Hello to all my Nutters!
Today’s post is a long-winded but hilarious explanation of why I’ve added a donation button to The Coconut Chronicles (right hand side, bottom), and why you’re going to see the same donation button at the bottom of posts now.
But in case you don’t have time for the long story…
The Short Story
The guilt receptors in my brain are maxed out after watching Prez bust his already busted body for the past three years to keep me writing full time. Since every penny I’m earning from writing is going back into production of more books, the job of paying bills and keeping us from wandering the streets naked is entirely on Prez’s shoulders. (You do not want to wander naked in Nelson in November, trust me on that.) There is nothing romantic about being married to a starving artist.
There’s absolutely no pressure here and I hope you will continue to read my brain-spew even if you never give me so much as a used piece of gum. However, I do work hard to entertain you and hope that maybe, just maaaaybe, that’s worth a dollar or two.
No gum, please.
Now, for those who are new to the hallowed beaches of these Chronicles, or for those who would like to know more about this uppity scribbler begging for handouts, or for those who are reading this at 3am to help them get to sleep dammit, here is the long story. (You might want to go get some tissues; there could be orphans and injured puppies).
*Also, I’ll warn you that there’s one kind-of-icky photo. Sorry.
In the beginning…
There a was a stuntman and a stunt-woman and they did all kinds of crazy things.
They got in the way of big explosions…
They drove rocket-powered wheelchairs…
They hobnobbed with celebrities…
Sometimes they got hurt doing these crazy things (icky photo, sorry)…
But the craziest thing they ever did? They quit their jobs, sold everything they owned, and moved here…
3000 miles from home, with no TV, no radio, and dial-up internet that worked when it darn well felt like it (and it rarely felt like it),Kristene and Fred–soon to be known as “Princess and Prez”–began their new lives as nomadic entrepreneurs! (AKA “homeless drifters”).
This Caribbean Cay, so small you only ever needed to remember the last two digits of anyone’s phone number, was the birthplace of The Coconut Chronicles–a weekly, emailed newsletter written to keep family and friends up to date on the zany adventure that was island life.
That was in 2003. Ten years ago now. A lot has changed.
All the boring stuff in between…
Since 2003, I have journeyed with Prez all over the map, working and living and having adventures. We’ve had a lot of fun and we’ve also made some terrible decisions, many of which I’ve shared with the whole wide world via The Coconut Chronicles. My readers (you!) have been amazing and the virtual hugs helped me keep my chin up when things went awry.
By the way, on the road less traveled things frequently go awry.
One of the best things that happened during this time was my decision to pursue writing as a real job. I’ve always been passionate about storytelling but I was determined to turn passion into career, no matter what the odds against success. Prez was all for it.
Prez had no idea what he was in for.
2006 was my first moment of literary success. My short-short story “Attempted” won second place in the Writer’s Digest Short-Short Story Competition. I beat out almost eight thousand other entries and won $1500 in prize money. It’s no Hugo Award but it was enough to tell me I was on the right (write?) path.
Other awards followed, I had a few stories published in magazines and journals, and these Chronicles were featured on the Best of MSN Spaces (ah, the pre-WordPress era). I almost fainted the day The Coconut Chronicles received over 20,000 page views!
In 2008, while living in the Cook Islands, I met Texan writer Joshua Simpson, through this same blog. That chance e-encounter led to a co-authored story, which became a novel manuscript, which became the rough draft for a series of five novels. In 2012, we published the first book in the series, Warpworld. This month, we published the second book, Wasteland Renegades, and the next installment will be out in late 2014 or early 2015.
It has been one heck of a decade!
Where I’m at now and why I’m asking for support…
I took a long time deciding on whether or not I wanted to include a donate button on this site and how I would approach my readers if I did put it on. It seems as if just about everyone has their hand out for something these days and I don’t want to be one more hand cluttering up your already-stressful life.
But with my increasing career-related expenses and my rapidly decreasing free time, I came to the conclusion that I had to at least put out the call for help, no matter how weird it might feel.
A few folks have suggested I put advertising on here. I have chosen not to do that. And while I understand and respect bloggers who do go that route, I like to keep my tiny corner of the internet ad-free.
Over the next year, I will have another book to get ready for publication and all the related expenses that go along with that. I plan to begin work on a solo project, a novel, which will eat up what little free time I have. I would like to attend a minimum of four professional events (conferences and/or festivals) in 2014 and hopefully speak as a presenter or panelist for at least one of those. It’s going to be a stretch, so every little penny helps!
Oh wait, we don’t have pennies in Canada anymore. Make that nickels, then.
But just to make this extra crystal clear: I don’t expect donations. I appreciate donations. I will dance a little Snoopy dance if I get donations. But I will never expect donations. I hope some of you will toss in a few dollars when you have some to spare, (and only if you feel that I’ve given you something worth your money), but I am putting absolutely zero pressure on anyone (especially my friends and family) to donate.
But if you don’t donate to me, consider the ways you can help other artists. Whether you toss some coins to a street musician or back a Kickstarter campaign, they all need you. And we all need the arts.
I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating…anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us–I think this world would be unlivable without art and I thank you. ~ Steve Soderbergh
So ends my tale, without orphans or injured puppies…
Hm, feels a little anticlimactic, without the orphans or puppies, doesn’t it? And it probably wasn’t even that hilarious. Oh well, I’ve never been much for melodrama.
Thanks for reading, all you Nutters. You are the reason I continue on this mad key-pounding quest.
Until next time, I hope this finds you healthy, happy, and lovin’ life!
Thanks for reading! If you want to leave a tip in the jar, it’s right here…