So…. So…. So….
Er….. I thought I might get 25k over two weeks, if I begged a lot. And then we’d borrow the other half, pay the bill, and if the house sold quickly, we’d be okay. Mostly. I mean BTB — back to broke — but not in a hole, right?
And then the GoFundMe funded in… 7 hours? And is now double the amount? And I’m not keeping it up because I’m greedy, but because people keep sending me emails and pms saying “leave it up another week, so I can play.”
I don’t get how this is “play” but I get it seems to be cheering people up. The discord group is watching this like it’s election results only better. And I don’t want to take that away. But it seems…. surreal.
People in the discord group keep saying it’s like a real life It’s A Wonderful Life. They’re not wrong.
This side of the keyboard? It’s pretty lonely. I often wonder if I’m flinging out things no one cares about/reads. Like shouting into the dark, and not being sure there’s anyone there. Sometimes there’s glimmers of eyes.
So, it’s amazing to get this kind of response. It’s — life affirming.
And yeah, the fundraiser is at double. And someone — coff Kim Du Toit — has threatened me with deathy death if I take it down before it hits 150k. That seems…. excessive. (I mean the amount, not the deathy death. The man has enough guns to deadify half the planet.) And surreal. But it seems to be headed that way.
And — besides the fact that of course if the house sells fast I’ll use some of the money to help friends I know need it, and who’d never ask — the other part is why it feels surreal.
You see, our married life started with nothing, my degree being of limited value in the US (Well, you know, there are like 3 new translator jobs a year and they might not be in YOUR languages. Even if I had 7) and Dan being a beginner programmer. A year in, he said I should JUST write. Of course we thought I’d sell the first book and we’d be rich. But though I got very encouraging rejections from first submission on, nothing was accepted.
I finally got a job as a translator, just before I got pregnant (finally, six years in) and got very ill, so I had to quit. From then on, we were on one income until I sold a novel 6 years later. And for the unitiated, a mid-list novel, which mine was from day one, isn’t an “income.” It was 5k. And since it was “literary fantasy” they wanted one a year TOPS.
By the time my advances were bigger, the kids were teens. And I was writing five novels (at around 10k a piece) and taking side writing gigs to keep them in food and shoes. (My dainty boys.Would you believe 13 EEE and 15 EEEE — or depending on the cut 17 EEEE?) And we were socking away what we could, but never getting enough for a cushion in case of trouble.
When the possibility of indie raised its head and “the more you write the more you make” I was ill. And it’s been very hard – as you guys know — to write anything. Partly because of stress. This has been very bad the last five years. We bought the last house in CO for various reasons, and partly because it was the cheapest (trust me) we could get and be where we needed to be at that time. BUT it was more house than we could afford, both in price, (Yes, we qualified. But I think those calculations are a bit nuts) and size. Buying it as a short sale, with a ton of stuff that needed to be done was bad enough. But there was also heating/cooling and just regular maintenance. It reminded me of when we owned a 5th hand Volvo. No matter for what it went in, it was going to cost us $500 (or in the house’s case 10k.) Oil change? $500. Wiper blade squeaks? $500. We loved that car, but only had it a year and a half because it was bleeding us. Well, the house bled us for five years, and almost killed us getting it in shape to sell. (Both monetarily and physically.)
And I can’t write when I’m stressed. It doesn’t work. I mean, regular every day stress, sure. But “Where are xk coming from to pay for the food/gas/mortgage?” That shuts me down. Which yes, is counterproductive.
Ultimately, the reason I did the GoFundMe was to be able to write. Because the alternative was to borrow and then sit here, with my hair falling out and without any nails, while I waited for the other house to sell.
I’m actually somewhat embarrassed by how well it’s done. (No, I can’t explain it.) And yes there will be yearly fundraisers (Younger son spent an hour talking me into this.) They might pay a tenth of this, but that’s worth it. But they will be of a different nature, with returns at various levels. Nothing I need to physically mail, unless younger son undertakes to do it (I SUCK at that) but tuckerizations and exclusive stories and stuff. Not this. This was because otherwise I was going to have a heart attack trying to find the money to pay bills.
For now? It’s surreal because for the first time ever, we have a cushion. I.e. if something goes wrong, like the other house takes three months to sell, we’re not going to be broke/homeless.
And for right now? It’s a wonderful life.
The lights in the great dark theater have come on. And the darkness I’ve been flinging words into is full of friendly, loving faces.
It’s stunning. It’s almost unbelievable.
And yes, it is wonderful.