Here’s my life. My husband and I get up each morning at 7 o’clock and he showers while I make coffee. By the time he’s dressed I’m already sitting at my desk writing. He kisses me goodbye then leaves for the job where he makes good money, draws excellent benefits and gets many perks, such as travel, catered lunches and full reimbursement for the gym where I attend yoga midday. His career has allowed me to work only sporadically, as a consultant, in a field I enjoy.

All that disclosure is crass, I know. I’m sorry. Because in this world where women will sit around discussing the various topiary shapes of their bikini waxes, the conversation about money (or privilege) is the one we never have. Why? I think it’s the Marie Antoinette syndrome: Those with privilege and luck don’t want the riffraff knowing the details. After all, if “those people” understood the differences in our lives, they might revolt. Or, God forbid, not see us as somehow more special, talented and/or deserving than them.
There’s a special version of this masquerade that we writers put on. Two examples:
I attended a packed reading (I’m talking 300+ people) about a year and a half ago. The author was very well-known, a magnificent nonfictionist who has, deservedly, won several big awards. He also happens to be the heir to a mammoth fortune. Mega-millions. In other words he’s a man who has never had to work one job, much less two. He has several children; I know, because they were at the reading with him, all lined up. I heard someone say they were all traveling with him, plus two nannies, on his worldwide tour.
None of this takes away from his brilliance. Yet, when an audience member — young, wide-eyed, clearly not clued in — rose to ask him how he’d managed to spend 10 years writing his current masterpiece — What had he done to sustain himself and his family during that time? — he told her in a serious tone that it had been tough but he’d written a number of magazine articles to get by. I heard a titter pass through the half of the audience that knew the truth. But the author, impassive, moved on and left this woman thinking he’d supported his Manhattan life for a decade with a handful of pieces in the Nation and Salon.

Example two. A reading in a different city, featuring a 30-ish woman whose debut novel had just appeared on the front page of the New York Times Book Review. I didn’t love the book (a coming-of-age story set among wealthy teenagers) but many people I respect thought it was great, so I defer. The author had herself attended one of the big, East Coast prep schools, while her parents were busy growing their careers on the New York literary scene. These were people — her parents — who traded Christmas cards with William Maxwell and had the Styrons over for dinner. She, the author, was their only beloved child.
After prep school, she’d earned two creative writing degrees (Iowa plus an Ivy). Her first book was being heralded by editors and reviewers all over the country, many of whom had watched her grow up. It was a phenomenon even before it hit bookshelves. She was an immediate star.
When (again) an audience member, clearly an undergrad, rose to ask this glamorous writer to what she attributed her success, the woman paused, then said that she had worked very, very hard and she’d had some good training, but she thought in looking back it was her decision never to have children that had allowed her to become a true artist. If you have kids, she explained to the group of desperate nubile writers, you have to choose between them and your writing. Keep it pure. Don’t let yourself be distracted by a baby’s cry.
I was dumbfounded. I wanted to leap to my feet and shout. “Hello? Alice Munro! Doris Lessing! Joan Didion!” Of course, there are thousands of other extraordinary writers who managed to produce art despite motherhood. But the essential point was that, the quality of her book notwithstanding, this author’s chief advantage had nothing to do with her reproductive decisions. It was about connections. Straight up. She’d had them since birth.
In my opinion, we do an enormous “let them eat cake” disservice to our community when we obfuscate the circumstances that help us write, publish and in some way succeed. I can’t claim the wealth of the first author (not even close); nor do I have the connections of the second. I don’t have their fame either. But I do have a huge advantage over the writer who is living paycheck to paycheck, or lonely and isolated, or dealing with a medical condition, or working a full-time job.
How can I be so sure? Because I used to be poor, overworked and overwhelmed. And I produced zero books during that time. Throughout my 20s, I was married to an addict who tried valiantly (but failed, over and over) to stay straight. We had three children, one with autism, and lived in poverty for a long, wretched time. In my 30s I divorced the man because it was the only way out of constant crisis. For the next 10 years, I worked two jobs and raised my three kids alone, without child support or the involvement of their dad.
I published my first novel at 39, but only after a teaching stint where I met some influential writers and three months living with my parents while I completed the first draft. After turning in that manuscript, I landed a pretty cushy magazine editor’s job. A year later, I met my second husband. For the first time I had a true partner, someone I could rely on who was there in every way for me and our kids. Life got easier. I produced a nonfiction book, a second novel and about 30 essays within a relatively short time.
Today, I am essentially “sponsored” by this very loving man who shows up at the end of the day, asks me how the writing went, pours me a glass of wine, then takes me out to eat. He accompanies me when I travel 500 miles to do a 75-minute reading, manages my finances, and never complains that my dark, heady little books have resulted in low advances and rather modest sales.
I completed my third novel in eight months flat. I started the book while on a lovely vacation. Then I wrote happily and relatively quickly because I had the time and the funding, as well as help from my husband, my agent and a very talented editor friend. Without all those advantages, I might be on page 52. OK, there’s mine. Now show me yours.

—  Ann Bauer, ““Sponsored” by my husband: Why it’s a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from”, http://www.salon.com/2015/01/25/sponsored_by_my_husband_why_its_a_problem_that_writers_never_talk_about_where_their_money_comes_from/

so i hit another milestone! (actually i hit two, but was too lazy to make it the first time lolols). also i can’t edit or gif or anything like that, so enjoy the text bubble!

i made a follow forever last time, but i realized that i don’t follow many of those blogs anymore.. so this is more of a ‘awesome blogs i’m lovin rn’ milestone post.

i know a bunch of you followed me for my stories and i’m so sorry i haven’t been updating. new job, new life, and writer’s block are not a mix. but i really appreciate you all and thanks for clicking that plus button (ayyy) and dealing with all my nonsense. yall are cute and perfect and flawless and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

ayy mutuals. (i follow on my main blog, currybunny) you guys are super awesome and cute and stuff. i reserve the right to prance around in your inbox

aegyo-shinee asvang 

blissfullyesoteric booitsjenny 



jinkijeans jinkiminkiki jongup-got-da-booty 

kimsnowgyu leetaememe/ shineesque 


namhuns notmyllama 


pupsbitch pupsbulge 

shinee-pinee shingekinobeyonce squishyshinki svnhwas 



lelumato, more than mutual always <3

ayy amazing blogs. i am not worthy. (i follow a little over 200 blogs, but most of them are medblrs, sj blogs, or spn/fandom based—weirdly not a lot of kpop)



chocolatecoveredchocolate choijaes church-of-minho 

daisynous dadamoontos damnjongup dyoru 


femaleidols flamingpuppy 


jadebrieanne jinkyeon jonghyuns-flat-ass jongkittae

kimri kingleejinki kittenluna kyungsol 



ohmilkey ohsojins on-ho



taerection taekwoonies tokki-teeth 




for good measure, you should visit/follow:





Advice: Slow Writer

Anonymous asked: i am VERY slow at writing (i only do it sporadically as a hobby), not at typing, but composing. Say when i’m inspired i maybe do five pages in a day. I go back every few sentences to read what i did before, get distracted a lot, and sort of work with a mental outline that is kind of nebulous around the central idea, improvising how i build the story around it as i go. Would having a more concrete outline/timeline help me be more productive? Do you have other tips?

Well, it’s no wonder you write slow. You’re doing the opposite of just about everything you should be doing, silly!

To start with, eliminating distractions is one of the most important things you can do before you sit down to write. If you’re pausing every minute or two to talk to housemates, answer text messages, check facebook, and pet your cat, you’ll never build any momentum. It would be like trying to make decent time from New York to California with a stop light every hundred feet. You’ll never get anywhere. Read my post Creating the Perfect Writing Space for help with creating a distraction-free writing space.

Next, yes—having a more concrete outline or timeline would definitely help. If you have trouble staying on track or organizing your thoughts, I’d say it was essential. I’ve never personally been a fan of outlines when it comes to novels, because they seem overly complicated. That’s why I’m a fan of a simple timeline. Then you know when important events happen, how they happen in relation to other events, and you can note down any relevant details as well. My posts Timelines and Building a Story Off a Loose Timeline should help you with this.

Finally, I strongly suggest not going back and re-reading what you wrote every few sentences. Again, you’ll never build momentum that way. If you absolutely have to edit as you go, wait to read back over what you wrote when you get to the end of a page, scene, or chapter. Personally, I recommend holding off on editing until you reach the end of the story. Editing as you go doesn’t save you a step. You still have to edit it when you reach the end, so editing as you go is kind of a waste of time, and hampers your forward motion.

I hope that helps!

On writing, privilege, and being a working mom

A Salon article sparked some conversations yesterday on twitter and rightly so. I thought the article writer made some excellent points (as well as missed some others), but it all feeds into the conversation we’ve been having the last couple of weeks about writers and money and how we use our time. I think it’s vital to acknowledge privilege wherever we have it—yes I’ve worked hard, I’ve sacrificed a lot to be able to write books, but I’ve also had help. It was a huge help that for the first 8 months of my marriage we lived on my husband’s income while I finished The Goose Girl. When my student loan payments kicked in, I put aside fulltime writing to get a job, and my writing became slower and more sporadic.

We had some rocky years with job losses and recession, but then there were 2 1/2 cushy years when he had a job that paid our bills and I was able to stay home with our first child, who did not have special needs and was a good napper. (I did have two books published at this point, but that income was pocket change.) I was able to write Princess Academy, River Secrets, and Austenland during that time. I’ve written while having a fulltime job, I’ve written with small children and no babysitting help, I’ve put in the hardcore years. But I’ve been much more productive when I didn’t have to work full time, when I did have a babysitter, etc.  Circumstance has as much to do with the ability to create art as talent and passion.

Privilege also meant I was born in a house with books in it. Both my parents were college graduates. I didn’t have to worry about where I was getting my next meal. I wasn’t mocked for spending a Saturday reading. I was encouraged and able to attend college. I was encouraged and supported in my decision to get an MFA. At every point in my life, I’ve been surrounded by people literate in things like how to apply for college or a student loan or a checking account, all the nitty gritty stuff that helps lead to success that I had the privilege of taking for granted.

One part of the article stood out to me. The writer tells about a bookstore event she attended for a breakout, successful author.

"When…an audience member, clearly an undergrad, rose to ask this glamorous writer to what she attributed her success, the woman paused, then said that she had worked very, very hard and she’d had some good training, but she thought in looking back it was her decision never to have children that had allowed her to become a true artist. If you have kids, she explained to the group of desperate nubile writers, you have to choose between them and your writing. Keep it pure. Don’t let yourself be distracted by a baby’s cry."

When I was young and hopeful of becoming a writer, I believed that was true too. I’d heard other women writers say the same. I thought I’d have to choose between being a writer or being a mother. It was a great motivator for me, actually, to finish The Goose Girl because I thought that would be it. I needed to get one book out before having a kid because then it would be all over.

Twenty books and four children later, it’s not all over.

I’ve written at length about living in the crossroads of art and mothering. It’s challenging for sure. And I have a feeling that the books I write (genre, for children), that glamorous, childless writer wouldn’t consider real books anyway. But it’s simply not true that children prevent deep thought, the creation of art, the passion for something as involved and longterm as writing a novel. There are many writers who have proved otherwise, over and over again. And for me, the more years I spend with my kids, the more stories I’m eager to tell, both for them and for me.

hey so i have a lot of new followers who may not know about my sideblogs

i have one in particular which you might like? i update it quite sporadically now, but i find it very relaxing to go through. it’s an image blog, and i tend to reblog things like pretty people, interesting fashion, places (both in nature and towns etc), and sometimes art.

i quite like going through it now and then, and i’ll sometimes look through the /fashion tag if i need an outfit for a character, or the /places tag if i want to relax. so yeah, here, some of you might like this kind of thing.


Continuing with my somewhat sporadic How to Build series, it’s time to talk about one of my favorite social media sites—tumblr!

tumblr is a surprise favorite, because when I first created an account, I had no idea what I was doing. It took me several weeks of seeing what other people were doing and playing around for me to really get it. But I’m glad I stuck with it, because it’s now a pretty fabulous traffic source, and also I find inspirational and/or funny things on there all the time.

  • tumblr birthday: July 9, 2011 (roughly 3.5 years, as of this writing…at least, that’s when I reblogged my first post)
  • Followers: 840 (as of this writing)
  • Time spent weekly: Honestly? No idea. I check it daily and sometimes spend two minutes and sometimes…considerably longer. 


    • Add tags when you reblog. If you’re familiar with Twitter hashtags, these work fairly similarly. I’ll admit I’ve been a little lazy with this lately, but this actually really helps other people stumble across your posts, even if they don’t follow you.

    • Create your own posts, when possible. Reblogging is great, and probably will be 80% of your tumblr interactions (which is fine, because a large part of tumblr is about sharing each other’s posts). But I also recommend you try to share your own content whenever possible. I cross-post all of my Writability posts and bookishpixie vlogs on tumblr, and occasionally cross-post Instagram pics or create something just for tumblr. It’s a great way to show your follows a little more about you (not just what you like to reblog) and can be a nice way to inject extra personality.
  • Add commentary when you reblog. You don’t have to do this every time, of course (I definitely don’t), but when you see something that you can comment on, go for it. The great thing about tumblr is you can see what other people have commented, and sometimes the comments end up being more interesting than the original post (or make the original post more interesting). This is also another great way to inject personality and give the original poster extra feedback. 

So those are my tumblr tips! Now I want to hear from you: What tumblr tips do you have?

scarvesandcelery asked:

I reckon ATLA would grow on you - it's the first half of Book One where the more childish tone shines through the most, after that it's incredibly mature, with the "for kids" episodes being much more sporadic (though still there, and I think that's a good thing). Aanng's character gets so much depth from "the storm" onwards (episode 12). That said, I think the "LOK didn't live up to ATLA" comment often comes from a place of nostalgia for the original series, if anything I prefer LOK

That’s good to know! Give how good the character development is in LoK I would expect something similar in ATLA, and I’m glad to hear it does happen!

Howsabout We Stock Up Beforehand...

Before having children, I would have been hard-pressed to imagine a situation where someone could say something that would be simultaneously adorable and horrible.

However, now that I’m five years in, I have well and truly seen the light.

Over the past couple of days, Leo has begun sporadically waking up in the middle of the night, at which point one of us must lay down in his bed with him until he gets back to sleep. This mild annoyance elevates to real problem when combined with his baby sister’s continued refusal to sleep more than three hours at a stretch without a good lung workout.

The last time this occurred, we solved the problem with the addition of a dream catcher, and the subtraction of any movie with even a whiff of “scariness” in it (which, since all of his favorite movies fall into this category, was quite effective). So last night, I broached the subject with Leo and had the following adhorrable exchange:

ME: So Leo, why have you been waking up in the middle of the night this past week?

LEO: Oh…I think I’ve just been having some nightmares.

ME: Okay. Well if that’s true, I suppose we’ll have to stop watching movies that have scary parts in them again, like Star Wars and How to Train your Dragon…

(Short Pause)

LEO: Well ACTUALLY, Daddy…I DIDN’T have nightmares…I was just playing a joke on Mommy.

(Short Pause)

ME: Well I have to tell you, that is NOT a funny joke, Leo. Sally wakes us up every night, so we do NOT like being woken up for a joke.

LEO: NO, Daddy…what I just said NOW was a joke. The REAL reason I woke up…was…that I just needed some grown-up hugs.

ME: Wow. Check and Mate.

Needless to say, last night at bedtime, I hugged and kissed that boy almost to the point of smothering, and left with the understanding that if that did the trick, we could watch Return of the Jedi today. May the force be with us on this…

TypoDraft Vol. 1

My Take on Typography is one of the few sporadic blog series that I run on My Fairytale Ever After.  And TypoDraft will be about the texts that never made it to the cut. 

I usually write about the ideas that I would like to type in pretty text on my planner. And if you’re wondering on how do I get the ideas, sometimes it’s just a passing thought while I’m sipping my coffee… sometimes it’s the lyrics of a song that struck me… sometimes it’s a part of the book that I’m reading… I don’t know… everything just comes into my thought process randomly. I try to write it down so that I won’t forget it, and when I’m finally able (aka not feeling lazy) to transform these texts, I will. By the way, those who made it to the cut were randomly selected too… usually based on my mood.

Anyway, here they are:

  • Work hard. Always.
  • You’ll never know until you do.
  • One day those dreams will come true.
  • I want to see the world with you. 
  • Work hard and make your dreams come true.
  • #WorkHarder (Yes, including the hashtag! No wonder this never made it x) )
  • Travel as much as you can.
  • When life gives you lemons, have a tequila. 
  • Play hard, work harder.
  • The moment you stopped thinking about what other people might say, is the time you’ll truly be happy.
  • It’s okay to step back and think of your next step.

Who knows… maybe one day you will see them on my typography takes section. 

Warm up crest I did sporadically over the last few days, not sure if I like the end result, but alas, it was just a warm up

Jims military kink is sort of sporadic, and his sex drive is too. So he’ll be sat down, completely normally and get this massive urge to piss Sebastian off and be fucked hard while being called a good soldier. He’d find his sniper, wherever he may be, and join him, and pester him. He wouldn’t relent until he was forced to his knees and barked at to say ‘sorry Colonel’ and listen to every instruction from there on out.

pnsyparkinson asked:

ok but brendan literally creates tension between anyone he interacts with

Literally everyone! I LOVE IT. He doesn’t interact with too many people other than those directly in his storyline but it’s fun to randomly see him in scenes with side characters. He’s just such an ass to literally everyone. He’s either dripping with sarcasm or sporadically breaking into that wacky laugh of his, goading people on to fuck up their lives, or doing some sort of shenanigans to thoroughly irritate them and, as you said, create glorious tension. ^^

Love the man to pieces, everything about him. 

The Difference Between Good & Bad Markets

Michael Batnick had a great post this past week about the “lost decade” for the S&P 500 in the 2000s (see What Lost Decade?). It’s a nice reminder of the benefits of global and style diversification in a portfolio after the a select group of stocks in the U.S. have performed so well over the past couple of years.

Keeping with this theme, Jim O’Shaughnessy tweeted out the follow data this week:

Jim’s table shows the inflation-adjusted performance by decade for large cap U.S. stocks going all the way back to the 1930s. There were a handful of decades with fairly terrible market returns. Stock market returns are messy and sporadic, even though the volatility was relatively similar in every decade save for the disasterous 1930s.

Looking at the data from Michael and Jim actually reminded me about a story from a friend of mine that experienced their own lost decade. My friend graduated from college in the year 2000. He signed up for his company’s retirement plan right away and invested in a diversified portfolio of domestic and international stock funds. Throughout his first ten years of employment he continued to make contributions out of each and every paycheck regardless of market conditions.

By the beginning of 2009, at the depths of the financial crisis and market crash, he had reached his breaking point. When he looked at his latest 401(k) statement he found that he was basically break-even after a decade of saving and investing. The market value of his portfolio was equal to his contributions.

At that point he was ready to give up. And I could see why. It’s pretty demoralizing to realize you could have just stuck the money under your mattress and gotten the same end result.

But I gave him my pep talk by saying, “Look at it this way — You just made ten years of contributions at more or less the same average share price. You were able to buy in at lower prices consistently for the majority of the first ten years of your career — a career that will probably last 30-40 more years. Time is on your side. This is actually a good thing once the markets ever recover.”

Little did I know at the time that the U.S. markets would go onto triple from those levels. All of my friend’s contributions made during the lost decade years turned out to be worth it and then some once markets finally took off. He had to be extremely patient and disciplined, but he’s finally seen huge growth in his retirement fund’s market value since 2009.

I’m happy he’s finally seen some progress, but even if the markets hadn’t experienced the massive bull market since then, the message would have remained the same. Young investors should actually hope for market crashes or poor returns as they make periodic retirement contributions. On the other hand, retirees don’t have future savings to make up for current losses or the same level of patience to wait out a market comeback.

This is why context always matters when thinking about allocating your savings to the markets. The difference between good or bad markets can come down to where you are in your career, how much time you have remaining to save and most importantly, your level of human capital or future earnings power.

The 2000s showed that one of the largest markets in the world — the S&P 500 — can lose money over a decade long period. Yet no one would ever look at this as a good thing. Stock market crashes are synonymous with fear, volatility and pain while they should be thought of as a half-off sale and opportunities for those investors that are going to be net savers for the foreseeable future.

Take a look at the maximum drawdown column in O’Shaughnessy’s data. The average loss each decade going back to the 1930s is over 35%. Every decade has at least one market crash or bear market. If you’re investing long enough you’ll get your chance to buy at lower prices.

It’s counterintuitive to assume that poor market performance is a good thing, but that’s exactly what it can be for younger investors or those with many years to continue saving from their paychecks. A lost decade in the markets could be the best thing that ever happens to a young saver.

Further Reading:
Was the 1966-1982 Stock Market Really That Bad?
The Joy of Investing in Down Markets
Enduring Lessons from the Financial Crisis

This post from Ben Carlson (@awealthofcs) originally appeared on A Wealth of Common Sense.

Picture: marcovdz

Here’s my life. My husband and I get up each morning at 7 o’clock and he showers while I make coffee. By the time he’s dressed I’m already sitting at my desk writing. He kisses me goodbye then leaves for the job where he makes good money, draws excellent benefits and gets many perks, such as travel, catered lunches and full reimbursement for the gym where I attend yoga midday. His career has allowed me to work only sporadically, as a consultant, in a field I enjoy.

“Sponsored” by my husband: Why it’s a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from - Salon.com

Not going to lie, those first three sentences used to be represented on every single vision board I made. Except I want my husband to make the coffee, not me.

I’ve started a side blog for translating tweets from the Twitter account TKghoulcopy_bot into English. Those of you who follow pedalcopybot-e should be familiar with the format, but basically the person who maintains the account takes comical scenarios that they find and rewrites them with Tokyo Ghoul characters. It’s a good time.

I won’t be updating this all the time, but I’ll probably do batches and queue them so it isn’t too sporadic.

this blog

I can’t bring myself to kill it but I am much less “engaged” with any kind of tumblr community than I once was. Two kids, full-time job, three other social media channels to distract me, and an increasing feeling of disconnect from the music and/or issues that occupy the minds and pens of most of the music writers I follow here and/or on twitter. Here on tumblr at this point I’m basically just following art/museum tumblrs for work purposes, not very dedicated to following music bloggers as I once was. I just don’t have the mental bandwidth for it.

Content here won’t cease, however. Here’s what it is:

—monthly mixes of new-to-me music. January mix coming next week.

—I’ll continue the Kranky project but since it is happening in real time, it will only be as busy/sporadic as the actual Kranky release schedule. Disappears write-up coming soon. I think the next Kranky release after that will be a Benoit Pioulard album in late March.

—auto reposts of the content from Patch of Sky, which you can also follow on Instagram if you prefer.

So, hope you like the photos I’ve been posting the last few days because those will continue. You can always follow me on Twitter, where I still toss out music-related thoughts with somewhat more frequency (somewhat). No hard feelings if you unfollow me or notice that I’ve unfollowed you. Take it as an invitation to chat on Twitter instead.

CW: religion, Christianity

so i’ve only been going to church really sporadically lately, mainly because i’ve just felt really disconnected from the Catholic Church lately

but this morning my girlfriend and i decided to try out a PC USA church — that’s the “progressive” branch of Presbyterianism — and it was so, so nice, i felt more connected to Faith than i have in a church in ages

it was really small, maybe thirty people there, mostly older people actually, and they were all super excited to see us — i was sorta nervous cuz before the service started people kept coming up to us and chatting but they were all so genuinely warmhearted that i couldn’t help but like talking to them

and yeah there are members of the congregation who are gay/queer, and others who are straight, they really just are all so friendly and loving, and my girlfriend and i held hands during the sermon and didn’t have to be nervous about it, nobody there cared, they were just all there to worship together and form a loving community, it was so great


Today is the day I resume my regular running schedule! No more sporadic runs once a week or every other other week, time to get serious about that half marathon again.

I did not get a great start to 2015. I realize my mistake now: I was getting a bit too zealous in training and wasn’t getting enough protein (most of the time I didn’t eat anything for hours after running… dumb). So of course, my muscles weren’t able to recover fully before I was hitting the pavement hard again, and strain resulted. Lesson learned.

I’m never making that mistake again, and I really hope I don’t have another injury for awhile. Because going without running is not fun. Weight gain, apathy, and generally feeling like a sack of shit aren’t fun either.

I will be a runner until I am physically unable to do so! 👟