Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Patreon for Writers and Why I Don’t Have One

If you haven’t heard of Patreon, it’s similar to a crowdfunding site but for artists. A lot of people like painters and musicians use it to collaborate with their fans and interact with them on a regular basis. I love the idea of interacting with fans. However, as a writer I find it more difficult to maintain a Patreon page and produce content for those fans while at the same time working on manuscripts.

When it comes to producing content, I have this blog where I can share excerpts and inspiration for my works in progress. I do think that some authors post poems and flash fiction or micro fiction in order to keep readers enticed but it’s not for me. The experience felt like a huge juggling act and a distraction from working on my actual projects.

It was hard to draw a line between what should be a blog post and what should be a Patreon post. Suddenly, I was spending too much time between my Instagram page, my Patreon page, and my blog, while not spending enough time on my actual manuscripts. This is part of the difficulty with navigating social media and promoting yourself as an author. There’s so many different platforms that if you’re posting regularly on every single one, it’s taking away from the time spent on the actual work.

Dedicating more time to actual blog posts, helps me hone my craft.

If you’re a writer and you’re considering setting up a Patreon account, by all means, go for it. It’s free to set up. You’ve nothing to lose. However, if you feel torn or distracted from your actual work, don’t feel guilty about getting rid of it. Ultimately, I would rather people enjoy my stories and interact with me on this blog than throw a few bucks at me every month to read something that they could read here for free.

Are you a writer with a Patreon account? What sort of content do you post for your followers and do you feel that it helps your sales any? Please comment below and let me know what you think about writers having a Patreon page.

Happy writing.

RB

The Story of Brutus, King of the Guinea Pigs

So I feel like it’s time to share the story of Brutus the pig. Why? Because it’s an interesting story. It doesn’t have anything do with writing or minimalism. It’s story time.

So I had a guinea pig for a pet. I had never owned a guinea pig before. Instead I was raised with cats, dogs, fish, a rabbit, turtles, hamsters and gerbils… but never a guinea pig. I got him because we’re not allowed to have dogs and cats in our apartment but I really wanted something that would sit on my lap and chill when I watch TV. Apparently guinea pigs are as popular in England as dogs are in America.

The Adoption

I got the number of a local Guinea Pig Rescue (yes, they exist- apparently people leave the little guys in boxes on the sides of the road!) from my sister-in-law who had adopted a guinea pig for my niece and nephew. The owner was a British lady who immediately started talking to me about what kind of pig I wanted. I really didn’t know the answer, being unaware that they had different personalities just like dogs.

She started asking me questions about my lifestyle and I mentioned that it was a quiet home with no children or other pets. She said, “I just got two boys in today. I haven’t had time to see if they’re ready for adoption and I’m at the vet right now with one of our rabbits. When I get back home, I will check them out and see if one of them is ready. If not, it may take a few weeks.” I agreed and we ended the call.

For your entertainment, here is a two day old guinea pig in a champagne glass.

Meeting Brutus

Within a few hours she called me back and said, “One of them is definitely not ready for adoption. He’s super hyper and he’s not going to work but his brother, Brutus, is borderline comatose.” She laughed. “He is super chill. He moves around a little bit but not much and the boys are usually quieter than the girls so it’ll be a boy for you.”

“Sounds great!”

This is the little guy, Brutus.

Brutus’s Rescue

As it turns out, a Brazilian family had brought him in earlier. They  had originally purchased him from a Peruvian lady in Florida. When the Peruvian lady sold them the pigs, she asked if they wanted any recipes…

The Brazilian family said, “What do you mean?” and the Peruvian informed them that she sold her pigs for meat.

Up until this point, I had no idea that people ate guinea pigs but they are actually quite popular in South America.

The Brazilian family denied any recipes and took the pigs in as pets. However, when they moved up to Virginia, the mother was put on full oxygen and they had to get rid of all of their animals. They had dogs, cats, birds, and the guinea pigs. Luckily, they were brought to Carrie’s rescue the very day I called.

He was my writing buddy. As an animal lover, I miss him and I don’t expect those who have never owned a guinea pig to understand.

Talk about perfect timing! Brutus is one lucky pig.

No, I didn’t name him. Brutus was the name given to him by his previous family. His brother, Pop-Eye was eventually adopted as well and became a certified therapy Pig at the Chesapeake General Hospital. They were both about two when they were adopted. Unfortunately, Pop-Eye had problems eating and eventually he had to be put down.

Brutus had a life of luxury. He was very quiet, loved being pet between his eyes, around top of his nose.  He was particularly fond of parsley and when I made a “juice” I would sometimes feed him the pulp from the fruit and vegetables…which apparently is like guinea pig crack.

He was an awesome little pig and unlike most guinea pigs or any kind of rodent he actually had a butt crack.  Both he and his brother had butt-cracks and I wish I had a picture to show all of you!

He was two years old when I adopted him and lived another two years before I had to sadly lay him to rest. It may sound silly to some to have a guinea pig cremated but he was the first pet that I adopted as an adult and that meant a lot to me.

Will I get another one?

Probably not.

We’ve tossed around the idea of getting another pet. Even though I really want a dog, we’d have to move elsewhere in order to have one. We’ve talked about moving for the sole reason of getting a dog believe it or not, but we can’t justify it. Right now, between work and travel, it wouldn’t be fair to the dog to keep it locked up and alone all day, inside. So with no other options, we are forgoing pets for the time being.

I can only hope that one day in the future we will move (hopefully somewhere far away) and a big fluffy dog can join us on our journey together.

Thank you for reading.

-RB