In June 2011, I ventured online with my brand new author website The Cat’s Cradle on Blogspot. In March 2013, I moved my site and all its contents to WordPress. And now, in June 2021, almost ten years to the day since my first entry, The Cat’s Cradle is going on hiatus.
After working in a public library for 10 years, I’m faced with the stark reality that I will have to leave. And soon. I don’t want to uproot myself like this because I am very dedicated to my job that the community I serve. But unless something drastic happens, like a major pay raise or hitting the lottery, I’ll have no choice.
I’ve been fortunate. By living with my family, I’ve been able to live on a wage below what I would need to survive on my own for several years. But my brothers are starting to seek out new opportunities elsewhere, and I do not have the physical or financial capability to take care of our house by myself. Soon we’ll have to sell it and I will have to find a new place. Renting an apartment is out; not only are they ridiculously expensive, but there is no place that will allow me to have five cats. Buying a house is a remote possibility, but the places that are the right size to me tend to be in the 1950s-style, and those are so old that they would require maintenance that I have not the time, knowledge, or money to complete.
What I hope to do is purchase a small piece of land (1-2 acres) and build a small house on it (around 1200 square feet). It doesn’t seem like much, and yet I don’t know if I’ll be able to realize that dream, or maintain it if I do somehow scrape up enough pennies for it. I don’t plan on ever having a significant other who could help with bills, and my introverted nature makes a roommate an intolerable proposition. But when you try to get a credit card approved to try to build credit so you’ll be ready to take out a loan but are denied because you make too little… getting to that point is a major problem. And when you are constantly battling yourself because of depression, obesity, and a deep sense of self-loathing because you haven’t done anything creative in two years… well, it’s even harder.
Some days I’ve hopeful, doing research on building options to see how much money I need, laying out blueprints and designs for what I want. Other days I am nearly crippled with the overwhelming sense that all of this is hopeless and I’ll never be able to finance this, not without utterly sacrificing my mental and physical well-being (not to mention any notion of free time) by taking on two or three jobs.
On top of all of this, I haven’t been writing. I just feel utterly exhausted by everything and yet simultaneously feel like I have no right to feel that way. I’m not special. People change jobs all the time. There’s no reason why my life would be any different, that I wouldn’t have to struggle to make ends meet like so many other Americans, that I’d be earning below the living wage for my state in a field that is considered essential to the average person but is always first on the chopping block when it comes to budget cuts.
Sorry this is such a downer, but I haven’t felt very optimistic lately. Things might turn around unexpectedly, but the current trajectory is not encouraging.
Just a reminder that The Cat’s Cradle will be going on hiatus soon! June 28, 2021 will be my last entry for a while, and I’ll lay out what to expect going forward there. See you in 2 weeks.
Plenty of genres will remain relevant in the future:
Horror, because we still like to be scared. Fantasy, because magic retains its fascination since it can’t materialize in the real world. Romance, because we still love, long for, and lose. Humor, because we need to laugh. Historical Fiction, because we want to experience other times and places.
But what about Science Fiction? During its Golden Age, this genre presented the perfect opportunity to extrapolate on emerging technologies and speculate where they might take us in the future. Some of those postulated futures turned out to be eerily prescient. But now we live in an age where automated cars and soft AI are becoming reality. Where we carry powerful miniature computers in our pockets that connect us to virtually any person on the planet. Where 3-D printers create entire houses in a matter of days and drones deliver packages directly to your home. Everything keeps getting (or seems to be getting) faster, sleeker, and more efficient, changing the social and economic landscape at an astonishing rate.