The short and not-so-sweet summary: Since about 2013 my effective income has been sliding and more expenses, some medical, some house-related, some car-related, and more, have eaten away all my reserves. We're in trouble, put bluntly.
Truthfully, this campaign could be in all three categories of medical, emergency, and family.
More detailed: around 2010-2012 I was probably averaging close to $20k from my writing. This made the difference between slowly losing ground and having to choose the cheapest way to deal with each immediate problem and being able to save a bit, deal with emergencies in the proper way, and even have some reasonable luxuries. This is no longer the case. The income dropped over the last 6 years precipitously and in that interim:
*My wife Kathy went through multiple surgeries for gallbladder and then bladder and other repairs needed, bleeding problems that nearly killed her at one point, and other issues ranging from a MRSA infection to developing what appears to be Miniere's disease
*My older son Chris has entered college; he's taking only a few courses at a time but even a community college costs a thousand dollars PER CLASS.
*My other son Gabe has had severe behavioral disorder problems which are terribly expensive in terms of time, effort, and emotional energy
*My daughter Vicky has significant anxiety and ADHD issues
*My youngest, Domenica, has apraxia and other issues
*Both my cars died this year, and given where we are and the various family issues, we need two cars
*I had several illness bouts, including severe asthma, one bout of pneumonia, an infection on my toe that combined with gout, and others
*Our house has several issues that have become increasingly important to address but I have not been able to afford it.
The combination of all of these not only drains money, but drains everyone's mental and physical resources that might otherwise be focused on finding ways out of the situation. Depression and anxiety and other negative emotions are constant threats no matter how we try to fight them off.
I am of course trying to continue my writing career -- it's really the only thing I can do other than my current job that has ANY reasonable hope of producing income -- but that's a long-term thing that, in the SHORT run, requires its own money to get going. I have a modest Patreon income, which is entirely devoted to that, but it's limited in that area.
I never expected to EVER have to ask other people for money, especially people who never knew me other than, perhaps, a name on a book cover, but I find I have no choice.
I've set the goal to a point where it would at least kill off some of the worst debt and give me some breathing room, but given the way things have gone this year and the prior years, I'm afraid that's on the low end of where I am now.
Thank you all for anything you choose to give.
Ryk E. Spoor