Press "Enter" to skip to content

Now, about that wonderful thing

I mentioned on Wednesday that a pretty wonderful thing had … well, fallen upon me. That’s the only way to express it. I couldn’t write about it then. I barely can now.

So first a little background.


This month’s shocking collapse of Amazon Associates revenues (just when they should have started into their pre-holiday runup) had me thinking about this blog’s future.

You guys stepped in with a YUGE response to my fundraiser last year after BHM cut me off. When Amazon nerfed its commission structure earlier this year, a lone angel quietly began making up for the loss. And you, my 26 Patreon subscribers, keep the lights on the wi-fi router — and more.

There is no question that this blog and I have the most awesome support group on the planet (rivaled only by the readers of Joel’s Ultimate Answer to Kings — which shares a huge crossover audience with Living Freedom, making you doubly awesome).

Yet finding a regular income for the blog that doesn’t rely on bi-annual beg-a-thons has been a frustration. Now people seem to have simply decided they’re not so crazy about Amazon any more — a decision I can fully respect. But OMG not again …


By Tuesday evening I had very nearly made up my mind to close and archive the blog. I’m not talking about disappearing. But of switching all content to Patreon, and putting the meatiest of it behind Patreon’s subscription wall.

On Wednesday morning I awoke to a message from a familiar angel — announcing that he wanted to make a donation. The biggest by far I’ve ever gotten. Shortly thereafter, he did so.

And although you don’t who he is and probably never will, I hope you’ll thank him. Because not only did he single-handedly prevent me from closing the blog. He told me he did it in part because of the fabulous assembly of smart, outspoken, helpful, knowledgeable, take-no-prisoners blogfriends I’ve managed to draw over the years. You, the blog Commentariat. You, the members of Claire’s Cabal.


That said, it’s still a shame (though at the same time an incalculable blessing) that the blog has been mainly supported this year by three generous angels, plus several more readers who made unasked donations (and in doing so made my day).

In the spring of 2018, I’ll be having another fundraiser, specifically looking for small donations and seeking more Patreon subscribers. The name of that beg-a-thon will be — I’ve already picked it out — “The Last Fundraiser.” Because, barring some catastrophe — getting hit by a bus or busted by the feds (despite being pure as the driven snow) — I never intend to have another fundraiser.

For now I’ll assume that both Patreon and Amazon will offer happy, but supplementary sums. Donations, I’ll be glad to get, though I’m not seeking them now and I won’t seek them until spring. My beloved Guardian Angels, I am eternally grateful for you. But I’ll be looking for other ways to put a foundation of un-obtrusive, non-begging monthly income under the blog.

And yeah, hopefully some new book income in 2018. Kit Perez and I and Oliver Del Signore and I are working on it.


  1. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran December 1, 2017 7:52 am

    Many thanks to Claire’s Angel!

    Claire, I’ll be happy to donate for “The Last Fundraiser”!

  2. kentmcmanigal
    kentmcmanigal December 1, 2017 8:33 am

    Thank you to anyone and everyone who helps keep Claire online!

  3. Comrade X
    Comrade X December 1, 2017 1:23 pm

    To the that familiar angel, what goes around comes around so there is much goodness yet to come your way too, I’m betting.

  4. coloradohermit
    coloradohermit December 1, 2017 4:52 pm

    Bless the angels! You and Joel have the coolest friends!

  5. ellendra
    ellendra December 1, 2017 8:49 pm

    “Now people seem to have simply decided they’re not so crazy about Amazon any more”

    It might not just be Amazon. Calls were so slow where I work that they were asking if people wanted to leave early, even though it was Black Friday weekend! I’d say it was a trend towards online-only, except the website wasn’t much busier.

  6. firstdouglas
    firstdouglas December 2, 2017 8:52 am

    Very much thanks to the Angels and all contributors!

  7. Anonymous Donor
    Anonymous Donor December 2, 2017 10:13 am

    I’m one of the “angels”, and you’re welcome. I’m very happy I could do it. I have tremendous respect for Claire’s associates, and if I ever needed for someone to have my back, I would choose this community over anyone else in the world.

  8. Claire
    Claire December 2, 2017 1:32 pm

    Those are absolutely terrifying (though I did sort of like the watercolor one).

    Once, long ago, I looked into writing porn. But it paid only $0.01 a word, which was terrible even for a declining fiction market. And I figured no matter how many times I wrote AAAAAAAAYYGGGGGGGGGAAAHHHHH!! Or “his throbbing you-know-what” the pay would never make up for the time wasted.

    I hope never, ever to write a sex scene, even one that doesn’t merit the attention of the Literary Review.

  9. John
    John December 2, 2017 4:19 pm

    🙂 🙂 🙂
    Karma, because that isn’t why you did it.

  10. Claire
    Claire December 2, 2017 4:46 pm

    Anonymous Donor — And you are absolutely right about the people here and at the Cabal. Many of them have had my back, and those people are as true as they appear to be here.

    As to you: … today, thanks to your gift, I was able to pay off last summer’s friend-ly construction loan, which otherwise might have taken as long as five years. I’ve set aside money for both insulating my attic and getting a winter’s supply of propane for heat (which was going to be an either-or proposition). AND I was able to do a small amount of paying forward, which felt grand. All the while still having plenty set aside for later.

  11. Shel
    Shel December 3, 2017 11:47 am

    There was a pornographic novel in the ’70’s, I believe, that was intended as a spoof (perhaps on Portnoy’s Complaint), with no pretensions otherwise. I’m thinking that multiple contributors to a legitimate magazine collaborated, with each one writing a different chapter. As I recall, it was well known and sold fairly well, but I haven’t been able to remember the name of it. While it’s unlikely that any of the commentariat would make note of such a publication, I figure there’s an outside chance someone might know the title.

  12. Claire
    Claire December 3, 2017 12:34 pm

    Shel — Two possibilities, I’m thinking:

    Candy by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg

    Or more likely

    Naked Came the Stranger by “Penelope Ash” (who was actually 24 journalists striving to write a bad sex novel).

  13. Shel
    Shel December 3, 2017 1:06 pm

    Naked Came the Stranger! That’s it!! I never bothered with Portnoy’s Complaint, but I read some of Penelope’s chapters and as I recall they were pretty funny.

  14. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran December 3, 2017 3:47 pm

    A friend told me 😉 that the Penthouse Forum was pretty hot porn fiction back in the day.

Leave a Reply