Paying it Back UPDATEon February 20th, 2013
This is going to get a little personal, so if you don’t want drama, move on.
I have not made most of this public, but now I have permission to do so. Some of you know that I went through a very rough patch about 7 years ago, an extended illness, making it very had to work, and my career went south. I’ve never gone into detail in public, because privacy matters to me, but there it is.
This period of illness and lost work cost a lot of money. I mentioned it fairly obliquely on my blog and in several articles where the admission that I actually had trouble paying for my almost quintupled monthly health care was met with derision by a few bloggers who decided to respond with comments about “what the comic book industry owes older creators” (always fun from bloggers older then you, and who knew that moving into your forties was The End? Someone should have euthanized Jack Kirby and Hal Foster,) and creators with “marginal” projects, (even more fun from someone who never had much of a career in the first place, and I’m looking at you, yes, I am. I cash Sandman royalty checks, and I’m not sure how “marginal” that book is supposed to be. Suppose you clarify).
So, you know, I don’t forget a cheap shot.
More importantly, I don’t forget a kindness. Which brings us to Arlene Harris.
She’s a published award-winning writer, who has never been able to make it as a full-time author. Which sucks.
But when I was down and not at all well, while some gloated, she hit my donation button to the tune of hundreds of dollars. She bought hundreds of dollars worth of original art. This helped. A whole lot. She’s not the only one to do this. I don’t even know her that well, and I’ve only met her twice, but I never forget this level of largesse out of the blue.
And now she’s in big trouble. Very big trouble. If you have a dollar or two, she could use it, and you will get a digital book for your pains. For my part, I have donated, I have returned all the money she sent me as donations, I have bought all of my art that she has not already sold at full price, and I resold one piece for her at double what she paid for it. The link to her blog is here, and you can hit the donation button.
The kindness of people on this site has already pushed her away from immediate need, which would be homeless in ten days. If just a couple dozen of you could come up with a few dollars each, she could have food and electricity for another month or two. Thanks for reading.
UPDATE: This note just came in.
Okay, here’s where I stand right this minute, adding everything in thats in the Paypall account to what I’ve already transferred to the bank:
Back rent for this month: paid
Electricity caught up, not just the deposit but the actual bill: paid
Phone: paid (cheapo semi smart phone, but it’s become like my lifeline so I wouldn’t consider it non essential)
Internet access: paid (I could drop this but it’s only $30 a month to be able to do ebay from home instead of the library, so again, kind of necessary)
Monthly bus pass: bought (and good thing too, rates are going up March 1)
March rent paid entirely without having to go the partial payment route like I did this month.
This means I would have nothing heavy to sit on my shoulders until that check gets here. I have enough to make it, and a little to spare.
So you can let people know I’m in the clear, and how grateful I am that they were there for me. I’ll update my blog with the same, I have a post to make I promised, some of the current book.
Thank you so much for passing the word on this. I will never forget what you did for me.
Also, Arlene has qualified for EBT for food.
The bus pass enabled her to get to a job placement meeting today, and here’s hoping that pays off. No further donations are needed, but if you would like to hit the donation jar and get an ebook, the tip jar is still there. It was a very nice thing you guys did. You literally saved someone from getting turned out on the street.
I know it’s not easy to make this sort of public admission, and some people, as I found out, can be pretty cruel. But I am glad Arlene was able to come forward and ask for help.
And I am very glad you did.