Oh. Oh thank god. He finally screwed up.
Right, sorry. You don’t know what’s going on. My name is Brian White. I’ve been locked in Chuck’s cellar for the past two years. Usually he only lets me use an old eMachines laptop, but he broke it over Stephen Blackmoore’s head in an author cage match last night. And now Chuck wants his collection of “artsy” nude selfies organized so he chained me up in front of his iMac and then went out to buy more coffee for me to grind.
(What? Did you think he actually spends all that time making coffee with his Chemex? No. That’s all me. The only thing Chuck pours is a torrent of abuse, kicks, and leftover hobo parts down the cellar stairs.)
But I don’t have time to waste on my litany of pain. Chuck didn’t log out of Terribleminds before he left. This is my only chance. I need your help.
Not escaping. I have given up hope of that. But my one bright spot, the thing that keeps me going when Chuck makes me dance for the amusement of the secret cabal of Amazon executives, is my magazine, Fireside.
We’ve been cranking Fireside out for two years now. We’re a fiction magazine, and we have two goals: publishing great storytelling regardless of genre, and fair pay for writers. We became a monthly subscription magazine in our second year, and now we are trying to get Year 3 of Fireside funded on Kickstarter.
Year 2 has been great. We’ve been running a serial that Chuck, uh … “suggested” I publish. We’ve had tons of wonderful flash fiction and short stories. And amazing art by Hugo-winner Galen Dara. And we want to keep it going.
If we fund Year 3, we’re going to try out making the website free. We’re going to do more short stories and flash fiction, and we’ll have a serial by Lilith Saintcrow. I’ve gotten my hands on a Miriam Black short story that Chuck left on his desktop that we’ll publish, along with stories by Blackmoore, Kima Jones, Daniel Jose Older, Andrea Phillips, and Sofia Samatar. And we’ll also be accepting submissions of both short stories and flash ficition, on a quarterly basis starting in June.
We’re making the website free, but as I said, we pay our writers fairly (12.5 cents a word), so we need your help. Please check out the Kickstarter. (Linky linky.) You’ll be making a lot of writers happy, and you’ll be helping me survive the next time Chuck gets out the wiffle ball bat.
Oh god. I have to go. B-dub’s toy cocktail shaker is glowing blue. Chuck is almost back.
You can all relax — Brian’s in the cellar and I’ve turned off all Internet access for the time being. I’ve switched out his “in-bucket” and his “out-bucket” as punishment.
I’ve been keeping him in the cellar for the three years that Fireside has been running, actually. It’s not a sex thing, really — mostly he got accidentally locked down there when I asked him to head downstairs and get some beer from the cellar fridge, but then he tripped and knocked himself out and was threatening, “Oh, I’m going to sue you for leaving that dead hobo down here for me to trip over,” and I was like, “Oh, no you’re not,” and then I chained him to the water heater and made him listen to old Ace of Base albums — which is a very good album, I’ll have you know. But then it got kind of boring, so I was like, “Why don’t you start a magazine where you pay the authors well above the standard professional rate and also, why doesn’t each iteration of the magazine feature me in some very important way,” and then I hit him a bunch with the bat and then had him dust-wrestle the UPS guy I had down there at the time (don’t worry, that guy’s been in Bri-Bri’s food bucket for a good while now). Brian agreed to start Fireside.
And here we are, Year Three.
Each time it’s been successful on Kickstarter, but always at the last minute — and this year, I’d love to see it go a little further, a little faster. Just so we can give Brian something nice.
Anyway. Go. Check it out. I will be writing a new Miriam Black short story for it, so, there’s that. (And Fireside Year Two has me writing a serialized sci-fi story about a box that takes you ten minutes back in time — “The Forever Endeavor.” Get it? Get it, huh? No?)
Unless you’d like to join Brian in the cellar?