I went to bed yesterday, hopeful that the US vote would be… not what it is, and when I woke up this morning it was not yet decided, but you could see where it was headed and it wasn’t long until it did go there.
I am devastated for all my USian friends and all the USians I follow quietly on Twitter and admire from a distance. I have spent most of my day attempting to spread some light and beauty onto the timelines of those who follow me. I’ve spent my day sending good thoughts and love to hurting people because it was a thing I could do. I’ve been reaching out to my friends. I’ve cried. I’ve retweeted and shared resources that I hope someone would find useful.
I decided to speed up the webserial’s release. Sea Foam and Silence is a quiet little queer (ace spec) retelling of The Little Mermaid with a disabled protagonist and it has a happy ending. I wanted to spread that bit of free reading into the world in case it helped brighten someone’s day. In case anyone needed it. I upped the few book talks I’d scheduled for the rest of the month in case someone would find them comforting reading and I wanted to spread the word.
I wrote a short little story to be shared on Twitter. You can read the Storify version here. It is a happy little literary fairytale. It features girls loving girls. And talks about creating art and beauty in the world. I still hope that it will find someone who needed a story like that today.
I gave up on making NaNo wordcount for the day. I wrote! But not to word count. I love my DemiPrincess story, but I have something else scheduled for 2017 that is finished and that I wanted to work on to get that out into the world sooner. Or at least, announce it to the world sooner and let people know it is coming in a little more detail. (It is about love and friendship and being yourself. It is also about being bullied and growing up and the masks we wear in social situations. And also it’s a fairytale retelling because this is me we’re talking about.)
I’ve spent all day thinking about what else I could do, about doing more. I’m a writer. As I said on Twitter earlier today: I create stories. I don’t know how to respond to strong emotions except curl up and cry or write and tell stories.
So I told stories. And I see so many people on my timeline tweeting or retweeting that they want stories, need stories, need escape, need fantasy.
So. If you need stories today or in the next couple of days and you think any of mine will offer you comfort or something else you need right now: let me know. Send me a DM via Twitter, Dreamwidth or Livejournal, an email via the blog, etc, and let me know which of my books you’d like, which format (epub/mobi) you’d like it in and what email address to send it to. I can only offer ebooks at present, and I’m offering them to anyone in the world. I’ll send you a copy as soon as I can.
Personally, if you’re looking for comfort, I’d recommend Sea Foam and Silence above all the others. That’s my happy ace spec romance verse novel with a mute protagonist. (Yes, you can read it for free online and I just finished serialising, but ebooks are more portable.) Maris is very optimistic and cheerful. She’s a little bit of sunshine, really.
If you’re looking for someone with anxiety discovering they can be awesome too, Courage Is the Price is what you want. Be warned it comes with trigger warnings for descriptions of anxiety attacks and Rue, bless her, is very oblivious to her privilege.
I am… very hesitant to include A Promise Broken in the offer, but I trust you to know what you need to read better than I do. Just… Be warned that as much as I want to say it’s about a precocious toddler being adorable and failing at numbers, it’s far more about racist asshates wanting to destroy said toddler for daring to exist. (Spoiler: They lose. But they’re still there for a significant and highly visible part of the story and they do a lot of emotional damage.) What I’m saying is: if you’re scared and hurting and need comfort reading, this is maybe not the book you’re looking for.
If you want cuteness, pick up Tales of the Little Engine and skip straight through to The Bravest Little Engine. Those are cute and fluffy kids’ stories about a brave little train that goes on adventures and tries to defeat the Nethertrain. (The two before that are… less fluffy. The Little Engine That Couldn’t is about what happens if people don’t listen when someone tells them they’re trying the hardest they can and about dreams changing to fit reality.)
If you want variety and short pieces, Feather by Feather and Other Stories probably has something for you. That’s a collection of 40+ pieces covering… a lot of different stories. Mostly leaning to fantasy but with some realistic pieces thrown in. (Please note, if you ask for this one, you’ll get an ‘advance’ copy of the edition I’ve got scheduled for December. Though that schedule is kind of up in the air at the moment, because I just want to spread small bits of light into the world en masse right now and that would qualify as a light, I hope.)
Anyway, I’m not offering copies of The Passage of Pearl, Changeling’s Time and To Sleep for a Season. Those are all collected in Feather by Feather and Other Stories alreadyanyway, so I hope you understand why I’ve opted to ‘exclude’ them. (And The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake is free anyway, so there’s really no point in offering you that one now.)
As I said, I spent all day thinking about what more I could do. I also spent it wondering whether this was something I should do or not. It makes me feel wrong and awful and I worry how people will perceive it and me. But. If it can bring someone comfort, then that fear and anxiety is worth it. I wish I could afford offering people print copies too, but my funds don’t allow it. I’m really sorry. I just… wanted to hopefully spread some light into the days ahead in whatever small way I could think of doing. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep offering, but. I wanted to offer.
Please, everyone, take care of yourself. Whatever form that takes for you. I have seen so many tweets today talking about what people ‘should’ do and what feelings are ‘valid’. Your feelings are valid. All of them. And you matter. You do. It may not feel like it, but please believe me. You matter. You are important. Taking care of yourself is important. If you need to look away, look away. It doesn’t make you a bad person. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to vent, vent. If you need to be angry, be angry. If you need to create, create. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. You are loved and appreciated. You are important. You are important. You are important.
You are important.