that there are people who love you and circumstances that move you. I know you have the strength to find whatever you’re looking for, I know that if you’re lost or not proud of who you are, there is always time to change. Please don’t forget how important you are to me.
—found in one of the many notebooks floating around Cherry Alley Cafe, the best place to get a cup of coffee in the beautiful Lewisburg, PA
Also, it is so mouthy.
This is a thing I wrote in an email to a dear friend, as I affirmed that a poem she sent me would fit perfectly in the upcoming Habits of the Mouth zine that some friends and I are making.
Even if you don’t live in this foggy, temperate, pricey, amazing bubble that people typically call San Francisco, this piece on SF Love Affair’s blog is definitely worth a read. Highlights include pro tips, what the Richmond really used to be like, and the skinny on the 49ers, among other witty commentary.
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
A little teaser for an upcoming zine called Habits of the Mouth (hat tip to my friend Matt C. for the brilliant title/theme suggestion). Some friends and I will be putting this bad boy together, and we’re aiming for mid-April as the release date…so stay tuned!
Photo credit: Wikimedia.
Books I’m Obsessed With, Currently.
The title is pretty self-explanatory. I’m on a pretty big nonfiction kick these days, so take that into account.
- Susannah Cahalan’s Brain on Fire: even if you have no interest in how the brain works, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases, or The New York Post, you should still read this book. It’s a fascinating account of an early-twenties Post reporter losing her mind for a month, and how she gets it back.
- Tash Aw’s Map of the Invisible World, a novel about the journey of a woman and two boys in 1960s-Indonesia. Gripping from the first few pages, and I’m not even finished yet, but already recommending it.
- Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, a classic about the 1959 murders of an innocent family in Kansas, and the investigation, pursuit, capture, and trial of the murderers.
And still in the middle of: Thich Nhat’s Hanh’s Fidelity and Dan Pink’s new book To Sell is Human. More on these soon!
Harbin Hot Springs: one of the reasons why I haven’t updated my blog. A beautiful weekend with dear friends in Northern California at a clothing-optional hot springs and retreat center: silent and social meditation pools, big vegetarian meals, the most comfortable reading rooms, buttery croissants, camping by a gurgling river.
This is why I never update my blog…because San Francisco is full of breathtaking places like Fort Funston, where the dunes are soft and beckoning you to read on them with a dear friend.
Another recent adventure: a 20-mile round-trip hike to the classic Sykes Hot Springs in Big Sur.
Books I’ve Read Recently (that you should too).
In The Garden of Beasts - history written like a novel, the story of the American ambassador to Germany in 1933, the start of Hitler’s rise to power, terrifying and heartbreaking despite us knowing the ending
Tell Everyone I Said Hi - short-short and longer short stories by Chad Simpson, who won the Iowa Short Fiction Award (thanks to Lucy Schiller for giving me this one!), filled with poignancy
Reading Like A Writer - completely changed the way I view a *sentence* (Francine Prose also writes great novels)
Mendocino and Other Stories - a collection of brilliant, Bay-Area-based short stories by Ann Packer (read this after Prose’s book, and it will all make sense)
I Hung Up My 9-to-5 Hat…
…and am trying on my freelancing hat. I’m working on some neat projects, like the blog for my friends at ReWork, a bit of poetry, and some other things that I have to keep hush-hush for now. In the meantime, here’s a list (because this blog began as lists and letters) of things I love about this lifestyle change:
- Waking up whenever I want
- Long, early-morning, 25-mile bike rides along Guadalupe Canyon Road en route to Brisbane to pick up cheese
- Coffee/work dates in the middle of the day
- Spending time on meaningful work
- More time to read novels (like this one, that I overheard a recommendation of in a bookstore: “I need another copy, this is my third one because I love it so much that I give it to everyone I know”)
My professor calls his paper corrections love notes, because he loves us enough to help us improve.
Francisco Grajales’ professor, on giving (constructive) criticism