December 11th – December 17th

The Valley Nerd Watch!

This week is a bit of a big one. A lot of local creators were affected by recent changes to Patreon. Basically, the new plan is that people who pledge money will pay 2.9% + $0.35 for each monthly pledge. Not a bunch of money, right? Well… unless you’re giving say $50 a month but split it up between 50 creators at $1 a piece. Then suddenly you’re paying around $70 per month. A lot of people don’t have that sort of wiggle room in their Patreon budgets, and they’re ditching the service.

We don’t know how many local creators make a living exclusively using this service, but a lot of people rely on it to provide some steady income while they work on producing the amazing artwork that the Valley is not-actually-known-for-precisely-but-definitely-affects-the-zeitgeist-via.

Because our own Patreon tops out at about $9/week from 6 Patrons including our kind mom, we’re going to leave the discussion to more qualified folks. We’ve put together some chunks of the explanations we’ve gotten from people we backed, and a couple answers on Twitter.

But it pretty much boils down to: they get it, they support your decisions, they’d like to keep eating food and living inside so please help them figure out how they can still get money from you because that is important. Like pick something up from their stores if you’re no longer supporting them on Patreon, at least! It’s the holidays someone you know wants a shirt or something!

Emily Care Boss:  “In 2018, my plans are to restructure this Patreon to support analysis and writing I’m doing on various narrative forms. It may include previews of upcoming games in the pipeline: Heart of the Rose, Sign in Stranger, Stillwater, Caerllion and King Wen’s Tower. In particular, the analysis will focus on the unique contributions of role playing games to making and understanding story. The support levels will be different, and take into account the changes Patreon has made. I will publicize the changes with a month or two lead time to allow you to make changes as you desire and for new folks to add on.”

Joshua AC Newman: “Yes, they’re still inexplicably charging you for each additional creator you support. The percentage is fine; someone’s got to pay it, and one of my missions is to make sure everyone understands just how much of a constant investment it is to be a professional creator. But the $.35 fee is a mess. That disincentivizes backing multiple creators. It’s a weird thing they did, so I’m not surprised that a lot of patrons are backing off to only their favorites. Patreon’s new fee schedule is going to hit anyone who, like me, backs lots of Patreons at small amounts. For my 14 $1 backers, I suggest to you that you move your pledge to $3 and appropriately set your maximum monthly payout.”

Twitter update: “It was an utter cockup that makes the people with the least money pay more money, all of the increase going to the credit card companies.”

Vincent Baker: “If you drop your patronage over this, I’m with you, and I won’t be deactivating your forum membership. Please keep coming to the forum. This is especially important because I won’t be able to reach you through Patreon anymore. Please keep coming to the forum!”

Epidiah Ravachol: “If Patreon no longer works for you, fret not! I will find other ways for you to show you support and ensure that you never miss an issue. When I have sussed them out, I will let you know here and at Additionally, later today I’ll be reducing the pledge levels so that, even with Patreon’s new fees, you will only be charged what you have always been charged. However, to take advantage of this, you need to alter your own pledge level as well. Ultimately though, I just want you to know that if you need to alter or remove your pledge, I am with you. And I thank you for all the support you have shown me in the past. You remain the best! Sincerely, Eppy.”

Pat Nietupski via Twitter: “I’m not crazy about it. It seems like my patrons, especially the small, $1 patrons are going to be paying almost 1.5 times what they pledge. I wish Patreon had given more of a heads up.”

So again: Patreon changes are not going great for most local creators, help them out if you can! Maybe not via Patreon anymore if you can’t afford to do that but like, dang. They make good stuff! They deserve to be able to eat.

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!



Wednesday, December 13th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Forbes Library Zine Club
Thursday, December 14th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Mead Director David E. Little “Tells It Like It Is”
Join the Mead Chief Curator for a gallery talk and closing reception for the exhibit Tell It Like It Is – Or Could Be. Free and open to the public!
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Drawing to Look Closely – A Figure Drawing Workshop in the Sharrer Exhibition
Join artist Katy Schneider to learn sketching and drawing skills and participate in a facilitated discussion while carefully examining Honore Sharrer’s work! Explore and work from both Sharrer’s paintings and a nude model! Members $5, non-members $15! No experience necessary, materials provided!
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Harry Potter Holiday Craft
Celebrate the season! The season of Wizards! The season of magical potions! The season of cider and recycled book based ornaments!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 6:45 PM
Thirty Third Annual Quabbin History Calendar Slideshow
The calendar has pictures of the four towns of the Swift River Valley that were dis-incorporated in the 1930’s to make way for the Quabbin Reservoir. They sleep down there… waiting for us to forget. Waiting for us to be vulnerable. The 2018 calendar and copies of the author’s books on Quabbin will be available for sale!
Friday, December 15th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Make Your Own Gingerbread House!
Grades 5-12 are welcome to build a gingerbread house! It’s fun, but you should bring your own candy to eat, because the house always makes you hungry but it’s never really that good to eat.
Saturday, December 16th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Marbeled Ornaments Workshop
Use nail-polish and water to make a unique ornament or two! Bring extra nail polish if you can, but some stuff will be provided free of charge! Be sure not to accidentally create an ornament who eldritch whorls exactly recreate an ancient and terrible spell.
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Meet Javaka Steptoe
From the site: “Artist and author Javaka Steptoe won the 2017 Caldecott Medal for his book, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Hear Steptoe discuss his research and art for Radiant Child, and what his year has been like following a Caldecott win.”

Board Games:

Friday, December 15th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Tabletop Game Night
Play games with nice folks! We highly recommend trying out Azul, we got to give it a shot this past week and it was a lot of fun. Bit tough to pick up but it gets a lot easier after just a few turns!
Saturday, December 16th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament
There are four sections: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. It’s a 4-round Swiss System and there are trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Entry is free!


Monday, December 11th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Living in a Captialist Paradise: A Discussion with Authour Charles Mark
The author will talk about his book, which details a dangerous escape across the border of a totalitarian state, ultimately leading to New Zealad and after that to America! Charles will discuss the nature of life in refugee camps, New Zealand, and what it’s like in the US! A lively and critical discussion will be enjoyed by you and the rest of the audience!
Wednesday, December 13th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Book Talk with Kelly Lebrun: Against All Hope Until…
From the site: “Kelly Lebrun will talk about her abuse and mental trauma, and how Christian religious experiences helped her overcome the issues and problems in her life.”
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM
Celebration of Local Authors: The Modern Real and Surreal
Find out about some amazing local authors at this event! They’re going to read from their work, we think, and also you’ll get to talk to them about that work! It’s good!


Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
Bob Crowley, the CIO at Hampshire College, will get started by talking about Product Owner interviewing techniques! Learn how to get good requirements from your users using Design Thinking as well as the power of the Ancient Stone Tablets that have just been uncovered!
Thursday, December 14th
Common Media [84 Russell Street, Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Hack for Western Mass
After an update about ongoing projects, you’ll be able to get hacking! Make a difference in your community using the computer skills that have previously mostly used to crack into the Gibson!


Monday, December 11th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Jane Austen Open Mic
Are you a Jane Austen fan? Share your favorite bon mots with like-minded people in an event we are not trying to be mean about but legitimately cannot imagine. Do you do like… fanfic? Readings? Insult comedy styled in an era-appropriate manner? It seems so out of left field. We humbly request that anyone attending report back to us.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Far Out Film Discussion: Fanny and Alexander
Watch the movie first! Then, come here and talk about how excellent Ingmar Bergman’s movies are. We now realize that we haven’t seen any of Ingmar Bergman’s films! We should watch some. You can get copies of the film in the reference department!
Friday, December 15th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA] at 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM
2017 Holiday Gathering at Last Call Media
A holiday gathering for the community! Snacks and beverages will be made available to those of you who eat and drink, but also feel free to bring your own! All are welcome, but RSVP at the Meetup site! They gotta order enough food!


Tuesday, December 12th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Kids! Play with LEGO! It’s fun!


Sunday, December 17th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Film: Body and Soul: An American Bridge
Composed by Johnny Green in 1929, the song Body and Soul was introduced on Broadway by Jewish torch singer Libby Holman, trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong ushered the song into the jazz canon the following year. Learn more about this important, genre-spanning piece! Find out more and purchase tickets here:


Monday, December 11th
The World War 2 Club [50 Conz St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Nerd Nite NoHo: Plane Crashes and Flamenco!
The Nerd Nite that will cause us to actually disappear into our own sense of anxiety! Bob Gould will discuss surviving plane accidents, and David and Lonnie Chu will teach us about the beautiful art of Flamenco, and lead us in a “juerga”!
Union Station [125 Pleasant St, Northampton] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
SciTech Cafe
Oooooh ho ho ho so this is how it is? OUR night? You’re doing a SciTech Cafe on Nerd Nite? That’s actually delightful, because it’s lovely to have so many good events all the time in our good town! Everyone is free to go to this to see Gary Felder talk about the possibility of extra dimensions in space, but we will expect you to donate extra to charity at January’s Nerd Nite in penance.

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