Songs for the Struggling Artist


In Which I Read That Dragon Book

August 30th 2022

In a wave of curiosity, I put myself on the waiting list for my library’s digital copy of When Women Were Dragons, the novel that came out this year in which a dragoning is a featured event. (I wrote about this funny “coincidence” not so long ago.) The wait was going to be months long so I figured I didn’t have to read it – but it would be on my list should I want to. When it suddenly became available, I didn’t WANT to read it but I also couldn’t help myself. What is this book’s deal?

I started it last night and I already have so many thoughts. It seemed like it would be better to wait until I’d finished the book to write about it – but it’s clear it’s going to be a real journey for me so I figured I’d take you with me on it. This post may take a while to write as I don’t think I’m going to be able to read this book quickly. In fact, I think it’s going to be multiple posts. There will be spoilers. This will be me reading the book, with you alongside me.

First, this book is dedicated to Christine Blasey Ford and makes it clear that the Kavanaugh hearings were the inspiration for it. I almost stopped right there. Because, as you’ll know if you’ve read previous blogs on this topic, or listened to interviews with me about The Dragoning podcast, those hearings were what provoked my dragon blog and then the podcast. So…the kick-off was exactly the same, which just created some super complicated feelings before the book even started.

But I kept reading. I was in a space where I could deal with some complicated feelings. I read all the introductory material and I read Chapter One and then I had to stop. I hated it. Not because it wasn’t good or well written. I think it is but I can’t tell because I was blind with frustration. Here’s what I know already. This book is too nice. It is academic (or faux academic) and it is going to make a lot of women suffer. (Well, fictional women anyway.) Already, it is clear that this author and I are coming from very different starting points. In her novel, it is mothers and wives who are missing. It is children who are suffering the loss of their mothers. Women turn into dragons, yes – but then they fly away. I created a world where it is men who go missing – because the women ate them or set them on fire. And while women have to wrestle with a new reality, you will not see a woman victimized in my dragoning.

Now – this book may turn around from here. It may turn out that all the missing mothers and wives have flown off to start their own dragon society or something – but from this point in the narrative, I am not enjoying this reality. And I’m sure you know how much I like women turning into dragons. After an hour or so away from it, I was able to read another chapter and it didn’t make me quite as mad. The main thrust of the story seems to be a child trying to understand what’s wrong with her mother after a two month absence. Of course we assume her mother was a dragon for a couple of months. Either that or she was in a sanitarium from being abused by the father. Anyway – this is where we’re starting.

Will we get some empowering lady dragons at some point? I expect and hope so – but I’m not counting on it.

August 31

In talking about this experience of having a famous author write a thing like my thing, my friend advised me to discuss it with the Dramatists Guild, since I am a member and questions of creative legality are their special purview. I’m not sure I’d have a case, as this book, thus far, only shares a point of inspiration, a concept and a made-up word. I don’t think there’s any evidence of substantial copyright violation – but I’ll have to keep reading of find out.

Anyway – I read another couple of chapters as well as the Handmaid’s Tale-style academic inserts. I still hate it. But it’s becoming clear that the story is a conflict between the patriarchy-fighting aunt and the patriarchy-handmaiden mother. It would appear that it is the trouser-wearing mechanic who is going to turn dragon. Everyone’s already afraid of her and her eyes turn funny at times.

I don’t know. Thus far it’s all a little conventional for me. I don’t think this author stole my work because if she did, she missed the whole gist of it and she stole the most banal part. I guess it makes me appreciate the world I created more but it also makes me angrier that my podcast continues to languish in obscurity while this novelist gets write-ups in places like the New York Times.

But I have to keep reading to see if I have something to discuss with the Dramatist’s Guild Legal Department.

September 1

I read a chapter and more of the “Academic paper” and a “Washington Post article.” I’m using quotes because neither of these things would pass for the things they are supposed to be. I mean, that’s fine – academic papers aren’t generally very readable and newspaper articles can be dry and go on a bit. And now I know more about where this is going. There’s a lot of talk of the “Mass Dragoning Event” which I find funny for some reason. Maybe because it’s so clunky?

And the part that I find irritating is the fact that now we’ve learned that the dragons are exclusively wives and mothers. It is repeated twice – “Wives and mothers, all.” And I suppose I find this irritating because I am neither a wife nor a mother and I suppose I’m not crazy about the idea that it is essentially the relationship to a man that would give a woman the super power of dragonhood.

Maybe the author is going for an idea that being married and giving birth introduces you to a new kind of patriarchy-fighting rage? But still…

Ultimately, you get your dragonhood because you get married to a man or a man got you pregnant. (I assume she means women who marry men when she says wives, as it takes place in the mid 50s.)

And hey – maybe she means that only women who are compelled to be this close to men will get mad enough to turn dragon but I find it vaguely insulting to unmarried and childfree women. We can get plenty mad, believe me.

Listen, I think mothers are magical. I know a lot of extraordinary women (cis and trans) who are mothers. I have an extraordinary mother. I would never diminish the work and sparkle they put into the world – but this “wives and mothers, all” business makes me real twitchy.

September 2

Thus far the pattern in this book has been a chapter bookended by supplemental material. That pattern changed in my reading last night wherein I read two or three chapters in a row.

What’s becoming clear is that there’s some kind of connection between the head of the dragon and the uterus, which aesthetically, I understand. There is a sort of pleasant echoing of shape. I don’t love connecting dragon transformation to biology, however – and I particularly don’t love it in this moment when there’s a lot of transphobic nonsense around the biology of women. I can’t claim any special inclusiveness around trans issues in my dragoning. I’ve just said any woman can become a dragon and I just assume that may include trans women. I’m leaving that door open – maybe have a trans writer write something that speaks to them in that world, at some point. My own work is not particularly inclusive in this way (yet) but it’s not exclusive either. Which I somehow think is important.

This question makes me think of Y: The Last Man, a TV series I watched that is based on a comic book, wherein everyone with a Y chromosome suddenly dies one day (except one guy and his male monkey). The show explicitly dealt with the difficulty of trans men being the only men remaining and getting one’s hands on testosterone in that transformed world becomes a plot point. It also acknowledges that there are women with Y chromosomes as well.  

It feels like if you’re explicitly talking about biological issues, you’re obligated to deal with the complications of biology. We’ll see if this book goes there.

The other thing that’s becoming clear is that the dragons are a mother’s fantasy. They are the dreams of overwhelmed women, ready to run away from it all. It reminds me of The Lost Daughter but in a fantasy world. I’m sympathetic to it but I don’t know what it might have to do with what we saw in the Kavanaugh hearings. It’s just sort of generic patriarchy at the moment. I guess that’s why she set in the 50s – so it could be generic patriarchy.

I do love the gold eyes of the dragons, though – and that somehow the mother can prevent herself and others turning into dragons by tying complex knots?

September 3

The most dominant experience of the novel seems to be the intentional forgetting of the fact of the dragoning. It’s not the dragons themselves – they just take off and live on mountains and stuff. The novel is unpacking the gaslighting done by the protagonist’s mother, the cultural gaslighting of pretending nothing happened and the oblique references to changes and transformation. I suppose this is connected to the Kavanaugh hearings in that so many people were able to pretend the assault he committed in his youth (allegedly! Ha!) didn’t happen and then later pretend that we didn’t all see what a shitbag he was.

I don’t think Barnhill is wrong about this cultural impulse to try and forget terrible events. I feel like we’re watching that happen now as people pretend that everything’s fine and we didn’t just let over a million people die of COVID.

So far, this cultural forgetting thing seems like the most true thing in the book. Can’t say I’m particularly enjoying it though.

End of Part One

That was nearly two thousand words on the first chunk of the book. So this is going to happen in chunks because no one needs a book length review of another book. We’ll just have multiple blog posts instead!

There wasn’t an image of the book under the Creative Commons umbrella so I just went for a nice licensed colorful dragon via the British Library.

This post was brought to you by my patrons on Patreon.

They also bring you the podcast version of the blog.

It’s also called Songs for the Struggling Artist 

You can find the podcast on iTunesStitcherSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-1-33-28-am

Every podcast features a song at the end. Some of those songs are on Spotifymy websiteReverbNation, Deezer and iTunes

*

Want to help me keep creating?

Become my patron on Patreon.

Click HERE to Check out my Patreon Page

*

If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist

Or buy me a “coffee” (or several!) on Kofi – ko-fi.com/emilyrainbowdavis



An Applause Button for Podcasts

When I started my first podcast six years ago, I quickly discovered that it was a low engagement form. Podcasts aren’t easy to share and the platforms that they’re on, and the medium they’re made of, don’t make it easy for people to respond. If you’ve ever been listening to a podcast and felt the impulse to share it, you know how challenging that can be. My listeners manage it with tweets and retweets and Facebook comments – but there’s no direct way to tell me they liked it or to share it with others. (Apparently we can blame Steve Jobs for this – but maybe that’s just a rumor.) As a theatre maker who is used to instant gratification and applause, I find this one of the most challenging parts of podcasting. And I somehow find it even more challenging with my audio drama than I do for my blogcast.

The blogcast, I sort of toss off. For the blogcast, I read something I wrote a few weeks before (like this!) and play a song I’ve usually spent a week or two learning and rehearsing. If no one responds to the episode, it’s not really devastating. There is a sense of routine around it that means I just keep going whether anyone engages with it or not. It’s a weekly practice, a light dusting of art, a quick expression. The audio drama, on the other hand, is the culmination of years of work.

I started writing this second season two years ago, began planning for it last year, and the production began earlier this year with the actors and sound designer. There’s a whole team of people involved. We are still in process, even as we start to release our work. It’s not just me in a room. It’s a whole web of artists.

This time around, I made a big deal of the release date and tried to create a little buzz. After all that, after finally releasing the first episode of the culmination of two years’ worth of work, guess what kind of response I got?

Nothing. Absolute silence. Not a word. Not until the next morning, about 33 hours after I set the thing loose into the world.

I work pretty hard to not take this kind of stuff personally but my theatre heart craves instant gratification and 33 hours is certainly not instant. It is very easy to fall down a hole and tell one’s self a story about how the work isn’t as good as you imagined it to be and what a big mistake you’ve made and so on and so on with other very un-useful thoughts.

Not long after this anti-climactic opening, I was talking with a friend who eased my mind on the subject and recorded some applause for me for the podcast. (I have listened to it many times, not gonna lie.) She also suggested that podcast apps really ought to include a CLAP BUTTON so folks could just push the button on a show they liked, to give it some virtual applause. I think this is a great idea. First, I’d very much appreciate some extra claps. And second, as an audience member, I’d love to leave my appreciation for the makers. In listening, there’s no way to distinguish between the podcasts I really admired and the ones I just let run while I did some task because I didn’t care enough to stop them. All the apps reflect is whether or not a show was downloaded. The only way to register your approval is to rate it and/or review it in places like Apple Podcasts and very few people can or will take the time to do that. There are a lot of things in the way of that happening. It’s not a smooth action. An applause button, though. That’s as smooth as it gets. And I think it would make a huge difference to me as both a listener and a maker. There’s a clap button on Medium and those claps, when I get them, mean something.

We need the same for podcasts – a way to let folks know we heard them and we’re giving them applause. In fact, I’d especially love it if we got notification of those claps as an audio file so I could hear some good old applause directly.

I’d like for this to be on every podcast app so I could push it and register my appreciation.

This post was brought to you by my patrons on Patreon.

They also bring you the podcast version of the blog.

It’s also called Songs for the Struggling Artist 

You can find the podcast on iTunesStitcherSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-1-33-28-am

Every podcast features a song at the end. Some of those songs are on Spotifymy websiteReverbNation, Deezer and iTunes

*

Want to give me serious applause?

Become my patron on Patreon.

Click HERE to Check out my Patreon Page

*

If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist

Or buy me a “coffee” (or several!) on Kofi – ko-fi.com/emilyrainbowdavis



That Thing Playbill Said About Peter Brook
July 20, 2022, 12:30 am
Filed under: art, Creative Process, space, theatre | Tags: , , , , , ,

If you’re not a theatre nerd, you may not be aware of the stature that Peter Brook, theatre luminary who recently died at age 97, had with us theatre folk.  His book, The Empty Space, is the sort of text your theatre friends are likely to wax rhapsodic about. It has changed a lot people’s lives and inspired many a theatre maker to make more artful, high minded art. The Empty Space encourages us to both be simpler and more exacting in our work. He talked about how theatre is as simple as an empty space in which something happens and also, you better really think about what happens in there, especially for your audience.

It felt like Brook was always challenging the field to boil itself down to a more essential state. He was our theatrical philosopher. He held the ideals for the field. If you got distracted by all the nonsense of show business, you could always turn to Brook for a dose of idealism and aspiration. I know many a theatre maker who, when feeling despair about what to do next about their theatre career, would re-read The Empty Space to refresh their sense of purpose. He was a beacon for a theatre of art. I have often been surprised when people who I imagine to have sold out, who don’t seem to care about the art part, who seem to be just leaning hard into the business or entertainment, suddenly pull out their copy of The Empty Space and get dreamy looks on their faces. Brook was good for the theatre’s soul, I think.

All of this is why I found it kind of hilarious that, when he died, Playbill tweeted only one thing about Peter Brook, which was that he had three Tony Awards. Of all the things there are to say about Brook, his Tony awards seem to me to be the absolutely least consequential. Of all the many ways he mattered, the Tonys may have mattered least.

Now, it is a credit to the Tonys that they managed to honor an artist like Peter Brook at some point. But awards are almost always behind the curve. Like, the MacArthur Genius Grant went to Lin Manuel Miranda, not in his early days when he was lugging his keyboard around for his first musical, but years after Hamilton became a hit. Awards often miss the genius moment and I don’t even know what Brook’s Tony Awards are for and I don’t care. I have some guesses. And most of them are probably from his early career. Cool. Pat yourself on the back, Tony Awards! You chose well that year. Those years? I don’t know. Doesn’t matter. Not to most of us. Not to all the theatre geeks clutching their copies of The Empty Space to their chests.

Peter Brook made some exciting theatre. He made shows that people talk about decades after they happened. I’ve seen work of his that I loved and work that I thought really stank. And it’s not as simple as the early work is good and the late work is bad. I saw a fairly recent show of his a couple of times (because I know one of the actors) and it was so simple and full, all at once. Then in the same period, I saw a show of his that I just didn’t care for at all, so I just tried to forget it as soon as I saw it. I respect his failures somehow. Like any artist, Brook wasn’t a genius all the time. But his importance to us, as a field, is as someone who held the line for art, not just some guy who won three Tony awards one time. We don’t have many of those line holders left. We lost a beacon. We lost a lighthouse.

* My favorite piece about Brook in the wake of his death was THIS one by Helen Shaw. It really speaks to the complicated legacy a great theatre maker leaves behind.

Screenshot of Playbill’s Tweet. I mean…

This post was brought to you by my patrons on Patreon.

They also bring you the podcast version of the blog.

It’s also called Songs for the Struggling Artist 

You can find the podcast on iTunesStitcherSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-1-33-28-am

Every podcast features a song at the end. Some of those songs are on Spotifymy websiteReverbNation, Deezer and iTunes

*

Want to help me hold the line?

Become my patron on Patreon.

Click HERE to Check out my Patreon Page

*

If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist

Or buy me a “coffee” (or several!) on Kofi – ko-fi.com/emilyrainbowdavis



Is This a Dragon Zeitgeist?
July 5, 2022, 10:49 pm
Filed under: art, Creative Process, feminism, Gen X, Imagination, podcasting, writing | Tags:

As many of my readers will be aware, back in 2018, provoked by the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, I wrote a piece called “I Am a Dragon Now. The Fear of Men Is My Food.” A few months after that piece went around, elements of it poured themselves into a piece that became The Dragoning, an audio drama podcast. The podcast came out in the spring of 2020 and Season Two just launched.

I’m taking you through this timeline because here, in 2022, an award winning author has published a novel called When Women Were Dragons, in which there is an event known as The Dragoning. A friend sent me a review of this novel because it sounds an awful lot like my piece. Not identical, of course, but close enough to be uncomfortable.

Has, bestselling author, Kelly Barnhill STOLEN my idea? I doubt it. I suspect dragons were in the air and we both reached for them. I think of Elizabeth Gilbert’s idea about ideas. She unpacks this notion in Big Magic. This is her theory that ideas just sort of float through the air and they visit whomever they think will realize them. The ideas visit lots of artists at once, just to be sure they are born. My guess is that The Dragoning was in the air and it chose both me and Kelly Barnhill. I got the idea out faster but Barnhill will spread it wider.

It is slightly uncomfortable, of course, to find that something that came from my brain also appeared in another person’s brain – and a woman who is exactly my age, no less. It’s like the idea was flying around in 2018 and was like – “I need a 44 year old woman to take this and run with it” and maybe it wasn’t even just me and Kelly Barnhill. Maybe there are a dozen more 48 year old women who were visited by the dragoning fairy four years ago.

Is it possible that Barnhill consciously or unconsciously lifted this idea from me? Like maybe she read the blog, which did go pretty viral, especially among Gen X women and thought, “I can imagine a world based on this!” And off she went. It is possible. Same thing happened to me! But, do I think she STOLE this idea from me as every novice writer is always convinced will happen to them? I do not. I’ve read Barnhill’s work. She has no shortage of imagination. She’s not out here trying to steal anything. She doesn’t need to. Her brain makes up lots of neat stuff on its own. She does not need to steal. I’m incredibly confident in her ability to make up her own magic.

But I do find myself in this incredibly awkward position of finding my own work slightly less google-able because someone else, with a much larger platform than me, has written a work with my title in it. They got Naomi Alderman, who wrote one of the most exciting books of the last few years – The Power, to write a review of it in the New York Times. Naomi Alderman is ALSO 48 years old. It feels like all the girls in my class are writing magical feminist speculative fiction and they all joined a club so they’re getting together and hanging out and I’m all by myself over here, quietly declaring I was here with this first.

The other thing that sucks about this is that the only way to find out if Barnhill’s work is somehow derivative of mine is to read it and I don’t feel I should, even though I know I’d enjoy her writing. I loved her novels for young people but I don’t want to mix up the waters. I don’t have any plans to write a third season of The Dragoning but I’d like to have the option and I don’t want to unconsciously take on a different writer’s dragons. So I guess I just have to wonder about it – or wait for my friends to read Barnhill’s book.

I feel like I want Barnhill’s book to be a success because maybe a rising dragon tide could lift all dragon boats. But I’m also not looking forward to being overshadowed by an established writer, who has an agent and an editor and all the trappings that come along with success. I’m proud of my work and it would be very painful if the spotlight shining on that award winning author just cast me further into the shadows. That’s why this is complicated. I am reasonably sure we’re all just part of a zeitgeist in a world where women long for the power of dragonhood, while we watch our rights and hope disappear. But the zeitgeist doesn’t feel great. Maybe just because I’m not in the club.

I’m obsessed with this Paolo Uccello painting from 1470. I love that this woman has the dragon on a leash, like she’s walking it and the knight looks like he’s giving the dragon a COVID test.

This post was brought to you by my patrons on Patreon.

They also bring you the podcast version of the blog.

It’s also called Songs for the Struggling Artist 

You can find the podcast on iTunesStitcherSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-1-33-28-am

Every podcast features a song at the end. Some of those songs are on Spotifymy websiteReverbNation, Deezer and iTunes

*

Want to help me be part of a club?

Become my patron on Patreon.

Click HERE to Check out my Patreon Page

*

If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist

Or buy me a “coffee” (or several!) on Kofi – ko-fi.com/emilyrainbowdavis



The Ship Is Turning
May 26, 2022, 10:00 pm
Filed under: age, art, Creative Process | Tags: , , , , , , ,

There was a week when a lot of good things happened at once. It felt so strange and I realized that I had grown very used to things going either badly or just sort of going. It felt like I’d been on a giant ship and it had, for years, been headed toward desolation. I’m not sure I was fully aware I was on a ship headed toward desolation. If you’d asked me, “Are you on a big ship?” I’m not sure I’d have said yes. It’s a metaphor I was not conscious of at all until it started to shift.

Now, the ship becomes visible to me as it is starting to turn. It’s a big ship, so it can’t turn quickly. I can still see the shores of desolation off in the distance but the ship is turning. It is turning slowly and (hopefully) surely.

I’m not sure when I got on this big ship. It could have been when I went to grad school, which took an enormous amount of wind out of my sails. It could have been when I realized I’d have to leave London and give up a series of hopes and dreams. Or maybe I just found myself on board one day after one too many rejections and disappointments. All I know is, I am glad this boat is turning around.

I wonder, too, if this ship’s route is related to the U curve. Apparently, most people’s life satisfaction takes a major dip in their mid 40s – but it starts to head back up at a certain point – which is why it’s called a U curve. You hit the cul de sac of the U and then things start to get better.

Maybe the ship’s sailing plan is a U curve. It dips down close to the shores of desolation, makes you think you are definitely ending up there no matter how many dance parties you have on board, and then at the last moment, the ship starts to turn.

The thing about being a struggling artist™ for this long is that it starts to feel like you have a stink on you. It can feel like everyone sees that your ship is headed to the shores of desolation and most people prefer to look away. Everyone loves a winner and everyone wonders what’s wrong with the ones that aren’t actively winning. That is, it’s fine to choose to be an artist, as long as you can show everyone that you are actively winning – stop winning for a bit and folks are going to start asking why you keep doing this. The wins don’t have to be big to keep your sails billowing but they do have to be recognizable to the average person as a win.

That is, I could write a book – but until that book is published and in stores, the accomplishment does not register to most people. It can feel like you’re carrying that book on a big ship headed to the shores of desolation where you might as well throw it into the sea and watch the pages scatter through the waves. Get someone to agree to publish it, though, that ship starts to turn around. (No one’s publishing my books by the way. My ship would probably be turning around a lot faster if that were the case.)

Most people won’t read (or listen to) your book until it’s published and reviewed and vetted by all the major news outlets. They won’t go see your play until it’s on Broadway. They won’t listen to your albums until they’re on the radio. They won’t buy your paintings until they’re on sale at the Biennial. I don’t know why people need their art to be approved of by the mainstream but apparently they do.

I guess what I’m saying is that there’s a U curve for artistic work, too – and it probably magnifies the U curves of age. The relentlessness of indifference, of failing to make an artistic mark in a way regular people recognize, of just pushing forward with so little encouragement can make for a pretty brutal U curve for artists. I know too many who didn’t make it up the other side. They saw where that ship was headed and they couldn’t imagine it would ever turn around.

Frankly, I didn’t have any reason to believe mine would turn around either. I just figured I’d dance on deck until we hit the shore.

But this ship is turning. It’s going slow. It’s creaking. It’ll take some time and effort and it’s probably going to displace a lot of water. But it is turning.

If you have any choice about it, it’s generally a good idea to start turning your ship BEFORE it gets this close to a lighthouse.

This post was brought to you by my patrons on Patreon.

They also bring you the podcast version of the blog.

It’s also called Songs for the Struggling Artist 

You can find the podcast on iTunesStitcherSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-1-33-28-am

Every podcast features a song at the end. Some of those songs are on Spotifymy websiteReverbNation, Deezer and iTunes

*

Want to help me keep turn this ship around a little faster?

Become my patron on Patreon.

Click HERE to Check out my Patreon Page

*

If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist

Or buy me a “coffee” (or several!) on Kofi – ko-fi.com/emilyrainbowdavis



My Real Job

For years, I was haunted by a man with a briefcase who followed me everywhere I went. He wore a suit and a hat and he was always popping his head around corners, wondering if I was ready to accept My Real Job. He was kind of creepy and very persistent and, of course, a figment of my imagination. Picture Mr. Slugworth in the Willy Wonka movie from 1971, sneaking around alleys.

He hadn’t always been personified. Before I put a face to him, he was just a concept, a fear that hung around, making me feel really bad about myself, making myself feel doomed, somehow. I think it wasn’t long after I identified him that he finally gave up. I might have told him to get lost or maybe he just ceased to have power over me – but he hasn’t troubled me in a good long while now.

I tell you about him now because I’d told a fellow artist about My Real Job at one point and it seemed a useful and resonant concept for them, too. When you know who you’re haunted by, you can deal with it a little more clearly.

In choosing to make a life in the arts, it’s rare that even the most committed artist knows, for sure, that they’re making the right call. No one recommends going into the arts in this country (except Kurt Vonnegut, bless him) and it is not a choice that is likely to yield big rewards. It is nearly impossible to avoid questioning one’s choices over and over again – especially when you’re not receiving a lot of reinforcement from the world around you.

My Real Job was waiting for me to give up. He was patiently following me everywhere I went, hoping I would fail enough to finally surrender and accept him. Before I was conscious of him, I was plagued by him.

What’s funny is that I don’t know WHAT that real job was – and he surely didn’t either. I think it was in an office somewhere? Maybe?

But the day I really looked at him, the day I examined this belief that giving up and surrendering to him was inevitable, I think that’s the day he started to lose his power. I had some support for that process, as I recall. My therapist asked if I was ever going to take that “real job” and I said NO, with a great deal of force. Not a chance. He could follow me around the rest of my life, laugh at my struggles and all my artistic plans that failed to ignite, sniff at my losses, sneer at my finances. He could do his worst and I would never ever take his job. There was nothing he could do that would make me take his job. It was liberating to say so.

I would love to tell you that getting that clear about all this was the magic spell that cleared the way for mountains of success and good fortune. It didn’t. It didn’t change any of the practical details of my life. It wasn’t an enchantment that I broke. The struggle was intense before and it remained intense after. What vanquishing My Real Job did do, though, was give me a kind of peace about my choices. Even when things have gone badly, when there’s been little to hope for, when I’m up against the wall with how my life is going, I never even look over my shoulder anymore. If My Real Job is there, I don’t see him or pay him any mind. I’m never going to take that job. Not ever. I’m guessing he gave up and started following someone else. If it was you, I’m sorry. But take a good look at him and ask yourself if you’re ever going to take his real job. If the answer’s no, he might just leave you alone, too.

Look at all the money Charlie would get at his Real Job. Maybe he should take it.

Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (1637635a) Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, Gunter Meisner, Peter Ostrum Film and Television

This post was brought to you by my patrons on Patreon.

They also bring you the podcast version of the blog.

It’s also called Songs for the Struggling Artist 

You can find the podcast on iTunesStitcherSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-1-33-28-am

Every podcast features a song at the end. Some of those songs are on Spotifymy websiteReverbNation, Deezer and iTunes

*

Want to help me keep My Real Job off my back? Like, for real?

Become my patron on Patreon.

Click HERE to Check out my Patreon Page

*

If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist

Or buy me a “coffee” (or several!) on Kofi – ko-fi.com/emilyrainbowdavis



Do People Really Have an Aversion to Creativity?

The science in it seems sketchy and it’s not clear which people this may be true for – but the New York Times put out this article about how there’s a Creativity Problem and it feels true to me. Obviously, my feelings are not good science but if what this article posits is correct, a lot of people have a subconscious aversion to, or are pretty ambivalent about, creativity. They’ll say they like it, that they want it, that creativity is valuable to them. Then underneath, their subconscious seems to reflect the opposite experience. All the questions about methodology and sample sizes aside, if this is true, it does explain a few things. It explains why people’s stated values are so different than their actual values. It explains why people can say they support the arts while cutting all the arts programs. It explains why here in the States, we have no arts funding to speak of – because even though people say they like creative people and things, they don’t actually.

One of the theories that got floated in the article was that most people really prefer the status quo and art is disruptive. That is, it’s especially disruptive if it is innovative or creative. That is, if it’s more than just decorative, it’s probably shaking things up. Maybe that’s why people associated creativity with a word like vomit. Vomit is also very disruptive. Maybe people’s subconsciouses were going super deep when they went this way. It’s not that they don’t LIKE art, they’re just making word association visceral metaphors. (Says the artist who likes to make metaphors.)

The article suggested that even when companies declared that they valued creativity in their staff, in truth, they tended to revert to the status quo when hiring because middle managers don’t like novelty. This is not a surprise to me. I know ARTS middle managers who don’t like novelty or innovation and they’re theoretically IN creative fields. I guess we live in a world of middle managers, even in the arts.

This difference in people’s stated values feels true to me because while some people are charmed by my creative life choices when they meet me at parties, there is often a kind of underlying hostility about it that I’ve never been able to understand. I thought it was a kind of jealousy, like, everyone really wants to be as creative as they were when they were children and so it gets expressed as resentment to adults – but it may be this disgust, I suppose, this association with vomit or other negative words. It may be a subconscious resistance to status quo disruptors.

I’ve seen people get really mean in on-line discussions of artist housing that I’ve seen. They call us freeloaders who should get no special treatment and tell artists to get “real jobs.” There are some people who’d just rather we didn’t create. I guess there are more of those than I realized. That’s kind of a bummer.

I suppose I understand. Maybe my subconscious hates my creativity, too! (I doubt it. I’m a pretty clear outlier in these things.) Creativity is messy. You can theoretically want your kids to be creative, for example, but then, not let them paint without the smock and the drop-cloth and the mop at hand and really it would be easier to just not get into this painting activity. Let’s just watch a video!

You can think music is pretty cool but oh, those drums are so noisy and please stop playing that harmonica and why are we hearing that same phrase over and over?

Art makes a mess. Sometimes you can dress it up and put it on a stage with an orchestra and invite people in fur coats to come and see – but even the most refined work is messy at some point. It is inconvenient. It can bring something back up that you were hoping to never see again.

But, of course, people expressing a kind of ambivalence about creativity as a concept, as a preference doesn’t mean they don’t actually like art, or don’t engage with disruptive work or don’t respond to creativity in performance. They might love it when they see it. Actually. No ambivalence.

I suspect that folks might like art, actually – but just don’t really trust us artists. That’s okay. I really don’t trust middle managers. The feeling is mutual.

What a mess. Maybe better to just sit quietly in a corner running numbers all day. Don’t paint. You might mix up your colors or something.

This post was brought to you by my patrons on Patreon.

They also bring you the podcast version of the blog.

It’s also called Songs for the Struggling Artist 

You can find the podcast on iTunesStitcherSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-1-33-28-am

Every podcast features a song at the end. Some of those songs are on Spotifymy websiteReverbNation, Deezer and iTunes

*

Want to help me fight the aversion folks have for creativity?

Become my patron on Patreon.

Click HERE to Check out my Patreon Page

*

If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist

Or buy me a “coffee” (or several!) on Kofi – ko-fi.com/emilyrainbowdavis



The Macintosh in Tick, Tick…Boom!

In the first couple of minutes of the film, the character of famous theatre writer, Jonathan Larson, introduces us to the year (a pan shot of a Calvin and Hobbes calendar that reveals it is January 1990) and a lot of his stuff. He tells us about his two keyboards, his music collection and his Macintosh computer. My brain did a little record scratch of “Huh?” at this but I had a movie to watch so I watched it, occasionally squinting my eyes at his machine when he’d type a single word on that computer, throughout the film. Then I went to bed. And I started thinking about the Macintosh computer. I thought about how odd it was for a struggling musical theatre writer to own a computer at all in 1990 and how extra odd it would be if he had one that was new like that. I mean, I didn’t know the exact dates, but I knew most people didn’t start really getting these things for another couple of years.

So this computer in his apartment in 1990 could only mean two things. One – Jonathan Larson was also a computer nerd, in addition to being a musical theatre nerd. And in 1990, this was just highly unlikely. Like, it’s like a computer nerd and musical theatre nerd could not have been the same person. They might meet at a party and make out but those two circles of being were probably closed at that time. I knew both of those types of people then and they were not the same. You could find one now, no problem. But in 1990? No way. So – given that this musical theatre nerd was not likely to also be a computer nerd, the only other reason a man who cannot afford to pay his electric bill would have a fancy new computer was that his parents bought it for him. This would mean that his parents had some cash to burn and the other evidence for the privilege his family must have returned to me as I went over some facts I learned from the film. His family lived in White Plains (a wealthy suburb of NYC) and they have a summer place on Rhode Island. This would mean that this composer cannot pay his electric bill, not because he has no access to money but because, very likely, mostly others had taken care of those things for him before. (Again, there is evidence for this in the film when it is suggested that his friend and former roommate, who had only recently moved out, used to take care of these things.) Suddenly a story about a struggling artist becomes the story of a man with a certain amount of privilege, carelessness and entitlement. I have a feeling this is not the myth the filmmakers wanted to make.

Anyway – the next morning I looked up when the Mac Classic came out because the (two second long) shots of it made me think it was like the computer in the 90s I knew best. I wanted to find out how weird a choice it would be for a musical theatre guy to get a Mac and when I saw that the Mac Classic came out in October of 1990, when the movie takes place in January of 1990, well, now I had a THIRD explanation for how Jonathan Larson, a musical theatre writer, had a Macintosh computer in his struggling artist apartment so many months before they came out. He’s a time traveler. He went to the future, not super far, just far enough to pick up one of the first Macs and brought it back to his present moment in January 1990. I’m sure he could have probably done some more useful stuff than picking up a computer a year before other people got them – but that’s like, a whole other movie.

I sort of liked this explanation best, fantasist that I am, but then I looked at the film again to grab a little screen shot of the computer and it turns out the model in the film is NOT the Mac Classic but the earlier, more expensive model, the Macintosh Plus. So at least it’s clear that this character is not a time traveler. (Alas!) But now I know that someone spent $2,599 on this computer in 1990 or before. And that’s almost six grand in today dollars. This becomes an even more unlikely item for a struggling composer to have in his apartment.

What is he using it for? Ain’t no internet on that thing. He’s not emailing his agent from it. He COULD be using FINALE, the music software, which was invented in 1988, but if so, he’s a really early adopter. Like – is a waiter at a diner likely to be using cutting edge software to write his rock musical? In 1990? I’m gonna guess no.

I know what those 90s Macs were like. It’s not a thing you want to write a song on. Not in the early 90s anyway. I can say that as a person who was starting to write songs at about the same time as I got my hands on a Mac. You can check my floppy discs; I didn’t do my songwriting on the Mac.

Based on the screens on the Mac in the film, he’s not using any kind of music software. He’s using that Mac as a word processor. Just like I did at the time. He’s using it to type “Your” and “You’re.” This movie did not need a computer of any kind. Pen and paper would have done the same job.

I’m trying like hell to understand why this Mac is in this movie. Like, was this in Larson’s original show? Did HE want us to know he had a Macintosh in 1990? If so, why? Well, I looked at the script for the 2001 version of this thing (This is the version that’s available to the public. It’s adapted by another playwright.) and there’s no mention of the Macintosh. It’s possible that in earlier editions that the screenwriter had access to, Larson mentioned his computer but I think it’s most likely that the screenwriter made this call. The screenwriter (Steven Levenson, writer of Dear Evan Hanson) was born the same year as the Macintosh, 1984. He has never known a Mac-less world. Perhaps he cannot imagine a world where someone could write a musical without one. So maybe he’s added this Macintosh without realizing. It’s understandable. It’s just a mistake then. That gave me a kind of peace.

I thought I’d hit the bottom of this rabbit hole and just found a mistake but then I happened to see some production research for Larson’s apartment and there is a photo of Larson’s actual desk from the 90s. There IS a computer on that desk. It’s not a Macintosh Plus, though. It’s not even clear that it’s a Mac. But the actual person had a computer. It was not just added by a young contemporary screenwriter who hadn’t done historical research.

Screenshot of the Macintosh Plus which occupied my thoughts more than, perhaps, it should.

Emily, you seem really worked up about this tiny detail in a sweet little movie about a fellow struggling artist theatre guy. What’s your problem? Are you trying to get a job as an historian for films or something?

Meanwhile, I know there are several among you who would like to know my thoughts about this film. I would like to know my thoughts about this film but all I can focus on is that Macintosh and why they thought they needed it. Did Lin Manuel Miranda get a Mac as a young theatre dude and he wrote his stuff on it, so it’s like, meaningful for him in tying his own legacy to the legacy of Jonathan Larson? I’m making stuff up here because that little Mac is just sitting in the middle of this whole experience for me.

Did this movie give me some feelings I might be just funneling into this silly prop and I’m making a big deal of nothing? Possibly. Maybe I’m just reeling from some nostalgia for the period? Could be. But I also think that details like this ARE important because of all the side stories they tell that we, as storytellers, might not be aware that we are telling. Others might have seen a loving tribute of a bio pic musical. I saw a confusing movie about a Macintosh.

Oh why do I care about this? I guess I know something about being a struggling theatre artist. I’ve done it a long ass time. The lesson he learns in the movie is that he should write what he knows and the stuff he knows, I know, too. Having watched the rise and fall of many struggling theatre artists, my eye is pretty finely focused for spotting the secret advantage someone has. The reality is that this guy is not doing nearly as badly as this movie would like us to believe. Sure, he forgets to pay his electric bill but he clearly has a financial safety net, he has the phone numbers for fancy famous people and they take his calls. He has an agent, two keyboards, a mixer, a microphone and, I’m sure you haven’t forgotten, a Macintosh computer. The actual person has, at the point that this play takes place, won an extremely prestigious award, though the film NEVER mentions it. For a 29 year old, he’s actually doing amazing. Like, really super well. The film wants to make us think it’s a super sad struggling difficult life and from this struggling artist’s perspective, his “terrible life” is actually as good as it gets for some folks. To see a film romanticizing the struggle, made by a bunch of guys who are multi-millionaires, is just a little hard to swallow when their vision of the hard life is way better than my actual life.

I mean, sure, I currently have a Macintosh computer, too. It’s nicer than any computer Larson ever had his hands on – but that’s because technology gets cheaper and better as time goes by. A Macintosh in 2022 means something very different than it did in 1990.

We now live in a world where a computer is a necessity to do most any job but particularly any job in freelancing arts. In Larson’s time, it was still a rarity. You might find one in a family’s house, with parents trying to give their kids a leg up in the coming computer age. But struggling artists would mostly have had other priorities then.

I’m still confused by the discrepancy in the computer from the research photo and the set they came up with. I watched a video interview with the set design team and I gotta tell you, these folks cared about the details. They got the sag in the bookshelf. They searched for just the right model of Yamaha keyboard. Why would the computer be any different? I mean – these people got their hands on Larson’s cassette tapes and they didn’t put the actual tapes on the set, no, they scanned the covers so they wouldn’t lose, or damage, his originals. They cared about getting his exact copy of Led Zeppelin IV.

And maybe this is part of what gets under my skin about all this. Like, we all had that Led Zeppelin tape in 1990. I’m pretty sure I still have mine in a box in my mom’s house somewhere. To watch a dude, who is basically like a lot of people I know, get canonized like this is super disconcerting. I have known many musical theatre writers more skilled than this guy who will never have their tapes lovingly scanned by a set decoration team. Nor would they like to, really – they’d just like to have gotten even a hint of some of the opportunities that Larson got, or to have started out with some of his privileges. Obviously, this Macintosh in the movie is standing in for more than just a computer. I know it. You know it. But I really do want to know what it’s doing there.

I was sent the booklet with this page in it. Little did I know, this piece about the production design would lead me further down the Mac rabbit hole. I mean, look at that research photo. If it’s a Mac, it’s one of the few models that didn’t look like a Mac.

This post was brought to you by my patrons on Patreon.

They also bring you the podcast version of the blog.

It’s also called Songs for the Struggling Artist 

You can find the podcast on iTunesStitcherSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-1-33-28-am

Every podcast features a song at the end. Some of those songs are on Spotifymy websiteReverbNation, Deezer and iTunes

*

Want to help me write more 90s rants?

Become my patron on Patreon.

Click HERE to Check out my Patreon Page

*

If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist

Or buy me a “coffee” (or several!) on Kofi – ko-fi.com/emilyrainbowdavis



Inspiration Obstacles

Ladies and Gentlemen, Whales and Snails, Lobsters and Crabs, Crayfish and Crawlers: I have something of a reputation for keeping going in the face of difficulty. I am a self-proclaimed shark and I swim ever forward. I hold space for people who once stood where I stand and need me to keep going as a sort of beacon. That is a responsibility I take very seriously and I hold that beacon high, my squids and octopi. But I have to confess to you that my arm has gotten very tired of holding that beacon up and I’ve been falling down on the job a lot this last year.

When the pandemic hit, I knew exactly what to do. I went into creative overdrive and I made something happen. I’m good in a crisis. I get creative in a crisis. I started my theatre company in a crisis. I recorded a bunch of albums in a crisis. My band’s album came out the day after a crisis, so really still in crisis. Last year, I made an audio drama in a crisis.

But I gotta tell you, my crisis muscles are exhausted. This crisis has gone on too long and for the bulk of 2021, I went to the inspiration well every day and if I came back with an eyedropper’s worth of inspiration, I counted myself lucky. I don’t got it, my oysters. I don’t got it. I don’t got it and I don’t know how to get it back.

I read a thing on Facebook that I haven’t been able to find again because I didn’t interact with it because I was mad at how exactly the algorithm knew where I was and I didn’t want it to know it was right. It was a thing about grief and how things can start to seem flat and pointless and it’s hard to get excited about anything so one should just follow anything with any hint of a spark whatsoever. And I wish this were just true from the last few months after my brother’s death but I think I was grieving even before I was grieving. My city (not to mention my field) has been gutted by the pandemic. Small businesses and even slightly bigger corporate ones have all disappeared. The map of the places I used to go is now a map of what used to be there. The world has narrowed so painfully and as winter hits it narrows even more. One of my favorite activities used to be turning up in a neighborhood and wandering around until I found a coffee shop to go write in. I can’t do that anymore.  It’s not just that most of my favorites have closed; it’s also that I might never find one with conditions that feel safe to write in. 2021 has almost been worse than 2020 because things seem like they’re a little normal but are really still not and very few are acknowledging what has come before even as they catapult into a faltering future. Anyway – all that to say that I think I was grieving even before I was actually grieving.

Folks keep asking me what I’m working on and I don’t have a good answer. That (possible) new audio drama I’ve been writing during my writing practice this last year might turn out to be something but I’m not, like, any more confident in it than I am in the cup of coffee I make every day. I think Season Two of The Dragoning – which I wrote in 2020 – is pretty good but fundraising for Season One was so harrowing  – I had not been able to imagine going through that process again until just a couple of weeks ago. Honestly, one of the things that got me over the hump was somebody on Reddit asking the podcast group at what point they thought a podcast that they listened to was dead. (We’re “not dead yet!”)

To get something to production, I have to believe in something so hard that I will fight through the agony of fundraising and organizing to get there. I have to be buoyed up by my own faith and hope and inspiration to put myself through it and I haven’t had access to that in a long time. I suspect that it’s probably since I put out Season One without paying myself. It seems like it might be important to find the money to do that – as it has held up quite a lot, just energetically, just, inspiration wise. Which, let’s face it, is pretty much my only currency. Sometimes you have to pay one currency with another. But this is not my only block.

There are a lot of things that can block inspiration. It is a little like a body of water, in that inspiration’s natural inclination is to flow. The bigger the body of water, the more difficult it is to dam. But when you’re getting by with a tiny stream, a couple of fallen trees can jam up the whole works. Sometimes it seems like the logs are the block and then you realize there’s a boulder further downstream or maybe some beavers have gotten busy with some reeds.

The only thing for it is to set about removing whatever obstacles you can find – whether they’re the real stoppage or not. However you can get the flow going, even if it’s only a trickle, is good.

This post, I think, might be one of those logs in my inspiration stream. I started it at least a month ago. I wasn’t going to publish it. I just felt like I had enough of these “struggling with inspiration” posts this year. But then I came up dry for future blogs. “Why do I have nothing.” I wondered. And I thought – hey maybe it’s that post about inspiration that’s clogging up the pipeline. Maybe it isn’t. I don’t know. All I can do is clear the pipeline. Or the stream. Or whichever water metaphor is right for this situation. And then hope the water starts flowing again soon. I know this is my dry season generally but that doesn’t make it all that much easier to be thirsty.

I would love if my obstacles were this clear. I’d go in there, apologize to the beavers, of course, but then start hauling branches to get that inspiration flowing.

This post was brought to you by my patrons on Patreon.

They also bring you the podcast version of the blog.

It’s also called Songs for the Struggling Artist 

You can find the podcast on iTunesStitcherSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-1-33-28-am

Every podcast features a song at the end. Some of those songs are on Spotifymy websiteReverbNation, Deezer and iTunes

*

Want to help me clear some obstacles?

Become my patron on Patreon.

Click HERE to Check out my Patreon Page

*

If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist

Or buy me a coffee on Kofi – ko-fi.com/emilyrainbowdavis



Maybe I Should Go into Business

Creativity is incredibly important to me. That’s why I read Jonah Lehrer’s book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, even though he’s been disgraced for being a little too “creative” with his Bob Dylan quotes.

Before he got himself disgraced, he made all the podcast rounds so not much of the book was a particular surprise to me. I’ve heard the story of the invention of the Swiffer. I know all about Pixar’s architecture. I am familiar with 3M’s post-it note development. However, the cumulative effect of reading the whole book made me feel like the people who really care about creativity are in business, not the arts. Businesses like 3M, Pixar and Wieden+Kennedy are in the business of innovating, so they do the studies. They run the experiments. They actually value creativity, it would seem.

What strikes me the hardest about this is how arts organizations are NOT particularly interested in creativity and innovation. Arts organizations do not run experiments to see what will make its makers most creative. They’re not working hard to innovate. They out their hardest work into seeming stable, secure, unshakeable. Theatres, museums and such are some of the most conservative of businesses.

It’s a real drag. And ironic that it is the creative arts where creativity is so taken for granted, so devalued, so bottom of the pile of priorities, as to be almost never talked about. Creativity is not a big value in the creative arts.

This is why I’m thinking of getting into Business. Not any business. I know MOST businesses don’t have the interest in innovation that places like 3M or Google do but I am ready to sign up for a businessy day job with benefits if I could be valued for my creativity. Maybe it would be great to bring my outsider creative brain to the task of inventing new kinds of tape or a crazy new mop or whatever. I’d love to try and solve some kind of business problem with my theatre brain. I’m tired of trying to solve theatre problems with my theatre brain. No one wants those things solved. I will go where I’m wanted!

The thing is, as much as outsider perspectives do stimulate creativity (the way the computer programmer invented the Bacon-Infused Old Fashioned or the scientists at InnoCentive tackle problems outside their fields for prizes)  it would be extremely unlikely that I would ever be hired at any of these creativity loving businesses, except as a receptionist or something. And I know from experience that no one ever asks the receptionist what they think about a creative problem.

So even though I might be willing to jump over to Business just to be valued for my creativity, it is extremely unlikely that they’d want my particular brand of creativity. Even innovating businesses are suspicious of willful rebellious artists.

We may not talk about creativity in the arts (to our detriment) but creativity is, at least, usually implied. Probably I need to stick with the people who drink the same sort of creativity water. Maybe it’s just so common we don’t need to talk about it. I’d like to stay in the arts, actually, and just experience more creativity and innovation there.

(Also, I discovered after I wrote this piece that I’d read this book before, back in 2012, before Jonah Lehrer’s fall from grace. Hilarious. So memorable! No wonder I recognized so much of the material!)

I did a search for “business” over on Pixabay and this was on the first page of results. Look at this very businessy lady wanting some innovation. I will note that this image was made by an artist named Michal Jarmoluk so it’s not all business over here.

This post was brought to you by my patrons on Patreon.

They also bring you the podcast version of the blog.

It’s also called Songs for the Struggling Artist 

You can find the podcast on iTunesStitcherSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-1-33-28-am

Every podcast features a song at the end. Some of those songs are on Spotifymy websiteReverbNation, Deezer and iTunes

*

Want to help me value my creativity?

Become my patron on Patreon.

Click HERE to Check out my Patreon Page

*

If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist

Or buy me a coffee on Kofi – ko-fi.com/emilyrainbowdavis




%d bloggers like this: