Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #246 - Monica Byrne, Patreon, Activism

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother 246 - Monica Byrne, Patreon, Activism

Hi Mom,

I want to tell you about something that's very special to me.

I am blessed to be a patron for this exceptional artist: Monica Byrne via PATREON.

I have been sitting on this post since January. Not because it's not worth writing about but because I wanted to wait until I could take the time to sit and think and write something eloquent. I needed to stop the spin, shut out the world, take a pause.

And dove-tailing on what I wrote about YESTERDAY in regards to THE MIRE OF OPTIONS, my natural default setting for eloquent means LONG, and I need to resist that tendency because people can get lost in THE LONG POST THAT NEVER ENDS. Monica Byrne understands this and so her video for PATREON to inspire people to become one of her patrons and fund her stories is only two minutes and fifty-two seconds long and that includes credits and a couple of funny outtakes. The video is great. Sit on my shoulder as we watch again, Mom.

Here's the link from PATREON where she announced her video followed by the video itself, which is on You Tube: LAUNCH DAY

Here's what I wrote back on Facebook in January when I was trying to promote Monica Byrne in my own limited way with my limited access to, you know, like two people. Okay, maybe three. Hi, Mom.

In the video, Monica says that failure to fund short stories as a culture is like having symphonies but no songs. You don't need me to tell you that that's a great analogy, right?

She pledges herself to taking a lot of creative risk. I am tempted to do another screen shot here, but I resist the temptation to overdo it. Trying to keep this short and yet featuring what I think is suitable content.

In the video, Monica takes us through her brainstorming process, showing us some of the ideas she is kicking around, like "what if corporations start offering designer genders?" (I like this one as it connects to ideas I have been kicking around as well).

The thing I find most exciting about PATREON, which is patron-based, as an alternative to Kickstarter, which is more project-based, is that with our powerful cyber and technology tools, I have a far more complete and empowered experience in deciding if I want to fund an artist than ever before. With videos, text, photos, updates, Twitter, and such like, the experience is frequent and the contact seems more human and vibrant than the smoke signals artists had to send up in the stone age of the Twentieth Century.

From the first time I heard about Monica Byrne, which was last year, when John Scalzi sent Twitter messages about how she had earned and lost a column writing gig for Wired magazine before the first column had even appeared, I felt a kinship with Monica. And then, I read her novel The Girl in The Road (which I wrote about here in HEY MOM #176), which I sipped slowly like really fine and delicate scotch for several months. And I became even more excited about her work as an artist (a writer). I had funded her PATREON to do columns for the site ELECTRIC LITERATURE, and then I stayed to be her patron for the creation of short fiction, and so far this patronage has produced two stories.

ASIDE: Readers of this and my other blog, 365 T-SHIRTS, will know about my Dinner Party concept -- based loosely on Judy Chicago's seminal art project -- which I last wrote about here for DAVID BOWIE'S BIRTHDAY: HEY MOM #185. But if I am really honest, there should be two dinner parties: one with those larger-than-life figures -- like David Bowie -- and others with people I have not idolized all out of proportion. Because I could see that Monica Byrne and I would be great friends if we had grown up together, went to school together, and/or lived in the same city. Likewise, I could see being close friends with John Scalzi, Warren Ellis, Suzanne Vega, Joss Whedon, and Ani DiFranco, who are among the other dinner party guests. It's a distinction worth making at this time because of the way Monica Byrne relates to her audience. There's goofiness in her video, and yet there's profound sincerity and insight, too. I really "get" that about her, and more importantly, appreciate it. Those things sealed the deal for me, just like Twitter interactions with Scalzi, Ellis, and long ago brief email correspondence with Neil Gaiman also made me feel a part of their worlds and their lives, which hardens the cement of my patronage. BTW, Neil himself (Gaiman's Twitter handle) probably should also be at the party and is only left off the list because I have an aversion to the popular and the expected, which is really silly. These are all people I respect as artists and love their work, but because I have not fan worshipped them out of proportion (as I have with Bowie, Margaret Atwood, and Erykah Badu among others.... Bjork is like an alien that I want to comprehend by sharing a meal with her), I can see being friends with them as well, and this makes a difference in how I regard their art. A Monica Byrne story, a John Scalzi novel, a Suzanne Vega album seems like a letter from a friend as much as each is transmission of art, creativity, and inspiration. This feeling closes the gap, the distance. Whereas Bowie's work always seemed to me to be like a message in a bottle from another galaxy.

OKAY ASIDE OVER: This is going on for a bit, eh? I promise to wrap it up.

The main thrust of this entry is to sound my yawp over the rooftops of the world that LOVERS OF STORIES SHOULD BECOME MONICA BYRNE'S PATRON (and other people's patrons as well... I am also considering supporting a couple of other PATREON  folks, but more on that issue another time...).

In the video, Monica Byrne shows a screen shot of this post when she talks about using PATREON to fund her writing of short fiction: The Author of the Acacia Seeds. It was originally a patron only post, but the link is active in her PATREON  blog, and I doubt she would mind me sharing it with you, all two of you (Hi, Mom!) because in the post she eloquently describes her work and her intentions for her work (and shares a link to an Ursula LeGuin story I had not read and so, THANK YOU MONICA, as that's a great gift).

So, the stories. There have been two so far: "Gustus Dei" and "For My Wife, Navid" (see picture above). Monica makes these cool booklets. You could get them, too, if you choose to support Monica Byrne's work.

I don't want to tell you ANYTHING about the stories as I climbed inside them with no prior knowledge at all and that is as it should be. I wanted to immerse myself in the stories with as few preconceived notions as possible. Here's what I shared of my experience with Monica:

What a wonderful experience. I have to get my wife to read these stories. They're awesome. You should read them, too. And you, hi, Mom!

I cannot wait for the next story. "For My Wife, Navid" especially connected to ideas I have been kicking around for about ten years. I do not want to say what ideas. I want you to read the stories.

When she says that stories are a form of activism, in the video, she says that stories are a "creation not only of words on a page but the world we live in and the possibilities prescribed for the people who live in it."

Monica Byrne recently gave a TED talk, performing "For My Wife, Navid" at the TED2016: Dream event in Vancouver, Canada (video to be released soon).

Monica Byrne is an exciting and inspiring writer that I am proud to patronize.

To paraphrase Monica Byrne one more time, it's all about possibilities for what stories are and what they can be.

Placing this here for future reference: 20 BEST TED TALKS OF ALL TIME.

NOTE TO SELF: Find a way to attend TED2017. I think I need to be there. A conference about ideas? Talk about THE MIRE OF OPTIONS! (again, YESTERDAY.) But what a mire... I need to go.

Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 248 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1603.09 - 10:10
NOTE: I just typed this time and date stamp when the alarm of my phone went off, showing me it's 10:10 a.m. The time you died, Mom.

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

I am Satchel Paige Tower, and I approve this message.
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