I really do get tired of setting out the tip jar. I am constantly begging people to subscribe to M-Brane or to buy Things We Are Not (which itself had its own fundraising drive during the summer). I wish these things would somehow start to self-sustain without me having to talk about funding so much. That being said, I am starting a short campaign in conjunction with my participation in National Novel Writing Month, and this one is quite personal for me.
My partner Jeff has been accepted into a program through the Missouri Botanical Garden in which he will get some additional horticultural education and eventually have a master gardener certification. Though he has wanted to do something like this and has talked about doing such a thing for years, this is the first time he has taken real steps to make it happen. Over the years, he has given up way too much for me, always subordinating his own ambitions to all my crazy ideas. He's lost a lot and undergone a lot of hardship because of decisions that I've made for us. I am determined that this is not going to happen anymore. Also, I simply refuse to let the day come next month when I need to tell him that we don't have the money to pay his tuition for the online course that he is taking starting in January. We are going to have that money, all of it, and on time.
It's only three hundred dollars. All the education that he will do next year (the online course during the winter and spring, and then some other hands-on stuff when we move back to St. Louis next fall) will total about six hundred dollars, but we only need to worry about the first three hundred this year. It's not very much money, but it's huge to us. Some years ago, during what were vastly better financial times for us, this amount of money would have been trivial. I could have paid it without a second thought and barely even noticed it leaving the bank. While that's far from true now, I have confidence that we will make the goal. First, we have a generous matching donor who is helping us get to the goal faster. Second, I know that there are a lot of people who see me online all the time who will want to help, if not for the cause itself, then because of the stuff I am giving away to donors. Actually, this can be viewed either as me panhandling for donations or as offering another way to buy what I normally sell anyway.
The donor gifts are as follows:
A donation of any amount at all is hugely appreciated, but...
Donors who contribute at least $2.00 get a six-month subscription to the PDF edition of M-Brane SF. Yes, that is correct: six issues of M-Brane for as little as $2.00. If you are unfamiliar with the zine, go here and get a free copy of issue #9 and see what a great deal this is.
Donors at the $5.00 level or above get a one-year subscription to the magazine and--get ready for it--a PDF copy of the annotated and (crudely) illustrated edition of my National Novel Writing Month novel! I was going to start this campaign last week, but I wanted to get far enough into November to make sure that I would really be finishing the novel before promising it to people. I know now that I will indeed be completing it. It is a somewhat literary story, but with some speculative fiction elements (oh, and warning: it's got some gay content in it, too). And I'm not promising that it's going to be in the least bit good, but it should be decently fun or at least weird. The zine subscriptions will start immediately, and the novel PDF will be sent by Christmas (I need a few days after NaNo ends to annotate, illustrate and format it--it will look like a real book).
At the $10.00 level or above, donors will receive the above thank-you items plus a copy of the PDF edition of Things We Are Not.
Donations are accepted by way of the Pay Pal button up there on the right. You do not need to have a Pay Pal account to use it. Credit cards, debit cards and even checks can be processed through Pay Pal. It is quick, easy and secure.
Hopefully this fund drive will be completed quickly. Indeed, it needs to be done by the end of the month since NaNoWriMo ends then anyway and the bill for J's school is due. Should any donations be received in excess of the goal, they will go into the fund for The Aether Age.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and for considering helping me with this very important situation. Jeff does not read my blogs very often at all, so I suspect that he will never know that I am doing this fund drive. This is good because I suspect that he would be quite embarrassed by it and demand that I stop it immediately. So the sooner it's done, the sooner I can take this page down and get rid of the evidence before he catches me!