Like anybody else, I have bills to pay.
I have mortgage(s) and a kid in college and the cat needs to eat and I’m preparing to pick up this year and move just about as far across the continent as is possible. As Stonekettle Station has increased in popularity, it takes up more and more of my time to do proper research and analysis, write the content you come here for, and manage the site, commenting, and the associated social media feeds.
And when I’m doing that, I’m not writing novels or short stories or paying copy or working in the woodshop.
Unless you’re Wil Wheaton, making a living from social media is an adventure and based on my evolving business model, every once in a while I need to run a donation drive.
I don’t like this.
I don’t like asking for money.
Ideally, I write something and if you like it enough, you’ll kick in. And thankfully, you do so often enough that I can mostly survive doing this. I’ll never get rich, but it beats writing advertising jingles or flipping burgers or getting shot at. That is going to become even more important to me as my business model evolves. More on that later.
I don’t like asking for money, it makes me very uncomfortable. So the last time I did this I found a way to assuage my conscience.
See, I turn trees into things, sometimes firewood but usually stuff more like this:
That’s a spalted Alaskan Birch bowl, turned in my shop by me. Signed. One of kind. 14” in diameter. It’s intended as art, but it would make a dandy – if expensive – salad bowl.
And it can be yours.
Here’s how it works:
- Donations of $50 or more:
Anybody who donates $50 or more during the period January 1 to February 15 will be put in the running to win this piece. That means if you’ve already donated to Stonekettle Station this month, you’re already entered to win.
- Donations of less than $50:
Anybody who donates between $1 and $49 between January 1st and Feburary 15th will be eligible to win a handmade customized laser-engraved pen in the same style I made for a number of famous writers at the World Science Fiction Convention (Sasquan) in Spokane, Washington last year. I will randomly select TWO winners in this category. Winners will be able to specify what they want engraved on the pen within certain limitations (you can only fit so much on a pen barrel folks). And again, if you’ve already donated this month, you’re already entered to win.
You may enter more than once. Each donation will be counted as a unique entry.
Winners will be selected February 15th by Shopkat.
To donate, click on the “Donation” button on the upper right side of this screen and follow the directions.
Note: Those of you who already donate via an automatic monthly payment, you’ll be entered automatically in the drawing.
Addendum: To be clear, this is not a lottery or a raffle. Donations are voluntary subscription fees specifically in support of this blog, i.e. you’re paying for content not a chance to win something.
I am not claiming any tax-exempt status or charity.
Donations are considered business income and I pay all applicable state and federal taxes on that income and I have the records to prove it.
The bowl, the pens, those are my artwork, created and paid for by me. As such I chose to randomly give them away to supporters, just as I gave away pens to writers and supporters.
I’m simply using this month’s subscriptions as the pool to select from since I have no other way to determine who readers are.
You are not paying for a chance to win a prize, you’re paying for the content of this blog and my associated social media feeds. And I’m using this opportunity to give something back other than just my usual blog essays, Facebook posts, and Tweets.
For those interested in purchasing my woodwork and artwork directly, click on the Stonekettle Store link at the top of this page. New bowls will be up later this week.