We live in troubling times.

 

We all know this.

 

Which makes it especially important to stay inside, to work on what makes us happy.

 

Except it doesn’t always work out like that.

 

I’ve been without work for four weeks now and at the start I was very productive in the sure knowledge my situation was temporary. It has become evident over the last two weeks that this will last longer than any of us want it to, but worse still it’ll change our lives forever.

 

You know this, I know this.

 

So it’s become even more important to make positive changes in our world, the little ones that we can.

 

Queen of Spades was supposed to be released at the same time I was giving my very first paid gig as an author. A talk on self publishing. I’ve had to make some hard choices with what’s going on if I wanted this to be a success.

 

I dropped my book price down to 99c and you can help me by pre-ordering it here, or if you’re a book blogger hit me up and I can send you an ARC. Hell, if you read my blog posts at all I can send you an ARC, get to my contact page and send me a message.

 

I don’t have to tell you the crushing disappointment when the talk was cancelled. Chances are you’re dealing with your own crushing weight.

 

But I refuse to let all dreams die just because mine is.

 

A friend let me know she was struggling.

 

A lot more than me.

 

Nushie posted this tweet a few days ago.

Nushie

The idea that a friend of mine might become homeless because of this damn virus shook me to my core with indignation. That people could be so callous to evict tenants with no where else to go. Most of us live with unfathomable financial hardships you will know nothing about – unless you are one of them.

 

I had a little tucked aside, a lot of determination, and years wrangling my way through social media.

 

So I sent Nushie a series of messages opening a dialogue that basically went like this;

 

Forget that. Do quick portfolios for US$25 a pop and you can start by doing one for me.

 

She came back within hours of a draft after we went back and forth on what I’d like Ayla to look like, and the result was this;

eleanor

 

And it was Ayla. Down to the smug smirk cause it didn’t matter what you said to her, she knew when you were going to die. That kind of knowledge gives a girl a heck of a leg up when she doesn’t like you.

 

And Nushie nailed it.

 

The one thing I love most about Nushie is her ability to capture what I was describing from over a dozen images and a few paragraphs about the character. That might not sound like a lot but for a writer sometimes relaying the exact “look” you’re after is harder than it should be.

 

And we had our launching point.

 

I ran through some ideas with her, but as soon as I’d spoken Nushie was running with it, an unstoppable juggernaut of creative force that for the last few days I can only admire.

 

Within four days she’s got enough commissions to pay two weeks rent.

 

She’s making plans to make this a side business and in the midst of it all… was a flicker of worry.

 

Nushie is sick. She might have it. You know, it. The virus. The thing that was about to take away her damn home is now affecting her life. She has asthma.

 

AND SHE’S STILL DRAWING LIKE NOTHING CAN STOP HER.

 

Remember this. Remember that people out there are struggling, that there are bright lights who walk among us inspiring creativity as the overwhelming drive in our lives.

 

Find your artist friends, message your writing buddies, reach out and connect and do what you can to help.

 

You can find Nushie on her website here or if you can’t get a commission you can share and spread her work on Twitter, where she’s offering to draw anything you can imagine, from a face to a body to whole worlds. If you can create it, she can draw it, and nothing is stopping her.

 

What’s stopping you?