Category Archives: partners in crime

Stranded

“If there’s one thing my ol’ ma taught me, it’s that when life gives you volcanoes, make magazines.” -Andrew Losowsky.

So, as our families, most of our friends, and quite a few of our fans already know, Sarah and I were stranded by the ash cloud during what I have taken to calling ‘The Bad, Bad Volcano Time’ (which my mate Bruce originally thought was a menstrual euphemism). We spent an extra eight days in New York with little cash and diminishing good will radiating from my rather put-upon but extremely understanding family. 

My friend Parker looked after us – took us to karaoke bars, talked Doctor Who, watched the Barcelona match with us – and told us about this call for contributors to this magazine he’d heard about. You had to be a strandee to be involved, and the also-stranded editor, Andrew Losowsky, gave out real assignments suited to each writer or artist. It was great – it gave us something to do while we were on hold. The magazine’s out now – a very cool one-shot edition that we hope will never need to have a sequel.  We’re big fans of physics, though, and you never know what’s around the tectonic corner, so please don’t quote us on that.

We can vouch for the total awesomeness of Stranded Magazine, however.  It’s got an amazing layout, beautiful graphics, and talented contributors. If not for the volcano, we’d never have gotten to work with them, and we’re indebted to Andrew for having the idea in the first place, followed by the wherewithal to complete the project. Among lots of other stuff, Stranded contains an article about karaoke from me, cocktails Sarah and I invented on a volcanic theme (complete with paper airplane), and you even get to see a photo of my childhood bedroom and the massive mural my dad painted on my wall when I was five. 

It’s printed by magcloud, which is a print-on-demand service, it’s also got a zillion pages (official count), and $5 of each purchase goes to a refugee charity. That makes it pretty expensive,  particularly to us zine types who tend to spend £3 or less on self-published type things, but here’s why you should still get it:

It’s a very cool piece of recent history – it puts the art in artefact. Think of it as the coffee table book of the magazine world. It will last ages as long as you don’t read it in the bath or turn the pages with buttery and toast crumby fingers at the breakfast table. It’s a lot cheaper-sounding once you convert the price into pounds sterling. There are no profits – that’s literally the cost of production plus $5 to charity. And finally, you’ll have something to read in case you ever find yourself stranded.

You can order it here.

-Chella

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Back in stock.

I’m getting ready to do another print run of Adventures in Menstruating #5 because I’ve just realised they’re nearly gone! The first run is currently available at Rare and Racy in Sheffield, and will be restocked at Marching Stars (who are now starting wholesaling to shops, which is a big leap and I wish Lizzy lots of luck!) by Monday. For US readers, I’ve just packed up some zines to restock at Things You Say and Sweet Candy. And then that’s pretty much it for Issue 5, which may be a record for us.

Thanks for all your support and interest, everybody – a genuine, massive thanks to our readers and to Bluestockings for always hosting our readings in New York, the distros that carry the zine, and all of the amazing people who contributed to this issue.

If you think you’d like a copy of this issue, let me know by email or on facebook. I’m contemplating another biggish run and want to guestimate (ok, really I just wanted to have a giggle saying ‘guestimate’, but send me an email anyway).

Cheers,
Chella

March, March, March

March birthdays are like blog posts – you wait around for ages and then three come along at once. So here’s a big long birthday postscript-post  to make up for the lack of  updates lately.

On Sunday I got bagel-coffee-and-cupcaked by my lovely wife, who also further enabled my chart-loving geekitude by getting me this awesome piece of work:

and Sarah’s mom, whose birthday is the day before mine, posted me this amazing Shipping Forecast* t-shirt:

which I wore to bed Sunday night, and may well wear at a gig sometime soon. See, I like all kinds of charts – not just menstrual cycle ones. (I’m also a big fan of the Venn diagram.)

We digested the birthday breakfast and read the charts on the way down to Oxford for the lit fest, where we met this lovely gentleman. (Our mission for the day was to give away free zines, and we ended up working out a trade for some whiskey, so that was awesome, too. Those who know me know I’m always up for zine trades, and now…those who don’t know me know it as well.) Anyway, this kind fellow was working for the festival and I offered him a zine. He thanked me and stuck it in his pocket, with the title showing, which was pretty darn cool. I asked him if he’d mind if I took a picture for my blog, and he said, “I have three daughters. There is nothing about menstruation that freaks me out.”

Word, my friend. Word.

We had fun times all round (most likely due to the zine-whiskey trading) and I had four zines left as we all headed to the train station, so I decided to deposit the last four in various bike baskets among those at the rafts and rafts of awesome bicycles at the station bike racks.

I figured cycles…cycles…whatevs. That was the sum total of my thought process. Sorry. Whiskey.

Anyway, if you received a zine at the festival, or if you found one in your bike basket, hello! I’m Chella, and I’ll be your weird secret zine santa today. Hope you stick around!

In other news, I was lucky enough to have two pieces of my writing published around the internets on my birthday.

Here’s the Menstruation for Sale article at Girlfuture.com (it’s a brand new webzine for right-on teens that happened to have launched on my bday).

And I also had a  review up on Feminist Review blog. Speaking of FR, it was also Mandy Van Deven’s birthday this week. She edits Feminist Review, as well as writing like a demon everywhere else that’s cool and feminist. Her birthday appeal goes a long way to explaining what she’s achieved with FR, and I was really psyched when she invited me to write for FR after my zines were reviewed on the site. If you can spare some cash to help them/us out, that’d be grand. More details can be found at the I ♥ FR Campaign.

Today’s link (rather than recaps from earlier in the week like a lame clips episode of your favourite ’80s sitcom)  is a shout out to Travel Queeries on a Danish blog that’s new to me and looks pretty cool. Birthe, the editor of Feminine Moments, saw the review on Feminist Review and contacted me to see if she could quote it. So, ya see? Valuable resource right there is all I’m sayin’.

Right, it’s all gone a bit meta so I’m gonna say goodnight. Thanks, as always, for all the support.

xChella

*You can listen to the Shipping Forecast here. It is just as useful a navigational tool if you are literally at sea as if you are metaphorically at sea.

Every Day is International Women’s Day

Especially when you’ve partied all weekend and slept through the real one. Does it count that I partied in a foreign country? (The savvy readers among you will remember that I live  in a foreign country, so don’t answer that one too quickly.)

Anyway, here’s a great little piece from the Onion that popped up on our facebooks yesterday.

Girl Welcomed to Womanhood With Four-Page Pamphlet

from The Onion

Cheers to all the new facebook fans and new readers from over on Belle’s blog – you may notice that I don’t take a whole lot seriously.

But, in all seriousness, US readers should check out Elissa Stein and her book Flow on The View today. It is about time she got some more recognition!

Those of you who appreciate baking-related humour may love (or loathe, but they say that’s the same emotion, right?) this Cakewrecks feature. I’m giving that a not-menstrual-but-should be.

And finally, if you’re making yourself a stain for our Stains TM campaign, please send in a pic. We’ll post a few on here!

Happy day-after-international-women’s-day, particularly to all the awesome international women I know.

-Chella

Introducing Mr. Tampon

Crochet-tastic Yorkshire superstar Louise (who’s actually another awesome old school friend of Sarah’s) sent us this link to her blog post in which she exorcises her bad period feelings in amigurumi form.

We certainly don’t  find him tasteless, and we”re not sure why he’s Mr. Period, but we dig his comedy grumpy eyebrows and use of anatomically correct colouring. Nice one, Lou!

Blogworship.

Ok, first of all, The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research just helped my viral campaign take one of its first baby viral steps with this blog post by the always awesome Chris Bobel.

Second of all, they alerted those of us already on red alert about a certain US women’s magazine (Elizabeth Kisslingof SMCR calls them, ladymags) that encouraged women to snub a cool looking new book. Stay tuned for a review and interview with the authors.

And third of all, in our annual Halloween run up I’m posting this year’s first offering from Tampon Crafts.

Imagine a world where we use reusable, eco friendly feminine hygiene products most of the time, and tampons become these things that are just sort of…you know…kicking around because they’re handy now and again, or some people still use them, or you never threw out that last box and it’s still there next to some  out-of-date vitamin C, and you only noticed it when you took down the box of Sesame Street band-aids.

Ok, are you picturing that?  If it helps, your band-aid has Ernie and Bert on it.

So here’s something to do with those tampons.

ghost

How cute is that?

Full instructions for the ghost (and a bat!) are available at the above link.

Chella

Period Personified

We’re quite looking forward to collaborating with Steph, another creator of menstrual comedy, sometime soon. Check out the first installment of her web series, The Period Fairy.