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Circumnavigating Fairyland
Lost Girl
catvalente
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.

I'll be bidding and donating.
I will post more info on this in my LJ.
Don't worry, we'll help!

I tossed in a bit, will try to give more once I recover from some government and lawyerly bills coming up.

I've always been more than happy to pay for Art. Could I offer another suggestion? The Orphan's Tales podcast seemed unfinished when I last downloaded/listened. If there's more, I'd be happy to pay for a package of the whole reading as a sort of unofficial audiobook, and I'm sure other folks would as well..

We'll get back on posting that.

I'd like to know what the best way to purchase the Orphan's Tales to make certain the majority of, if not all, of the proceeds go to you? Amazon? The publisher? Or can I purchase copies directly from you?

I've been thinking I needed to read them, and this provides the perfect opportunity to stop thinking, and do.

I unfortunately don't have any copies left to sell right now (takes capital to order books) so ordering it online in any fashion helps a lot. Thank you.

may the fates smile on you

(Anonymous)
just bought 6 of your ebooks and sent donation for Fairyland.

Godot says don't wait for him, just smile.

Obaka Charles

Re: may the fates smile on you

thank you so much.

I will post this in my journal, but for now, unfortunatly, that is all I can do. Our bucket runneth dry as well. We have 3 unemployeed adults in the house, ourselves.
I second the food stamps suggestion. Use them while you need them, and when D gets back to work, and this online story takes off, and you're stable again, stop using them.
When I have the funds to help, you know I will. It's a hellish time for most folks right now. I hate to see my friends suffer, especially when I can do NOTHING to help right now.
*hugs*

Thank you, I really appreciate you cross posting. I hope things turn around for you as well.

Could happen to any of us, and there's no shame in asking for help, when you'd certainly give help yourself to others in the same situation, were circumstances otherwise.

I'll spread the word and give what I can; wish it could be more.

I understand. I'm kinda like there myself, my massage business has fallen off a cliff financially-from supporting me & my son to barely paying it's own way. My super-terrific-amazing boyfriend has kept my mortgage payments current, but now his pay has gotten cut and I don't know what we're going to do.
I'll run numbers and see if I can send something...would $1 make a difference?
This economy sucks rocks.

Paypal would take most of that $1, I'm afraid. Cross-post instead? Thank you so much, love.

Ok, I Twittered about this post and come Monday, when you have the first Fairyland entry up, I'll definately be Twittering about that.

when I have a spare minute, I'll write up a blog post and post it to the 6 blogs I have and regularly crosspost too. It's not much of a readership(maybe 20-50 hits a day, unless it's a Daring Bakers/Daring Cooks Challenge reveal day, then it can be in the thousands), but every little bit helps.

I'll see if I can't turn my Creative Muses' attentions to creating something, be it beadwork, chainmaille or a silk scarf, to post to the Halp Cat comm.}:)

Keep your head up, no matter what.


This might be me in the spring...

(Anonymous)
I was laid off at the end of March, and to my astonishment and growing unease, have not yet landed, though many who were caught in the layoff at the company I worked for "already" have. I'm still collecting unemployment and was given a somewhat generous severance package, so can still afford to put a few dollars in the jar, paying it forward, hoping not to have to pay it back.

Good luck, Cat, to you and yours. If I had the fan base for a project like this, I would certainly be willing to do it to put food in the gut and a roof over the head. When you are back on your feet, may you look back at this time with satisfaction, and may you experience great joy in the work.

Joy Marchand

Re: This might be me in the spring...

Thank you, Joy. Since we're both freelancers, we aren't eligible for unemployment and have never been. Those rules suck. I hope things turn around for you soon!

I was linked here from Twitter. I will see what I can add to the word-fuel fire. What I know I can do is send it out to my followers and friends list.

Have you considered podcasting the novel? I know this isn't the way many would like to see it done, but what about a flat rate for the entire story or possibly a protected RSS feed similar to what Mur Lafferty did for War. They sign up, they get the story early? Get bonus comments, etc. With all the smart people in the podcasting community, there's got to be a means of creating an income for you in this (even if it is a small one). I'd volunteer to post produce any audio you'd record at no charge.

Email me if you're interested in discussing this more.

It will work out.

Podcasting Fairyland? I had thought of it, but since I've only written a bit I thought I'd cross that bridge in a week or two? I'd love help. catherynne@gmail.com

Morgen will be a happy, happy girl - after I read it and decide if she can, of course. But since she reads a lot of stuff above and beyond her age level, who knows? =D Best of luck, Cat, and love and light from us.

Thinking of you. My bills are higher than my earnings, so I *really* feel with you - best of luck.

Hi Cat,

I donated what I could. I hope things pick up for you soon! All the best.


Like I need another reason to get Omnikuji... If I've got a hundred bucks to fry my hair into blonde every two months, I've got a hundred bucks for one-of-a-kind art by one of my favorite authors and persons every year.

Perspective is everything.

I boosted your signal, here and on Twitter.

I believe in the power of the internet.

I believe that we are all connected and when we pool our resources to help each other magic happens.

I wish I could do more -- but I gave what I could in the firm belief that it will all add up.

(heard about this via @neilhimself on Twitter)

Good luck with this project! I know how you feel about the money situation. I'm there, myself.

So you know, you've been tweeted by Neil Gaiman! Expect a lot of traffic. I hope it helps. I'll spread the word as well.

Yep, another one from the Gaiman machine. No worries, we're here to help! <3

Have Twittered, and will see how things look for me once the bills are paid next week. If I've anything to spare, I'll send what I can (and will do so as time goes on as well).

Dearest Cat: Help is on the way. We love you. *hugs*

Also here from Gaiman's twitter. I don't know you, but I will toss a little money in the hat from a midwestern girl who believes in paying it forward. I'm among the lucky to be employed in these low times.

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