Little Godlets

Just to be peevish I’m not going to mention his name and give him more links and google alerts, but I did read his article expressing his opinion about adults reading young adult literature.

Most likely he decided to bother the world with his opinion because he has a book to promote–if I’m being cynical about it. Maybe he’s trying to make the world a better place? Well, a better place for him. Look! I should move through the world without being annoyed by what someone else is doing!

If the Internet has committed any sin, it has revealed too many little gods. Little godlets stomping their feet at the rest of us.

Godlets believe they can judge entire lives in a moment. I’m speeding because I’m late to work. You’re speeding because you’re irresponsible.

Having this power, godlets are able to discern the lack of value in entire groups. That’s why one might be frustrated by seeing a guy reading a disapproved of book, but not even mention seeing a woman reading the same book, because the latter isn’t worth mentioning. And tween girls? Why do they exist if not for grown men to insult? Apparently.

I guess even godlets can’t get over junior high.

Read wide and far. Use labels as you might a billboard. Might tell you something interesting ahead, but it isn’t a GPS system, and even a GPS system has its limits.

Anytime we think we know what people should be reading and we think we know people from what they are reading, we need a sharp pin in our inflated godlet ego.

Granted, I’d be quick to judge someone who ate only junk food. You must eat your vegetables! But the comparison between healthy eating and healthy reading is easy but limited. And I’m no doctor.

I’m a writer.

You should be reading my books, of course.

Ha.

Do you ever feel judged for what you read? Are there books you judge others for reading? Met any godlets lately?

We All Were Children After All

Orangeberry Books

I’ve never understood people who say they don’t like kids. They were once kids after all. Did they like being so easily dismissed by grown ups?

Not to mention I thought we were raised to avoid gross generalizations. There aren’t that many groups left you can publicly and happily state you don’t like. And what is to be gained from dismissing an entire group? You miss out on some interesting individuals that way.

Anyway, recently I met–in a cyberspace sort of way–a woman working on an anthology of stories from childhood. Dr. Niamh Clune is part of a new publishing venture that this week is coming out with their first book: Every Child Is Entitled to Innocence.

The proceeds will go to Child Helpline International, an organization that works to establish global helplines for children.

Perhaps you’d be interested in the book or at least passing this news on. You could friend Orangeberry on Facebook if you like, tweet, or participate in their Light-a-Candle campaign.

Somewhere between the time I was three and a stranger shot our family dog and ten years later when a strange man appeared at my bedroom window, I learned the world isn’t a safe place. We can’t protect children from every heartbreak in life–and if we did how would they learn empathy and develop as full human beings? But too many things children don’t need to experience, and I wish all us grown ups would give more thought to that.

My Miss Havisham

I met Miss Havisham late at night when I was 14 and alone in the house. I lived with my father, and he, as he was wont to do, was out for the night. Perhaps he’d be home at 3am or Sunday afternoon. He never promised any particular time.

from Great Expectations

We lived far from everything, fields around most of the house, a lake in front of the house, a highway in the distance. An only child, I had to find my own way to forget that the neighbors might not actually be close enough to hear screaming.

I’d curl up on the sofa and watch television. We got 5 channels, but two of them required going outside into the dark to turn the antennae, so after a certain hour, we really only had 3 channels.

On one of the channels I met Miss Havisham and fell in love with Charles Dickens. Perhaps you know his 200th birthday was the other day?

I watched the movie Great Expectations, and afterwards couldn’t stop thinking about Miss Havisham and Estella. They seemed to confirm my 14 year old perspective on love, and while I felt I was supposed to feel bad that Estella was being raised impervious to love, I also suspected this was not all together a bad thing. I rather wished I was Estella.

She was not afraid of boys.

But I feared I had far more in common with Miss Havisham–unstable and most likely to be left at the altar. Years later on my wedding day, when I was 27, I walked to the church in my wedding dress, my father at my side, with the slight nagging notion that my soon-to-be husband was going to change his mind.

I didn’t tell anyone Miss Havisham was at my wedding, but she was, quietly sitting in the corner of my mind, rather disappointed I wouldn’t be joining her.

Still, back when I was 14, having watched the movie, I went and read the book. The book was even better, and so I fell for Mr. Dickens.

Yes, he was flawed–seriously so–and not everything he wrote was perfect by any means, but how perfect does a writer need to be?

What if I could write one character that could stay with someone all of her life?

Is there any character like that for you?

Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens. Glad you’re still with us. You know, in the way great story-tellers always are.

What I Hate Most about Art

bunny ornaments

Pricing. This Friday is time again to hang my art in public (public hanging!) and decide what numbers to put on those little tags.

Part of me wonders why art can’t just be free. Oh, that’s right. Artists like to eat and have heat in the winter.

Crazy but true.

So, yes, I know all the things to consider: cost of materials, amount of time, quality of piece, how much I want it to sell, what the market will tolerate…

I’ve read a lot about pricing, but that hasn’t made it any easier. Money is another word for psychological land mine.

Now, I’ve made a few handmade books. Most of them are small books–a short story or two inside. Only one is a hardcover.

My research on how to price handmade books has pulled up only blank books, like leather bound journals or small, pretty books that are works of art but contain no story.

Now, a hardcover book cost $30, right? Give or take.

But that’s a factory made book.

But charging for my time and materials…means a crazy high price.

So logically it seems foolish to make things I can’t sell.

But I don’t do it for money.

But I’ve got to cover my cost because I’m not a trust fund baby.

Besides, who even wants a handmade book in our ebook world?

Oh, well. It isn’t the end of the world if it doesn’t sell. That’s the nature of these things.

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P.S. I’ve been working on my other blog–where I’m famous in a parallel universe. You can find out more here.