Today's teacup: violets
Today's tea: Today is a day requiring both blackcurrant tea and salabat, which I made with jasmine green tea. (See below.)
Temperature this morning: 28 degrees
I'm finding myself a little crabby with the NPR story this morning on Louisa May Alcott, which seems a little disingenuous to me in that there's a deal of censure being attached to Alcott's working toward making a living.
Artists, of course, are expected to spend tewnty years learning a craft and art that they will then do just for the love of it. The fact is, yes, most of us will do it just for the love of it.
But we also need to eat.
Alcott grew up in grinding poverty with a fabulously popular but indigent father. The fact that she was concerned with securing a good encome in her adulthood does not make her less of an artist; it makes her an artist like any other.
High-mindedness and a desire for financial stability are not mutually exclusive, you know.
Alcott supported her family and herself with her work. She was an independent woman in an era when that was not common or encouraged. I am not, personally, a big fan of her work (though the ivy story in A Garland for Girls stays with me to this day), but I am a fan of her life.
And I'm pretty sure that the author of Little Women and Hospital Sketches could manage to be both an artist and mercenary at the same time.
Of course, I am a commercial artist myself. If nobody wants to read my books, I don't eat. Fortunately, I do consider accessibility an artistic value (one that I am not particularly good at, but it's nice to have goals) and I don't consider it a value that necessarily lies in opposition to depth of meanng or nuance or ambiguity. The hard trick, of course, is balancing it all. Layers; this is what layers are for.
leahbobet has been talking a bunch about Dashiell Hammett lately; I also offer Dennis Lehane as an example. (Mystery has figured out how to do this well; I imagine SFF can pull it off too.)
Both of them, I am pretty sure, earn(ed) a living.
Today I must work on The Secret Project With kylecassidy (also featureing trillian_stars) and The White City. I think part of the problem I am having with The White City is that it is at its heart a very bleak little book, and it ends with a noble sacrifice and a cold wind blowing--and I am a little scared of writing that, because it's so sad. Also, there's the simple logistics of Our Heroes solving the mystery. Which is apparently trickier than it might seem.
Well, blogging doesn't get the writing done. Off we go, avoidant-lass