Tag Archives: literary kitchen

Water Marks, Plankton Press’s First Chapbook!

Plankton Press began what I hope will be a long and tiny tenure in chapbook publishing with the release of Water Marks, word and images reflecting on wet (December 2018). The plan is begin to publish the art/words of other people, but I have been guinea-pigging the publishing process with my own creations, starting with zines and now adding this chapbook.

cover drawing done while listening to When the Levee Breaks performed by Led Zeppelin

Water Marks includes sixteen ink/watercolor drawings I made while listening to water music (playlist in the back of the chapbook), and words I’ve written and collected about water over the years. None of it is previously published elsewhere.

Sample spread:

specs: 5×5 inch square, perfect bind, 59 pages. Hybrid of ink, watercolor, poetry and prose.

Price: 10 USD. Copies are at Wasted Ink Zine Distro and/or you can e-mail me about purchasing a copy (fishewan at gmail.com).

Like making zines, creating a chapbook from start to finish is a wonderful experience. I used InDesign to lay it out, scanned the images at home (also where I write and draw), but learned the process of chapbook-making through an online class in the Literary Kitchen. It was super helpful for learning the publishing steps, places to print, things to think about before committing to a layout or page count. Plus the Literary Kitchen is an awesome community of writers/poets/artists. Check out all the books these amazing women have published!  Water Marks is about the size and weight of a music CD (remember those?), but is a printed book (remember those?). Yay, print lives!

Why I Love Pencils

I’m taking an online writing workshop with Jenny Forrester through the Literary Kitchen and each week she gives us a seven-minute free-write warm-up exercise. This week we were to think about what/where comforts us. I wrote this and want to share it. For the love of pencils, but also to acknowledge that life makes you who you are while you’re busy dreaming about going elsewhere to become someone else, so you might as well love the result.

I go into my sketchbook for comfort, through my pencil, making lines. I draw when I’m tense or fretting. I draw outside, inside, in meetings, on the train, in other people’s talks about so many things. When I was a child, I mostly drew elephants, sometimes lions. I imagined Africa as the most wonderful place in the world to go while I doodled the big animals I’d seen on television. Born Free was my favorite movie then.

I’ve never been to Africa.

In high school, I drew in my binder, on the edges of my homework. I loved math the most, probably because I got to draw a lot of triangles and parabolas, curves arcing off of circles, cylinders and cones. I loved lines and would fill pages with them. Escher was my favorite artist then. And Georgia O’Keefe. And Maurice Sendak. Fantasia was my favorite movie and I thought I might grow up to be an animator, working for Disney like my great uncle Ernie who was the art director for the film’s “Dance of the Hours.”

I’ve never worked for Disney.

This could go on and on. All the ways I imagine my life going. Me and my pencil. Then I go another way. I used to feel bad about all the forks in my roads, but now I just feel too old to fuss about what I might become someday. Today I get to go on a walking workshop with an amazing sketcher who is so generous with her craft. Her sketchbook will fill up with awesome watercolors.

I’ll never be Virginia Hein.

But I don’t care. I’ll keep in mind my favorite Oscar Wilde quote: “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” I won’t even care that professorbuzzkill.com claims Wilde never said this wise thing.

Peace out 🙂

While I have many other pencils, the Dixon Ticonderoga #2 Black is my favorite and is also the pencil I used to do all 200+ drawings in By the Forces of Gravity (out in June! Woot Woot!)