rarasaur maintenance

patrons and pennings

I walked into his bedroom and was unsure where to sit.  There were no chairs, and there was a few large stacks of paper piled along the edge of the bed.

“Let me move those,” he said, gathering the piles, “It’s just a book I’m working on.”

“Which pile?” I asked, curiously, handing the last stack to him, estimating the page count.

“All of them,” he explained. “It’s a novel.”

I stared at the little letters all over the page, in awe.

Dave wrote his novels by hand.  In the typing process, he’d do the first round of edits.   Eventually, all his ideas became books.

In the time we were together, he penned 200 short stories, 3 novellas, 4 full-length novels, 400 blog posts, and over 500 jailhouse letters to me.


I still have some of his favorite pens because we always had hundreds of them.  We tucked them in suitcases and shirt pockets– just in case, just in case.  Dave was always writing, penning things in the very literal sense of the word.

And, of course, so was I, but I only needed the one pen because I never wrote in the quantity that Dave wrote.  Though I regularly jotted down diary entries, emails to friends, and little anecdotal re-tellings, mostly I typed everything I needed to say– and everything I ever needed to say fell between 500 and 1300 words.

In other words, I was a blogger long before I ever had a blog.

A couple days ago, I made some big changes to my life-long system– I started writing my daily journal directly into a blog.


For a blog post. #secretBlog #journal #Patreon #patreonreward #rarasaur #rawrLove #raavis

A post shared by My name is Ra. (@rawra.avis) on


It’s been two days and I haven’t touched my pen.  It is a strange feeling, and when I pass my jar of Dave’s pens– pens I’d never use myself because I don’t like the way ink flows faster than my thoughts– I am hit with waves of nostalgia.

The daily journal blog was a creation of mine for Patreon, because it was suggested that people who enjoy this content would enjoy the recycled, unfinished content that leads to this content.

Patreon, if you don’t know, is a site that specializes in fund-building for creators.  It is not like Kickstarter, where you put in money for a specific project.  Instead, you become a patron of the arts– pledging a certain dollar amount per month.  Optionally, creators may choose to show gratitude with gifts they call rewards.

In my case, I set up Patreon with three patron levels.  $1 a month, $3 a month, and $42 dollars a month.  If you go over there, you can see why I picked the numbers and what rewards I intend to offer at each level.


Putting together a Patreon page was probably the most productive, truthful think-session I’ve ever had for Rarasaur blog.   I felt rewarded just setting it up because it made me sit down and think about what it costs me to create, and thus– what I would like to generate from my creations.  You can read about that over there, too.

After establishing the page, I sort of intended to never post the link, but then several things happened all at once.

  1. I made a coloring sheet for the Thank You page and wanted to share it, so I posted a portion of it on Instagram with questions about Patreon and artistic worth.  I got a lot of response on Instagram and Facebook, and I thought about each comment a lot.
  2. I decided I would make Sack Nasty available for pre-order by the 21st of June.  I also decided that if someone did the $42 a month plan, then they should definitely get a free copy and I didn’t want them to double give just because I presented options in a bad order.
  3. Bradley shared the link in a post (https://greenembe.rs/2016/06/17/) after realizing I wasn’t brave enough yet to do it on my own. I just clicked over to get the full link to the post and realized he put it on his sidebar, too.  If you haven’t listened to my audcast about #humbled, this would be a good moment.



And so here I am, posting the link, and thinking about patrons and pens.


It’s a new world, you know.  Not everything needs to be written by hand, but I don’t think I’d have ever convinced Dave of that.

He’s not here anymore, though.

It’s a new world.



One additional thought on money here: I know that many of us are in the same position as myself right now, and simply unable to give as much as we want.  To that end, please know that I intend to use the proceeds of Sack Nasty to get copies of the book to those of you who are long-term supporters but can simply not afford it.  I also will be donating to the Women’s Prison Book Project, but since I have no idea what I’ll actually sell, I’ll just have to play it by ear.  You know I’ll tell y’all what’s happening, every step of the way.

If you’d like to support in other ways– don’t forget to add your voice to my Thunderclap.  You can do that by going here:


This started as a response to the Daily Post’s Analog challenge.  But I got a little distracted along the way.  https://dailypost.wordpress.com/discover-challenges/analog/

Do you write by hand still? Do you keep a daily journal? Do you use Patreon for youself or for artists you sponsor? What is your biggest creative goal right now?


    1. Nooo, don’t throw them. I love Dave’s journals. They’re so precious to me.

      Besides, you’ll need the content for your future book, right? I mean, if I can, you definitely can. ❤

      Liked by 3 people

        1. That’s nice for you to say. They would hardly make me famous or rich. Besides, as a nobody, I have intense anxiety taking out the trash or even getting my mail during the day. It would be worse should I become known. Thank you SB. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I am the same way with the mail. Even if your journals might not make you famous or rich, your posterity will be glad to have that small part of you that they can touch and feel. You are important. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  1. Funny you ask what is your biggest creative goal right now, cause I’m feeling a little lost today – or, for the last week or two, or year… The thing with creativity is that eventually you want to share it, and when the need to share out weighs the need to create then what is it about any more. Just ego? So, I’m kind of just in that- what am I really doing mode lately… shoot, am I bringing you down. I’m bringing me down right now.
    Separately, I finally figured out Facebook Live but it says my signal is not strong enough. I downgraded my data recently to 2G so that I couldn’t keep wasting money watching basketball highlights… Probably for the best, as most of my friends are not bloggers and they’d be thinking I really jumped off the deep end.
    I don’t like to write, I prefer computer as I like to edit as I go and sort it together and puzzle it out and it’s just so much cleaner on computer. Everyone laughs at me seeing me carrying my computer everywhere when they all know I’m a cook.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re not bringing me down at all. This is all good conversation. And it’s nothing I don’t wrestle with all the time, too. Even just blogging on a public platform is somewhat tinged in ego. But I think our creative output is shaped by the viewer, like everything in the universe. Sound is only sound when someone is there to hear it– and what a sound is to one group of people, or one person, is different to the next.

      And no worries on Facebook Live– I have a lot of fun with it, but I don’t expect everyone to do their own all the time, too. 🙂

      I like the idea that you carry around your computer– there’s nothing in the world rule book that says you can’t be a cook and a blogger. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Except for bogging, I prefer to do my writing with pen and ink. Typing it is also my first edit. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one that still does it that way.

    Pens… I love them. I can have 20 of them in my purse and still feel like I don’t have enough.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m not too picky . I like colored ink… gel not so much because it smears easily. I like those ultra fine point felt tip ones. Pilot pens. Chunky ones are easier to write with. But I’ll also take those freebie BIC ink poems from hotels. I’m not picky .

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So, this audcast thing, do you do that somewhere regularly? I just listened to that and it made me cry. I agree with you 100%! I feel the writer you were responding to doesn’t understand the difference between being humbled and feeling humbled. Really loved your response. This post made me tear up too your description of the journals and pens. And oh my gosh, I love the term patrondactyl you have in your sidebar. Oh and I found the audcast link thingy. Cool.

    To answer your questions, no I don’t write by hand. The journal thing, I’ve never gotten the hang of it. I’m gonna skip to the end, I might just be starting my next big creative endeavor. I can’t stop thinking about the idea of Collectible Blogger Cards. I told the idea to my sister and we were also discussing authors and ebooks. The one thing about ebooks, is there isn’t a place to get author signatures. My sister mentioned I could extend my card idea to authors and then on the back have a place where people could get signatures. So now I am thinking, oh hey that could be extended to the blogger idea too! Of course someone will probably come along and read this and steal my idea… but you know… I am okay with that. Sometimes having the idea is enough for me. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have a little black book that I carry around in my handbag. I’ve already purchased my next one, which is a little pink one. Sometimes I don’t really have time for typing things. I mostly use it to jot down bullet points of thoughts or if I need to remember something. Kind of like a diary without the dates – because I don’t want to be limited to just one page nor do I jot down things every day.

    I then have a A4 manuscript book which I use for a diary when I want to write more than just a little and am at home to do so. I also have a book for each of my books in progress, one which I’ve shelved for the time being. While the computer program I use for novel writing is sufficient in that it allows you to make notes and write back stories and stuff, I prefer do this by hand. I’m an artist after all. I like seeing things on page.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I most definitely Write by hand still! I do all of journaling by hand and have more journals than I can count! 😄 In the past year I’ve trashed each journal I’ve started (at least three…) but I’ve recently started counseling so I decided to make a conscious effort to journal truthfully so I can share it with my new therapist. Hopefully it will be beneficial… This was a really great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love to write by hand, and I have my favorite pens that I hoard. :). This comment answers two questions at once. My biggest creative goal is currently to keep a daily art journal.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Everyone has their own thing that they do. I do all my writing on the same machine in Word. Notes and things get kept in a companion Excel sheet. However, I met a woman during last year’s NaNoWriMo that did writing by hand, and she had a plot synopsis for a novel written out on a single sheet of paper. It was filled with notations that only she could decipher, and I was truly amazed at the level of complexity she dedicated to it.

    Also, she was a writing teacher at a local high school before she retired.

    I’m happy you’re doing Patreon and publishing and stuff. Go git ’em!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t write much by hand anymore as I have arthritis. I used to keep journals all the time when I was younger, sadly they all got destroyed.
    My next big goal is to write and publish my third book. I do all my writing in word but keep details and a rough outline in a notebook on each book. My notes aren’t in shorthand but they are kind of scattered but I understand them. 😉
    Good luck with the Patreon thing. I know Amanda Palmer uses it (I follow her on facebook and she’s married to Neil Gaiman). I know you will be a success. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I work at a software development company and am on the laptop ALL DAY long, but all my work notes are handwritten in a notebook. I’ve got stacks and stacks of them dating back to 2001, each one individually dated at the front of it with the start date of the first page and the end date on the last page. And I can’t tell you how often I reference those when someone says “Hey, do you remember that project back in March (or June or September) of 20xxx? The client is having an issue with the software and they were wondering how xxxx works.” And I’d consult my handy notebooks and usually come up with the answer based on my notes. 🙂 I wish you the best of luck with Patreon. xo

    Liked by 2 people

  10. RaRa,

    Cool to hear you are swooping into an appreciation zone…I’ve never heard of Patreon, but I’m glad it’s around for people like you who put so much work into their site. I’ll check it out. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  11. I only write by hand when I can’t use my computer because everything I write by hand takes twice as long to read when I go back to look at it because of my terrible handwriting. And it’s so hard to make yourself understoon when the paper doesn’t underline things in red!

    (*psst* Good work on the whole patron thing, I’m super excited I can call myself a patrondactyl now!)

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’m a sticky noter. If I have ideas I want to keep, put them on a sticky note. This means that planning units of work for my students looks like posters with sticky notes. My work desk….sticky notes. However very few sticky notes at home.

    Biggest creative goal: Hmmm. Life and work have been inspiring, but have not led to a lot of writing this year. One thing that has helped is getting back into running/walking. The fresh air and movement of legs jars something loose in my brain. There is something about that commute in the woods that allows me to write in my head and spit it all out when I get home. Then again, I need to make the time when I get home to write it down. I’m trying to post at least once a month, but would like to get up to twice a month again.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I hardly ever write by hand these days except to make to-do lists and notes at work. When I write my hand aches and my writing is a mess unless I really take my time. I’ve never really got into journalling. My blog started as a kind of journal way back in 2005 but i’ve (hopefully) now deleted all that guff out – starting afresh from last October/November.

    I’ve been bought lots of pretty journals over the years but I either never write in them or when I do I can never decide if I want to use them for ideas or thoughts or as a scrapbook. When I use them for ideas I very quickly get frustrated at my lack of order and neatness. I don’t like crossing things out as it feels like i’ve wasted space, if that makes sense? I like plain ones so I can doodle, but then I also like lined ones so my writing is neater. It never works out.

    In terms of pens, I like Pilot pens because they’re chunky and the ink flows well. I don’t like fountain pens as I just get the ink all over my fingers every. single. time. But most days at work a good old BIC pen will do. I’m creative a little with my lists as I use different coloured pens, highlighters and little symbols to categorise things.

    My next big creative project? I want to create a game to prove to myself that I actually can finish a game. I have ideas: some grand and completely unrealistic, and others nice and small (Keep It Simple Stupid) but don’t hold your breath. After the initial excitement about an idea they usually fizzle out, or I get sidetracked experimenting with different software, or I keep waiting for the right time to get started that it never comes. I look at all these #onegameamonth and other game jams to spur me into action but.. still just looking.

    I’m really happy to see you on Patreon 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I have horrible handwriting and tend to misspell/write backwards if I go too quickly (though I can spell just fine and don’t have dyslexia), so typing is better for me with keeping up with the words as they leave my brain. That said, whoever mentioned above that they are a sticky note type of person is right on…that and checklists in general, so I can break out the skinny Crayola markers for those 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I used to write by hand all the time. A lot. I used to journal everyday for years, but that was because a church I used to belong to told me to. I finally got out of the church(/cult) and my journaling stopped. Doing it because you have to and not because you want to kind of ruins a thing for you. Before that I used to handwrite notes, lots and lots of notes, to pass during school. Of course, this was before texting was a thing. I also used to write out the lyrics to my favorite songs by hand. I have a lot of favorite songs. This was also before googling lyrics was really a thing.
    All of this had to be done in pen because I don’t really like pencils, and if it wasn’t in a brightly colored ink it had to be a black pen, I’ve never liked blue ink for some reason.
    Now pretty much everything that I write is typed out, usually on my phone since my laptop went to sleep and never woke up a year or so ago. I used to love my handwriting but not actually writing things out by hand as often anymore has definitely taken it’s toll.
    As far as creative endeavors, other than attempting to actually post on my blog more often, I’ve been doing a lot of coloring of coloring pages that my husband and I found online and printed out. I’m actually working on a “Love” one right now that reminds me of you. I’ll share it with you somewhere on some sort of social media when I’m done with it.
    And a speaking of social media, I just recently finally joined Instagram, so taking pictures and playing with all the filters and stuff is another creative thing taking up more time than it probably should.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I love writing by hand! I use mechanical pencils only, and all sorts of interesting paper. Most recently (which is actually a few months to a year back … sigh. It has been a long time since I sat down to work on one of my lengthy projects), I use quad paper. I can only say that there was something comforting about all the tiny squares … I’ll have to bring a stack when we get together for tea so you can see the chaos that is one of my typical WIPs. I also just type stuff, particularly blog posts. There are times when I get a blast of inspiration (alas, not lately) and I’ll pop into Scrivener and create a project. However, I’ll sometimes write down an outline of what I put in Scrivener, in case I get the itch to handwrite a real bit of the story later. And I won’t even get into my ‘write stories and books in journals’ phase …

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wonderful to see you using Patreon – I’ve been dithering over it for a while and I, too, feel like I need a good plan for it, before I commit. I’m looking forward to seeing how it works out for you – hopefully in the future I’ll be able to be a patron of yours!

    I do write by hand, in something I loosely call my ‘writer’s notebook’ but which is usually a sort of space for journalling, writing poetry, lists, and ideas for stories/books/blog posts. I’ve also recently started a bullet journal which is working out okay so far. I write with a Parker fountain pen and black ink (it has to be black!) that I bought myself maybe 6 or 7 years ago, and it’s become my ‘writing pen’ because the ink flows so well and the nib is just right for me – not too big, not too small. It isn’t a fancy fountain pen though! Just has a lot of sentimental value.

    In the past 6 years, I’ve filled 9 ‘writer’s notebooks’. It feels interesting to actually have finished so many notebooks because I never used to finish them – I would start using a notebook and then stop using it, and use another. But it’s so interesting to see how my writing style and voice has progressed over time, even in personal journalling.

    But like you, I also love typing, blogging, and writing fiction and essays on my laptop. It’s easier to correct any mistakes, and to edit, and I find that typing often gets me into that state of ‘flow’ easier than writing by hand, which can be a little slower! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I do both writing by hand and on line blogging. Both serve different purposes and I am a firm believer in keeping the art of physical writing alive. I usually use ballpoint pens and particularly like fine line pens as opposed to heavier lines. So excited to see what this journey of yours turns out to be !


  19. That’s beautiful that Dave wrote so much by hand. I need to get back to that!

    I wrote my entire first novel that way, on my lunch break or whenever else I could squeeze it in. Occasionally I write my blog posts in my journal now, but it’s been a while. Screens help us be efficient, but they can be such a creative suck!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hey Ra, only just catching up on posts here. I still love you. And I love that you want to share your work.

    I will write with pen and with keyboard. It all depends on what I have to hand when the idea hits. And if I’m in bed, sometimes it’s easier to scribble away instead of tap-tap-tap. Although I find my brain works faster than my pen, and if I’m not careful, when I’m writing rather than typing, the words kind of run into one or some words get skipped! But I love the feel of a proper cartridge/fountain pen on paper.

    Also, I can’t switch between mediums. If I’ve started writing by hand, I can’t type up what I’ve done and then continue typing it. So I can totally understand Dave’s having written the first draft by hand and then editing while typing.

    Liked by 1 person


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