To you, For many, Kickstarter is the first chance to get a project off the ground, a first chance to show off, and a first chance to kick start their career. But for me, it’s about second chances.
I am normally a private person and only express my struggles to a limited circle of friends, or through my writing, but I feel it is time to tell why this Kickstarter campaign is so important to me. It all has to do with second chances. So onto the tale.
The first pages of the first stories I wrote were scribbled as a child trying to escape what I like to call the imp, chaotic times brought about by family relationships. Thing is, you can never escape the imp. It just hides patiently waiting for you when you least and most expect it to appear.
So, when I was in my twenties and trying to be a serious Rock Star of the bass playing nature, my mother became quite ill. There was no one to care for her during the day so I ceased trying to be a Rock Star bass player and went home to help with her care. During this time, I penned my first novel.
Ended up she needed a liver transplant. Over the course of a year, we waited and her condition declined but for once in my life I got lucky. A donor came in the waning hours, days before she would have expired.
So my writing career, that I intended to start after years of the musician’s road life, began while I stayed with my mother to help her recover. This took not months, but years. Financial woes assailed at every turn and health was not stable for anyone. I took to the self-help route when it came to medicating my sickness of the soul that came wandering in on the ghosts of my ancestors. But, I wrote and wrote and wrote, got some help from some ex-college professors, and typed away every day. And it seemed success was near. Really near. Like the electron orbit of an atom near. But come to think of it, in scale, that’s a pretty far distance. But I digress.
Then the imp came with sharpened teeth. The immuno-suppressant drugs my mother took to stop the transplanted liver from rejection lead to cancer. My writing stopped and with it all the potentials. Squamous cell carcinoma doesn’t give a shit about your writing career and neither did the radiation treatments or surgery.
So, the imp bit hard and I bled. I bled a lot. I bled to the point where I just wanted to bleed out and let the darkness fall like a curtain across the stage of my life. Strange thing is that the darkness is a good source of material and I had some good friends, who had no idea what was going on, but their simple presence was enough to keep me tethered to this mortal coil.
On one morning when the light peeked through the dusty shades, the writing began anew. Two more novels. Two more rejections. A few screenplays. A few more no replies. This was all right though. I was writing and my life was moving forward instead of maintaining momentum in a constant Mobius strip that lead back to where it started.
Then things happened. Big things. But, they were ripped away as is know to happen occasionally. In many ways, this axial rejection just reaffirmed my position on how certain entertainment industries worked and propagated. Now it was time for a decision after over a decade of work, two decades of study, and a life of imagination. The decision came on a heavy twilight and it was to stop. As is if a dinner bell was rung, the imp came running with drool glistening on its teeth now dull from biting my bones. My mother had cancer again and it was either death or lose her tongue and most of her teeth.
You should know that by this time, I was working on comic book scripts with Mark Frankel. If you’re reading this, then you probably know who he is from the Kickstarter video or have seen him on the Wayward Raven website. At my time of decision, we were actually in the middle of trying to set up for our first convention exhibition, NYCC 2012. My duty would have been fulfilled as I tried to help man the table in Artist Alley but I was done. Bled dry. My bones were broken. The iron in my blood was rust. My hopes were dust. The sickness of my soul was terminal. Or so I thought.
That previously mentioned Mark Frankel can be a dick in that he tends to get in the way of quitting, and NYCC was such a revelation on how you can really lead the creative life on your own terms without bowing to the cultural gatekeepers. Epiphany hit like a hammer made from a neutron star. Comic book people were my tribe and they readily donated blood to revive a sickened soul. This was when I decided to reverse my decision. I found my way out of the Mobius loop but the imp, it’s still around. It never wanders far. But now, it’s just a mosquito.
You see, comic books were my second chance just like how my mother got a second chance at life with a liver transplant. Wayward Raven Media is my second chance. I’ve been granted too many second chances but there is only one chance for the company, which is far more than just me. Financing has been stressful on all parties. Finding loans or getting operating capital from private sources is difficult when you’re not established. So we turned to Kickstarter, a venture that exists because it gives chances to everyone.
So, your donation gets you wonderful rewards but is also helps some of us get second chances at making our creative dreams come true. Donations help more than you know as they also revive the soul.
Thank you for reading such a long missive. It’s not intended to be a sob story. I wrote it to show that there are people with aspirations, failures, joys, fatigue, enthusiasm, and determination behind each and every one of these campaigns. Behind each project are a thousand stories and a thousand more waiting to be told. We all take a long journey and your support helps us rest while we plot our course to the next destination…. And it keeps the imps at bay.
Your support is, and will be, always appreciated. Thank you for your precious time. Never give up.
Our Kickstarter is here: http://t.co/BXREVYj3oy
Ars longa, vitae brevis,
Joshua Lee Andrew Jones