c is for cat

Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

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Hierarchy of Needs
c is for cat
catvalente
The What Do You Need entry is still going strong--and still getting replies, offers of help and advice--at almost 1000 comments. You guys are amazing. Have no doubt I am reading every comment, and offering what I can when I can, making what connections I can. Those of you who needed signal boosting--I'm going to ask you to reply to a second post because I can't keep it all straight with the deluge of comments. I'll then do a round up post so everyone gets linked to.

And you all have been so open and intimate and brave with what you need--I figure I should be brave too. But only at midnight on a Wednesday, when few enough will see.

1. I need local friends. This is really getting to me and making my life hard and I don't know how to fix it--I have exactly one friend in the area and he's busy most of the time. All my friends are distant. Add that to being on an island and it's so isolating, and my spirits get damn low. If anyone in the Portland, Maine area (I include Augusta, Portsmouth, and all points in between in that, and probably Bangor too) is geeky and friendly and wants to hang out, please comment. I do stuff other than write--knit, make glass and collages, play a very halting accordion, sail, grow things in my garden. I'm a neat person, I swear. It's been very hard to meet people and I can't live in a city where I don't know anyone forever. (But please...and this sucks to say, but if you just want to meet me to get writing advice or ask me to look at your manuscript, don't. I want real friendship, not someone who only cares for my connections. Just ask for that stuff here and I'm happy to share when I can.) The addendum to that is that I would love a local role playing group, like I had in Cleveland. But I don't ask for that, just for other humans who live near me.

2. I need more subscribers for the Omikuji Project. We've lost quite a few over the last couple of months and our housemates moved out so our expenses just went up quite a bit. This is a serious commitment for me and it can't survive without people who want to read it.

3. I need you all to know how beautiful and kind and special you all are. To forgive yourself for not being what you want to be yet--none of us are. We are all a work in progress, and we are all at different stages. It's ok. We are all going to be ok. We have each other, our chosen family, our tribe, and we take care of each other the best we can. I need you to keep on keeping on, and keep the faith, and keep each other going. I need you to smile, and know how very many of you there are just on this one single journal who want to help, who want to connect and share their world. I need you to keep that post going, for everyone who needs it, and I need you to never give up. I swear to you, it will all come out all right. We are undestructable, like the song says. Even if it doesn't always feel like it.

I love you, even if I've never met you.

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I posted a link for Omikuji on my FB, and another friend of mine shared it, so I hope that brings in many more subscribers. It's such an inexpensive treat to get something new from you every month!

This May Only Be Somewhat Helpful But Here Goes Anyway

firebirdgrrl

2010-08-19 04:03 pm (UTC)

I hear you on the local friends. I've been here seven years and I'm only starting to have some people to hang with.

I have some friends in Portland from the local OTO body, which may not be your bag, but if you'd like I can try and put you in touch with the guy I know best who is really fun and awesome or I can pick his brains and see who he knows. If not, that's okay too.

If I'm in the area, I'd love to come up and hang with you if you'd like that. If you're ever in the DC area, do contact because I can offer you good times with local friends (who I met through the Mythpunk Meetups so thank you:))


I teared up reading #3. Thank you so much for encouraging people and making community because in this world we need it so much. You manifest so much goodness and make so much tribe that it is damn beautiful.Thank you.

Re: This May Only Be Somewhat Helpful But Here Goes Anyway

catvalente

2010-08-19 07:30 pm (UTC)

I might know some of those people already through the poly group which meets in the OTO temple, but yes, please, pass on my info!

I'm fairly new to your blog, but I've been enjoying it. I love the Needs idea. It's marvelous!

I know exactly what you mean about needing local friends. That's me, too. I've lived in the Bay Area for 20 years. I have a few friends, but none of them live nearby. We only get together a few times a year, and I can see and feel our closeness fading with each year. I am incredibly lonely, in my suburb home.

I can't offer to be your local friend at the moment, since I don't live in Portland. But we are seriously considering moving there in the next year or two. We have to move somewhere, and Portland is my first choice.

But it scares me, this idea of moving to a new place. I'm lonely enough here, but at least there are people I know are my friends. In a new city, not knowing anyone... this is far more daunting now, than it ever was when I was young. I wonder what will become of us, my husband and I. Neither of us are extroverts, and we are geeky and shy. Also, too normal for some people, and not normal enough for others.

I wish I was there already, because I would jump to meet your need. But later, when I am there, perhaps we can meet, and see where it goes.

We up and moved here without ever having visited two years ago. It was very scary. But I've lived all over the world and this is one of my favorite places. It's an amazing city, an amazing state, and I love it.

And you do know one person, at least. ;)

I wish I didn't live so far away, deep in the South, or I would take you up on the offer to be friends. I think you are really cool and we would hit it off immediately. I also like gardening and sailing, but I have yet to learn to knit, but I'm an artist and love collage work.

But more than that, we all need more friends. I hope someone hears your call and reaches out to you personally.

In the meantime, you are a very special person to have brought all of us in this community together and I am in awe.

I sent my husband to your lj yesterday. We go around the table every night and tell our favorite part of the day. Reading that post (for three hours) was my favorite and he jumped on. He said it was addicting. You just want to help. In any way possible. You want to reach out to each and every person.

I've been reading _Stone Soup for the World_ about people helping other people. Your post reminded me of that. There are so many ways we can change the world, one human at a time.

I bookmarked lots of sites yesterday, especially the etsy and arts ones, so I can go back and do some shopping. I also got some good advice I didn't know I was looking for, how to organize and declutter my home. Great ideas in that thread.

You have a very talented and awe-inspiring group of readers. I'm so glad you have such an open heart to share them with the rest of the world. I truly have tears in my eyes and the raw humanity of your journal.

Just. Wow. and Thanks!

Vous etes une pêche, madame. Merci pour le troisième.

Aw, I wish I lived closer so I could be an island buddy! Still, I'm tempted to drive up on various weekends, bring the knitting, my geekiness, and wallow in the wonderfulness of Cat and her Tribe, and offer in return a retreat in the woods of RI where life is boring and nothing happens. :)

you are more than welcome--I visit the mainland, too!

Subscribed! I'm glad you reposted the link - somehow I had missed it before.

This is going to sound cheesy, but are there any Meetup.com groups around you that you might want to join? I found it to be very helpful in meeting folks and making friends when I moved and realized I knew absolutely nobody. You might be able to find an RP group that way as well.

I tried that, but the knitting group was full of women so old their oxygen tanks knocked together, and I haven't found anything else on there I'm interested in.

I wish I lived anywhere near Portland. I'd love to hang out, and enjoy all of the creative social activities we could invent. :) I've been wanting to see New England, maybe a road trip, before moving out to Seattle. If I do, maybe we can stop by, bring treats. :)
I know too well the sadness of living far away from all of one's friends.

I've been dying to subscribe to Omikuji for forever... I bought the anthology ebook, but I can't afford to subscribe until my design job starts paying me again. :( Hopefully within the month, that. Boosted Omikuji on my blog, though!

When I joined twitter it was mainly to talk to artists and writers around the world and to promote work I was trying to sell, but the biggest result for me has been to make a lot of local friends.

When people from my area started friending me and each other it kind of snowballed and we now meet each other for social activities and to think up zany ways of raising money for local charities. When I was recently in hospital I had loads of visitors and people who couldn't come sent me things.

A lot of it started off because DJs at our local radio station started talking to people on twitter during their shows and asking other twitterers to follow people who had tweeted into the show. This helped build up a community. Some do similar things on facebook.

Check whether any of the local chat radio or tv shows relevant to your interests have any kind of backchannel conversations going on, You may be able to tap into a local group.

Otherwise go to the searchbox on twitter and insert near: and the name of your county without spaces. For example, for me that would be near:shropshire

Just remember not to leave a space between the colon and the place name. That will show you tweets from people in your geographic location, you can further narrow it down by combining the location with a search term relevant to you to find local people talking about your interests.

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Re: if you just want to meet me to get writing advice

catvalente

2010-08-19 07:53 pm (UTC)

I can almost play a whole song!

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First of all, thank you for #3. You gave me EXACTLY what I needed just by writing that here so I could read it and try to internalize it. Thank you. So much.

Secondly, I know you said friends in real life/close proximity to you, and sadly that is not me. But I wish I knew you in RL, because I think you're an amazing person and you are a creative inspiration and funny and warm and made of win. :)

So please know that you can count me among your many, many faraway friends, if you so choose. And if you're ever in Orlando, I'd love to meet you face to face. *hugs*

I missed Omikuji while I was out of work! I so look forward to it. I just re-subscribed today so now House Cerulia can get its Omikuji love again! Miss you much!

You don't know me, but I really like your posts. I just wanted to say thank you for your posts and your books. I love them.
I know I'm just a little bitty teenager (just started high school!) but I am really inspired by your work. And I'm constantly quoting you.
Going back to lurking now.

Oh. yes. September. Letter form. I can't wait! I'm writing it off as literature for school.
Let's go disbursement!!!!

Hey Cat,

I'm a sorta-local (Rhode Island) that could also use a localish friend as I'm also down to one local buddy. I went to UNH and we used to head up to Portland on the weekends sometimes - awesome city - if you want to hang out in Portland sometime, let me know! I've been reading your blog for awhile although I haven't commented much, and you seem like you'd be a fun person to geek out with.

Take it easy,
Cat (of the Rhode Island variety)

My friend firynze sent me over. I'm in Portland, hear you on the knitting and gardening, and have a gmail account same as my user name if you want to chat.

Also, I don't know if you're into the social aspect of knitting, but there's a group of Portland knitters that meets once a week in various places around town. They post monthly schedules in the Portland group on Ravelry, and seem pretty friendly. (I will shamefacedly admit to not attending any meetings as I tend to knit while vegging in front of the tv.)

1. I'm in the Boston area, so if there turns out to be a (semi? whatever) regular meetup, I would be up for that. (You signed a copy of Palimsest for me at Arisia, which is the only time we've met; we share a name, sort of. And I've been reading your LJ through an open tab, which really I should remedy by hitting "add to friends list")

2. Ooh, yes, thank you for the reminder! ETA: Er, how does one do more than one month at a time? Paypal doesn't seem to be giving me the option.

3. Aw. *sniffles*

Edited at 2010-08-19 10:34 pm (UTC)

1. I can't be your IRL friend being as I live way over here, but if you're ever up in Vancouver, BC I can certainly arrange hangouts and meetups with local awesome geeky people and even a free swordfighting lesson just for fun. :)

2) Yes! Thank you for reminding me of this. As soon as I figure stuff out, I am SO signing up.

3)Thank you.

1. This is incredibly irritating. I WANT TO LIVE ON PEAKS ISLAND AND TALK TO WONDERFUL PEOPLE AND DO AWESOME THINGS. Instead, I am in DC. Which isn't horrible. But still. So, does "I absolutely would, if I could" count? Just a little?

2. This is something I've wanted to do for a while, and I will do this in the next few weeks or something, once I've gotten enough.

3. Working on it. I don't want to cry all over your, or paint a sob story, but being a gay teenager at a religious school is pretty fucking depressing. So self-esteem-working on it. Woohoo!

You know, it's funny. Almost everyone I was close to in high school is now identified as queer in some fashion. Give it time, love. the world is bigger and kinder than school.

I would grant your first need in a heartbeat if I lived near you. My need is also for friends close by. You seem like a really rad lady, so I will try and figure out teleportation so I can come hang out with you. Because I love you even thought I have never met you, too. :)

However, I can participate in the second request. I won't be able to do so until after the 5th of the month, but you can count on me! *salute*


I remember reading your post about your wedding and getting really emotional, reading your thoughts about traditions and family and friends, and thinking how cool that was and how cool you were. I'm in Texas, so not local, but you got a friend here if ever you find yourself around here.

The majority of my spare cash is caught up in another project right now, but I will be buying the Omikuji anthology in the next week or so. Is there a method by which you profit most, or are they all relatively equal? I have a Kindle and an iPhone, and am just as happy to have a copy via Amazon, direct ebook, or hard copy.

Also, despite my issues with the cover over in your other post, I will definitely be picking up Prester John when it's available.

Once I get myself past my current spendy project, subscribing to the Omikuji Project may be possible. I'd certainly like to! I'd love to get mail again that doesn't tell me I owe money or should vote for someone for political office, and gives me something cool and unexpected instead.

I hate the cover too. There's nothing I can do about it, so I just promise what's inside is better than what's outside.

Buying a hard copy directly form Lulu is best for me.

Cat, dearest, I have to tell you that I want to print this post out, cut out #3, and post it on my bathroom mirror so I can read it every day. It's been a real challenge for me lately to keep on keeping on, to keep the faith, in light of my intestinal ridiculousness, but I always forget to lean on people, and remember that I'm not alone. So thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Oh, girl. It's ok. It's just a body. Mine fucks up, too. I don't talk about it much but my doctor just confirmed that I'm allergic to just about everything that walks on all fours or grows in the ground, and I have to deal with it every day, too. Bodies are stupid and beautiful and they usually don't do or look like what we want them too. I hate my body, most days. And most days I feel weak. It's ok. All you have to be is yourself, all you have to do is live and smile. I love you.

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