thinging the unclickable, thinking the unthinkable.

{public post – official thing, retroactively charging for this post from yesterday}

good morning, loves.

greetings from the top of the hill in havelock north, aoteroa, where i’ve clambered up a path to sit down and try to keep making sense of things.

luckily this was my “day off” – neil and i have been trying to safeguard an entire day of mental health and art/work/creativity/baths for the other just so we don’t go absolutely batshit.

wednesday was his off day. this day is mine. and – don’t ask – the air bnb we are renting came with a small cave with a table in it. (!?)

i am not kidding. there’s a little cave. i’m in it.


there’s no electricity, but with the miracle of the personal hotspot, i can come up here and load photos and muse and write and do whatever it is that amanda palmer is supposed to do.

what IS amanda palmer supposed to do? this is the thing. i think i’m getting closer to knowing.

first of all: i am taking all your blessings and thinging the post from yesterday. you cannot retroactively charge for a post, so i’m charging for this one.

i went in a spruced up the post, fixed the typos, and am considering, for the first time in my life, writing with capitals, just so people take me more seriously. it’s like…if i’m going to actually Get Paid to be a writer, shouldn’t i capitalize? then again, i feel like i’ve just answered my own question. fuck it. maybe not. if anyone cares, you let me know.

i never feel like a writer.

part of it is, i think, being in such close proximity to a “professional writer” (that’d be neil gaiman) that i am used to defining myself as a musician. i am the musician. he is the writer. (i am the musician). (he is the writer).

i sometimes forget that i even wrote a book, and how fucking hard it was to write, and that it was a best-seller. i FORGET. i’m a musician: this is how i define myself. even with all my prattling on about how patreon is for “every thing”, there is something about charging for writing that i just haven’t been able to come to terms with.

this is funny because….i wrote a fucking book about this.

i wrote a whole goddamned book about how artists must not be afraid to ask for what they deserve in exchange for their time, creative energy, and offering-to-the-world.

and here i am, still not quite able to do it.


i think that changes, now. especially with what’s going on with covid.

i will not lie to you: i am having a hard time. today, especially.

it’s anthony’s birthday.

anthony was my best friend.

he died almost 5 years ago.

he died about two months before ash was born.

i wrote about it here.

i remember all that. being pregnant, watching him die.


i feel very, very, very alone.

i miss him, i miss the warmth of his company, i miss his laugh, i miss his steadiness. i miss my friends at home.

i am homesick at a guttural level. not just for new york, not just for my old way of life, but for something deeper that i cannot explain.

your comments helped explain it.

writing that post yesterday helped explain it.

i’m connection-sick.

and i’m sick for ash, i’m sick by proxy.

i can feel his discomfort growing by the day. or am i imagining that?

last night he threw an epic temper tantrum, and the screams really do feel real.

he’s upset. wouldn’t you be?

he hasn’t played with or touched another child in three weeks.

when we went for a walk the other day, we passed a child in a stroller and ash tugged my sleeve and said 

“look, mama! look! mama!!! A KID!!!!”

i wanted to cry.

i cannot explain any of this to him in a way that makes sense to him.


here he is, playing in the graveyard.

he picked out his favorite grave, the one that is going to be his grave.

it’s this white one. he also picked out a grave for mama, dada, and our friends kya and her children. he was disappointed when we all didn’t want to lie down on the ground and be dead with him




he wants to be a zombie.

his friends.

the dead.


i am so grateful to all the parents out there who told me that its normal for a kid to be saying constantly that he wants to die, or that he wants YOU to die.

it’s nice. it’s unlonelying.


it’s okay.

it’s all okay.

i miss anthony so much today.

i don’t want to think the unthinkable.

i know he doesn’t want to die.

i know he didn’t want to die.

i know he doesn’t want us to die.

he’s been saying it less and less.

ash, that is.

anthony, that is.


for the record, by the way, xanthea’s cat alice didn’t die.

i think i’ll go amend that in the main post.

it’s nice that its a living, breathing post. writing isn’t what it has to be.

alice the cat was badly roughed up by another animal is now lying in a crate in perth, hanging in there, like we all are, confined to her tiny space and trying to stay alive. having xanthea here as part of the household has felt really important. it’s funny how fast and strange things are, how quickly someone can turn into a family member, how quick we are to trust one another. we’ve been doing yoga almost every morning and without her, i don’t think i’d be practicing, i don’t think i’d be able to motivate and unroll the mat. but with her by my side to practice with, i have a reason.

this is such fundamental human stuff….we need people. we do.

we are social animals.

when i think of those of you in new york, my heart bends in unusual ways. i’m so fucking lucky here in new zealand with this wide sky and places to run and walk and roll around on the grass with ash.

still, i am lonely.

even introverts need people. maybe not as much, and maybe at a safer distance, but none of us really want to live in a full vacuum. we are not built that way.

michael and hayley just texted to tell me that the news from new york is hitting them hard: another thirty days in lockdown.

i heard it in hayley’s voice: the exhausted helplessness of this moment stretching out like an old rubber band. she’s all alone in her tiny apartment, trying not to leave for any reasons but the excruciating essentials. i wish i could help her more. i am glad she can keep her job. i don’t want to make the staff work too hard now. i’ll talk about that in the althing, which is coming.

i texted michael. he’s feeling obliterated, too.

everyone in my orbit is sad.

it all leaves me feeling not so much like making music, which is hard to do in a house full of people, but writing.

it all makes me feel like writing a lot.

so…..i think i am going to write more.

with you, for you, and among you. within you.

this is what i like about the patreon.

i am not writing to make a profit.

i am writing to make a living.

i am not writing for a publisher.

i am not writing to make a book.

i am not writing for praise.

i am writing for … people.

i am writing for people to feel less lonely.

yes, that’s it, i think. i am trying to be an un-lonely-er.

i am a writer-unlonelyer of 15,000 close strangers.

it feels like a good time to learn how to do this job better.

right now, it feels like the job to do…..yes. i think that’s what amanda palmer is supposed to do right now.



so i will write.


my phone just told me this


i was like




but do i need to capitalize to be a real writer?

can i thing a poem?

length is weird. time is soft. decisions are hard.

some short things take a lot of time, and i could easily write a 20,000 word blog in an afternoon. that’s a third the length of most novels. i write fast.


ee cummings said

“Unbeing dead isn’t being alive.”

i’m not sure he capitalized that.


when i first sat down to write the initial draft of “the art of asking”, i used capitals.

i thought i had to.

i was like: i’m a real writer now, i gotta.

and it was slowing my writing way the fuck down.

and it kept driving me crazy. i had been blogging and writing my feelings and thoughts out for so, so many years that it felt really odd to switch.

the only time i write with capitals is when i’m writing to REALLY fancy professional people (like, lawyers) or really old people who i respect and i don’t want to deny them their ways.

but then i got really hung up and couldn’t write.

so i called my editor and said “this is gonna sound weird, but i think i might have to write my book without capitals.”

and part of my book editing budget was then given to someone who went through and (gulp) capitalized my book for me. there. i’ve told you something i’ve never told you before.

whatever works, works.

i do not want to write the great american novel.

what i do isn’t even quite “blogging”, it’s more than just a personal memoir.

it’s a kind of communal temperature-taking, a cross between writing a reflection, a manifesto and a sunday sermon for art church.

i’m not a self-help writer.

i don’t know what i am, really, or quite what to call what i do.

i listen to people, i listen to the world…and i make things.


there’s the sunset.

i also have very good news:

we are BETA-TESTING the new forum and it’s going GREAT.

we rolled it out to $25+ patrons, are about to roll it out to $5+ patrons (just so we don’t overload the system, and so we can fix little bugs and glitches as we go). more about that in the althing, but keep an eye out for it, it’s going to change everything.

this moment had to happen like this.

all of us, writing.

making the unclickable heart more clickable, more thingable.

this is good. this is good.

i love you all, and am so grateful for this patreon.

i do not know how i would be dealing right now if i did not have it. that’s the truth.

thank you for supporting me…wherever this weird ship is headed.

i’ll try to make it good.

and also, as always, CAP YOUR PLEDGE. if you do that, i never gotta feel guilty about thinging ANYTHING.

okay? k.


afp, unlonelyer writer-at-large.

p.s. one more from my anti-capital(ist)-spirit-poet dad:

“Whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.”
e.e. cummings



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2. see All the Things i’ve made so far on patreon:

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4. new to my music and TOTALLY OVERWHELMED? TAKE A WALK THROUGH AMANDALANDA….we made a basic list of my greatest hits n stuff (at least up until a few years ago, this desperately needs updating) on this lovely page:

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