April 25, 2007

Artists and Moneymakers

Fuse #8 Kelly from Big A little a (I stand corrected, thanks B.) has had the great idea of redesigning the Cybils symbol into something sticker-worthy for books which garner the Cybils Award Stamp of Approval. (This is a subtle nudge to Aquafortis, because obviously what with her manuscript edit, her job, the end of semester grading, our summer project and our Craft Chat she doesn't have enough to do? But just so you know: she's more than our sly Thursday cartoonist. Let's all bug her so her art degrees don't get too dusty...)

And just so you know? Star Wars never ends. Never, people.

Speaking of science fiction, according to Wired, some people will do anything to avoid the label. (And when I think about it, there has been a spouting of so-called 'speculative fiction.') I don't know about that... I mean, we don't just have a bunch of fabulous short fiction magazines and a small section in the library anymore. We have a channel...

Oh my, it's the dreaded question over at Blue Rose: Can you make a living doing that?"
Those of us who wanted to work with books and writing for a career... absolutely loathe that one. When I was younger, a dear old minister gentleman asked me if I'd written a book all by myself. Meaning, I suppose, that either God had to write it for me, or Mac spoke, and I typed like a good secretary. Nowadays it's, "So, you're a stay-at-home, and Mac ...?" And there's the implication that this is just a hobby, and eventually I'll come to my senses and go back to teaching. Although I must admit, it's been a good four years since my father asked me when I was going to get a job.

Yes, people can make a living from writing. Not a very monied living, no, not at first, but a living. Ask someone like Justina Chen Headley, who has created an entire Livejournal about her experiences in marketing her first and second book. (And she's just left it as a public resource for the rest of us. [Platinum Karma Points going into the stratosphere.]) When you look at it, you see how much work, networking, and savvy marketing it takes, but it can happen. So, yay for the affirmation from the Blue Rose Girls, and here's to making it happen.

Nikki Giovanni is a poet and thinker, but more recently her role as a teacher at Virginia Tech has been in my mind. Today's poem is hers.


if i can't do
what i want to do
then my job is to not
do what i don't want
to do

it's not the same thing
but it's the best i can

if i can't have
what i want . . . then
my job is to want
what i've got
and be satisfied
that at least there
is something more to want

since i can't go
where i need
to go . . . then i must . . . go
where the signs point
through always understanding
parallel movement
isn't lateral

when i can't express
what i really feel
i practice feeling
what i can express
and none of it is equal
i know
but that's why mankind
alone among the animals
learns to cry

- Yolanda Cornelia Nikki Giovanni