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The Stuff I Didn’t Say on Patreon

Warning: This post is not for the faint of heart. If you would like to continue to believe that my life is a magical fairyland where darkness never falls, read no further. 

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Sad FairyYesterday, I relaunched my Patreon Page in a big way. I made it shiny and welcoming and full of enthusiasm, with all the magic of a thousand spoonfuls of sugar. Just like they told me to: Sarah and Casey and Actual People from Patreon (in-person meetings, conference calls, the works).

Which was good, since a lot of that magic was forcibly kindled from a very dark place.

I haven’t been blogging much (probably another good thing), but those of you in touch with me on social media (especially FB) know this has been a pretty tough year for me. Yes, it seems that my body is falling apart, and no one’s sure why. I’ve subjected myself to six straight months of doctors and medicines and physical therapy trying to reverse the damage…or at least, slow it down.

Turns out, being in pain and brain-fuddled from various drugs doesn’t exactly put your mind in the best of places. On top of which, you know, some serious LIFE happened. Pretty rough and important stuff. It doesn’t stop just because you need to take a moment. Annoying, right?

At the conventions I went to anyway–on one leg and boatloads of medicine–friends asked me how I was doing. How I was really doing. I told them I was really okay. Because, in my mind I was, of course. Why wouldn’t I be? I had to be okay, or I wouldn’t have been able to Do All The Things That Must Be Done. I am a Magical Princess, and Magical Princesses are always okay!

It never occurred to me to tell them that I wasn’t okay. Even if, deep inside, my body was screaming from tip to toe.

Yeah.

The first draft of my “Why is Alethea on Patreon” statement was too long and so incredibly sad that a rewrite was “strongly suggested.”

I won’t repost all of that here (you’re welcome), but I will tell you about three very important bits.

1.) I’m in a decent amount of debt. Not impossibly so, and nothing I haven’t gotten out of before, which is why I took the risk. One does not leave an abusive relationship and move halfway across the country without risk. I decided that my quality of life was worth it, and I wasn’t wrong. But that was 2014, and things haven’t exactly bounced back yet because:

2.) My books are not performing as well as they should be. There are several reasons for this. One, is that I haven’t sold a new picture book yet (but I have three manuscripts I am actively working on RIGHT NOW, fingers crossed!). The second is that I haven’t been physically (or mentally) able to produce the massive quantities of fiction I want to produce. The third is that I feel obligated to finish the Woodcutter Sister series.

You’d think this last one wouldn’t put a wrench in the works, but it does. Harcourt still holds the rights to the first three books in this series, and will for some time. In order for me to make a real go of it at this self-publishing game, I need to have a WHOLE series in which ALL the books belong to me. Yes, I have an idea for what this series would be. I have LOTS of ideas. The problem is, I need to find a way to pay the bills with what I’m working on NOW so I can clear the decks and make that happen.

3.) I needed to find happiness again. Almost a decade ago I shattered into a million little pieces, and Princess Alethea rose from those ashes. I know how to find my happiness. Friends ask me for advice about this all the time. But even princesses, when left in the darkness for so long, can forget the reasons they get up in the mornings and why on earth they would ever smile. Social media became little more than a painful daily reminder of all the things I didn’t–and might never–have. Down and down the spiral went. I could sense the madness around the corner, and I had to nip it in the bud.

I moved to Florida FOR A REASON: to rebuild the Kingdom in my head. MY Kingdom. Consciously or not, I’ve been putting all the pieces into place this whole time.

Giving up the Fairy Tale Rants last year was harder than I ever thought it would be. Even though it didn’t pay the bills, every time I heard about a young person who sat down and mainlined all 55 episodes, it made my heart sing. For all that I do, I have always been a performer. My books, my videos, ME…all of these things are meant to bring joy to other people. My picture books readers, my romance, SF and horror friends, my fellow convention artists and cosplayers, my listeners and viewers. MY FAMILY.

Like Bilbo, I was starting to feel like butter scraped over too much bread. Relaunching the Patreon seemed the best way to gather all of ME in one place.

“And so I put a call here out into the world: if you have ever loved my writing, if you have ever met me at a convention, if you have ever admired my costumes, if you have ever read my essays, if you have ever watched a Fairy Tale Rant video, if you have ever liked something I’ve said or shared on social media, I invite you to my Kingdom where rainbows are seasonal and the flowers bloom all year round and exotic birds are as prevalent as exotic Pokémon…and there is glitter in the floorboards.”

If you love ME, and the magic I bring to the world, please click over to Patreon and help support this endeavor.

(At the very least, watch the video, because it’s 100% ME. And my friends. And my family. And Snake Plissken.  And Groot. It was incredibly fun to make, and I made it for you!)

Thank you, my friends. I really do love every single one of you. You are my world. My magical, wonderful world.

xox

~Alethea

The Wonderful World of Princess Alethea

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The Greatest Story

In an effort to spend more time on Tumblr, I have discovered (thanks to Alma Katsu’s social media roundup) some fabulous quote-making websites…and I’m having a blast.

The Greatest Story

Yeah, yeah…I know…now I have to go back to WRITING NOVELS…

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Madeleine DeRonde (November 7, 1927-February 3, 2013)

Chinese New YearGram2Madeleine DeRonde passed peacefully surrounded by loved ones on February 3rd 2013. Madeleine was born at home in Montpelier during the Great Flood of 1927 to Emile and Augustine Gagne. She spent the entirety of her life in Montpelier, attending St. Michael’s Catholic School and St. Augustine’s Church. She was also a member of the Catholic Daughters of America, the Montpelier Emblem Club #369, and the Ladies Home Dem.

At sixteen, she took her first job at the Woolworth’s five-and-dime. By twenty-five, she was a single mother of five, a waitress at The Lobster Pot, and a lab technician at the US Department of Agriculture, helping to make Vermont a brucellosis-free state. She later married Philip DeRonde, owner of DeRonde Plastics. After his passing, Madeleine became a land developer; the road bordering their property in East Montpelier still bears the DeRonde name.

Madeleine was an avid gardener and needlepoint enthusiast. She enjoyed the many pleasures of life: food, dancing, and music of all kinds. Above all, she loved spending time with her extensive family.

Madeleine is predeceased by her husband, Philip DeRonde; two sisters, Marie Law and Trudy Miccolo; and two brothers, Merrill Gagne and Gerard Gagne. She is survived by three sisters: Jeannine Wood, Lucille Collins, and guardian angel Pauline Goodrich. She is lovingly remembered by her five children: John Feddersen Jr., Tom Feddersen and his wife Linda, Marcy Kontis and her husband George, Richard Feddersen and his wife Patti, and Fred Feddersen…as well as fourteen grandchildren, seventeen great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and extended family.

She will be dearly missed by all who knew her, for to know her was to love her.

Visiting hours will be from 9:00-10:30 am on February 6th at Guare & Sons Funeral Home, 30 School Street, Montpelier. The funeral will take place at 11:00 am.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions may be made to The Sister of the Lamb of God: 2063 Wyandotte Ave, Owensboro, KY 42310.

Alethea & Memere

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Red Candy Sale

If you haven’t gotten your fill of Valentine’s Day candy on sale yet, well, that’s nobody’s fault but your own. Lucky for you, Easter’s just around the corner, with a significantly smaller proportion of Red Dye Number Five.

I had a lovely Valentine’s Day, thank you, in no small part because of my father. I don’t remember when the tradition started, but I remember waking up for school on Valentine’s Day and coming downstairs to find a silly little present on the island in the kitchen. It might have been a flower or a card or a bag of candy or a teddy bear stuffed into a coffee mug with a bag full of candy AND a card (with a flower on it), but there was always something and it was always from my daddy.

The best part is that this tradition has continued beyond our formative years into the time when we can tell the world how much we appreciate this small, silly, not-so-insignificant thing. Last year, Dad sent all his girls (there are three of us, plus my mom) a  big heart (pictured here) and an original poem for each one of us. This year was a bit of a blast from the past — a little panda teddy bear in a giant red coffee mug with sweet kissy expressions all over it. (Which means IN NO WAY can anyone mistake this one for theirs!) There was a poem enclosed this year too:

Her direction?

Keeps you guessin’

Where she’ll stay?

She finds a way.

What she’ll do?

Surprises you.

Thinks she’s beat?

Lands on her feet.

Amazing, huh?

ALETHEA.

Yes, folks, my father actually took the time to find a rhyme for my name. And if that’s not real love I don’t know what is. For me, Valentine’s Day is far more than just a cheesy Hallmark-created luvfest. For me, Valentine’s Day is Father’s Day.

Coincidentally, where last year’s Valentine’s Day had me on the front page of the Living Well section of the Murfreesboro paper and leading a teen-oriented paranormal romance discussion at the Bleeding Hearts Club, This year’s Valentine’s Day culminated in a FANTASTIC (and exceptionally long) interview with Greg Hall of The Funky Werepig. We had a lovely date, laughed a lot, covered an AMAZING amount of ground (yes, we probably talked about you), and sang.

That’s right, Greg made me sing. And it’s here for all time on the internet, if you want to have a listen. Turn it on and clean out that junk drawer you’ve been meaning to tackle — the interview clocks in at about 2 hours (including the 30-minute afterparty), so it is not for the faint of heart (or the exceptionally busy). And while the Werepig is usually For Mature Audiences Only, I’d rate our date at about a PG-13. As always, listen at your discretion.

In the meantime, I’m going to go make myself some smiley, kissy-face red coffee. Love you, Dad. xox

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