I am sitting in a hotel room that reeks of decades of cigarette smoke despite being labelled as non-smoking, on a bed that I had checked for bedbugs. I am drinking blackberry whiskey from a flask as I watch The Lost World. I am in Racine, WI for my first vending event in almost two years.
I’ve tried to write this blog post for a while, and I keep getting caught up in the same problem that flummoxed Inigo Montoya, there is too much to explain. I need to sum up.
I am a writer. I have always been a writer. I am good at it and it makes me happy. I have two books under my belt and a host of more waiting to be written.
Writing is satisfying and I feel like I am going to build a career on it, but right now it is not bringing in enough money to squirrel away for our move to Wyoming next year. I need a part time job, one that won’t get in the way of my writing and my keeping house and being there for my family. That rules out continuing to sell what I sew at events because the sewing would get in the way of the above.
What I have, though, is a particular set of skills, and materials and tools, that I can use to make buttons and magnets that I can sell at events. And so, a plan is born.
Which leads me to a sketchy hotel room, winding down from having worked a booth with my friend and vending wife Moira. It wasn’t easy to get here. I had to get over a lot of conditioning from capitalism (which really, really wants me to just get a job, family and mental health be damned) and fears that going out and leaving my husband at home with our son would lead to resentment (a leftover from my first marriage to a man who considers watching his children “babysitting”).
I am here because I had a year of enforced introspection to boil down what I want to do and what I want my life to look like. It has been made possible by things like my husband getting a stable job, tax returns and stimulus checks, writing advances and no small amount of luck. Therapy has helped, as has the countless conversations with my husband making sure that we were on the same page.
This is my job. I’m a writer. I write about paganism and witchcraft and crafting and making. I write about how the world can be made a better, kinder place when we set our minds, hands and magick to it. I teach how sustainability, self-sufficiency and community are good for both the individual and the environment. And I’ll sell you a magnet about it.
This is why I am giggling tipsily as a T-rex feeds a capitalist to its baby. Tomorrow, I’ll sell more pins and magnets. Then I’ll drive home to my family. I’ll spend my week writing. And the cycle will start all over again.