A Life of Its Own

Opening Comments by Nicki Lynch

This issue of Mimosa is a special one. This past year has been one of changes, mostly good, and this issue, I think, reflects some of those changes.

We finally produced an article we've talked about doing for a long time, about Chat, our first effort in producing a fanzine. Back in the late 1970s, we were two enthusiastic fans who had no experience in fanzining, with precious few examples that were available to us. Chat provided not only a way of communicating to club members, but to the fannish world at large. We didn't realize that it would open so many doors and introduce us to so many fans in so many places.

We learned a lot about producing a fanzine that pleased us as well as those who read it. We also learned that fanzines, like so much in life, can have lives of their own. The first time I realized this was in an elevator at my first Boston WorldCon (1980). Someone in the crowded elevator noticed my name badge and said, "So YOU'RE Nicki Lynch! I really enjoy your fanzine Chat." As I murmured my thanks, other peopie in the elevator also said they read Chat too and starting saying how much they liked it. It was quite a feeling to have a group of strangers suddenly become people you know through correspondene, and therefore friends.

We also learned that fanzines have a life cycle and when their end comes, it's best to make a clean break rather than to dribble on with something you aren't happy with. And so Chat came to an end after 40 issues. After devoting so much of each month to producing monthly issues, we almost didn't know what to do with the extra time!

Similarly, our stay in Chattanooga had a life cycle, too. When we first arrived, in 1973, we started out not knowing very much about our new home, and learned about the city and the region. Then came all the good times and the friends. Eventually, there also came to a point where it was time to move on. Opportunity beckoned in Washington, and so we left. It was hard to leave the friends, but that was about all we left behind.

So the cycle begins again with us in Washington. We both found good employment, and are still getting to know our way around the area. We're slowly getting involved in local fandom and starting to make friends in the area. It's been a great year, despite the long commutes that left us with little time during the week for much more than dinner and a little TV before we had to get out of bed and do it again. We've had so much to do on the weekends, the weeks just flew by.

I hadn't thought much about how long we had been here until we recently went to see the Quilt when it returned, for the last time, to Washington. The AIDS Quilt is a living memorial with seemingly a life of its own; Quilt squares represent the many victims of that fearsome disease, This was its last visit, because it's now gotten too large to show in its entirety. The very first weekend we went into the District after we moved here, we went to see the Quilt, along with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It may seem like a strange way to mark a beginning, but it was, none the less.

Then there is Mimosa. It, too, is still growing and may yet reach that point where it has a life of its own. We also feel that our move to the Washington area has helped Mimosa to grow. We're looking forward to life here and many more issues of Mimosa.

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