We Are Seven is a one-woman art studio currently producing books, comics, and graphic novels. This blog chronicles my progress.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The American Spinster

Can I tell you a secret?

I've been working on something. It's a new website. And, except for pictures from tomorrow's photo shoot and a little more content, it's ready.

As you may have guessed from the title, it's called The American Spinster. I know many young (or young-ish) women who are unmarried and childfree, but we seem to be a largely ignored demographic. Some people are putting off starting a family until they're not so burdened with student loan debt, some haven't found the right person, but some are just happy that way.

Now, either you understand the desire to be footloose and fancy-free, or you think that deep down, women who say that's what they want are essentially lonely and longing for babies. Whichever side of the road you're on, I'd like to introduce you to my creative baby, The American Spinster.

The rest of the content (the comic and more reviews) will be added over the next two weeks, with regular updates after that. I've never promised to update a blog on a schedule before, but I'm promising it now. T.A.S. isn't a progress report or marketing tool like my other two blogs. It's my dream made reality. I'm extremely proud of what it is (modest though it currently is) and what it will become.

So, if you can, take a second and check it out. You're the first people I've told. The news won't hit the rest of the internet until after the pictures are up. Thank you for reading, as always.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Blogging Dead

No, I'm not really a zombie returned from (actual, physical, or emotional) death. Nor have I returned to working on We Are Seven projects, because I never stopped. Like any long-distance relationship with a BAD penpal, I simply stopped writing. Like a jerk.

But I'm writing again.

I don't know specifically why I stopped. I became overwhelmed and distracted (mostly distracted), not from W.A.S., but by it. Like a squirrel in the road deciding between eight different escape routes, I am often unsure about which path is best, and so I end up standing in the middle of the road (which, as we know, is certain death). And so, feeling like I had nothing worthy to say, I put the blog on the back burner.

"Really, Lils, no one actually listens to you on this god-forsaken blog. Give it up until you actually have an audience."
-Lilli Blackmore

 But, as the lovely Amanda Palmer very recently helped me realize (The Art of Asking - go read it), an audience isn't something that pops up like a ring of mushrooms after a rainstorm.

"Doodle-head, you can't wait until you have an audience to start writing worthwhile things. That's how you get an audience. Get back to your blog."
-Lilli Blackmore

I'm turning 29 in a few days. That means there's only one more year until 30. And although that's really an arbitrary number (as my brother pointed out, 30 only has more significance than 29 or 31 because we're on a base 10 counting system, so it intrinsically means nothing), culturally--and therefore mentally--it's a milestone. It's unofficially The Age By Which One Has Gotten Their Shit Together. If one has not gotten their shit at least mostly together by thirty, they can say goodbye to any hope of ever finding success as an adult.

It's easy to get distracted by important stuff that one is passionate about, but it's surprising to me how easy it is to be distracted from that by unimportant things that one is in no way passionate about.

When we're little, most of us are taught, directly and indirectly, that we can be whatever we want, the sky is the limit, etc. Then, sometime around high school, parents and other authority figures (usually the same ones who encouraged you to believe in your dreams as a young 'un), start to look at you with incredulity when you tell them you want to make puppets like Jim Henson or be a movie producer at Disney world. That's when the 'You need a real job,' talks start in earnest. Over the course of the next several years, these adults' admonitions gradually erode the pillars of your glorious aspirations, sanding them down to little nubs of suitable ambitions.

At least, that's my experience.

The problem is, you've been called. There's a vocation in your heart, and try as you may to push that calling into the 'suitable ambitions' that have been handed down to you, it won't fit. And so you are called "millennial," as though it is an insult. As though the blame is somehow on you for believing them in the first place when they commanded you to follow your dreams, believing them in the second place when they said, "No, sweetie, you need a real job," and for being born at a time when this sadistic ritual of parenthood came into vogue.

So you waver for a few years, moving sporadically between good jobs (if you're lucky), and non-real jobs (also, if lucky), never committing yourself fully to either vocation or suitable ambitions. You freeze, squirrel-like, in the face of oncoming disaster, with eight hundred thousand ways to avoid it all around, unable to decide which way is best.

Again, that's if you're like me. Some people have an admirable, beautiful sense of rebellion rooted down into their souls, so they never buy into any of that bullshit. But others are more easily cowed, and need a great deal of encouragement and persuasion to fully accept The Call.

When I turned 25, I was surprised. I didn't really think I'd make it that far. A quarter century. I was a quarter of a century old. That's when shit started to get real. I met my boyfriend, who was (and is) amazingly encouraging. He's also older than I am and has way more money than I do. So while he himself encouraged and inspired me to listen to The Call, my desire to 'keep up' with him in terms of money, status, and life situation, pulled me, adversely, toward the suitable ambitions. Without excuse, I wavered. For four years.

Well, now I'm turning 29. And something astonishing has happened: I really don't give a crap about what people say or think anymore. As Queen Elsa says;
"Fuck it all, fuck it all, I don't give a shit anymore!"

My life is likely about a third of the way over (much more if I die young in an accident), and I don't have time for this squirrel-in-the-road nonsense anymore. My priorities have landed in order, in proper perspective, and that means every single thing in my life that doesn't match up with my heeding The Call will simply have to go fuck itself.