August 4th, 2009

Creative Joyous Cat

Busking in Cyberland - Feed the Artist

Or, in the words of Pink Floyd - and Motley Crue - "Is Anybody Out There?"

Singing for your supper is a common theme in fantasy stories about bards; it might be cliché, but for anyone trying to make a living, or even to supplement one, on their creative endeavors, it is literally true. It’s not as simple to get cash from your paypal account to buy groceries as it is to sing and then sit down at the table and have the innkeeper bring your already-cooked food, but it’s the same principle.

But the cash is symbolic of more than just one’s daily bread. It is a tangible way that an audience lets someone know that their life’s work--the current performance, the carefully-crafted song, the story that they labored over, the hours spent on a painting or recording--was enjoyed. That your hard work, both in the moment and the years that led up to that moment, was appreciated.

One of the joys of live busking is that you get feedback. You see children’s eyes follow you as their parents walk by, you see people’s expressions change as they listen, and their feet tap in time to--you. You see the people who could have taken this train, or that one, but who lean against a wall or sit on a bench to listen to a few songs before continuing their day. Sometimes you even get applause. Other times you simply see that someone who arrived looking stressed and upset is smiling as they get on their train. (Of course, you also get people who think folk music is deadly boring, but hey, not even Mozart or Elvis could please everyone.)

And all of it, all of the positive feedback, subtle and overt, cash or applause or just a smile—all of the feedback feeds the artist’s soul.

Cyberland is different. You put out your work and then wait. It’s hard to tell if people are even reading your words. They could be smiling, even laughing out loud, or reading your story aloud to a friend or child, but unless they take a moment to leave a comment, the artist will never know it.

As readers, the feedback loop--there’s that feed word again! Once the artist posts their work, oh reader, the feedback loop is in your hands. In this economy, many people can’t afford cash. But other things feed the artist too. Your smiles, your laughs, your questions, your referrals to friends, all these things are welcome.

If you enjoy “free” fiction, or poetry, or music, or any artistic endeavor online, whether it’s my work or someone else’s, please take a moment, open that comment box, and let your fingers do the tapping. Even a single word lets the artist know they are not, in essence, singing on an empty El platform, with only the echo of their own voice to keep them company.
Copyright 2009 Deirdre M. Murphy

Busking in Cyberland is the continuing musings of the artist on her experiences with crowdfunding. 
You can find the other entries here.
Creative Joyous Cat

Welcomes, a cool project, and a garden update

Cool Birthday Project

xjenavivex has a really cool birthday request -- she's asking her friends to check out other friends who are artists, writers, poets, photographers, and the like. As a result, she's compiling a list of really cool people, some known pretty well here on LJ (such as Seanan McGuire) and others who should become much more well-known (like haikujaguar ).

Her initial post is at:, though she expects to be updating her list of cool creative people to check out throughout the month of August.

What a cool idea! I should do this too--no, wait, my birthday is also in August.

Redundancy is sometimes useful, but one source in a month of friends-of-friends recommendations seems to be quite sufficient. So instead, I'll pimp her efforts. You should go check this out. There's enough links that everyone should be able to find something they enjoy.


Welcome to new friends, [info]flutterbychild [info]jdoggiedogg [info]upstart_crow [info]m_stiefvater [info]morvashepley [info]mount_oregano [info]agrbk [info]red_trillium [info]jolantru [info]patesden [info]sythyry [info]miintikwa and xjenavivex

Wow, I guess it's been too long since I did a welcome post! And if I missed anyone, welcome to you too!

Garden Update

As to the garden, I promised a picture or two of the mulberry tree. I'm not particularly satisfied with the pictures; somehow it was easier to see the tree that shall be in the twilight. Perhaps that was inevitable; twilight is a good time for dreams, after all. But I promised.
<input ... ></input><input ... >
Creative Joyous Cat

Surely my f-list can do better!

So, in honor of my temporary custody of two homeless kittens, and the fact that they chose to pose for appropriate photos, I decided to host a caption contest.

So far, I have exactly two people who proposed captions.  I know you folks can do better than that!

The funny pictures are in the original post (and not reproduced here, so I won't accidentally miss any entrants.  Please post your contest entries there.)

You've made me smile with all of your comments today.  Now, can you make me laugh?

Oh, yeah, the contest needs a deadline.  How about Thursday, midnight Chicago time?  (Which is CST, the same as Milwaukee time, but is probably easier for far-away friends to look up.) 

Now, I've got to head to bed.  I've got a tiny spot of temporary work tomorrow morning.