Published on January 9th, 2017 | by Kristen Stone0
GOOD ENOUGH: Kristen Stone is Creating a Collaborative Zine Series–Open to Submissions!
The Good Enough Zine Series is a new project by Kristen Stone, documenting real life collaborations between writers/artists and their children. We at MUTHA asked Kristen to tell us more about what doing “Good Enough” means to her, and how other MUTHAs can participate!
My transition to motherhood—which I still, two years in, have not completely processed—was dark, difficult, strangely magical. My creative process fell apart. I abandoned the novel I’d been working on for two years, because it was about trauma and adoption, and I could not take any more trauma and adoption, there was no more space for it in my brain.
In the time before J—the pre-J, childless era—I had glorious fantasies about what motherhood, as a writer, would be like. We could go sit in coffee shops and my child, as quiet and reflective as I, would sit next to me and draw little pictures in a little notebook (parallel play.) My partner and I, we’d find our quiet, companionable life seamlessly integrating a tiny hybrid of our selves. Of course, this was foolish. I was unprepared for the chaos, the anxiety that hummed through the chaos, the weird newness of interacting with people as a mother, as a parent. Of trying to finish conversations—of trying to finish the dishes—with a small person hanging from my body.
But we became a family, we got used to one another; I was able to calm my nervous system enough to start writing again, to begin making comics. J became literate, began drawing. We started drawing together. Still, though, sometimes my writing is at the fringes of my life. I rise an hour before my family to write; snatch an hour or two at a coffee shop from my day job when I can. It feels sometimes like it’s not enough, like I’m not good enough. And of course that’s what women are told, what parents are told, what the culture tells us all in some way.
So this year—a worrisome year for conscious people, for families, for women, for brown and black people, for queers; for anyone who is marked or who feels deeply or who is at all vulnerable—which is, all of us—I want to celebrate and share the work of creative families, so that we can see and be seen; so that we can document what our lives are actually like.
(Approximately) once per month in 2017 I will release a zine created by a parent/child team—poetry, recipes, maps, doodles, grocery lists, letters, comics, drawings, collages, anything goes. These don’t have to be perfect. They are good enough, because you and your family are good enough. We are good enough, broken and weary and sparkling and full of love—yes, love; yes, you!