Most of you know that about six months ago, justbeast was laid off. We did the responsible thing--we had enough to survive. For about six months. The Omikuji Project was a godsend, without it we would have reached the bad place long before now.
Nowhere in our calculations did we think he wouldn't have a job by June. He's never had trouble getting work. We just didn't think it was possible. That he wouldn't have even gotten an interview after sending out endless resumes? Unthinkable. But this economic situation has slammed us hard, and we aren't recovering.
I make ok money for a writer, in fact, I'm in that weird place where I couldn't make much more with my degree in the public sector, and a combination of my savings and my income have kept us afloat this long--believe me, I've considered the slinging burgers route, but I wouldn't make enough to keep us solvent and the ferry would eat almost half my income. I've been doing better in my professional life than every before--but it's finally not enough to meet our bills and our rent. We moved to the island in the best economic situation of our lives and now we can't afford to move, or stay.
So we sat down last night and did numbers. And the raw fact is, we don't have enough for rent next month, we are behind on all our bills, and in a couple of days, we won't have any money for food.
As bad as things have been at times, in my adult life, I've never been in this situation. I don't know what to do that I haven't done, I've been working constantly trying to make enough money to survive. The depression level in this house of late has been truly epic.
I hate doing this. I hate asking for help. I don't want you all to think that I'm selfish--there are people so much more worse off than me--or that I'm lazy or entitled.
But I need help.
I can't bear to simply put up a donate button. It's not in me. I don't want charity--I want to keep us afloat. I want to trade something wonderful for a way to keep us alive. And last night I had a thought, a bolt of lightning thought. What I can do is this.
Over the course of the Palimpsest tour, people asked me one thing more than anything else.
What about The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland? Is it a real book? Will you write it?
And I said no. It's impossible, a YA book that is a book-within-a-book in a deeply non-YA novel. I even said no to a very sweet six year old.
Starting Monday, I will start posting chapters of a full-length novel version of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. I will be writing it in real time, posting every Monday. It will be free to read--but please know that the sheer calories to make my brain create it require funding, and I would very much appreciate your support. Pay whatever you like for it, whatever you think it's worth. It's kind of like an old-fashioned rent party. There's a button at the bottom of the post to start things out.
This is a book about a little girl named September who gets herself a ticket to Fairyland on the back of The Green Wind and a somewhat cranky Leopard. There she discovers the realm of the capricious Marquess and the dangers of the Perverse and Perilous Sea. It is going to be something else.
And yes, you can read it to your kids. This is my first available YA novel, and everyone can read it for free.
justbeast and I are getting the website up today. I'm writing like crazy over the weekend. It will go up on Monday morning. I'm trying not to cry or freak out or shake while I type.
Until then, there's other things--you can sign up for The Omikuji Project, or buy ebooks. (Thank you so much to those of you who already have.) You can spread the word about the Fairyland project. I know we're all hurting right now and no one has very much, but this is the path I can walk to be able to take care of my family, to keep us alive, in our house, fed. This is what I can do. Thank you, to all of you who have supported me in the past, and continue to do so--you are my tribe and my village. If there is anything I can do that you would buy or pay for, please tell me. When Fairyland is underway, I'll be starting up a (reasonably priced, I promise) writers' workshop online.
I love you all. I wish the world were different than it is right now. I wish I didn't have to make this post. I hope, at least, this book that so many of you have asked for brings some happiness in a strange, dark time.
EDIT: there is now a raffle/auction community to help out: adoptingcat . Thank you all for everything you've sent--I'm in awe and thunderstruck, you are my mad fairy court and I love you.
Rules for Anchorites
Letters from Proxima Thule
- Circumnavigating Fairyland