October 1st, 2009

Creative Joyous Cat

Fireborn: Worried Parents

Welcome once again to the world of Fireborn. If you're a new reader, the story starts here.


Starfish came by in the middle of the afternoon to let Mist know her husband had called a meeting to receive her healer’s advice, after dinner. “He thinks there’ll be fewer rumors if everyone can listen to your report,” she added. When Mist nodded, she added, “I’m sorry, I have got to get things organized. Do you need anything?”

“No, half the people who come in to talk ask that.”

“That’s one of the things I loved about Sturgeon, when I first married Eel. Everyone is so hospitable.”

After her visit, Mist was left alone for a little while, as people prepared dinner and finished up daytime chores. It was a relief. People were really upset, and very scared, even if they mostly acted reasonable under their Mayor’s stern eye. And what they knew about fireborns was simply amazing for both its lack of accuracy and its sheer unrelieved negativity. Oh, none of it was really new to Mist, but the last time she’d heard so many misconceptions in one place was in a class she’d been required to take before being certified as a fireborn healer.

She used the time to consider what she’d learned. She had no idea which young person might be fireborn, if, in fact, any of them were. Certainly, none of them had crept into the tent to confide in her, which would have been the easiest solution.

At the very least, she needed more time, time to get to know people and gather more information, and time to at least try to teach them not to be so afraid. She set her thoughts to what else might have caused the various things she’d heard about, and tried to plan what she could say that would buy her that time.

While she was still thinking, the big woman with the playful fish tattoos stormed into the shelter. Ripple followed, looking anxious.

“Where’s Eel?”

“Can I help you?” Mist looked up at her.

“I need the Mayor. I know who the fireborn is.”


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And to everyone who's reading, thanks for dropping by.  As always, I'd love to hear from you!
Creative Joyous Cat

Busking in Cyberland: Amanda Palmer on Crowdfunding

Though she doesn't use that word...

One of the things that Twitter is good for is recommended reading--finding blog posts by people you don't know, people whose blogs you don't want to read every day, but THIS POST you want to read.

I was amazed at how similarly this traditionally successful musician views crowdfunding to how I view it, though she didn't use the word Busking.  But she talked about her experiences as a "statue" with a tip jar, of having people thank her for the music, and give her money--and conversely, drive by shouting "get a job" and even throwing poo at her!  (Thankfully I never got that last bit while busking!  Maybe people have more respect for the muscial instruments than the artists--the people--doing the performing?)

I'll share a couple of quotes (in blue below), but the whole blog post is worth reading whether you like or hate her music. Even if you never heard of her.


artists need to make money to eat and to continue to make art.

artists used to rely on middlemen to collect their money on their behalf, thereby rendering themselves innocent of cash-handling in the public eye.

artists will now be coming straight to you (yes YOU, you who want their music, their films, their books) for their paychecks.


it’s also not a matter of whether an artist is starving or cruising on a yacht.

i would hate to see my fans turn on me once i actually have money in the bank with a “well, i would support you if you were starving, but now that you’re eating, no way.”

Writing (which includes rewrites, proofreading, research, and so on, and then if you're self-publishing, all the editing, formatting, and even html stuff) and music (which includes lots of practice as well as writing new material and the whole process of recording) and art (which includes rough drafts too, as well as needing expensive supplies, many of which are toxic or can ruin your clothes, rugs, and woodwork, and which requires scanners and other post-creative stuff too)...gosh, that sentence is too long!  Let's try again.

Writing, music, and art seem glamorous, but they are all a lot of work, a lot of time spent ignoring the good shows on TV, a lot of time spent pretending there are no good video games, a lot of practice and honing of skills, for what is often far less than minimum wage, if you compare the hours spent and the cash outlay with the cash inflow.

Yes, you get praise from your fans.  But you also get criticism.  You may, like Ms. Palmer, be repeatedly told to "get a ****ing job".  You will probably be told you're a talentless hack.  If you get publisher/music deal/art gallery, they get a substantial cut of the money fans pay for the product.  And so do any other middlemen involved in the process, the bookstores, the operators of the venues where you sing, ticketmaster, and so on. 

The artist whose work you love typically gets far less than half of the money you pay--unless you give it directly to the artist.

Think about that.

And remember that artists have to eat, and pay rent, and heat their homes, just like you. 

Do you want your favorite artists spending time on some day job, or do you want them making more art?

When it comes down to the bottom line, it's each artist's fans who make that decision. 

Just sayin' ... you got the power.