Sound-Bites Magazine Release Party Featuring Live Music from Sensitive Men!

I found DIY photocopied comic books appearing around campus. When I tracked down the artist and asked how he made his little books, he replied, “Just experiment. The library has free printing.”

Fast forward three years. I’ve graduated, served an AmeriCorps term, and returned to my hometown. I make magazines.

There was a moment before the first Sound-Bites Release party this March when I thought no one would show up. Something in my gut told me to put up the decorations anyways, to lay out my magazines on the table in front of the T.V.

So many people came to my party. I was in love.

Fast forward three months. Submissions sent in from around New Hampshire and the Midwest. I have a box of Sound-Bites magazines on my kitchen table. This is the 9th edition, and each one is 24 pages and full color.

Sound-Bites is my passion project. It’s an independent magazine featuring the work of artists, photographers, and writers. It focuses on the practice of listening and taking time to process the noisy world around us through making art.

Now published on a quarterly basis, Sound-Bites is a community-focused project. Anyone can submit their creations, and submissions come in all sizes and shapes. They center around a theme each quarter. Past themes have included Sounds of Love, Sounds of the Road, and Sounds of Red.

Thursday, June 29th, the 9th edition of the magazine will be released at the Wayfarer Coffee Roasters on Main Street in downtown Laconia. The release party will feature live music from the Sensitive Men of Concord. They are three guys who talk about their feelings and play music. Also featured: magazine contributors presenting their work, magazines for sale, and wine!

Attendees are encouraged to come wearing their finest vintage ensembles. Why? The theme of this issue is Sounds of the Past. All submissions to the magazine were created with a wholesome helping of nostalgia and an electric look back at each artist’s personal history.

Sound-Bites invites all of us (even those who claim their art sucks) to pay close attention to our environment. Making things is a way to pay homage, to be present, and to make connections to the other people who share in our everyday experience. If you’re up for an after-work art adventure in the Lakes Region, come to the Sound-Bites release party! Everyone’s welcome to attend.

 

***See the original version of this blog post at Stay Work Play NH.

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Running Far

Yesterday I tried to run 18 miles. Usually I run with my friend, but she was in Vermont for the weekend, and I wanted to stick to my training plan from Hal Higden. I was running in Franklin, NH on the Northern Rail Trail Route. It was absolutely refreshing to be making my way through a tunnel of brilliant green new leaves. I’ve been running on this trail for the past month, and it’s been fascinating to watch the color progress to it’s current intensity.

The sun beamed down on me, and I felt great in my intergalactic blue leggings and black sports bra (small note of success: I finally found the Livi Active which provides adequate support). At mile 8 I was feeling energized and thinking positively about running. I listened to my music, I whisked away the miles. I thought about my upcoming trip to Minnesota, friends there, friends here, my zine. I ate gels every four miles, and kept sipping on my waters that I carry on my belt. At one point I was even dancing, but it probably didn’t look like dancing to anyone around me. More mental dancing. The trail followed the old railroad leading West toward Lebanon, and beyond that, Vermont. The river on one side, a small lake on the other, little farm houses in the woods, a dam on the river, a sign about the old mill that used to be here.

Unfortunately, by mile 10 all my enthusiasm had sweated off. By mile 11 I was walking and by miles 13-16 I was hobbling back to my car. The pain in the arches of both my feet was unbearable. A few tears were shed in the writing of this blog entry because running some days can be really damn difficult.

It feels like every time I’m mentally in the right place to run, my body is not there. Or conversely, when my body is there, my mind’s not. And so we go around in circles.

Even if I don’t end up competing in the race, I’ve run further than I ever have in my life this year. Sixteen miles is no small feat! I’ve now know how to fuel my body for an endurance sport, and I’ve been able to push myself to confront some inner mental barriers, mainly that my body is bigger than a lot of other running bodies. And I maintain very hairy armpits. I used to think these things mattered.

I used to think I could let cultural norms determine how I perceive and access my own power. Now I know my power is there. I can access it whenever I want.

Kerouac and Getting the Miles

  1. deliberate, glad, solitary
  2. Isn’t this the time now to start following what I know to be true?
  3. covered with pink now
  4. just too crazy
  5. Desolation, Desolation, I owe so much to Desolation
  6. mad raging sunsets in seafoams of cloud
  7. people are utterly free
  8. Buddhaland splendor
  9. my knowing was the knowing that the substance of my bones and their bones and the bones of dead men in the earth of rain at night is the common individual substance that is everlastingly tranquil and blissful?
  10. home again
  11. Oh ever youthful, O ever weeping
  12. Ain’t you kinda old to be a college student?
  13. worked incessantly
  14. unbelievable horizons
  15. I picked myself
  16. I was as nutty as a fruitcake and happier
  17. wild lyrical drizzling rain
  18. the taste of rain
  19. everybody knows everything
  20. God, I love you
  21. Though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious

So…..if you can’t already tell, I’ve been reading Kerouc. These are all snippets of his book Dharma Bums. If he were alive, I would totally be one of the girls who followed him around and tried to sleep with him. He’s dapper, dark-haired, and emotionally unavailable…a true man of mystery.

Last week I learned that I need different shoes to run on the road than I do on the trails. Since mid-January, I had been training for my marathon on the roads because the trails were covered in snow, and ice, mud, and then more snow, then back to mud again. I was wearing new trail runners. When my achilles began to hurt on both heels, advice from more seasoned runners was BUY NEW SHOES! I hemmed and hawed. A pair of new shoes would be half my paycheck! I stopped running for two weeks.

After reconnecting with a few dear friends one weekend, I remembered my commitment to myself. Run the race. Run the race. Run the race. You can run the race! This afternoon I trotted a hilly seven miles, and I’ll get up to ten this weekend. I want to test out a new dirt road in Sandwich that was featured in Runner’s World. It’s supposed to be quiet, and long.

Trimming Hooves

The farrier comes and he talks about North Korea, nuclear bombs,

and a possible war with China that’s blowing around on the news.

He’s holding the hooves of the horses,

the big black draft leans his weight onto him.

We’re talking at least 150lbs of horse haunch

that the farrier supports with his two tattooed arms

while he trims a quarter inch of dead material from the base of the hoof.

The farrier complains he’s getting old but I see he can still hold his own here,

even with these massive animals, even in the middle of what we fear may be

World War Three.

It does not seem like an illusion anymore, this war.

It is something real and far on the horizon,

like an approaching jeep on a desert highway.

Heat waves rising up from pavement, blend with engine exhaust,

but the sound of acceleration cannot be mistaken.

Behind the barn, I can hear the dog

gnawing on the cast-off shards of hoof walls.

 

 

***Creds for the art included go to a wonderful library patron who collaged with me last Friday, age 8! Words in the collage are by Rumi.

Sound-Bites Release Party Highlights

Hi everyone,

The first ever Sound-Bites Release party was pretty flippin’ magical!

Highlights included: Lincoln Logs, bug stamps, origami cranes, caprese skewers, raspberry tarts, twinkle lights, random questions, cherry candles, red sweaters, anti-trump hats, corduroy, ukuleles, guitars, ginger ale…oh and did I mention the wine??

We succeeded in making this night in March a warm one despite near zero temps outside. I’m so grateful to have all you creative, smart, goofy, and joyful people in my life.

Today’s work is mailing the zines to my contributors far afield, posting the submissions call for Sound-Bites 9, and attempting to run nine miles.

Oh, and for anyone who wants to hear more of the band that played in the living room, here are the links to the Sensitive Men Soundcloud and Facebook.

 

 

 

The story of my first date in my home state, otherwise known as the case of a strange comet impacting new territory or the real single ladies of the NH North Country

When we walked into the inn, Jack had to duck through the doorway. We stood in a large kitchen that looked like it was functional a hundred years ago. The cast iron stove loomed in the corner, and I dropped my keys on one of the long countertops. “Follow me,” he said.

We walked through winding hallways, into a formal dining room. The places at each white-clothed table were set. We were coming from dinner at a Thai place where Jack spoke Thai to the waitress. He seemed proud of this, and talked endlessly about his travels through Thailand last winter. Through the dining room there was a second sequence of twisting halls, lined by small windows looking out onto the invisible street below. This was North Conway, a mountain town at the edge of the Whites, not a place for pedestrians or the faint of heart. I suppose being here made both of us tough. “How did you get a room here?” I asked.

We arrived at Jack’s room. He told me how he’d been looking for apartments in the area, and this room in a closed inn was the only one available. The owner let him choose his room, from the twenty or so in the house. When he asked me if I wanted to go back to his place after dinner, I hadn’t imagined much. I think that I knew what I wanted that night was an adrenaline rush or some adventure, but I didn’t know exactly how I would get it. The bed looked like the most comfortable thing in the room so naturally we sat int he two stuffy chairs at the end of it. Jack turned on the T.V. and handed me a beer. He asked me questions and I probably flirted a little bit. I crossed my legs up under me and flipped my hair. Sipping at the beer meagerly, I hoped he’d believe I was drunk even though I was not.

We were on the verge of what could only be sex, and that was exactly what I wanted, falling in with a disappearing man. I wanted to believe men were users and I was a user as well. I wanted to believe in disconnection and the dissociative body. As he kissed me I felt myself melting away. Who was I anyway? Someone defined by other people. I was nearly somewhere else, and moving fast. I believed in Jack’s story but didn’t know my own. He’d be in Georgia tomorrow afternoon. I didn’t know who or where I’d be. New Hampshire wasn’t behaving at all like when I’d left her. Or was it me who’d changed?

Jack shrugged on a sweater and his boxers to walk me outside to my car. The autumn night of the mountains was cool, and I sensed the surrounding trees protecting me for the first time in many months. 

Hiking Between Gunstock and Round Pond

Pepper and I went for a hike yesterday morning in the fresh powder. 6 inches was just enough to cover up all the brown patches that appeared in last week’s thaw. I’m not entirely sure where we ended up, but we made it to round Pond and then explored the red trail running down the hillside toward the cross country ski trails at Gunstock. After that, it was time to have fun with the Hermes 3000 typewriter sitting on my desk.