TANSTAAFLDay 7 – It’s Heinlein’s Birthday and SF picture Released under Creative Commons license

Note — This update is late, because my computer decided it had a completely different display and it took me a while to get it to understand reality.

Thank you very much to everyone who donated so far. Major milestone reached today.

THE GOAL IS $50,000

the counter stands at: $$21,053.89(Updated at least every 8 hours, more often if i happen to be here.)


What does Heinlein’s Birthday have to do with this?

Well, for years now, I’ve felt guilty I’m writing for free, which in grumbles he referred to as “immoral.”

The Driving Force Behind This:

We are not in trouble. At least no more than normal. In fact, we’re a little more secure than we’ve been.

But for years now — years — my family and friends (including the late, great, much missed Dr. Pournelle) have told me I should run a fundraiser for my blog, since it’s a time-sink extraordinaire, and often gets in the way of fiction. (Some of my friends, you know who you are, told me to give it up so I can concentrate on the fiction because that makes me happier — no, not you. Someone else, years ago — but since I seem unable to, I should at least fund it.)

This sounds strange but my family’s condition to let me do the “save our butts” appeal was that henceforth I should either rattle the cup all the time or have a July fundraiser. Because it was their contention I wouldn’t have been in the situation I was without refusing to fundraise.

What I hope to accomplish?

I’ve been startlingly unproductive for the last few years. And every time I get actually going I seem to get too sick or exhausted to finish.

It took me a while — I’m kind of dumb, I won’t lie — to realize it’s because I’m trying to do at least three jobs at once: this blog, writing fiction and then publishing for me and my family (it’s like juggling live hedgehogs.) This without counting the every day business of living, like litter boxes, making dinner…. that sort of thing.

My hopes for 50k is that I would get enough to hire someone to collate and clean up my articles so I can publish six or seven books of them (under According 2 Hoyt, to prevent confusion with my fiction.)

I also want to hire someone to design and create an author website for me (in case you haven’t noticed it sucks small hairy animals) and to design and create Azounding, which will be reborn as a website to link, promote, and publicize writers to the right of Lenin. (Someone to do data entry would help, but eh.) If that person also could do things like update my blog links and widgets it would be a major bonus, since those are like three years out of date. (It’s a time sink because my mind doesn’t bend that way.)

The stretch goal was to get some of my books translated and see if they sell in other languages. (I’ll be honest, the Three Musketeers in Portuguese probably won’t pay much, but I’d like my dad to be able to read the book I dedicated to him.)

And maybe hire some people to do audio for my indie books, like Witchfinder and Rhodes. I don’t know if they would pay, but I’m willing to risk a couple of them.

UPDATE: ALSO I wish to hire someone to help with publicity and merch. I forgot to mention that yesterday.

So, what I want to do with money donated to the business is put it to work for the business. And then with the additional money, maybe hire a part-time assistant, so all I do IS write: blog or fiction.

BUT any money is a start, and I might be able to get some of it done, anyway. It will just take careful management and a little more time. That’s fine, and I’m immensely grateful to all those who donate/ed.


Tier 1– $10 or more – A shout out on my blog, all with all other the supporters, by name, in one massive “Thank you” post. [Jokey or offensive names will not be included at author’s discretion.]

Tier 2– $25 or more – Email jpg of certificate with funny fish saying “I Was Carped at according to hoyt.com” and a Certificate of being a member of Hoyt’s Huns, cultural wars sapper battalion, in good standing.

Tier 3– $60 or more – Exclusive ebook collection of USAian stories. (Including a new, original, never published story.) Estimated delivery August 2023

Tier 4– $100 or more – Your name will appear in a mass death/other mass event/list in one of Sarah’s books. [estimated delivery up through July 2023. All indie books, as no others are guaranteed.]

Tier 5– $150 or more – A sound file of Sarah saying “Moose and Squirrel.”

Tier 6 – $250 or more – Will send a signed copy of trade paperback Gentleman takes a chance and one large postcard with book covers, also signed. (USPS- continental US only. All others, let’s talk.) [estimated delivery Sept 2022]

Tier 7 – $350 or more – Three signed books (of our choice), plus two extra items from “Sarah’s Garage”, (also of our choice) which might very well be a small rubber fish. (You’ve been warned.) USPS only. Continental U.S. only [estimated delivery Sept 2022]

Tier 8 – $500 or more – Personalized tuckerization. You will become your very own zany character, with at least a line or two of dialogue, and physical description. Physical safety and life of character not guaranteed. If you perish, it will NOT (repeat not) be in a mass death event or a list of other kinds.  [estimated delivery up through July 2023. All indie books, as no others are guaranteed.] [Jokey or offensive names, descriptions and personalities will not be included at author’s discretion.]

Tier 9 – $1000 or more – A CHOICE OF:

Option 1 -Will read the first 10 pages and outline of your novel and provide timely critique, with the understanding that I am not infallible. (A skype, zoom or other video call to discuss the work for an hour or so.) [estimated delivery Winter 2022 – Spring 2023]

Option 2 – Large box of ten signed books, plus items ranging from a con badge, to a mini dinosaur skeleton or a print of Sarah’s original art, or other items from Sarah’s garage. USPS only. Continental U.S. only [estimated delivery Sept 2022]

Option 3 – Signed copy of Sarah’s old copyedited or page-proof manuscripts. [estimated delivery Fall 2022] (5 limit.)

Tier 10 $5000 or more – You will become a major character on one of my books, and I’ll try to reflect your appearance, and chosen personality.  [estimated delivery up through July 2023. All indie books, as no others are guaranteed.] [Jokey or offensive names, descriptions and personalities will not be included at author’s discretion. You don’t get to have someone else be an offensive character. (Sorry!) Your actions will be altered to serve the plot if needed.] – Limit 5. (You’ll be informed if this has been claimed, and given a chance for a refund or of a comparable reward.)

Tier Insane – $25000 or more – My husband and I will travel to a city in the continental US and have dinner with you and your plus one.  (Continental US only.) – Limit ONE. [Delivery up to July 2023.] (You’ll be informed if this has been claimed, and given a chance for a refund or of a comparable reward.)


If you want to be thanked/mentioned by a name different from your regular one, please email to: bookpimping at outlook dot com.


DONATE TO ACCORDING TO HOYT TAANSTAFL DAYS (The previous words are a link!)


Sarah A. Hoyt

Goldport Press

304 S Jones Blvd #6771

Las Vegas, NV  89107


The picture below is not my best work. I was hoping to do another one today, but I woke up late. At any rate, it is released under creative commons, so if you want to you can improve on it.

At any rate, this is my thank you to everyone who has donated so far, and my incentive to the others for putting up with the dog and pony show!

Today’s picture is called Roadside Wreck. Would you help this lovely lady, if you came upon her? 😉

This Picture was created by Sarah A. Hoyt and is released under CC BY

CC BY-active link to explain rights.

97 thoughts on “TANSTAAFLDay 7 – It’s Heinlein’s Birthday and SF picture Released under Creative Commons license

  1. Grumble Grumble

    You corrected the post from “day 6” to “day 7” before I could kid you about it. [Very Big Crazy Grin]

    Oh, “would I help her”?

    Maybe but I’d be in “trust but verify” mode. 😉

      1. Meddle not in the affairs of Dragons for you are crunchy and taste good…

        1. I’ve got a story on the backburner where that is literally the unstated joke.
          Shape-shifting dragons have issues with humans because everybody smells like they’d taste good…..

          1. I remember reading an incomplete (work-in-progress) story online once about certain unlucky people having a smell that dragons find irresistible and being used as live bait. That was years ago, but I think the title was “I Hate Dragons.” Can’t remember the author, unfortunately.

        2. Meddle not in the affairs of humans, for you are vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire. 😉

          1. Really?

            Only Stupid Dragons are endangered by anti-aircraft fire. [Very Very Big Dragon Grin]

            1. That’s okay; if you come at us on the ground there’s also anti-tank weapons. Or even small nukes, if that’s what it takes.

              Dragons may be tough, but they’re not invincible. 😉

              1. Oh, we’re not invincible and we’re very smart.

                You think of a way to kill us and we’ll think of a way to prevent it.

                Mind you, we enjoy the “contest of wits” with the Honorable Order Of Dragonslayers so much that we don’t see what a Full-Scale War would bring us.

                Fortunately, the Honorable Order Of Dragonslayers enjoy the “contest of wits” as much as we do. 😉

                1. Generally speaking, the dragons first compromise the folks making ammunition and radar-tracking systems… then the advanced defenses are as effective as those fitty-cent Chinese paper face-diapers at stopping Covid… Just ask Saint Fauci…

  2. > “Well, for years now, I’ve felt guilty I’m writing for free, which in grumbles he referred to as “immoral.””

    So you feel guilty for writing for free, but you also feel guilty asking for money? [rolls eyes] Y’know, there’s probably therapy for that. Or a pill. 😛

    But on a more serious note… A few days ago I offered to give you a guest post via a public file hosting service, since keeping the contents of the post secret wasn’t important in this case. You never responded.

    It occurs to me that I’ve made this sort of offer a few times before and you never seem to respond, let alone accept. Do you have an issue with public file hosting services that I should know about?

          1. Ah. File-sharing services are things like Dropbox, Google Drive, and so on. Places where you can upload a file and then pass the link around so others can then download it.

            The idea is that I’d upload an .rtf file or something, share the link here and then you can download and post it at your leisure. This would let me give you blog content despite our not being able to communicate privately.

            Of course, the obvious drawback is that anyone else can download it and see the content prematurely, so this doesn’t work for everything. But it’s fine for some things; my most recent suggestion is an audience participation deal and the real action would take place in the comments, so it’s no big loss if they peek at the announcement post.

              1. [rolls eyes]

                Sarah, we’ve tried three of your emails AND Discord. And two of your emails we’ve tried repeatedly.
                Can we at least find a different wall for me to bang my head against? This one’s getting kind of old.

                Anyway, do you want to know what type of content I’m proposing or are you not interested?

                  1. There’s a category of computer games called “interactive fiction” (IF for short). They’re text-only, so no graphics or audio to deal with. There’s one called “Suveh Nux” that I’d like to run a let’s play of here.

                    You play the servant of a wizard who gets trapped in his master’s vault, and to escape you have to experiment with a magical language and figure out its rules. It’s probably the best inductive logic computer game I’ve ever seen, and I think some of the people here would get a kick out of it. It’s short enough – and this crowd is smart enough – that I think one post should be all we’d need.

                    What say you?

                    1. Sure.
                      BTW I KNOW about that. I wrote one back in the dark ages…. oh, dear, 1982? 3? When I briefly dabbled in computer programing. (Look, ADD as heck. I learn a lot of things, then run off to the next thing.)

                    2. > “Sure.”

                      Great. It’ll probably be after your fundraiser is over.

                      > “BTW I KNOW about that. I wrote one back in the dark ages”

                      Really? I might need to look this up. What was the title?

                1. Send a USB gadget to the snailmail dropbox with the info? And a clear explanation of who you are that can be verified, lest there be risk of idiots sending such with something infectious and narsty (and getting away with it)?

                  1. Anything I might say to prove I was the sender would end up being something I’d discussed publicly first. So there’s no way to make that secure without already having a private channel.

                    1. Although, now that I think about it… PayPal lets you include a private message along with a donation, doesn’t it? I suppose I could send her another donation and include a password.

                      That said, we’d have to spend money mailing a flash drive back and forth every time, and I’m worried the summer heat might ruin it. Plus, with our luck it wouldn’t surprise me if something went wrong and she didn’t get the donation message.

                      Still, we could try the next time I want to send content that DOES need to be kept secret until publication.

                    2. And thinking about it even MORE, I guess I could set up a Dropbox account or something that was password-protected and just send her the log-in info with the donation…

              1. Thanks, I didn’t know that! I don’t normally have a use for those services so I’m not too familiar with them.

                Any particular one you’d recommend? Something that requires little or no setup on Sarah’s part would be ideal, as she seems way busier than I am.

                1. I have gaming groups that have used Googledocs, and I’ve used Dropbox for work projects. Both work for certain values of “work”. The work projects stuff was also backed up on my company’s document cloud, so I wasn’t dependent on Dropbox.

                  One thing to consider, for what you and Sarah are apparently contemplating, is a careful scan of the TOS. For a while, Google was apparently operating on “if it passes through our servers, we can look at and use the content without further notice — or royalty.” I wouldn’t use it for original content I cared about leaking.

    1. The issue is that Sarah seems to attract Mythical Creatures (Dragons, Minotaurs, etc.) and amongst such there are also Gremlins… and, well, Gremlins gonna gremlin.

  3. The future equivalent of showing some leg at the side of the road to get some assistance with her vehicle?

    1. Of course, “she” might not be a real person. Just bait put out by the actual owner of the spacecraft. 😈

  4. In the interests of time I conquered my dislike of PayPal and kicked in a donation at 4:43 pm CT. Please skip the mention of my name on the blog. Mass death scene book mention….so tempting. Maybe under a nickname?

    1. Look, I’m very bad at remembering these things. Unless you made a comment in the donation itself, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com tell me the name you donated under, and the name you want.
      And thank you.

  5. She is quite interesting I like the general look and the wild red unitard/pant suit (although the top seems to be staying up with the aid of much static electricity). And yet something about her drops her square into the uncanny valley for me which the images of the other ladies did not. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Posture perhaps? I am a superannuated boy scout (I am a Lensman) so I’d stop, but when I stopped to help I might want to have Worsel and the assorted Kinnisons on the equivalent of speed dial. Skip Nadreck he never does anything in a hurry and that environment is probably 270-290 degrees C or so too warm for him.

    1. She uses the same fabric that Black Widow does. Along with the zippers that never work down from a partly-open position.

      1. Excuse to share thing I thought was incredibly cool– there’s double-sided tape for use with lady’s clothing for stuff like this.

        There’s also basically plastic bras that use the double-sided tape that give most of the shaping advantage of a bra, but keep more of the jiggle.

        (Which is not a great idea for high active behavior when you’ve got “good lungs,” but it looks really nice, apparently.)

        1. So it’s smart body paint? 😎

          Hey, cephalopods can change color that way; aliens could too….

          1. And I wonder where the wind is coming from to cause the blowing of the hair. To much sailing sunfish and similar boats as a kid…

      1. The word catsuit has always puzzled me. It’s a tightfitting (skin tight) jumpsuit, classic for Scifi heroines and Comic book heroines. But look at a cat. Thei “suit” (fur) is loose and flappy particularly at their primordial pouch (i.e. tummy) so they can move with ease. Clearly whoever came up with the name catsuit never actually looked at an actual felis/panthera family member.

        1. Nah, racoons are loose and flappy.

          Cats have to get older before they start looking like their suit doesn’t fit so well anymore– and non-pet cats, that doesn’t happen unless they’re really AWESOME hunters.

          That said, the theory is that how the ladies wearing said suits moved has more to do with it.

          1. Elegant and Slinky like a cat, that makes sense. Here is where an Oxford english unabridged would be awesome as it would certainly have the initial citations for use as it’s from the 1960’s

          2. you know, I had a few catsuits in the seventies, because mom thought they were nice. (They were fashionable. It was a thing.)
            One of them, when she was making it, she forgot to leave any openings on, and at the third fitting I asked her. 😀
            It was green, of course, which makes me look dead, but mom never could process that I didn’t look good in the same colors she looked good in. (Pale skin, walnut hair, green eyes. Me, olive skin, dark eyes and hair. Yeah.)

            1. Color issue makes me think you might be similar in tone to my wife (Redhead but with olive undertones from Sicilian ancestry). Her mom ALWAYS wanted to dress her in green (red head) but most greens (especially the ones common in the 60’s and 70’s) make her look as if she is vaguely seasick and about to toss her cookies She still had some forced upon her from her Mom when we dated in the early 80’s. Please trust me when I say the color was not flattering even to a young gentleman who was utterly smitten with her 🙂 . To this day she HATES green blouses or dresses of any sort.

              1. Not me. That’s her mom. I’m dark olive, with (when it had color) dark dark auburn hair (looked black in certain lights, but flaming red in bright sun.)
                And yes green made me look ill.

        2. From the Wiki for “catsuit”.


          The name “catsuit” is attributed only since about 1955 or 1960. Originally, they were called bodysuits. The origin of the name is unknown; it may refer to a slinky, catlike aspect given the wearer by some versions. It may also relate to the association with superhero Catwoman whose costume from the 1950’s onward is a modified catsuit.

          End Quote

    2. Her left arm is not placed to support any weight, even though she’s leaning that way. Either there’s something funny about her, or about gravity.

  6. I would not be trusting that woman! I’ve seen trouble and that’s what it often looks like. And I suspect her of being a prop with a small and sneaky alien inside. (Who I might actually help.)

  7. Yeah, serious trouble there, even if she is what she appears to be (particularly if she is what she appears to be)

    As stated before, “trust but verify”

    And maybe because you mentioned RAH’s birthday, but I have feeling she doesn’t really need a lot of help, and might be insulted by the offer. (Her name isn’t Hazel is it?)

    1. Can’t be Hazel, she’s supposed to be a redhead not a brunette with white accents :-).

  8. Ok, slightly off-topic but somewhat relevant to supporting authors. . .

    Recently signed up for Kindle Unlimited. Wondering how & when funds get back to the authors – is it when you add books to your library? After you read them? When you rate them?

    Do authors get paid if their book is read in the ‘3 month free’ promotional period?

    1. In order:

      1/2 – no. KU is paid on the number of pages read by subscribers. A fraction of a cent per page, which varies every month (sometimes up, all too frequently down). Payment to authors is monthly for the preceding month.

      3 – You don’t have to rate or leave a review at all. (Although it is much appreciated.)

      4 – It doesn’t matter whether you are in the free period or not.

      Nice things to do, if you are able: If you like the book on KU, consider buying it. (Yes, that, as far as I can tell, gets us paid for both pages read and the royalty for purchase.) If you do want to leave a review, not just a star rating, do so after you buy – that makes you a “verified purchaser” and counts more in the bowels of the Amazon book ranking algorithm.

      1. Thanks for the replies. I’ll have to rack up the pages read then :). (Not very hard, tbh.. ah well, at least being addicted to reading is a socially acceptable addiction . . . )

      2. “If you like the book on KU, consider buying it. (Yes, that, as far as I can tell, gets us paid for both pages read and the royalty for purchase.) ”

        My policy is “if I re-read it, I’ll buy it”. That’s with new authors who don’t have a track record.

      3. Good to know. Now I’ll start buying KU books that I like then leaving good reviews.

  9. So, question: I donated $50 before tiers were added. If I kick in another $10, do I get the stories?

    1. Put a note on the donation, please? This is going to be a nightmare with people who don’t want to be mentioned, etc. But if you put a note on the thing? Sure.

  10. Don’t get too fancy with the website. Simple, clean, easy to navigate sites that load fast and respond fast are the best. If you have fans, they are interested in you, not in fancy, time-consuming animations that slow the page load.

  11. Will mail a check to the Vegas address. Check has my secret identity, address, bank info, which I never reveal on-line. If I send note with the check that this is Presbypoet, and that is who to kill, along with email and address, will it get to you? I do not trust on-line with any sensitive info. Living in Mordor west, everything posted has been by Presbypoet for decades. I know the AI “knows”, but it “knows” I live in a county building 2 counties away….so.

    It has taken a while to convince my wife (who still trusts msnbc), that I should send a large sum of money to another strange woman. Also I am a world champion procrastinator.

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