The first story I really remember writing was about a unicorn who was uplifted by aliens at the end of the world. Actually, it’s kinda worrying to think about how much it has in common with basically everything I’ve written since. I’m still obsessed with writing about the apocalypse, for example, although thankfully there are fewer unicorn-kidnapping flying saucers these days.
Ever since I wrote that damned thing, fantastical stories have been a crutch, a comfort, and a wonder to me. Making them up is the only thing that I’ve ever really wanted to do–or been any good at, for that matter. And this year I have the chance to get on a plane for the first time since I was a teenager and fly all the way to the other side of the frikkin’ planet to learn how to do it better. It’s like I can’t fit it all inside my head at once.
All that said: never being much good at anything else is a problem. It means I’ve spent the last fifteen years bouncing between jobs. That I’ve been in debt to the point of being afraid to pick up the phone or answer the door, and that savings something that happen other people. All of which makes leaving my job for six weeks to fly around the world and learn how to make up better stories kinda difficult. Without Clarion West’s awesome scholarship program there is no way I would be able to do this at all.
I’m blessed to have the full support of a partner prepared to scrimp and save and even go into debt so that I can seize this chance to do the thing I love. But it turns out that getting a loan at anywhere near decent interest was the first fatality in our war against our credit ratings. And, if you’d like, that’s where you come in.
If you’re reading this, we probably know each other at least a bit. You probably already know at least some of this stuff, and you almost certainly support and care about me more than I know. Like, seriously. Writing this little blurb has been difficult. The truth is that I don’t really know how to ask for help. I’ve always worked on the default assumption that I’m a bit of a loner. That the best thing that I can do for other people is stay out of their way. But holy hell have I been proved wrong these past few weeks. Seriously? The support I’ve had since I told the world that I was doing this thing has just been incredible. I’ve had people who I haven’t spoken to since I was a kid get in touch to tell me how proud they are of me. You folks, I can’t even.
Since it looks like I have more awesome people all around me than I ever realised, I figured maybe I’d give this a go. Covering a six-week gap in my income is possible, but it’s going to be tough. If you happen have a spare fiver, and you want to use it to help me chase my dreams, then I’d love to send you an email when I come back and let you know how I get on. And if you’ve got a little more? Then I’ll also send you a copy of the ‘zine you can see me holding in the picture at the top here–with apocalypse stories (minus the unicorn-kidnapping aliens) by me, Dylan Fox, and John Reppion.
Either way, I’d want you to know that you folks all blow my mind, I love you to bits, and I’m damned glad to have you on this scary-awesome journey <3
Chip in below and you’ll be sworn into the Band of Heroes(tm) who are helping me do something just bloody awesome.
When I get back from Seattle, I’ll send the whole Band an email to let them know how this wild adventure goes. The highs, the lows, the jetlag, the secret photos that no one else gets to see, you’ll get it all 🙂
You’ll likewise be initiated in to the Band of Heroes, and I’ll send you the update email when I get back from the flipside of the Earth to let you know what it was like.
I’ll also send you a copy of “Journeys in the Winterlands” which I made with John and Dylan years ago, and which you can’t get from anywhere apart from the cardboard box that’s sitting in my living room.
Just make sure you put a shipping address in the special notes at the checkout so I know who to send it to. I guess that’s also a good place to let me know if you’d like me to sign it for you or anything.