i am not yet dead. again.

Since last I posted anything beyond promoting stuff, I have gotten a new day job–this one literally during the day, which is actually taking some getting used to–dealt with what I think was a (relatively) mild case of the flu–thank you, child of mine; your father and I both so did not need that early Christmas present–and survived the holidays.  Well done, me, I say.

I also read books!  So I think you’re going to get some Stuff Laura’s Read Recently posts … starting now!

The Art of Asking, by Amanda Palmer

I am predisposed to love anything Amanda Palmer puts out, let’s be real.  I am a huge fan.  This doesn’t mean I will love anything she puts out–there are songs I’m not into, that kind of thing–but I did really enjoy this book a lot.

Actually, “enjoy” might be the wrong word, there.

I kind of suck at asking for help. I kind of suck at saying, “Hey, I need [whatever].” And it really is a matter of being afraid the other person will say “no,” and then … well, not only where will I be, but also, how awkward will that be? Like, first I made it awkward because the other person was put in a position to have to say “no,” and then what if they feel weird about saying no and we’re awkward forever, holy god, what am I thinking, avoid the issue entirely and don’t ask!

So it was a little painful, reading that book. Because I think this is, actually, something I’ll need to get better at, but … a little scary.

It was also interesting in terms of memoir, and … well, it was definitely interesting to read about her marriage (I am also a huge Neil Gaiman fan, and have been for longer than I’ve been an Amanda Palmer fan), just in terms of ooh, famous people I like, what’s their marriage like? (the answer: both oddly like and utterly unlike my own, which is always the answer I end up with after reading these sorts of things), but what I also found my self turning over in my head was how she writes about her husband.

One of the things I’ve read, on their blogs and in interviews and such, is that Neil is fine with how Amanda wrote about him. Cool. This isn’t about flattering vs unflattering, really, just … persona. The Neil in Amanda’s book is different than the Neil on his blog, or his Twitter–but still recognizable as that guy on the internet. And while he’s an important part of the book, he’s certainly not the focus of it, which is also interesting, to me, structurally.

I think I’ve said before, everyone has a persona. Like, for example, I’m always slightly more chipper on this blog than I ever am in real life (Jason pointed this out to me, back when we all started our LiveJournals). There is something about blogging that adds this slightly manic “Whee, write it fast, speedy speedy” tone to my words that no other medium does.

And of course, here and there on the internet, I write about the husband (he’s sort of a staple on my Tumblr). I have a tendency to be overly careful with him–like, if it seems remotely unflattering, I let him read it in draft, and then he looks at me like I’m ridiculous and tells me to just post it. (So if you read about my lovely husband on the internet, chances are good that he’s approved it. Or rolled his eyes at me over it.) And it’s all accurate–I’m not trying to create a character out of him. But I’m sure a character is being created, all the same (for the whole three people who read this blog or the Tumblr), out of the little bits and pieces I post of our relationship.

So, as I read The Art of Asking, I kept glancing sideways at how Amanda wrote about Neil, turning it over and letting it ping a little off how I write about my husband, which was interesting.

Anyway. Yeah. It’s a good book, and one I would recommend.


ALSO! One more “go read my awesome friend’s story” post: SciPhi, with “Detritus” by the effervescent Jason Kimble, now has a print version for sale! So you can read about the future the old fashioned way …

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