What We Should Do When This Is Over

Dear You, 

I’m writing to let you know that the second book in my short-book project is out. It’s called What We Should Do When This Is Over and it follows an old man and a young boy as they try to navigate a world in which no one goes outside anymore and normal seems very, very far away. 

I wrote this book, with illustrations by my good friend and artist Rikus Ferreira, to deal with my own anxiety about the pandemic and to talk about the mundane, everyday things that I miss. This morning, my 3 nearly-4 year old asked me if we could go to the beach and I had to try and explain, again, about the really bad cold that’s going around and that’s why we can’t go to the beach. Or to the playground. In two weeks, I’m going to have to try and explain why she’s not going to have the birthday party I know she wanted. And her birthday is the day after mine. Remember the world where someone would blow on a cake and we would all eat it? Everything feels so far away. 

Between days when I could accomplish nothing and nights when I can’t stop working, I made this. The friends I’ve shared it with so far have responded positively to it and I hope my readers enjoy it too. 

You can buy a copy and read more here.

I’ll be doing some live readings on instagram and Facebook soon, so keep an eye out for those.

Thank you for your time. I hope you’re well out there and I send you my absolute best, 

Iain S. Thomas

Why I’m Emailing You Today

I am mailing you today because the world is ending and I felt like sending an email was the only thing I could really control, the only thing I could really contribute in the end.

I am mailing you today because we are thrown apart and we are thrown closer and we are all in the same boat.

I am mailing you today because that is the only miracle here, at the end of the world, and that is that we’re all in this together.

I am mailing you today because I hurt so I know you hurt and by reaching out to you, I know someone is reaching back to me.

I am mailing you today because I am doing what I can.

(You can subscribe by clicking here.)

April 2020 – It Is Not National Poetry Month

It is nurse month. It is doctor month. It is delivery driver month. It is the neglected month.

But it is not National Poetry Month.

It is national alone month. It is frustration month. It is how am I going to pay the rent month. It is why can’t I get anything done month. It is what is normal month. It is just trying to get through the day let alone the month month. It is I need an answer month. It is trying not to let everything fall apart month. It is desperately seeking structure month.

Just show me the poem that makes a sick person well. Show me the poem that stops every restaurant I love from shutting down. Show me the poem that makes the world normal again. Show me that poem and then tell me how this is poetry month.

Because otherwise, it’s just trying to find the bright side month. Because this is this month that has been a year month. This is what’s going to happen to my kids month. This is a million body bags month.

Any other month in any other year can be National Poetry Month. But not this one.

This is tightness in the chest month.

This is trying not to cry month.

This is the lonely month.

And this is not National Poetry Month.

 

How To Talk To Your Children About The Pandemic

Grab a free .pdf here or if you can afford it, buy it for $3 as an ebook on Amazon here.

 

Where Did Everyone Go Jpeg Cover

I should be working on the book I’m supposed to be working on but instead, I’ve dropped everything to finish this over the last two days. My kids have been asking me questions about what’s going on, and where everyone is, and why they can’t see their friends.

So I made this book called “Where did everyone go?” as a way to talk to them about it. I’m giving it away for free as a pdf (the links are at the top) but if you have the money, you can also buy it as an ebook for $3 on Amazon  – if you grab a free copy, please leave a review on Amazon.

My best,

Iain

This is the decade of being brave.

In 2007, I started making art on the internet because I had an office job and I wanted a place where I could share some part of myself that wouldn’t be controlled or manipulated by other people.

I had no expectations of it beyond the fact that it would be somewhere that I could escape to each and every day for a few minutes at a time and create, without any interference. It would be a place I could talk to myself, outside of myself, and people I could no longer talk to.

It was naive, innocent and incredibly productive and I think part of that was the fact that, while I did have a long term goal of eventually collecting everything I did into a book (which became the first I Wrote This For You book), I focused on the simple easy steps in front of me.

I told myself,

“I can write one poem today. I can write one short story or just one sentence. They might not be the best, they might be terrible, but I will try and if I fail, I will try again tomorrow.”

It is January of 2020 and I am trying to look not just at the year ahead but at the decade ahead and where I want to be and what I want to do.

I am paying even more attention to the individual steps I will need to take to get there, to what I want to do with my time and the days I have.

I want to connect on a deep, meaningful level with my friends and family, with the people around me, and my readers.

I want to make beautiful things that matter and move people, and move myself in the process.

I want to lose myself in good work, in talking about the things that we all need to talk about.

I want to learn and I want to grow and I want become more me.

I wish you all the same, and success, and growth, and intimacy and less fear and more love.

P.S.

Something I’ve been using since last year is, Skillshare (I get a few dollars in return if you sign up for a free trial through that link). Whenever I run into a creative problem, there’s always something on Skillshare.com that’ll inspire me, or show me how to accomplish what I’m trying to accomplish. It’s great and if you want to try it out for a while and January hasn’t been kind to your wallet, you can use it for free for three months and see if there’s something in there that inspires you to do more with your days in 2020.

P.P.S. All my books, artwork, clothing and everything else are now available in one place, here and if you want to support me, this is a great place to do that. You can also help me spend more time writing by making a small donation every month on Patron.

How To Stop Running

Growing up, the idea of being an artist, of living a creative life, wasn’t something that seemed like a feasible way to make a living and so I’ve always worried that I’m doing the wrong thing, that I’ve made a mistake and at some point, it’s all going to come tumbling down. I know it doesn’t make sense and I know it isn’t real but what my mind believes at the very back of it, and knows at the very front of it, are two different things.

I’ve lived with a fear of scarcity, of not having enough or being equipped to find enough for my entire life, and it’s something I’ve always run from, no matter what I’ve accomplished or done. But I found a way to beat it this last Christmas. Instead of worry about not having enough, I gave something away.

Instead of getting myself any presents, I asked my wife to make a small donation on my part to givewell.org (this is not an affiliate link, they’re just a really good charity). And on Christmas day, instead of having something else that I needed to worry about scratching, or trying to figure out where to put it, I had nothing. And then something strange happened. That constant gnawing inside of me that I didn’t have enough, went away.

I think giving something away sent a message to that stubborn part of the back of my brain that refuses to listen, and it got through:

How can you not have enough, when you have enough to give some of it away? 

I didn’t make a Bill Gates level donation, just what I personally could. And of course, there are people who are really struggling out in the world, who live hand-to-mouth and worry about the roof over their head, so this message isn’t directed at them. It’s directed at the people who might be able to help them, who in the process will be helping themselves because if I’m honest, I don’t think I’m alone in this experience, this worry that chases me late at night.

The ghost of Not-Enough haunts this entire planet and to fight it requires us do the unthinkable: To spit in its face, and say, “I have more than enough. And I will share.”

I wish you more than you will ever need, and I wish you the wisdom to know what to do with it.