First of all, I wanted to thank all who donated WHILE I was writing this. I already got $780 from 24 backers, THANK YOU!!!
This post is sort of like a mini-fundraising campaign one would do on Kickstarter, but I'm doing it on my blog because I have no time. Yesterday my cousin sent me a Facebook message that my mom, whom I just have seen on my trip to Russia to get my son back (a whole another story) has been admitted to the intensive care with both a heart attack and a stroke, and that her condition is bad. She is only 56. She can move her arms and legs, but her talk is slurry, and there is damage to vital organs, I don't know which, can't get through to the hospital. The only reason I got this message was because I actually have found my cousin in Moscow when I was there, after not seeing her for 9 years and having no contact at all. If I didn't insist on her opening a Facebook account, I wouldn't have known at all. I also had no contact with my aunt, and my half-sister is in Kiev, but I will spare you the rest of the family drama. The deal is, I only have enough savings to last me 5 more months, and my trip to get my son back home cut that an additional $3,000. I still have money, but it was supposed to cover 6 months of me writing my novel about growing up in Soviet Union, IRKADURA, and now I will have only about 4 months worth of savings left, after this trip, this includes the money I recently made with a short consulting gig. So... I'm asking you to help sponsor this trip to Moscow, so that I have adequate time to write IRKADURA, and so that hopefully I can leave some money behind for my mom and her recovery.
My mom's story. It's a very gruesome read, so if you'd rather skip it, go ahead and scroll down to the pledges and amounts. If you are still reading, the picture above is one of the few I have of my parents together, happy. It's a picture from their wedding album which I literally had to beg out/steal from my grandmother, several years before her death. If I wouldn't have, my father would've destroyed it. You see, my father and my mother hate each other, and I've never seen them happy together, this picture above, and my book ROSEHEAD, are my hopeless dreams to imagine them happy together. My mom was severely abused by her family, by father and grandfather sexually, by mother physically, as in, they beat her head on the floor until it got bloody. She tried to run away many times, and at last did, at 18, after meeting my father in the library. He was 35. He took her in, and in 3 weeks (my facts are blurry here, I can be off some years or dates) they got married. He turned out to be crazy in love with her, but also a violent and abusive husband, forcing her to have sex with him even when she was hurting. She told me they had it in the morning, then he came home from work for a lunch break, and then at night. She had a high libido as well, so she said she enjoyed it, at first. Whatever sexual problems my father has, I have yet to discover (collecting facts slowly), but he sexually abused me as well. It was not sex for pleasure, it was more like sexual torture, well, he did get aroused when he got into his anger fits, but in any case, my memories are blurry, so I don't know exactly how it transpired apart from what my body tells me. Anyway, my father told me that my mother was a whore and that his goal was to root out those whoring tendencies from me as well. He also told me that I was crazy, because my mom was crazy. But she never was, she was simply suffering from extreme ADHD, PTSD, depression, suicidal tendencies, and a bunch of other stuff. She is a survivor. Okay, I'm realizing the whole story won't fit here. Fast forward many years. About my parents... My father is no monster, if you think so, we had good times too, and he's a writer as well, he taught me to love literature, but he has issues he never got over. My mother is no angel, in case you think so, but she is a survivor, and when she could, she showed me love (I was primarily raised by my grandmother). She took in my elderly grandmother and grandfather, when nobody would care for them (and this after they abused her when she was little)... well, not quite true, my cousin took care of them for a while, but being 20 something, she didn't have enough money herself... anyway, my mom ran herself ragged taking care of them. She has no money, she knits amazing dresses, but she is a starving artist. She is literally living below poverty level, and finally her body gave out. My goal was to get financially steady and bring her over here (I'm an American citizen, so I can do it), but I can't even send her paperwork, because she has no address, she lives on the outskirts of Moscow in a cabin-like house with no bathroom and an outhouse for a toilet. And I will stop here, because I can't type anymore, my hands are shaking, sorry. I was planning on writing a lot of this reality into IRKADURA.
GOAL: $3000 ($850 airplane, $150 transportation, $500 food/cash/phone, $1500 money for mom's recovery)
WHAT I WILL DO FOR YOUR DONATIONS:
- Pledge any amount. GILDED MOUSE: Depending on what platforms we are connected, I will tweet, Facebook, or Google+ a "thank you".
- Pledge $25 or more. COMFORTABLE CAT: All of the above, plus a handwritten "thank you" card in the mail.
- Pledge $50 or more. LOADED KOALA: All of the above, plus a 30 minute live chat on Google chat or Skype on any topic you wish.
- Pledge $100 or more. AFFLUENT SLOTH. All of the above, plus a 1 hour live writing lesson or a 1 hour live writing critique of your work.
- Pledge $250 or more. WEALTHY PANDA. Everything at the LOADED KOALA level, plus I will read your work, up to 10,000 words, and send you 1 page of detailed feedback.
- Pledge $500 or more. PROSPEROUS KANGAROO. Everything at the LOADED KOALA level, plus I will read your novel manuscript and send you 3 pages of detailed feedback.
- Pledge $1000 or more. RICH GIRAFFE. Everything at the LOADED KOALA level, plus a 2 hour personal meeting (provided you live in Seattle or in the bus vicinity). If you live further than Seattle, I will come out to you, if you pay for my travel and lodging expenses.
Also, you can buy a selection of Chuck Wendig's books (he graciously donated them) for $20, or you can buy original SIREN SUICIDES artwork from any chapter (just send me the chapter name, first come, first serve) for $50 each (my daughter graciously donated them). I have no time to set up these items in the shop, so please email me what art you want, and if you want Chuck Wendig's books.
Of course, you can also buy my books, that will help me greatly as well.
I will start delivering on my promises on the first-come-first-serve basis and on my schedule permitting, so "thank you" mentions will come out as I have time and WiFi while traveling, everything else will be delivered by the time I'm back, starting November 1st. I have just finished writing 2nd Draft of ROSEHEAD, so the timing is good. I will keep track of everything myself, so please allow time for me to do it, but rest assured, I will get to you, as promised.
I will also post updates on my mom, and on everything that is happening, all over social media, of course, and will post an update on the money goal here, in the comments, so you know what is happening and where your money is going.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT, I LOVE YOU!
Feel free to ask any questions on the comments, so I can provide a proper FAQ for you like any respected Kickstarter project does.