March 21st, 2015

The Red Tree

"Give me back my broken night, my mirrored room, my secret life."

Currently, it's 35˚F. Tonight's low will be 23˚F (windchill 9˚F), with snow flurries. The world is white. It's currently snowing in Providence. Welcome, Spring 2015.

Ten years ago, almost to the day (March 22, 2005), I wrote:

I have to write. I have to write regardless. I does not matter if I've had a bad day. It does not matter if I am depressed or in some other sort of mood not conducive to writing. I still have to write. I does not matter if the weather is crappy or if there's trouble in my family. It does not matter if I'd rather do something else. It does not matter if, in some objective, cosmic sense, I've earned the right to do something else. It does not matter if it's not my fault. It does not matter. I have to write. Nothing else matters, ever. Nothing else matters more. Them's the rules. I knew them when I signed on, and now I'm stuck with them. I have to find a way to write in spite of chaos. That's the only option, because clearly things have no intention of becoming any less chaotic.

And at some point I forgot this, or I simply decided to neglect the truth. But nothing's changed. Nothing at all. I've gotten sloppy, lazy. I've allowed chaos and depression to steer me away from acknowledging and obeying the facts of this existence.

I wrote nothing yesterday. I allowed a morning crisis to serve as an excuse not to work.


Today, with adjusting for inflation, my income is pretty much the same as it was the year I sold my first novel (1997). This is another inconvenient truth of the freelancer's life. There's no cost-of-living increase, except my ability to use my name as a bargaining chip. Which helps a tiny bit. But, all in all, nothing much has changed. My novel advances are about the same. And I was actually paid substantially less per page writing for Dark Horse than when I was working for DC Comics in the 1990s ($75/page vs. $95/page). Keep in mind that, right now, you need about $1.49 for the buying power of a 1996 dollar. Yet, I actually pay $600 more a month rent now.


If I had anything more to say today, I have no fucking idea what it might have been.

Aunt Beast