While its readership has gone far beyond my personal expectation, it’s not like anyone’s paying for the book, in case you were wondering. But then that seems to be the way of things for those of us who won't buy a thousand copies of our own shit in the hope of getting noticed by the Book Club-Kindleherd. I don't have the money or the fuckery-tolerance to undertake such... undertakings.
Thus the eternal issue of equitable recompense for artists on the internet remains. For whatever reason. I think everyone just thinks that everyone else is paying, so it doesn't matter if they don't, which is how Wikipedia ends up being dependent on a ridiculously stingy 1% of users for its donation lifeblood. Like Wiki, I don't do advertising (any pop ups you're seeing are superimposed by Weebly or Google- they may be profiting from my work, but I don't see a cent) and would like enough people to buy the book to support the cost of this site, because that is an ethical, mutually beneficial exchange of resources. So if you're one of the several thousand peeps regularly reading TBO, please consider buying it. It's a Fair Trade issue.
Perhaps it’s difficult to convince a lot of people that creative endeavour is not a privilege in itself. At the top of this raving I used the word production instead of gestation, because that latter implies the sort of providential, autonomic development that trivialises the active effort required by most creative processes. Writing a long-arse book is not a soft-focus bullshit whimsical thing with inspirational cupcakes and placid docent fairies shitting artisanal chapters into your lap, even after direct manual stimulation; it is years of fucking hard, boring graft, as anyone who’s ever seriously applied themselves to it will know. If you imagine a society without artistic expression, its value becomes obvious.
Most of the very few writers I admire either made little to nothing from their work or died in a flophouse after burning through whatever their agent forgot to defraud them of. It seems to me that, as a writer, you can cheat yourself for profit and spend your life shovelling Guardian-styles mature clickbait or tweenmance or GoneGirlistic halfshite, promising yourself you're going to write what you really mean when you've paid off that second car. Or you can stay obscure and penniless in return for writing exactly as the dreams and conscious muse would have it. Clarke Ashton Smith dug ditches and picked fruit so he could publish whatever the fuck he liked and the results will always speak for themselves. Replete with hefty systemic imperfections and gritty organic jank it may be, but after reading once more through my own work I am reminded- all economical considerations aside- that the shapes you carve with the knife you make from your own bones are precious beyond pearls.
Thank you, internet, for allowing me to rub them in other peoples’ faces. Don’t beg for mercy; it only encourages me.
The Blackthorn Orphans is the first book of a two-book thing. Not a fucking trilogy or series. After this week’s final instalment I’ll probably roll it over and start posting it again from the start while I’m writing the second book, and I intend to continue with the blog as per usual, basically just droning on and on and on until someone snaps and cuts my wifi.
Let's have some... whatever this is. I've never seen this shit before in my life.