Summer's coming. Spring is in full bloom here and the birds are plentiful. Everywhere, there are robins, their proud little chests blazing from the barren brown of their feathers as they search for worms.
On the front porch of our house, there's a birdhouse hanging, too small for any bird to actually live in. The hole on the front is barely bigger than an average watch face - and yet, there is life in that little house. A woodpecker that would likely fit neatly into the palm of Eden's hand lives there, ever so cautiously. He flees the little house whenever we're on the porch, and comes back only if we're very still, very quiet - or gone inside.
Summer's coming. The rainstorms are coming in, washing away the pollen clouds, nurturing the soil, encouraging thirsty flowers to reach for the sun. Temperatures are going up already, and in the afternoons, the sun blazes down while Eden and I wait at the middle school for Joey to get out. I already have a good start on my left-forearm tan, and the skin there is constantly itchy because I'm just the slightest bit allergic to the sun. I put loads of lotion there daily, battling the summer dryness.
The kids will be out of school soon, bored at home and always underfoot. They'll be here, where I'll watch them grow, where I'll prepare their meals and watch them go brown under the summer sun. There will be bickering, messiness, and laughter. There will be frustration and tears as we tire of each other's company - but there will be joy in the time we spend together. But they'll be here.
And, judging by the way they've been so needy with their dad not being around, by the way they've been so much more ... everything ... I'm going to have to change things up a bit in order to meet their needs while still taking care of my own.
While it will be nice to have the kids around so we can hang out and strengthen our bonds as a family, it will also be overwhelming. I'm a mother who fights depression every single day, a mother who battles anxiety constantly. I'm a mother who gets easily overwhelmed with too much noise, a mother who tires easily.
A mother of two kids with anxiety, two kids with ADHD, two kids with abandonment issues.
It's going to be a busy summer.
So here's what I'm doing to prepare, and to make sure that the girls and I all make it to the fall intact.
Beginning in May, I'll be dropping my blog writing from every second day to every third day - at least for the summer. This will mean two things:
- I'll have more time for fiction writing, which I miss dearly.
- I'll be able to focus more on building and utilizing my Patreon account.
Patreon, in short, is awesome. It's a social media site, basically - but with A LOT less drama. You set up a profile (if you want to), and use that profile to follow and support (if you want to) your favorite content creators. It's a pretty varied makeup on there too - you can find YouTubers, writers, musicians, photographers, comedians, comic artists ... you name it, and it's probably there if you know where to look. The great thing about it is that creators like me can interact with our most loyal supporters in a whole new way.
Like Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media, content creators can share messages, audio files, videos, photos, etc. We can talk with our supporters, exchange comments, and build community in the way that we all love. The best thing about this is that if you follow or sign up to support me on Patreon, Patreon will actually email you whenever I post something - so you won't be missing things like you probably are with Facebook and other social media networks.
This is totally free to do, and you can even go check my Patreon out right here for nothing more than the time it takes you to click and explore. You can see my goals for the page, a little bit more about me and why I have it, and even check out the - admittedly quite few - public posts I've got up.
Should you be interested in going beyond that (for me, or for any other creator you love) just check out the reward tiers your creator has set up, click Become A Patron, and follow the prompts to get yourself connected. I like to think my reward tiers are pretty fun - they allow you to support me in a very real way while helping to allow me to stay focused on writing. Check it out:
- For $1 a month, you'll get access to a whole series of short stories - I've been publishing one every month since October, and these are totally exclusive. They won't be sold or posted elsewhere anytime soon. Each one is around 2000 words, so it's a quick but pleasurable read, usually with a romantic spin and sometimes with a suspenseful twist. At some point, there will also likely be erotica, horror, fantasy ... I'll write whatever I'm inspired to write, and I'm loving the idea that my Patrons will be along for the ride.
- For $2 a month, you have access to something a bit more personal - my poetry. I'll be posting a poem once a month, and patrons on the $2 tier will get to read it AND the short stories! The cool thing about each new tier upgrade with Patreon is that you get everything on the lower tiers, too.
|Access this story - and more - for just $1 a month by signing up here.|
I have a bunch of other tiers too, which go all the way up to $20 a month, and include things like monthly podcasts, early access to my novel writing, and even chances to read along and guide the direction of my novels! One of my favorite tiers is the $3 tier, where you get to participate in a monthly vote to decide what short story will be posted in the coming month - that one has been the best and most fun challenge of all of them.
I'm sort of slowly moving toward using Patreon more and other social media less, because I feel more confident that when I post there, the people who follow me will actually SEE my content; in the future, I'd like to add even more content to this page, such as daily statuses, behind-the-scenes writing info and photos, and maybe even those vlogs I keep talking about wanting to try. Last week I got a GREAT new idea that I'm SO EXCITED about - but I'm holding off until the page reaches a few more of its goals.
But I'll still be here too, creating the same content as always - sharing my life, myself, and my journey with all of you. And whether it's here on the blog or over on Patreon - thank you for your support. It means everything.
|For more content like this, and other exclusive rewards, check me out on Patreon!|