JD's Intent to Frighten & Intrigue
Here's the Gist:
Look, I'm going to tell you a sob story of a relatively charmed existence where the woe is only on me. I'm asking for help, a handout, without much to offer in return, but I figure, it doesn't hurt to try.
Let me get this out of the way: I'm asking for $35,000 to eliminate my credit card debt (and cover taxes and fees of such a donation) so that I can be free to take any job without worrying if I'll be able to pay my bills on time. I'm seeking to be out from under the weight of debt so that I can breathe new life into my writing and perhaps one day even make a career out of my art. I write horror and science fiction. If you're willing to help me out, then I want to be given the opportunity to entertain you. Maybe you can even be a character or source of inspiration yourself with your donation—if you feel so generous. Maybe even get a first edition, signed and personalized! But to really feel like I can put my whole brain and heart into my writing, I need that imp off of my back that is the money-monster.
The Why of It:
Yesterday, after being on spring break vacation with my daughter, I returned to work, a Monday morning in March 2017, and I wasn't even able to clock-in for the day. I was informed I was being placed on probation and would need to go home and await further information from HR. I was offered to pack up my personal belongings I might want to immediately bring home awaiting the all-clear from HR. I didn't have much at my desk, some photos in frames, a couple of bobble-heads of Darth Vader and Spider-Man...knick-knacks you expect on someone's desk.
Life in a box:
Halfway home, my cellphone begins ringing. I'm not in the habit of answering my phone while driving, but considering what had just transpired, I managed to pull over and answer. I was being asked to come right back, "sorry about the inconvenience." Getting back into that meeting room, there were now two additional people to the two that had initially put me on probation. I was informed of exactly what I had done to be placed on probation, a thing I had suspected: I had accidentally sent a work related spreadsheet to my personal email when I tried to send myself writing ideas I kept in a folder on my computer desktop. For this transgression I was to be terminated immediately. No warning, no counseling, not even the probation; after five years of employment, fired, full-stop.
This was my mistake, I own that, but that's all it was, a mistake. Do I feel shocked and maybe severely treated? Sure; but in this day and age where data breaches can break a company, I compromised my employer through my reckless, thoughtless action. Of course, going forward, I know now to be extra careful not to mix business and personal items and especially to be careful of using work email to conduct personal business.
So that's that, I'm now unemployed. The real rub? This isn't the first job I've been let go from. It's not even the second or third. Since 2002 I have been laid off or let go four times and terminated twice on charges not exactly reflective of my actual workmanship or ethics. In the last ten years, I've had three jobs, and I've been let go from each one. I have not voluntarily left a position since 2003 when I was working nights and found a day job (which I would eventually be laid off from).
In some ways, I'm lucky to have continued to find work despite those disappointments, each successive job paying just a little better than the last and keeping me afloat. I am looking and fully intend to go back to work. I applied for three different jobs just last night. I have my hat in the ring with a temp agency. I expect to go back to work.
In these last several years, though, I have gotten married.
I've started the process of adopting my step-daughter, who has only ever known me as her dad.
My beautiful daughter and I, doing the scary thing:
Plus? I've also been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety. Being unable to hold down a job probably contributes to that quite a bit.
In the last six months alone, I have lost two dogs and a cat to sudden and unexpected health problems. Events surely not helping with depression or anxiety, or even I daresay, clarity of mind in the workplace. It has been a brutal winter.
Brody & Creole:
And Now, the Prostration:
So that brings us up to me asking for your help. Through the years, both in losing jobs, poor decision making and mishandling my own funds, I have wracked up a year's salary's worth of debt. I've never been late and I've been lucky so far as to never had a lein or collection put out on me. But I'm getting tired of struggling. I'm tired of worrying about living paycheck to paycheck. I'm tired of feeling like I'm just on the verge of being a burden to my family and friends. I'm not begging for a fix right now, I'm asking for your faith in me to start anew.
What's in it For You:
I have stories to tell, dark and fantastical stories from the depths of the Earth to the limitless void between stars. If, if, I could break these chains of debt and focus more on my writing than on how I'm going to pay this or that bill, I might very well produce the next great novel or series that burns through the charts. If you're interested in what I produce, I do have examples for sale on Amazon, short and long stories, in digital, paperback, and even audiobooks, that you can find here. On that page you can also find links to a blog that I sometimes write in.
Yes, I do actually write and sell books:
I'm asking for your help and donation to support my craft. It's a long game investment. One I may only be able to repay in gratitude. But if this works, if I can climb out of this hole with your support, you can be sure that I'll be grateful and eager to pay it forward should I find myself capable in the future.
Want to see me cut up that credit card once it's paid? Gladly. Expect that video.
Want to see me writing? Tune in on Wednesday nights when I write live on my Facebook author page. #WednesdayNightWrites
Don't be surprised if I hit you up for your address to send you copies of books from here on into eternity.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I have applied at Tulsa Tech for a Medical Coding certification program. This would be a job specialization that could get me into a lot of places the world over. I'm just a few steps away from admittance, but the bills will still need to be paid. Every little bit helps!
If you're seeing this, please know that I still have every intention of honoring the goals I set forth. I have been writing, working on a new novel, and I just banged out a new short story I feel pretty good about. I've also got some stories out on submission, so I'm eagerly anticipating responses to those. But it's gonna be tough, I haven't studied in almost twenty years. Yeah, this will be like extended job training, but there's textbooks, grades, and I'm paying for it.
Thank you to my previous donors. I intend to create characters out of you for my next novel project. ;)
Well, I've been applying for jobs nearly every day, sometimes multiple positions in a day, but I've had very little in the way of bites. As much as I'd like to just get back to work at about the same amount I was making, it's looking more and more like the universe is pushing me toward something...else. I'm having to entertain re-entering a retail environment so that I can have flexible hours and pursue a new education.
I recently visited Tulsa Tech's medical coding instructor and she agreed that what it is I'm looking for in a career, that is, independence and stability without much public interaction, medical coding might be a good fit. So, what else is there to do? Pass the entrance exam, aptitude test, the TABE is what it's really called, but I have to display a reasonable comprehension of reading and arithmetic. One of those I have no problem with...
But, the course starts up in August, so I'm going to try and bone up on some maths before I take that next to last step. The final step of course being enrolling and actually becoming a student again.
How can you help? Well, with your continued good will and donations, of course. I'm in a bad spot, I'm asking for help, but your help is going toward making a more radical me that gets to entertain you.