Patreon, now live!

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After two years of deliberation, I figured, why not. I started a Patreon page. I need something to hold myself accountable, and this feels like the right move. It’s felt like the right move for a while, but I was just too scared to go for it.

Mainly, what I’m excited about is that a Patreon page allows me to focus on works I like, rather than working on material OTHER people like. I’ll even go far enough to toot my own horn here a little, I think what I like other people will also. But we’ll see. I’m not expecting to see many people contribute to my Patreon–but hey, consistency builds community, and I know how to be consistent. . . . sorta.

I’ve fallen out of my daily morning pages routine, but the Patreon is a good excuse to get back to it. Furthermore, it makes me more excited to write stuff. Submitting to magazine day in and day out has worn me down and I’m excited to explore a different medium.

So, if you have some time, go check out my Patreon page by clicking this link. There are three tiers to contribute to, and there are 2 goals I have set up once I reach a certain contribution amount per month. I think they’re pretty exciting. Even if you don’t pledge, check back to see my morning pages each day. Some of them might even turn into full short stories.

Societal Depression

It’s interesting that in less developed countries they have fewer cases of depression and conditions like ADHD. I know what you’re going to say, “But Alex, they probably have those conditions, they just don’t diagnosis them.” Which may be true. But the thing about stuff and technology and development is this: it doesn’t necessarily make us any happier. In fact, there’s many studies that show people who live a simpler life are happier. Which makes sense, if you think about it–look: studies have been done that have found the range of income at which people become less happy if the make over X amount of dollars each year. I think they the downward slope of the bell curve started around around 80,000 per year (but it also varies depending on the state, in the U.S.). Anyway, once people make that much, there’s raw data to indicate, the more likely those people are to be unhappy.

If we look at this as a societal problem, I think it supports the idea that those who live a more fundamental life, feel more fulfilled and so have a more stable mental state.

I’m not advocating for destroying technology, moving out of the city and all becoming farmers. In fact, I love technology. I love knowledge, and I love the exploration the human race is perusing (Applause for SpaceX). But it seems to me that the more a culture is fixated on image, material wealth, and fulfillment from others, the less likely we are to get it. People are constantly looking toward their next, higher paying job, or next sales goal, or, for me, my next publication in a magazine–and we all think, HA! if I could get to this point, then I’d be happy. But the truth is, as soon as you reach that point, as soon as I get my hands on that magazine I was published in, my mind is on to other things, and I’m seeking fulfillment all over again.

2/10/15

Doug fucked things up with family members because he wasn’t really good at things. He was good at being homeless, but that was about it. He wasn’t good at being a brother or a son. He’d thought of being a father once, he’d even had the chance, but had let that go because his sister had talked him out of it. Judith had never been the most encouraging sister. Now she didn’t really need to worry about him. None of them did. Last he had heard Judith had made partners at wherever, and his parents were hitting off on another cruise. They loved cruises. When he had been a kid they had gone on one and left him in charge and he’d thrown a party and some how, he wasn’t exactly sure how, his mother’s antique snowing machine had been broken. This had seemed impossible at the time as the thing had been weighty wood and heavy steel, an artifact of when they had made things differently.

Doug looked in at the knitting store. He’d thought making his own hat and close would have been a lot more cost effective than buying them, but when he’d first gone in there, to The Wool Ball, he’d found the knitting needles, the yarn, everything so much more expensive than just buying something from the Fred Meyers down the street. This was his corner, now that Brooks had co opted the on ramp. He’d never been one for cardboard signs. He thought that was disingenuous. It made it so he didn’t have to talk to anyone. He simply had an old mug he sometimes used for coffee after asking the people at the starbucks to wash it out, and he would wave and smile and hold out the cup to cars as they stopped at the light.

In the first hour he got fifty sense. It was Sunday and still early, so church hadn’t got out yet. He’d never bought into that stuff himself. He’d stopped going with his folks when he was 11 or something. It began to rain, not large drops, just the small ones–nothing like in Wyoming.

“Hey,” a girl in a red Jetta was stopped. She was holding out a dollar.

“Thanks,” said Doug.

“You have a rain jacket?” she asked.

Doug looked at her, she had to be one of the college kids. One of the girls who did those walks of shames and he saw going into Caps Tavern every night, or maybe she wasn’t even old enough, he thought.

“I got this,” he said, tugging on his sweater. He’d gotten it from the Goodwill but he hadn’t paid for it. He’d just put it on and walkout.

“That’s not rainproof,” she said.

“It’s wool. It keeps you warm.”

“You don’t sound like a homeless person.”

“I am.”

There was a honk from behind her. The light had turned green. She sped off without another word. And Doug suspected she’d not think of him ever again.