About Alchemist's Closet

The Direction of Our Energy

Over the past year, I have chosen to move away from investing a substantial part of my energy in the distro, because my disability prevented me from being able to fulfill the obligations that are associated with a growing, successful distro. I was getting lots of orders weekly, and I couldn’t get to the post office and the copyshop enough. I needed to focus on caring for myself and on paying work, which is hard to come by when I’m not able to work outside my home. The distro was a labor of love and never made money beyond it’s expenses.

In the past year, I moved to New Orleans and started working in closer artistic collaboration with another person, my partner Gregory William, who is also interested in zines, and in writing. He is working on a zine project and a book currently.

Because of my struggles with disability and accessibility, I have begun to feel that accessibility must be an important part of what we do going forward. I’ve become much more interested in making multi-format zines, including Kindle zines available for Kindle and PC, and audiobooks. Not only can these be easier to read/hear for people with various disabilities and differences, but they are also easier for me to put together. I am not able to trek to a copyshop weekly or to go to the post office and wait in hour-long lines twice a week.

For the time being, I still have available some zines and grab bags, at a price that makes it worthwhile for me to create, package or sell them. It’s unfortunate that I can no longer carry the kind of selection that I once did. I love publishing, promoting, and selling the work of other zinesters. It is a work that is very precious to me. But it is very, very labor intensive- in fact the zine community tends to thrive on labor-intensive methods. And that may not make as much sense as it once did. It may also be making it harder for people with disabilities to fully participate, which is not something we should accept in order to preserve an aesthetic.

For these reasons, and more, I’ve decided to focus on Kindle publishing, with the goal of expanding to audio publishing. Because Kindle is an Amazon product, and Amazon is a huge neoliberal corporation and worker-exploitative, I would eventually like to find an alternative publishing venue that works similarly. However, the key goal right now is to begin making zines that are accessible to create, publish, transmit, and view. That goal will come before any other.

In addition, I am forming a micro-publishing house that will focus on queer/trans literature that is not introductory or identity-based. We are aiming to create the literature that would exist in an all-queer world. This is a reflection, probably, of my getting older; I am not as interested in 101’s; I am also not as interested in coming out, figuring out identity, etc. These books and zines have a huge place in the world and they are important and wonderful and essential. However, as someone who came out 12 years ago and mostly thinks about other things besides my queer/trans identity, I am not interested personally in these types of zines and books anymore. I am interested in exploring every kind of thing, but in a way that includes and presupposes queerness and/or transness.

The press is called Cutlines Press and for now is mostly concerned with getting its feet off the ground and publishing my and my friends’ work. At this time, I’m not ready to take submissions for the press, but I encourage everyone to please consider publishing your zine in additional formats starting right away. Cutlines Press publications will be featured on The Alchemist’s Closet, and may be purchased for low prices easily through Amazon Kindle. Look for them on the site and explore the awesome world of Kindle and e-format zines! And please let me know if you have any comment, concerns, or questions.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!


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