Money helps the art go ’round

I’ve got a couple topics floating around in my brain, and I’ve also got some great short stories in there. And some eventual progress on the novel idea. Ultimately, there’s a lot of drivel-poop in there, too, but it’s been a long week and I’m trying to recover. This topic is probably a hair on the lazy, underwhelming side of things, but it’s also a personal curiosity of mine that I feel like exploring. You know the old song: “it’s my blog post and I’ll write what I want to”.

Web sites like Kickstarter exist to help ideas happen. There is a clear benefit for both sides involved in the site. Backers receive various types of increasingly impressive macguffins for helping creators make their idea a reality, except in the cases where crowdfunding fails to reach the goal or the creators don’t meet their promises.

And then there are web sites like Patreon. Patreon fascinates me because it’s the idea of giving creators money to help them continue to create. There are rewards, yes, and it can be set up in a tiered way like Kickstarter, but it’s an ongoing process instead of a one-and-done sort of thing. I find myself feeling oddly torn about it because it seems like the act of saying “gimme” and hoping for the best, but that’s not a warm and cheerful way of looking at things. People get some sort of thank you, creators get money to support their creative ways, and everyone wins. Yet I’m still oddly suspicious of it. Maybe it’s because I wonder if I could give it a try myself but think it’ll turn into a study in how much failure I’m capable of.

The real questions are is this something worth checking out as a writer? What thoughts do you folks have? Am I being a technology-fearing, change-fearing doofus? Let me know.

Today’s big book-related news

Better known as the post I have deliberately been shuffling my feet towards writing because I wanted to make a few key people wait. Probably not the nicest thing I’ve ever done. Moving on.

For anyone who missed it, Joshua Harkin and the Wicked Nightmare King is now available for purchase on Amazon. That’s a tidbit of information that still makes me want to weep in a mix of joy and terror; joy because ohcrapohcrap I’m a published author (though that point was made true earlier this year, but not in terms of being a published author who has a book available), and terror because I’m already stockpiling comfort food for my first one-star review. Ben & Jerry will be my two closest friends, and I will run the risk of becoming the hippopotamus requested for Christmas in what I still consider to be one of the worst holiday jingles ever written.

Winning this publishing contract has been a great thing for me. It’s a step towards my dream of being able to say I’m a writer for a living, or at least for part of my living, and I’m still sort of in that weird state of disbelief. Continue reading

A worthy cause – Intervention

Hi, folks. Second post of the night (woohoo), and though I am in the middle of frenzied last-minute packing I still wanted to share this. It’s that important to me.

Intervention, or Interventioncon, the premier showcase of online creativity is up for a grant that could be a world-moving, life-changing thing for this event. All it needs is 250 votes, which should be easy to accomplish. Voting is so simple: click the following link, then click vote and connect via Facebook.

For those of you who need convincing, read on.

What is Intervention?

Intervention is called, as mentioned above, the premier showcase of online creativity. It has been featured on many news sites of all sizes, and has been home to many brilliant, terrific guests. It’s a weekend long conference filled with educational panels on a number of topics (ranging from writing to comics to social networking and so on), tremendously fun events such as a special season premier of Doctor Who at this past year’s iteration, loads of opportunities to spread awesome and kindness to others, and a generally good time that should have more time than a weekend (I can dream, right?). I can say from experience that I leave Intervention every year I attend feeling revitalized and ready to write, create, and implement all of the new things I learned. To define Intervention in a post like this doesn’t do it justice, but there’s so much more to talk about. For more information about what Intervention is, check out its web site at

Why support Intervention?

Intervention is all about enabling independent artists in moving forward with their craft. It started as the mad, brilliant dream of Onezumi Hartstein, James Harknell, and a number of other dedicated, terrific individuals, and has grown into such a fan-freaking-tastic community since then. There is no con scene that can compare to the community Intervention has built in these past five years (plus the years it was being created behind the proverbial curtain). It’s all funded by a small group and donations. No shady corporate puppet-masters or shit like that. Enablers, people who donate on top of registration, are also very helpful (and I urge anyone who attends to provide even a little as an Enabler as it goes a long way towards keeping Intervention alive). This, however, is a chance for Intervention to receive a tremendous grant and it only requires a few clicks of the mouse (or taps of the finger if you’re on a tablet, smart phone, or other smart device). In a world where such actions are usually rewarded with refreshing Facebook to read a few new, probably boring, status updates, you could do SO MUCH GOOD INSTEAD. The statuses will still be there, but this is a chance to make a huge impact on an event that is making a huge impact on so many lives. I cannot, CANNOT stress this enough.

Vote, and encourage others to do so as well

It takes only a few seconds, and the good it could do will affect so many artists by way of this event. It costs nothing other than a few brief seconds, and it’ll leave you with a feeling you’ve done the right, good thing. Get to it.

The link, again, because pretty-please-with-sugar-vote:

Thanks, folks, and definitely check out next year’s Intervention. I hear it’s supposed to be pretty spectacular.

Requesting a little help for a friend in need

Well, I use the term friend a little loosely here because “fellow Twitter-beast/writer who happens to be a generally good person” doesn’t really roll off of the tongue. I’d say both titles are applicable for the sake of brevity.

Heather, who I better know as MortuaryReport, is currently facing her third surgery in the past sixteen months. As someone who has only undergone a small handful of minor surgeries (and I’m not referencing those cosmetic procedures wherein I needed painfully infected ingrown toenails removed in time to look my best for bikini season), I can only imagine 1) how stressful this in terms of any anxiety relating to the surgeries, 2) how stressful this is financially (insurance isn’t going to cover everything), and 3) how stressful it is in relation to work and being off for extended periods of time to recover. I’ve asked people to donate to Kickstarters in the past, as they were things I supported (the Girls Make Games Kickstarter campaign springs to mind). This week has left me a little less capable of handling words well, and so I will politely borrow-steal Mort’s in this case.

In the summer of 2014, Heather was finally diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome after a decade of dealing with undiagnosed, life-altering chronic pain.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is a chronic, systemic, degenerative collagen disorder that causes the body to produce collagen incorrectly. An inherited disorder, it’s poorly diagnosed and often misunderstood. Collagen is present in every part of the body, from your skin to your organs to your joints. Incorrect collagen production can affect everything from your memory to your sleeping patterns.

Because of EDS, Heather deals with daily joint dislocations and subluxations. She has spinal disc degeneration, loridosis, herniated discs, and a spinal hemangioma. Her body falls apart on a daily basis. She works fulltime as a funeral director and apprentice embalmer, helping the community and giving her all to the families she serves.

In 2013, she underwent two surgeries on her tempromandibular joint after it closed locked in her sleep. A hard-working funeral director, she missed out on almost 6 weeks worth of work. On the heels of her surgery came an unexpected divorce, two moves, and the loss of her military health insurance.

In 2014, just 16 months later, Heather underwent a lapidus bunionectomy to correct joint degeneration in her left foot. After painfully removing chunks of bone and inserting two screws, she still can’t bear any weight on her left foot at all. In order to get around on one foot, she’s had to purchase multiple assistive devices.

EDS also contributes to slow healing, and the bones in her foot are not suturing together at a regular rate. In addition to having missed six weeks of work, Heather must now cover additional costs for a bone-growth stimulator to encourage her foot to properly heal.

Despite overwhelming challenges over less than two years and a diagnosis of a lifelong disease, Heather has met them head-on and as gracefully as possible. Any and all funds will go to recoup medical fees and surgical costs as well as close the gap from missing months of work on unpaid leave.

Please help Heather literally get back on her feet! – See more at:

That’s lifted directly from Heather’s YouCaring page, which actually automatically appended a link when copied and pasted (which is pretty neat, but also seems an awful lot like witchcraft). Be awesome and help out; even a little bit goes a long way, I’m sure, and it might even go some distance towards a karmic balancing-out of the more dubious things you, dear readers, are guilty of. You all know what I’m talking about.

The link again, just in case it’s needed:


Help my friend realize her dream

I went back and forth on this a bit, and then I decided I’m going to write a post for it afterall.  My friend, and former college roommate (who has, no doubt, wanted to kill me at one point or another, which is perfectly all right because in the time I lived with her I assure you all the desire for homicide was mutual), Brittany Barnabei, dreams of becoming a voice actor.  It’s a goal I once held, believe it or not, and I honestly think it’s a pretty terrific one to have.  The really cool thing is she has a chance to make tremendous strides toward that goal by going to France to meet people in the field of voice acting.  I can also say, with certainty, I know she would go out on a limb for me like this if our situations were reversed, and so I present the following link to her GoFundMe page.  I realize that’s a lofty request, asking for donations.

I’ve known Brittany from before High School, which feels like decades ago now (even though it’s not, thankfully), and she has always been very passionate about acting.  She is a very talented individual, and she deserves a chance to realize her dreams just like anyone else does.  This gives you, dear readers, a chance to be a part in her making her dreams come true.  If possible, please donate even a little to this endeavor.  Donations don’t have to be money, of course.  Or just give a moment to share the link so others may see it and have the chance to support her cause.  Spread the word, give generously, and please help make my friend’s dream come true.

After all, it’s these dreams that keep so many of us going, and it would be absolutely wonderful to see someone like Brittany be able to achieve what she’s been working so hard towards for so long.