March 16, 2015
Whenever I lecture about traditional gender roles, I mention how, in our culture, man is supposed to be the provider. (Whenever you discuss gender roles, you should always specify which culture you’re talking about.) And women are supposed to be the provided for. Obviously that has changed a lot in the past 40 years. More women are working now than men – a weird nexus between feminism and Reaganomics.
So when I left my job at Portland State in January, I also left my role as the provider of my family. Sociologically, I’m fine with that. But as a socialized being (this is the intellectual vs. the emotional trip), it’s been very hard. The uncertainty of my family’s future is something I’ve worked my whole life to avoid. And here it is.
My parents divorced when I was 17. I know a part of it was my mom started making more money than my dad and I think he felt it undermined his position in the house. We all suffered because of that version of masculinity. I think I’d be fine if my wife was bringing home mad stacks of (vegan) bacon. I rather enjoy planning dinner for her. But the sad reality is that she just lost her job on Friday. (Hey, I thought the economy was getting better!)
So my work as a writer is even more important now. It’s not just a luxury to write. I’m writing for our future. I know there are bloggers who make a living on their wonderful blogs. I don’t think Watching the Wheels is there yet. But I’m hoping the fiction writing is the ticket. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, my first novel, The Mission of the Sacred Heart, did pretty well for a self-published book and has been optioned for a screenplay (and might actually generate some income down the road).
My fabulous wife had the idea of starting a Kickstarter campaign to fund the new book. We picked $10,000 as a goal to pay for some of the cost, the rewards for funders (and the 8% of fees that gets taken out). It won’t pay the mortgage for a year, but it will give us a few months. Very quickly, friends started chipping in. $40 here, $100 there. We’re already over the 10% mark but these things go into a slump after the kickoff, which scares the hell out of me.
So I’m putting this project out there into the Dad blogosphere to help fund the book and the family. There are some great rewards for pledges, but if you can’t chip in $10 for a really cool book project, I’d appreciate if you can pass it around to your network. And if you ever loved Cheap Trick’s Dream Police album, this thing is made for you.
My wife and I are a total team on this project. She’s really helped make it happen. We are both trying to be providers. The next chapter is starting. Thanks!
Here’s the link: PORTLAND WRITER DREAMS OF DREAM POLICE