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At the $1 pledge level, you will induce in me a warm glow of feeling supported and appreciated.  I would take this as evidence confirmatory of the nice things people say to me: that my writing matters to people, and that they look forward to it.  And that brings me happiness.
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At the $2 pledge level, you will impart to me a thrill of joy. I am keenly aware that $2 is the going rate of a song on iTunes, and I know how important music can be to people -- I know how meaningful it is to me -- and the knowledge that there are people for whom my writing is as eagerly anticipated as a song from a respected recording artist delights me. It increases the spring in my step and the twinkle in my eye. In addition to all these rewards, you would also enjoy the benefits of the $1 pledge level.
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At the $4 level of support, you will make me feel validated and will increase my confidence and daring in writing. I would conclude that clearly, I was doing something right if there were readers supporting my forthcoming works at a rate comparable to a small cone of Toscanini's ice cream. Mmmmm ice cream. If my writing can bring as much pleasure and satisfaction to a reader as a serving of ice cream does, then the pleasure and satisfaction will be mine.  Additionally, the rewards of the $1 and $2 levels of support are included.




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You're at a cafe. At the next table is a colorfully dressed woman. Her pale, expressionless face betrays no age, but her black hair, knotted at the nape of her neck and stray frizz in a nimbus about her head, is shot with white. She is bent intently over the sketchbook in which she's working, such that you can't see her eyes. Surreptitiously, you glance at the page beneath her hand. A few quickly sketched studies, a grocery list, a technical diagram, a few lines of musical score, a post-it note. She straightens and stretches, and as she sips from her cappuccino, you sneak another look. While her pen is still on the table, more words and pictures are bleeding up through the paper: annotations, corrections, drolleries, graffiti, commentary.

That's when you realize you are dreaming.

And you realize, in the logic of dreams, that the pictures in her sketchbook are made of words. They are pictures of ideas, of things that cannot be pictured. And that there are people somehow in the book, writing on her pages from the inside. It strikes you to wonder if there are not, perhaps, infinite cafes with infinite artists, each writing through the pages onto one another's books, in some great confraternity of sketchers.

Suddenly, you are looking her full in the face. It is impossible to read, cool and still. Her eyes are b--

Oh. The reason you can see her face is that you, too, are now in the book, looking up from the page.

She smiles slowly, as if she knows something, and closes the book.

That's when you realize you're not dreaming.

* * *
Siderea is a psychotherapist programmer (rhymes with "philosopher king" and "warrior poet") by trade, and a casual writer by incorrigible habit. She's been keeping an online journal since 2004 which is very much like an artist's sketchbook, for an artist who works in the medium of essays, or a naturalist's notebook, for a naturalist studying humans. She writes at the place psychology, anthropology, politics, medicine, technology, morality, justice, systems dynamics and personal introspection meet, making observations about the way the world around her as she encounters it functions, often from deeply personal perspective. On rare occasion, she detours through poetry and allegory to say true things by other means.

Some of her notable posts have been:

April 2005: Archipelago of Weird -- "Well, reality got a little klein-bottle-shaped there for a moment." An account of a graduate class on psychodrama and how subcultures exist in relationship to the mainstream. [2,200 words]

June 2013: Worth, Esteem, Self-Esteem, Validation, Appreciation, and the F-Function -- Self-esteem is not the same thing as the esteem of others, and they are both important. Also, how tyrannical parenting is screwing up Western civilization by stunting F-function development. [3,000 words]

Dec 2008: 302.0 Homosexuality -- A brief, moving, astonishing history of how homosexuality was removed from the DSM. [1,500 words]

Jan 2007: The Issue and I -- The awkward situation of being a feminist leaving STEM while still loving STEM. [2,100 words]

July 2010: The Moon Is Drowning While I Commit Industrial Espionage -- One psychotherapist's very frustrated and tetchy reflection on "Inception" (2010) and what we know we know of dreams. [3,700 words]

July 2004: The True Story of Atlantis -- Allegory. Prophecy. Infrastructure. [1,800 words]

Oct 2007: Attitude -- On how "The Secret" is like the Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe chain email. [3,600 words]

Oct 2011: Addiction -- Understanding addiction as an unterminated positive feedback loop. [800 words]

Sept 2006: How to Make Friends (for INTPs) -- A program for INTPs (or anybody else) to run on themselves. [580 words]

Nov 2003: Consideration -- Of emotional needs, psychological predispositions, cultural practices, and social structures. [1,300 words]

Jan 2009: No One Will Ever Be Lost Again -- A psychotherapist who doesn't hate the internet reflects on how her own experience illuminates an under-commented aspect of how the shape of human social lives is being changed by the internet. [1,300 words]

Nov 2012: Review:"Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness" -- A review of an excellent and important book, but one with some critical blind-spots; review comes with a rant about what really comes between psychotic patients and their meds. [3,100 words]

Sept 2013: A Reply -- Poem. "The Dreaming has its own law -- // dear heart, did you not know this?" [1,000 words]
* * *

I miss writing.
I miss writing so much.

I have such things to tell you! A thousand things clamor in my throat to be told, sizzle in my finger-tips to be written.

Maybe you miss my writing, too. Do you remember when I wrote? Maybe you miss what I had -- oh, and still yet have -- to tell you about the world.

I come to you with my hat in hand -- a hat I am placing on the ground between us.

I have not stopped posting due to not having things to say nor due to any reluctance to share them.

I all but stopped writing because, see, I'm chained to this here oar.

My financial circumstances are so very straitened, I literally cannot afford to take time away from paying work to write. Unless, of course, writing is paying work.

I would very much love to be able to take the time to write again. Would you help me do that? Would you help me by funding my writing? It would be a dream come true for me.

This is me, putting my hat on the ground, prepared to write for my supper.

Would you, excellent gentlebeing, throw some coin my way to fund my writing?

* * *
The Rules of the Game I Propose to Play

But what, you may be asking, constitutes a "Siderea Post"? In my case that's a really good question. After all, as loyal readers will note, the vast majority of what gets posted to my LJ is not what I am calling "Siderea Posts". I post pointers to other interesting things I've found on the 'net, I post recipes (both food and technology), I post a lot of n00b sysadmin questions (20 years a developer, and I'm only now figuring out how to run my own deck), I host open brainstorms, and random trivial stuff. None of that I am proposing for funding through this Patreon account.

No, I'm proposing funding the good stuff. If you've been following my journal, you know what I mean.

But you don't have to rely on a gut sense, yours or mine. After all, nailing conceptual jello to the proverbial wall is pretty much What I Do, so here you go: a rubric of what constitutes a "Siderea Post" for purposes of qualifying for funding through this Patreon:

To qualify as a Siderea Post, a post must be:

• Original -- note that this disqualifies posts such as " Calling" and "Emic and Etic" which are substantially a passage of something someone else wrote, with some commentary from me.

• At least 300 words -- while more typically my Siderea Posts are big, there have been some classics which were very short. Of course, with me, the way to bet is longer, and probably some folks are wondering if maybe I should have a word maximum.

• Be primarily a "What I Think" or "What I Made" post, as per The Seven Kinds of Journal Post Topic, or maaaaaaybe a "What I Felt" or "What I Did" if sufficiently entertaining -- no posts that are primarily "What I Found", "What I Want to Know", or "Coordinative" will be up for funding.

• Text only -- no posts primarily in other media will be up for funding. I do have one idea for a post with will come with illustrative sound clips, and there may be the occasional illustrative image, but posts that are primarily any other medium are not eligible for funding through this Patreon account.

• Be public -- while I do write posts "friends only", none of them, even if substantial and meeting the above criteria, will be eligible for funding.

I will tag qualifying posts "patreon", as well as linking to it on my Patreon account.

As a convenient side effect, I gather that people who want to subscribe to the Siderea Posts, and would rather give my cute cat pictures and flailings with embeded Debian a miss, can just follow this Patreon account for a "good parts only" version.

How Much Will Siderea Write, Or, If I Pledge What Will I Be On The Hook For?

I have configured my Patreon campaign to be "pledge by item", specifically by Siderea Post. This means each time I finish and post a Siderea Post, I log into my Patreon account and hit the "I just released a work" button. And, to a first approximation, when I do, all the people who pledged are collected from.

So this raises the obvious question, "Siderea, how many things are you going to write per month?"

I have no idea. Fortunately for you, Patreon has a solution for this: patrons can set a dollar limit per month. You can decide to pledge $X per post, with a maximum of $XY per month. If I write more posts than Y, you aren't charged for the posts in excess of Y.

I'd like to write a lot -- and I'm pretty hungry -- but I have no real sense of what's realistic. Trying it and finding out is the only way. I very, very, very strongly encourage all my patrons to set a bearable monthly contribution limit, lest I and my muse accidentally break your bank account.

Note that what I write will be affected by the total per-post level of patronage I get. If I am funded at a high enough rate, I'll be able to take more time on each post, and write longer, more deeply researched pieces.

* * *
$300 - reached! per Post
Three hundred dollars per post is the game changer. At $300 and more, I'm actually being compensated at a rate that allows me to put the time and effort into a post that the more elaborate topics require.

It takes me hours to write a post. Sometimes very many hours. I am not a fast writer, and the characteristic richness of my work owes to the research that I typically invest in it. At $300, I can realistically dedicate the time necessary to big, meaty posts without it imperiling my ability to pay the rent; it becomes the way I can pay the rent. At $300 per post, I get to breathe a big sigh of relief and set writing at a much higher priority. At $300 per post, it's not just help, it's a livelihood.  Or at least part of a balanced livelihood that also includes treating patients and maybe some computer hackery on the side.
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