I don't have the sexy attractiveness of a Water spirit, the light and free nature of Air or the hot-tongued frisson of Fire. To be blunt, I'm rather boring.
My element is Earth, sad to say. Come on, who'd admit to that? It's DIRT, for crying out loud.
I remain very grounded, stubborn and sure of myself (if only to myself) and my temper is hard to raise (but once it is, it can be as sudden and violent as a volcanic eruption, and just as destructive). I am where things go to die. In some cases, to be reborn into something new - providing a fertile place to grow, develop and move on. But in some cases, I am only where things go to end, in the hope that something better will come along.
Hey, you have to play to your strengths.
I've been keeping a journal here since 2002 - and some people, like seanan_mcguire
have been on my friends list almost since its inception. Seanan was getting ready for BayCon, wrote about mishaps with Nair and I was hooked. Yes, she's THAT good. In the past year, I admit to no little amount of 'I could have told you that' regarding the three books released, not to mention the myriad other wonders this year has produced (Campbell Award? Yup.) - give her a chance, the merest opportunity and she'll be fine. Awesome, in fact. Solid, heartfelt, amazing and did I mention on time, dead-nuts reliable? Hard work on top of steely resolve - and so very terribly human at the same time. It's all her, and it's wonderful to see such effort rewarded.
But then I turn to Cat Valente (yuki_onna
) the words fail me. See, when I first 'met' Cat (when you find someone to add to your friends list - do you actually 'meet' them?) and began reading what she was willing to journal, I'd often sit back with my chin in my hand and wonder where her story was going to go. I remember her distinct and well-earned hatred of Japan (in the midst of all my twee J-Pop, Pocky-lovin' fangirls, it was refreshing to have 'yes, I lived there and I HATED it' as a touchstone, because let's face it, she said WHY and it was verifiable), I remember when she got Sage...I remember her as a military wife, defending that choice, and then when the journal went silent, I remember wondering when I would hear her voice again, and what it would say when I did.
See, what I want for you? I want you to be happy. And I don't mean giddy and self-absorbed. I mean happy - fulfilled, empowered, secure - happy.
Cat wasn't any of that when the journal went quiet. I wasn't privy to the details and frankly, I didn't need to be to tell it was a very sad, angry and unsettled time. At best.
So I would take a deep breath, hope I would hear soon. She had a tiny boat, and the seas were so big. Such resolve. And brave, dear ghads.
But what came out of it. Oh, my.
Cat has always had a unique, lyrical writing voice - she writes beautiful poetry and her prose is intricate, fantastic and unlike any other.
There had been books, before. But then, out of these sad times came a book called The Orphan's Tales...and then a second one. Then Palimpsest...and a wedding, which had its first anniversary today.
And today is also the release day for her Prester John book, Habitation of the Blessed
, which I remember consuming her whole last year while she worked on it.
What little I've been able to see from here says that this is a very different Cat than the one I met those years ago, and thank whatever deity you wish - I certainly do.
Not only does she work faithfully, constantly and diligently - folks, this lady works smart.
The Omikuji Project, the wonderfully web-based crowd-funded Fairyland - all done with an eye to paying the bills, keeping her family afloat and to keep writing
as a profession.
I am all about the Getting Paid, folks. You may want to be the next Agatha Christie, but if you don't get paid, you don't get to stay around to find out if you were ever good enough to make it happen. Anyway -
The closest words to how I feel when I see this. They use the words 'I am so proud of you.' Well, hell. I had nothing to do with it.
I think I'm just loving what I see here. Some days, patience is rewarded in the most astounding ways. Good things DO happen to someone who deserved it, who remained strong in the face of the uncertain, and stayed on course.
And as far as I tell, she's happy.
I can only wonder what tomorrow is going to bring me, with her name on it. If I like it or I don't, if it's my cup of tea or it isn't doesn't matter. Look at what she's done and how far she came in such a short amount of time.
Good for you. Good. For. You.
Now have a wonderful book-release day, happy anniversary (it's mine too, my ninth) and all that.
See you later.