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"You are only coming through in waves."

It's Rhode Island. A week ago, we had highs in the 60sF. Today, the high will be in the 80s. Tomorrow, the 90s. A few days, back down in the 60s. It's Rhode Island.

All the expected tedium of yesterday was delivered, with a free side of frustapation. That's a Popeye word, frustapation, and I love it. We proofed "Fish Bride" (three minor corrections), I dealt with contracts, and an author's note and bio I should have sent away to an editor days ago, and then we got around to working on the galleys for Two Worlds and In Between.

Oh, and the discovery that a check we've been counting on arriving this month might not arrive until next month. Yes, to paraphrase Nick Mamatas (nihilistic_kid), the one thing we may count on as a professional freelance author, the check will always be late. More on this in a moment.

Anyway, we finally headed off to my doctor's appointment...in Cranston...only to discover that it had been moved to next Monday. And no one had called to tell me. I like my doctor. I truly do. I was very lucky to find her. But there I lost a couple of hours I could have spent editing the collection. So, we headed back to Providence, and we took the DVDs back to Acme Video (free Atomic Fireball, which at least helped with the cigarette craving I was having), and then returned home. And had leftovers. And I did a little more work, just beginning to compile the table of contents for the next short-story collection, Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart (publication date TBA). And I read an article in the January JVP, "A new helmeted frog (Anura: Calyptocephallidae) from an Eocene subtropical lake in northwestern Patagonia, Argentina." And we played Rift, and both Selwyn and Miisya reached Level 45.

I have a couple of Rift screencaps, which I've left at their original size, because shrinking them does them an injustice. Does the beauty of the game an injustice.




An impromptu gathering of Kelari mages in the halls of Lantern Hook (left to right: Enth'lye [foreground], Selwyn, Celinn, and Artemisia). Kelari women have a very strict protocol as regards sitting, by the way.



Selwyn and Celinn astride their vaiyuu in the snowy wilds of Iron Pine, the gates of Stillmoor looming in the near distance (Selwyn front).




So...yes. Wanna be a freelance writer? Wanna say #fuckplanB and throw caution to the winds? Then prepare for the fact that the check will always be late. Now, almost usually, you will be paid. Eventually. When someone gets around to it. When payroll can be bothered, etc. But there's no relationship between when you'll need the money for, say, clothing, rent, or an upcoming convention, and when it will actually arrive. No, no one cares. This is simply how it is. It's how its always been. Anyway, because the check will always be late, and because I have a commitment to attend Readercon 22 July 14-17th (if only because I'm nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award, and have agreed to take part in various bits of programming), we're beginning a BIG Damn eBay Sale (it's still small just now). There's the need for new clothes (I last bought clothing in September) and, of course, moolah to cover all the con expenses (which are not inconsiderable). We'll make the money, or I'll cancel. Honestly, I'm so tired of all this, I only just barely care which.

It's not as if we live an extravagant lifestyle. Our monthly "entertainment" expenses might come to $30-$50 dollars, max. I hardly ever even leave home. We virtually never eat out, or buy books or CDs or DVDs, or, heavens forbid, travel. Mostly, there's rent and medical bills. We're going to see a movie today*, at a matinée, and I am wracked with fucking guilt. Anyway, I'm emphatically not whining. I'm just saying, soberly, 19 years into this "career," saying to you out there who would be writers, steel yourselves for this. And do not think that any measure of critical success protects you from poverty. Not ever. Nor should you be so deluded as to believe celebrity equals financial stability (and fuck wealth). No, this is how it is, almost always, very few exceptions. Anyway, yeah...eBay. Please bid if you are able during the next few weeks. Cool, rare, and one of a kind items will be offered. We have set a goal of making $1,000.

Tomorrow, I go back to work on Blood Oranges. I have three chapters to write this month.

Now, make the doughnuts.

Living the Life,
Aunt Beast

* The expense will be offset by a couple of days of egg salad.

Comments

( 29 comments — Have your say! )
mellawyrden
Jun. 7th, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC)
I'm working on my collection of original handprints (either ink/paint pressed on paper, or original photocopies of hands at 100%). I would buy handprints from you & Kathryn. Front of hand or back. Name your price!
greygirlbeast
Jun. 7th, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC)

That is an interesting idea. I'll consider it.

Edited at 2011-06-07 11:30 pm (UTC)
strange_selkie
Jun. 7th, 2011 04:52 pm (UTC)
Selfishly, I must point out that you will get to see a lot of sovay at Readercon, anyway, so that's something; and she'll be reading a story of mine, which is the selfish part (the first time I'm invited to read anything anywhere, and we're robbing Peter to pay Cthulhu and have been for a year...)

So I hope your fundraising is fruitful.
greygirlbeast
Jun. 7th, 2011 11:32 pm (UTC)

Selfishly, I must point out that you will get to see a lot of [info]sovay at Readercon,

This is a fact. Truthfully, the main reason I bother with Readercon is it's a place I get to catch up with people I don't see enough of otherwise. I never have much money to spend on books. I don't go to panels I'm not on. So, yeah. It's my big yearly social event.
papersteven
Jun. 7th, 2011 04:57 pm (UTC)
next short-story collection, Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart (publication date TBA).

Very nice. Is this the third erotica collection, or have you taken that title for the next actual, factual short-story collection?

I have three chapters to write this month.

*That* is incredible. Good luck to you. Can't wait to read the results!
greygirlbeast
Jun. 7th, 2011 11:33 pm (UTC)

Very nice. Is this the third erotica collection, or have you taken that title for the next actual, factual short-story collection?

Actual and factual. It will pretty much be the follow-up to The Ammonite Violin & Others.
ashlyme
Jun. 7th, 2011 05:13 pm (UTC)
The first story I sold, the cheque came fairly quickly. Had to wait about fifteen months for the book it was in to come out, though. I think I used the money to celebrate the fact I'd been published; it wasn't a hell of a lot.

If I ever had any illusions about being a freelancer, I don't have them now.
greygirlbeast
Jun. 7th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)

If I ever had any illusions about being a freelancer, I don't have them now.

Good for you. You'd be amazed at the people who still labor under those delusions!
sovay
Jun. 7th, 2011 05:21 pm (UTC)
Living the Life,

I'm just waiting for someone to come up with #fuckfuckplanB.
greygirlbeast
Jun. 7th, 2011 11:35 pm (UTC)

I'm just waiting for someone to come up with #fuckfuckplanB.

I think that might have happened already. Certainly. that sentiment has been voiced loud and clear.
_MissC
Jun. 7th, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
Pre-Sirenia
The prospect of reading Sirenia is getting me through finals week, so thank you in advance. I will try and comment on it once I get around to reading it! Also, the snowy vaiyuu screenshot is pretty sweet... Makes me wish I wasn't quite so lacking in gaming expertise.
greygirlbeast
Jun. 7th, 2011 11:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Pre-Sirenia

The prospect of reading Sirenia is getting me through finals week, so thank you in advance.

You're welcome in advance.

Also, the snowy vaiyuu screenshot is pretty sweet...

I adore the vaiyuu.
negothick
Jun. 7th, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
Auntie Beast, you are a National Treasure, not to say a local hero, and Divine Providence ought to be supporting you--as they did not support Lovecraft. Please do not follow his example--your frugal expenses list reminded me too much of his. At least you're not living on watery tomato soup and canned ravioli, as he did at the end.
greygirlbeast
Jun. 7th, 2011 11:38 pm (UTC)

Please do not follow his example--your frugal expenses list reminded me too much of his.

It's not that bad. In fact, by HPL's standards, we have it pretty good. Though, back in my twenties, when I shoplifted tins of tuna to eat...well, been there.
readingthedark
Jun. 8th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
I can't help but fear we'll all be on watery tomato soup and canned ravioli at the end. But even that could be worse, HPL was intentionally seeking discounts on dented and rusted cans in an era where dented and rusted cans were a lot riskier. And even that gets trumped by Phil Dick surviving on dog food for a brief period.
greygirlbeast
Jun. 8th, 2011 12:31 am (UTC)

But even that could be worse, HPL was intentionally seeking discounts on dented and rusted cans in an era where dented and rusted cans were a lot riskier. And even that gets trumped by Phil Dick surviving on dog food for a brief period.

Oh, that earthy flavour!
readingthedark
Jun. 8th, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
Yes, he wasn't just abstemious out of necessity. Avoiding waste was also a core component of his personality...

...but I can picture him going to the store and asking if they have dented, rusted, or unlabeled cans. Maybe even being too proud to ask and looking under counters and along the backs of shelves. Then he goes home and dinner is like scratching Lotto tickets. Only the prize is maybe, just maybe, getting his favorite canned concoction by accident or only getting a mild case of food poisoning on that particular night.
greygirlbeast
Jun. 8th, 2011 01:20 am (UTC)

Exactly.
rexallen
Jun. 7th, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
eBay
I've checked this blog every day for probably 3 years, so it's provided a fair amount of...something. Entertainment? Material of interest? Something. I know not what.

AND, in exchange, probably you've received more money from me than any other writer.

All of which is peculiar, because really your books and short stories are not quite my cup of tea. Your blog, however, is apparently entirely my cup of tea.

By which I mean to say...by all means, let's have a Big Damn eBay sale! I'll buy something!

greygirlbeast
Jun. 7th, 2011 11:40 pm (UTC)
Re: eBay

All of which is peculiar, because really your books and short stories are not quite my cup of tea. Your blog, however, is apparently entirely my cup of tea.

I have to admit, I have always found this strange. You're not the first person to tell me this. I always assumed that the only appeal in the blog would be to my readers.
rexallen
Jun. 8th, 2011 05:15 am (UTC)
Re: eBay
I read every blog post and think, "What does this all mean? Where is this story going? How did it get to where it is? I'll have to check back tomorrow to see if there are any new clues..."

BTW, I also liked your "A Child's Guide to the Hollow Hills".

"Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" and "The Iron Dragon's Daughter" had whetted my appetite for fairy stories, and ACGthHH fit the bill very well.
rexallen
Jun. 7th, 2011 06:23 pm (UTC)
Blog
I was trying to remember how I even found this blog. As I recall, I'd read your short story "The Belated Burial" on the Subterranean Press website, and liked it a lot (so some of your stories are my cup of tea) and then found this site via Google.

Which means that it hasn't been three years...more like 1.5 years. The time...it passes slowly.




stsisyphus
Jun. 7th, 2011 07:37 pm (UTC)
I have a couple of Rift screencaps...

You know, I took the same screencap of that RP at Lantern Hook. Also, your vaiyuu is really a lot prettier than mine, who looks something like an old man. Ah well. By the by, I sent you an email on GP regarding the RP last night.

...we're beginning a BIG Damn eBay Sale

So fucking broke at this point. Already behind on getting you the birthday present I was meaning to work out...
greygirlbeast
Jun. 7th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)

Ah well. By the by, I sent you an email on GP regarding the RP last night.

Will check. Selwyn needs to know the contents of those letters.


So fucking broke at this point. Already behind on getting you the birthday present I was meaning to work out...


Do not worry about it.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Jun. 7th, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC)

Also, your description of being a freelance writer applies to all freelancers.

Yeah, I probably should have generalized.
robyn_ma
Jun. 7th, 2011 10:34 pm (UTC)
And remember, folks: 'seller is always prompt & courteous.'
greygirlbeast
Jun. 7th, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC)

Fuckin' A!
wooddickinson
Jun. 8th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC)
yup
Here in Kansas we get one day of hot sun followed by 100s of tornados then another calm day. Been fun here.

As for writing and getting paid, I write feature films. Pay is a novel idea. I shouldn't be so negative. Eventually everyone gets paid but it is a hard gig. Maybe I should look into this ebay thing...
greygirlbeast
Jun. 8th, 2011 12:10 am (UTC)
Re: yup

eBay has pulled us through many dry spells.
( 29 comments — Have your say! )