Why Support Patreon?

Last month my royalties for my book, Blood Child, were less than $5.00.  That’s right. I made less than a fiver for a book that took me nearly two years to produce, not including the time it took to write. And you know what I am overjoyed… seriously. I am happy about it. My writing is bringing in money.Is it the amount that I need to quit my day job or even one of my second jobs? No, but it means that people are buying my work which makes me smile. It takes a long time to build an audience/fan base.

So why do I support Patreon? Why I am writing this to convince you to support it? It is simple. It takes time to produce art whether it is music, books or a mural. It takes time to perfect the skills that make that art something of beauty and value. There is value in an artist’s ability to create. Patreon  is a crowd funding platform that allows artists and patrons to interact and engage.  Like in days of old, Patrons are treated to exclusive content from the artists as well as sneak peeks on new projects. Patreon says that it is empowering a new generation content creators.

Amanda Palmer 's photo from her famous Kickstarter campaign -

Amanda Palmer ‘s photo from her famous Kickstarter campaign -Now, Palmer is on Patreon.

That’s the key phrase, content creators, artists of all types create content that we enjoy. We, the patrons, pay them for that content. Just like we buy songs on i-Tunes or books on Amazon, we can buy content from our favorite artists. The difference is that you are contributing to that content being created. You are helping your favorite artist have the time to create their content. You are contributing to the art you love. You are giving them the breathing room that they need to create.And all the while you are communicating with them and creating a community.

Stant Litore

Stant Litore- Master Storyteller

Stant Litore was the first person that I have supported on Patreon.  His goals were small and have grown with the support of the community he has help to build. He gives inside looks into his writing process, the ups and downs of the writing life as well as what they funds have helped do for him and his family.

In his words, “it puts the community back in storytelling. Patreon is perfect for those writers and readers who are very social. It lets readers get involved in the process and lets writers share more of the process with readers. It takes us back to when telling stories was something that happened around a community fire, rather than in an isolated study. It also represents an opportunity for readers to fund more of the work they like most and for writers to make a more sustainable income.”

That sustainable income allows patrons to get more of the content that they want. It is a win-win for artists and other content creators. I support Patreon not as a writer, but a reader and lover of music and games. I support it because it inspires me to continue creating. Inspiring me to keep working through the all obstacles in front of me.

These are the people that are currently inspiring me – Amanda Palmer, Stant Litore and The Galaxy Next Door . Check it out…

*A special thank to Stant Litore for taking the time out of his schedule to talk to me. Check out his books on Amazon.

A poem without a name

Stop the madness

the relentless drive to

be comfortable

there is no comfort

no lasting bit of piece

no moment that will take away

all the time spent being abused

by myself or others

so many of the scars

inflicted upon our souls

are self-inflicted

Stop the madness

do more with less

and give up access

to the world of want

Want leads to desire and

desire to suffering

Currently, this poem has no name.  I would love suggesting from readers.  Submit yours below. Please and thank you. 

Manic Monday ~ Why I Am Staying?

There are brighter days on the horizon.

There are brighter days on the horizon.

Last Monday, I spoke about why I am going to be leaving my current teaching position and seeking something new and healthier.  Today, I want to talk about the good things in my life and why I am not leaving everything behind and heading for the hills.

The work stress has been counter-balanced by a great deal of happy.  Ironically, it was the happy that made me realize that I didn’t want to be unhappy and stressed so much at work.  I worked for over a year to earn a promotion that I am not even being considered for and at the end of the day, I am not longer sure I want it. I want time to experience life; to actually living it.

And you know what?

I have been.  In the last year, I have been to out and about more than I was in the past couple of years. In February, I went to see Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman in Tampa. In March,  I escaped the gravity well of Florida and made it to Virginia for a wedding.  And April, I was overjoyed to be able to reconnect with a dear friend. I have been out to the movies and chilling with friends and family more. I love being able to hang out with my nieces and nephews.

My sister and I are closer than ever and it is awesome.

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Writing and letting my muse guide me…

I have three different book projects going and am taking some classes on Coursea. Two of which are really research for future books.

There are good things and great people in my world.

So I am staying here on this blog, writing, loving and learning.

Thanks for listening.

Love,

Lu

 

Manic Mondays or Why I am Leaving….

Lately all my days are have been intensely crazy as I try and navigate from the life I have to the life I want. A life where there is more time to write and enjoy with my family and friends. So after eight years in the classroom, I have decided to leave.  It isn’t that I don’t love teaching or my students. I love my profession and my students have keep me going day after day through the stress of being a teacher in the era of Common Core and accountability. It has kept me going through the politics that invaded my school.

Still after much thought, I have come to the conclusion that I am burnt out.

I am fried beyond belief. I can’t do it anymore and be effective in the classroom.  My days as a teacher have never ended at 3:31 in the afternoon, but this year they don’t end on Friday and the weeks of preparing and working through the weekends. Even my “breaks” have been filled with either on lesson plans or other school related projects or working a second and third jobs. It has been exhausting. Financially, I am doing better.  I am at least gripping solid ground. But, mentally, I am so exhausted that I find myself dragging every day.

I know I am burnt out on the constant pile of work and never ending feeling like I am not doing my job right.

So what to do.

Find a new job or position in education.

Yes, teaching is a calling, but after eight years in the classroom. I am tired of being dumped on. Tired of being praised for my work on one hand, but criticized for how well I am juggling everything.  Observations are dog and pony shows where you trot out what the administrator wants to see and hope they like you and don’t have something to prove. I once got a low score because I didn’t say “this is important” during a lesson on critical thinking.  Another time, I was criticized for misspelling something even though I turned it into a teaching moment for my students. Friends have been given needs improvement scores even when their students aced the state tests.

The quest for data on everything has been particular hard on me. There is no time to really teach my students. No time to teach them to love my English or learning. Just time to go from one test to the next or in my case one meeting to another.

And this year, I was tossed backwards in a fight. This year, I woke up in the middle of the night by a panic attack after dreaming about school. I don’t trust my administration to have my back and work with me to help my students. I feel like the county that I work for doesn’t care about my health just their numbers.

I am tired of being told you will do this and this in your classroom and you are a great teacher, but why aren’t you doing this? And surely you can do this as well. I work and work and my administration praises me, but does not promote me. They talk about it. Even say they are training me for it.  And then give the job to someone else.  I was never even spoken to about the latest opening (or given an interviewed)  even after expressing an interest and told on more than one occasion that I had it.  It was a slap in the face to learn that someone else would be assuming the position and becoming my boss. (If I make it to the next school year, I won’t take on additional duties.)

I am tired of working three jobs to pay bills and still failing to build something for my future. When countries slash budgets, teachers make up for it out of their wallet. I don’t need to work harder which is what I have been doing. I need less work. Ironically, with the start of summer school I will be working longer days.

I have lost the spark that I had when I first started teaching  and I feel like there isn’t enough time or energy to recover it.

So, I am working my resume, looking at teaching other subjects (English is a beast) and working on graduate school. It is time for me to go and when I do I know I will be crying because I love my students. I love them enough not to do this to them any more. I can’t give them my best. I haven’t been giving them my best for a while.

They deserve better and so do I.

No More

Sunday’s are usually my day to write blogs for the week ahead and catch up on all sorts of stuff. Sometimes I make goals for myself and write about them.  Somehow over the years, I got the idea that if I made them public would hold me more accountable to them and I would get more done.

The opposite has happened.I have gotten less done and been pretty miserable in the process.

Then while I was sitting down and doing my normal Sunday thing, procrastinate, play some silly games, read some articles on-line and do some writing.

I came across this article, 14 Amazing Psychology Facts Everyone Needs to Know, and had an epiphany. Every time, I have made a big deal about a new goal whether it is on this blog or a list of them posted on my wall at home, they haven’t happened. I put pressure on myself and all it did was make me feel like I am a failure.

I am not a failure. I just need to focus and bullying myself is not focusing.

I do have goals.

I have a goal for my next book.

I’m just not telling this time.

What do you think? Tell the wold your goals or keep them to yourself?

Decision Time

The final weeks of the school year are approaching. The seniors have taken their exams and I have lost a week of instruction in my other classes. Exams had to be taken in every class and each exam was one hundred minutes long.  Everything was thrown off. One more week and the seniors will be out the door.

Two weeks after that and my students will be done with school and summer will be approaching. And I need to make decisions on what I am going to be doing for work. I need to work my writing projects, finish the rest of my Kickstarter obligations and rest up for the next school year.

This year was insanely busily. I don’t really want another one. Seriously, I don’t.

But without a master’s degree or a winning lottery, I don’t have a choice. This summer, I can choose to work for four weeks ten hour days and have three days off to relax and recover. Or I  still work  four ten hour days and then only have two days off.

The money would be nice, but I think I have gone about this whole thing wrong. I have had tremendous opportunities that I have wasted because I have always felt the need to work. Work of debt, get ahead and build savings. But some how these things never happen.

Life keep moving forward and I didn’t go along with it.  I tried to wait until everything was perfect.  And it isn’t going to be perfect.  Until you do it and then it will be wondrous.

 

 

 

The Blade…..

I wanted to reach for the blade like I had every night for the last year, but Ronald’s touch stopped me. I couldn’t clasp it with his heart beat pounding so close to me. I wanted to be angry and reach through the ether once again stabbing and slicing Dahila.

From the first moment, I found my hand around the hilt I knew I could strike anyone I wanted.  Anywhere.  So I reached out and sliced her. One thousand and eighty three miles away, she woke up with a panic attack, screaming.  Night after night, just before the darkness dies I would reach out, find it and strike.   It was a stupid and petty thing to do. It was a cruel thing to do, but one that made me smile down to my soul. I could hurt her like she had hurt me. I could make her suffer.

Of course, my crime was intentional and karmic very unhealthy. It was a crime. No delusions or justifications there. One unintentional act that harms another does not merit the damage I caused each time I took up the blade. And yet, I did it again and again.

The knife was a gift from the universe, one of many treasures hidden in the Akashic records. Not everyone can touch it.  Not everyone should touch it. Why I was the recipient of such a blessing, I didn’t know? And I wasn’t questioning it. I liked the blade. Loved the way it moved when I sliced her. It felt good. I woke up happy. Not depressed and full of sorrow.

Then Ronald came to stay and I had a hard time pushing through the ether to touch it. Sometime I would have it in my hand and it would slip away as he moved into cuddle. It is hard to be a revengeful soul when a puppy wants attention.

Ronald, I love you, but tomorrow you are getting a crate.

Take No Prisoners Thursday

My seniors are testing, taking the last tests of their high school careers. They aren’t nervous or worried, they just want their tests to be over with as much as their teachers want Graduation Day to be here. But, three girls aren’t here (I work at all girls school).

Three seniors didn’t show up for their tests today.

Two seniors put their high school graduation in jeopardy for unknown reasons. One may be withdrawn because of other issues.

A couple of hours before all of this began, I was huddled in my bed with the covers over my head. Exam days are generally no fun for teachers. Testing guidelines require that teachers sit and watch the students and do nothing else for the duration of the exam. Testing is very boring business. It is draining on everyone. The students who are anxious to have exams over will soon turn nervous and frantic in the face of a testing booklet.

Today is a “take no prisoners” day. Today is a day that things must get done and will get done. Dressing today, I knew part of what was coming. A meeting with administrators and a parent regarding one of the seniors. Today was the day to break out the one suit coat I own and a pair of heels. I am not an administrator, I don’t even play one on TV, but today I have to look like I am one. Today, I have to have the confidence of one so that others will follow my led and have faith in the decisions I make.

It is a “take no prisoners” day for the seniors. A day when excuses and time have run out. At noon, one of the missing seniors arrived. I didn’t even ask why she was late. It didn’t matter. She has time to take her exams. There is no time to argue over lateness and excused tardies.

In a week, they will be walking down the aisle to the thunderous applauds of friends and family.They will feel like they are on top of the world for hours until they are thrush into reality and adulthood. And realize that there will be many more days like today. Days when they will want to huddle under the covers and forget their responsibilities for just a few more minutes. Days when they will get out of bed and take charge of their life, accepting no excuses and taking no prisoners.

Page A Day Results

There were thirty days in April and I wrote and published something on this blog for twenty-six of them.  It is amazing what a writer or any human being can do when they challenge themselves and make a commitment. But then again, that is the story that we tell ourselves. We tell ourselves what we can and can not do. We place limits on ourselves and those we love.

If I give my students an open ended writing assignment, they automatically give themselves rules and limits.  The biggest one these days is that this or that is too much. It is the limit that I hate the most. If it gets the job done and puts you were you need to go then why is it too much? Why is it bad to work for something? The answer for many of the students is easy to see in their daily lives. They see people working and working and never getting a head, so why work?

That is a dangerous story, but a real one.

11051906_663114840460500_2886341314953390785_nThe big bad story I have told myself I don’t have enough time to write. This month, I took that story apart.

I didn’t make my goal of writing everyday, but most days I did write and it is that habit that I have to continue if I want to be a successful writer. No if ands or buts about it, to be a writer you have to write. To be a successful one you have to continue to write, even when I’m busy or sick.  (Yesterday, I slept most of the day and wrote for a couple of hours in the office before going back to bed.)

I have been afraid to let go of some aspects of my life. The security that I have built for myself in my tiny house. In the three jobs that I hold down and the family and loved ones who support me. In the piles of books that surround me in nearly every room of my house.  In short, I have been afraid of change.

Change is always coming for us.  Always, so it is time to stop huddling under the covers and get going.

If you’d like more information on Lucinda’s work subscribe to this blog, follow her on Twitter or like her page on Facebook.  Her new novella, Blood Child is available on Amazon.

 

Happy Birthday, Momma!!!

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Momma and me.

Today, my Momma turns 69 years old.  Last night, she went to the emergency room with her baby-girl.  It was her anniversary to Papa and she  spent it with me whimpering in pain. A stomach virus took me out and my Momma took care of me once again. It is what Momma’s do. They take care of their kids. It doesn’t stop when they are eighteen or even twenty-one. It is a lifetime commitment.

It hasn’t been a easy one for Momma. No mother’s journey is really easy.  But she was always done her best. She continues to teach me lessons.  So here are a few of the lesson you have taught me over the years.

1) I am worthy of love, we all are worthy of love.

2) Don’t sit down if you want to get things done.

3) Always say thank you.

4) Take a genuine interest in others and listen.

5) Naps are awesome.

6) Just because some is blood doesn’t mean you have to let them hurt you.

7) It is ok to say, No.

8) Know when to step back and let people make their own mistakes.

9) Forgiveness isn’t forgetting

10) Send someone flowers can brighten their day.

11) Kindness does matter.

12) It is okay to cry.

13) Taking time for yourself is necessary

14) Stubbornness is a superpower, use it wisely.

15) Sometimes you just need to play.

16) Making things with your hands is an awesome way to be creative.

17) You don’t have to keep everything someone gives you.

18) Daydreaming is a survival skill.

19)  Books are a necessity in life.

20) Sometimes with family, you love them but you don’t like them.

21) Everyone has issues. Everyone.

22) You never have to grow up, but you do grow older.

23) Dessert for breakfast is acceptable as is having your dessert first.

There are a lot more lessons, but I am still under the weather and need a nap. Thank you, Momma. I love you.