On June 30th, I posted an appeal for financial assistance with my studio rent for July. For a minimum donation of $5, you received a short story, a “Patron of the Arts” graphic for your blog/website, a larger version of your graphic posted as a sponsor on my studio wall (see the circles in the picture to the left?) and my sincere gratitude.
At that time, I thought it would be a one-shot deal, but several people suggested to me that I should do it once a month. I considered it for August, but since I had the money (and didn’t want to feel/appear greedy), I decided I wouldn’t do it again unless I really needed to.
Well, despite filling out countless job applications — both online and in person — and sending out innumerable resumes, I find myself again looking at the first of the month with a sense of impending doom. Although I have started up a small social media ghost-writing service called Words For Hire, I am only just beginning to find clients now. In short, I have three days in which to come up with my studio/office rent, so I am again appealing for your help.
For a minimum donation of $5, you will receive a 2700-word sneak peek of my current writing project, a novel called Carrying On. You will also receive, like last time, a personalized “Patron of the Arts” graphic to display on your own blog or website, and your name will be posted in my studio/office, on the “This Space Brought to You By” wall. (These items will be sent to you via email once the graphic has been personalized.)
My studio is my “happy place,” where I write, and hook rugs, and dabble in mixed media. It’s my home away from home and I get far more accomplished there than I would at my actual house. Because of my studio — because it puts me in the right frame of mind and helps to keep me disciplined — I will be exhibiting some of my rugs in a local gallery and will also be teaching a short fiction course through the University of New Brunswick. My studio gives me confidence and validates what I do. My studio keeps me grounded and focused, and — in short — I need it to stay sane.
So if you are in a position to lend a hand, I would greatly appreciate it. Things are gradually looking up, but they aren’t quite there yet, and I can use all the help I can get. Thanks for any and all help (and good thoughts!) you might send my way, and just spreading the word will help, too. Any donations beyond what I need for my September rent will go first to getting my bangs trimmed so I don’t go cross-eyed and then to October’s rent.
Want a good chuckle? Besides writing this blog post, I’ve also made a video appeal for you to watch — proof that anyone can make a fool of themselves on the Internet.
Here’s the donation button. Thanks again, folks. It means the world to me.
Yeah, I know — this blog looks like I’ve expired. Longer blog post later today or early tomorrow, but this is what I’ve been up to the past week: Good Morning, Frank. Part of the life I want to create for myself involves being healthier, and since it’s such a big project (no pun intended), I made it a blog all its own.
In the rest of my life, I’m in a transitional period, like I’m drifting in a rowboat, peering over the side to see if I can touch bottom yet if I get out. Sifting through everything is taking a lot of time and energy, but I’m making progress. It’s just not the kind of thing that lends itself to a blog post.
More soon — promise! In the meantime, for some really fun art, please check out The Grumpy Goat Gallery. I just stumbled across them online and their site just made me happy to the tips of my toes!
Ever want to be a Patron of the Arts, but figured you had to be in a bigger tax bracket?
Ever want to make a real difference in someone’s life in one easy step?
This is the short version: For four months now, I have been living the creative life — writing, making art, et cetera. It’s going well, but things haven’t taken off at the rate I need them to. I’ve begun applying for full-time jobs, and I’m sure I’ll find a job and get caught up soon, but here is the problem: it’s the last day of June, and (thanks to the mail delay/back-log from the strike/lock-out by Canada Post) I don’t have my studio rent for July.
I love my studio. Not only do I write and create art here, but I also use the space to tutor kids who need extra help in reading and math. It’s a happy space, surrounded by energetic and creative people, and it would break my heart to lose it. My landlord is a very jovial fellow with whom I have a great working relationship, and while I’m pretty sure he won’t toss me out at the stroke of midnight tonight, nothing strains connections between people more than money owed. I don’t want to put either of us in that position.
So I could really use some help. And since I don’t believe in “something for nothing,” this is what I’m offering:
Become a Patron of the Arts for Just $5:
For a minimum donation of $5 to my PayPal account, you will receive the following:
- an electronic copy of my short story, “Castles,” never before published or available anywhere but my hard drive! It’s 14 pages (double-spaced for readability) and 3612 words. (That’s more than seven words for every penny! Talk about a bargain!)
- a “Patron of the Arts” graphic like the one displayed here, personalized with your name, for display on your own blog/website.
- your name on the “This Space Brought To You By” wall in my studio
- bragging rights and my eternal, undying gratitude.
Once I receive the confirmation of your donation from PayPal, I will use the email address PayPal sends me to email you the story (PDF) and the personalized graphic file (PNG). I would love to do a direct download instead, so you wouldn’t have to wait, but then I wouldn’t be able to personalize the graphic. Time is also of the essence here and I don’t know how to do a direct download yet.
Please know that if you can help, it will mean the world to me. Once I get a job, keeping my studio is one of my top priorities. Even if I can only be here a couple of hours a day while I’m working somewhere else, I can still create in a space and time dedicated to that purpose. I didn’t expect to find myself in this “will I be here tomorrow?” position, but the postal strike took me by surprise and hijacked some of my finances, as it did to many small businesses and artists out there.
Answers to questions you may have:
“How will we get the story and graphic?”
- I will be checking my email frequently and will send the files to you as soon as I see the PayPal confirmation.
“How do we know you’re not some con artist?”
- This blog isn’t just a fly-by-night operation. I’ve been pouring my heart and soul into it for years now. If you read the entries, you will know me. Ripping people off isn’t my style.
“How do we know you can actually write?”
- I am the two-time winner of the Canadian Author and Bookman Short Fiction Award (in 1990 and 1992). You can look me up under my maiden name (Kraglund) in the Canadian Periodical Index for those years.
“Can we donate more than $5?”
- If you want to, sure! (Like any struggling writer/artist will say no to that!)
“What if you raise more than just your studio rent money?”
- I will first pay this month’s studio rent, and any more than that will go towards next month’s studio rent so that the intention for the donated money will remain the same.
Again, thanks for any help you may be able to provide, and even if you are not in a position to help, just spreading the word would mean a lot too.
Here’s the button. Thanks for your support.
A long time ago (not quite the Precambrian era, but it sure feels like it sometimes), everyone knew me as a writer. It was as much a part of who I was as my own name. And after winning a national creative writing award from the Canadian Author’s Association twice in three years, I had a tongue-in-cheek nickname in the English Department at Acadia: “The Future of Canadian Literature.” At one point, to perpetuate the joke, I had a purple ballcap emblazoned with gold thread lettering: “TFoCL.” Those were the days, my friend.
It’s been twenty years since then, and when I made up my Day Zero list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, I put quite a few writing-related goals on it. But I haven’t exactly been focusing on them — or the list in general, for that matter.
So today I decided I would kill two birds with one stone. I would cross an item off the list and I would pick up my “WRITER” label once more. I rejoined the Writers Federation of New Brunswick — after nearly fifteen years of being MIA. Within ten minutes, I had sent in my application, paid my dues, heard back from the Executive Director, and received the Spring 2011 issue of the newsletter. Gotta love the Internet!
I don’t think the purple hat would fit any more. After all, being 41 years old sort of goes against being “the future” of anything. But being back amongst like-minded individuals who identify themselves as writers is already going a long way towards waking up that long-dormant part of my Self. I’m looking up markets, and jotting down ideas, and fiddling with plot outlines, and mulling over lines of poetry…
… and it’s only been an hour.
* * *
Update: About that craft show… I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped to do. Actually, I only sold three items and didn’t manage to break even after the table fee. After pouring everything I had into it for several days — including sleeping on my studio floor — I was pretty disappointed. But I met a lot of great people and I won the raffle basket, so not all was lost.
When I rented my studio space, one of the fleeting visions I had was of a table filled with my wares, with people looking at things I’d created, and perhaps even buying the occasional item. Someday, I thought. Someday.
Well, “someday” is coming a heck of a lot quicker than I thought it would!
One day last week, I received a Facebook message from my friend Licca Kikuchi. How we met is such a cool story — it was six or seven years ago, when she was on an educator exchange from Japan and I was working as a substitute teacher, covering an art class. Licca’s English was a little better than my Japanese (I think I can count to five, if pressured), but for the most part we communicated in gestures and smiles. She carved a rubber stamp for me, featuring my name in Japanese, and then after a few months, we lost touch.
Fast forward about four years, and I ran into Licca again, this time in a local book store! And she was speaking English just as well as I could! It was so exciting, that we could actually talk to one another! (Sadly, my Japanese skills hadn’t advanced at all.) Licca has made my hometown her home, and is sharing her culture through her art. We keep meaning to get together for a “creative session,” which hasn’t happened yet, but we still bump into each other at the book store, the dog park, and even ginormous lobster statues a couple of hours away from home!
Anyway, back to that Facebook message. Licca mentioned that there was an upcoming craft show that would be a fundraiser for Japan, and would I like to have a table? After dealing with every emotion known to man in about four seconds (fear, excitement, concern — yeah, those ones), I wondered if I could actually have enough things to fill a table by then.
Well, I’m going to do my best, folks. I don’t have to officially answer if I’m in or not until the day before the show (also known as this coming Friday — yikes!), so that’s a bit of a safety net. But I want to do this. If I wait until I feel ready to do my first show/sale, then it will likely be a posthumous retrospective! This way I don’t have time to talk myself out of it. I only have time to create, CREATE, CREATE!
The question, of course, is: “Create what, exactly?”