What an amazing weekend I had! I found out a few months ago that New Zineland and the new Massachusetts Feminist Zine Fest were happening back to back over the same weekend, so Dan agreed to make it a little weekend away so I could do both. We got a room at an inn in Brookline, and I spent Saturday in Cambridge at New Zineland before booking it over to the Simmons College library near Fenway to do a reading for the MAFZF.
Saturday was actually a bit of a mixed day. The zine fest itself wasn’t my favorite; it felt stressful and a bit too hipster for me–I actually sent that Steve Buscemi “How do you do, fellow kids?” GIF to a few people because it was so representative of how I was feeling all day. I did make a few sales, so I was able to turn right around and buy some goodies from others, but overall I didn’t have nearly as good of a time at New Zineland as I did the rest of the weekend.
Saturday night, like I mentioned, I went to do a reading and ended up choosing a few pieces from my chapbook to share. The reading was scheduled from six to eight in the evening, but it only went until about seven because there just didn’t turn out to be that many people. Basically, everyone who was there also ended up reading (except for Dan, hehe), and it was maybe half a dozen of us altogether. It was a blast, though; everyone was friendly and supportive, and it made it easy to share my work.
After that, Dan and I headed out for a late dinner a few T stops down the green line for our first ever meal at The Cheesecake Factory. The wait turned out to be about an hour–which I anticipated and Dan did not–so we put our name in and browsed around the nearby Barnes & Noble for a bit. When it was finally our turn to be seated, we went all out with some drinks and three courses, plus an amazing bread basket, and it was nothing short of a satisfying meal, so even though the zine fest that day was underwhelming, the day ended on a high note.
Sunday morning, we woke up surprisingly early and browsed breakfast options from bed before deciding on the Paris Creperie in Brookline. I’m a sucker for puns, and with crepes with names like “John Gouda-man,” “Ruth Bader Cinnsburg,” and “The Yam-wise,” it instantly had my vote. I also had the most amazing Nutella latte, so it was an overall fantastic choice for breakfast.
My favorite part of the morning, though? Killing time in Brookline Booksmith. It is one hundred percent, no doubt, my new favorite bookstore. It had some excellent bargain book options, amazing stationery and writing tools, and so many fun novelty items like coasters, mugs, jewelry–you name it. I kept asking Dan if I could live there because it was just that much fun. I ended up buying a copy of Rock She Wrote, which is a collection of essays about rock written by women, as you could probably have guessed by the title. It has pieces from anywhere from Rolling Stone to the zine Jigsaw. It wasn’t even a question of whether or not I was going to buy it; I had to have it.
We actually ended up getting back to Simmons College–this time in the School of Management building–about half an hour after setup started, but that was fine because my table takes almost no time to put together anyway. I just lay out the makeshift tablecloth, which is really just two kinds of fabric from Joann layered on top of one another, then set my stacks of zines on top. Simple but effective.
MAFZF ended up being such a positive experience in contrast to New Zineland; with about thirty vendors, it felt much more intimate and everyone was so friendly with one another. It felt like my scene far more than the fest the day before. I ended up making a bunch of new friends and trading so many zines with people. It left me feeling more inspired and motivated than I have in months, and I can’t wait to start putting some new ideas into action.
I actually sold out of quite a few things on Sunday, too, and by about four pm I was feeling exhausted, so Dan and I left early to start the drive back home to the fur babies and to the bubble bath that was waiting for me.
For weeks before leaving on Saturday, I felt so anxious and unenthusiastic about going. More than once I started preparing emails to back out of both zine fests, but I’m glad that I didn’t because MAFZF turned out to be such a positive experience that it has me excited for the Litchfield County Zine Fest, which I’ll be tabling at next month. I have one or two zines planned to have finished by then, and I’m looking forward to diving back into the community now that I’ve been reminded of just how amazing it can be.