Look what’s hot off the presses this weekend! Subscribers, expect it in your inbox this week. Everyone else, let me know if you want a copy. This one is selling out fast!
Hello again! I’m a bit late getting this announcement out on the blog, but the first Sonic Chihuahua issue of 2022 (volume 3 issue 1) is out! And we are hard at work on volume 3 issue 2 (March/April). Here are some details for the January/February issue.
What’s in this glorious issue, you ask? Read on…
* Embracing My Inner Goth (part 4)
* monsters and how we deal with them
* NeriSiren’s Coffee Grotto
* guacamole (seriously!)
* convo with Kristen Bird
* a Top 5 List not to be missed!
* poetry and art
I have copies of this and all back issues still available for sale, if anyone would like them. Just let me know!
As of today, the December issue of the SONIC CHIHUAHUA is ready to go out the door and to a mailbox (or eagerly awaiting open hand) near you!
So how are things going, eight issues in, with my little zine?
Well, frankly, WELL.
I will be the first to admit that restarting this zine after a twenty-nine-year hiatus was an impulsive lark. It was a decision that I made quickly, even if the seeds of that decision had been planted and quietly sprouting for a couple of years or so. And for the first couple of issues this spring, I was very much feeling my way (again) around the mechanics and logistics of putting a project like this together.
Every month. With paper and black pens and scissors and an adhesive roller.
The first issue ended up being almost twice as long as I’d intended, but it was a good length and is one I’ve stuck with. Figuring out the layout of the zine and the formatting of the content that was printed involved a fair bit of trial-and-error, but I got there. During our pandemically deprived social life, the Sonic Chihuahua became my new Friday night jam, and I loved it.
And even better was the reaction I enjoyed from nearly everyone I sent it to: excitement, enthusiasm, eager support, encouragement. Even, occasionally, someone giving me money for it! (Though financial contributions have always been optional.) There were even a couple of months when the income earned from the zine surpassed the royalties earned on my books!
And the zine grew. Oh wow, did it grow. The distribution, which wasn’t small to begin with, is half again larger than it was when it started, and now I have regular contributors sending me wonderful content to include. I’m loving that!
Without putting too fine a point on it, the Sonic Chihuahua has been, for me, exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. And I’ve heard from several readers that it has been what they needed, too, and this also makes me quite happy.
In November, Han and I went to Zine Fest Houston. I’d never attended before and was thrilled that Sonic Chihuahua got in. The event itself was excellent — it was a gorgeous day with perfect weather, the fest was in an open-air warehouse space that caters to arts events, the organizers were totally on the ball, and the crowds were big enough for Han and me to be busy all afternoon but not so thick that we felt unsafe. (And yes, we wore masks.) It was a delightfully good day, and we got to browse around and see dozens of other zinesters and their work. I learned a lot.
- For one thing, our little zine was well-received. That’s always nice.
- For another thing, there’s a whole bunch of incredible indie and self-publishing and artwork happening out there, and it’s well worth checking out.
- And finally, our production schedule is way aggressive!
Putting an issue out there once a month, turns out, is rather more frequent than most zinesters are doing. (In fact, we encountered maybe none who were, besides us.) Add to that the increasing costs to produce the paper zine, and the fact that a few of my readers have told me they don’t always finish reading it before the next issue comes (there’s a LOT in each one, y0), and the other fact that I would really like to finish at least one of the novels I’m currently writing…
You can see where this is going, can’t you? I’ve decided that in 2022, volume 3 of the Sonic Chihuahua will come out every other month instead of every month. I’ve also standardized subscription rates — for those who wish to pay for it — and even added a limited digital option (by subscription only). All of this feels like the right direction to go in, for various reasons which are boring but which I’m happy to expound upon if people want me to. (Leave your questions in the comments, if you have them.)
You’ll see the same awesome content as before. You’ll just have more time to enjoy it before the next issue comes out. Also look for more art in the zine, starting with December’s issue this week.
So on balance, I would say the zine has been a highly worthwhile project for me personally and highly appreciated by those who read it, and therefore I will keep making it. Woot! Thank you to everyone who has subscribed and/or read and/or shared photos of the zine on their social media. I appreciate all of this more than you know!
Happy Small Business Saturday!
I hope you’ve had a lovely Thanksgiving (for those of you celebrating it) or else just a very nice week. Here in the US we have launched ourselves full-force into the holiday season, and the day after Black Friday is Small Business Saturday, a day designated to encourage and buy from small businesses in an effort to shop local and indie. And something useful to remember is that authoring is a business, and therefore every author is a small business owner. (That includes me!)
I have several items that might be of interest to you and yours:
- My books include Finis. and Homecoming in the Animal Affinities series (urban fantasy), and The Sharp Edges of Water (poetry). I also currently have the international anthology The Milk of Female Kindness–An Anthology of Honest Motherhood available; I was one of the lead contributors on that project, which includes fiction, poetry, essays, interviews, and art.
- I have my zine, Sonic Chihuahua, issues 1-7 in stock. (Click on this link to see what’s in each issue.) These are $3 each and include poetry, essays, fiction, art, recipes, interviews, and fun-and-games. Rejoice in the 90stalgia that is this fabulous and popular zine!
- Poetry art cards, which include my handmade designs and often my poetry on them, are blank on the inside and — with your thoughtful note written in — make lovely gifts in themselves, suitable for framing. Click here to see all 19 designs in more detail. Cards are $8 each.
You can order all of these items from me directly. You can also see all of these, plus my handmade jewelry and decorated blank journals, at the Sawyer Yards Market on December 11th.
Although you can buy my books Finis., Homecoming, and The Sharp Edges of Water in bookstores — and I hope you will! — you can also buy them directly from me. Just leave a note in the comments about it, and I’ll be in touch with you, or else email me (forest [dot] of [dot] diamonds [at] gmail [dot] com), and I’ll put your items in the mail to you right away. (I recommend you order from me before December 12th for the best chance of receiving your package in time for Christmas, if that’s what you’re aiming for.) Shipping costs will be as low as I can make them.
Of course you can also get my books from Amazon and Bookshop and other big online retailers. If you’d like to get them from local and indie bookstores — and I encourage you to do so! — I know they’re currently on the shelves at Blue Willow Bookshop (Houston) and The Twig Bookshop (San Antonio). And any bookstore can order it from Ingram if they don’t currently have any copies left in stock. (Interesting note about Amazon: they currently have Finis. and Homecoming on sale, though I don’t know how long that promotion will go for.)
So that’s it! I hope you’ll support your local and indie shops and authors and makers, not just now at the holiday season but all year round. Happy holidays to you! And thank you for your support.
Many of you know that after a 29-year hiatus, I restarted my zine, the SONIC CHIHUAHUA, this spring. It has been one of the best decisions I made this year! I’m pleased to report the zine is thriving and growing far beyond my expectations, and that it feeds a part of my creative spirit I wasn’t aware I needed to be fed. It will continue.
For those of you who are not yet subscribers, here is a preview (i.e. a look at the Table of Contents) for each of the issues that has come out this year.
Folks, this past month at school has been BUSY to the point of migraines, but we’re on the happy downswing now, and I’m pleased to announce that this month’s issue of Sonic Chihuahua is finally ready to go! Yay!
Also, marvelous news: my work has been accepted into Zine Fest Houston’s next event in November! I hope you’ll come out and see me and my work in person. It’s my first time to this event and it will be fun to meet other zinesters and see their work! Click the link to get all the details.
I’ve decided to make a challenge, too: if we get to 100 paying subscribers a month, I’ll start publishing brand-new fiction in the zine just for its readers. (As Dr. Stone says, “Get excited!”)
Finally, if you want a copy of the October issue of SC, do let me know in the comments. (Subscribers, yours is going in the mail to you this week.)
Coming out next week! Sonic Chihuahua volume 2 issue 5. Let me know if you want one.
In other news, my popular little zine is now going to be carried by my brother’s shop, Ella’s Apothecary, at their pop-up locations.
I’m also actively looking for zine fests and other venues where it might be well received. The response to the reboot of my zine this year has been…well, AMAZING. I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who is reading and subscribing and reviewing it online and contributing and generally squealing with joy when I show up to hand it over. THIS MAKES MY DAY!
I also have enough subscribers now to actually pay contributors. Yes, it’s still a token payment because the zine isn’t actually profitable yet. But also? It’s a project I love doing, and I’ve got the contents slate for the next five issues already mapped out (rough drafts, so it’s flexible).
Thank you again! And if you’d like to get in on this fantastic zine action, do let me know. Drop me a note in the comments (with a way to reach you if I don’t already know where to find you), and we’ll get that taken care of.
OH! And there have been multiple requests this last month for ways people can pay for the zine. I’m currently taking subscription payments via PayPal and Venmo (but cash works well, too, if I’m delivering it to you in person). Drop me a note to find out more.
Thank you again!
And…one last bit…I’m still working out the schedule for next month’s Witchy Weekends series, so if you want to cast a vote in the poll about what the series will include this year, go here. I appreciate your feedback!
Hello, zine readers! The second issue of Sonic Chihuahua is out this week. So, subscribers and other fans: watch your mailboxes for it to arrive very soon, if you don’t actually already have it. This month’s cover is a hot-summery acid green, which makes Han very happy.
In other news, the clerk at the post office yesterday morning saw my stack of envelopes and said, “Looks like you and I are gonna get to know each other real well today.”
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can click here for more information about my zine and click here for a marvelous review of the first issue. And if you want to be included in this awesome endeavor, drop me a line in the comments and I’ll send you one. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has already expressed their support and admiration of this fun little project. 🙂 You warm the cockles of our hearts.