Hello, friends and readers! Buckle in, as this will most likely be a long post, but it contains crucial information. You’ll learn about my upcoming tour! You’ll hear about my new Patreon, as well as ways you can support me! I HAVE A THING TO ASK YOU! It’s going to be an adventure.
So, let’s just get right to it.
I’m usually much better at planning these sort of things, but you’ll see in the next big section why things have been so chaotic on my end. The time has come to finalize my first major European tour! The dates are as follows:
July 1: Cologne
July 2: Amsterdam
July 4: Brussels (Public event)
July 5: Paris
July 6: Geneva
July 8: London
July 9: Brighton
July 10: Bath
July 11: Manchester
July 12: Leeds
July 13: York
July 14: Newcastle
July 15: Edinburgh
July 16: Glasgow
July 17: Dublin
Each of those links to the Facebook event page. Here’s what I need help with:
1) I need suggestions for venues for all cities. Venues can be private or public; open or closed; formal or silly. For larger turnouts, some sort of private space is best, ideally one that isn’t too expensive. If it looks like less folks are coming out, hosting a dinner (also preferably in a separate or private room) is totally fine. We can meet at a pub or a diner, as long as: 1) minors are okay to attend, and 2) accessibility concerns are met, meaning that we should avoid stairs without ramps or elevators.
You can use the comments here or the Facebook pages or my email to suggest any of these.
2) I need transportation help for the UK/Scotland/Ireland portion from July 8 – July 17. All my trains are booked and reserved (!!!!!!!! I’M SO EXCITED) for mainland Europe, as is my train to London. From there, what’s the best way to get to each of these cities? National Rail?
I am also looking for someone who might possibly want to drive me and my European assistant to the UK dates. Whatever you can feasibly do, of course, but that would bring down the cost significantly.
3) I need housing help for the entire tour. So, this tour will be new for me because my best friend, Meg Frank, will be coming along with me as my assistant. (She is not to be confused with my actual assistant I’m hiring to help me day-to-day.) I cannot pull off a tour of this magnitude alone, and she has graciously offered to help me. We are looking for places to crash:
Oslo (From June 23 – 25. I get in two days early.)
You must be able to house BOTH of us. You also must be located somewhere that is easy to access via public transportation or taxi. Since the vast majority of our transportation is by rail, we need to get to-and-from these stations to where we are staying. We appreciate your totally awesome and gorgeous home located 40 minutes outside the city, but we cannot risk missing connections by relying on a ride into town. Neither of us are allergic to anything that you need to take into account.
Your assistance is GREATLY appreciated. I’m so excited to do this, y’all. EUROPE TOUR. WHAT IS MY LIFE.
Patreon and other assistance
I have been painfully ambiguous about what’s been happening in my life, so let me give you a brief rundown of the ongoing disaster:
– I get dumped days after I come home from tour in March.
– Which facilitated my move out of Oakland, because I could no longer afford to live there by myself, and my ex was not willing to move in with me.
– So I had an initial move to Los Angeles so that I could move with my brother and sister-in-law to New York in the summer.
– Which meant all my stuff? In storage in San Francisco. Since April 28, I’ve been living out of a single suitcase.
– A couple weeks ago, I had an experience that showed me that I could not sustain living in that environment, so much so that I had gone nearly a week without being able to write a single review.
– In order to assure that this whole project didn’t come crashing to the ground, I applied for and signed a lease on an apartment in Los Angeles while in Kansas City for ConQuesT. While I am not comfortable sharing the details of what’s happening, just know that that is how dire it was. I didn’t even visit the place I applied for and got. I needed my own space to record and write ASAP.
Thus, I’m back to being a resident of Los Angeles again, and I’m pleased, despite that my NYC move has been delayed. (Oh, it’s still happening. East Coast, you’re not ready for me.) But this also means that all the money I’d saved for New York is now gone. I had to drop all of it on the first month/deposit on this place, and then wiped out my savings paying for a flight to SF, the rental truck and gas to get my stuff to LA, and the flight for my ex so he could get back home.
Thus, it’s perfect timing to debut my Patreon.
Think of it as a monthly Kickstarter. There are levels based on the amount you pledge per month – which you can opt out of at any time – that get you stuff like access to reviews early. Bonus commissions. Google Hangouts. And I’m also interested in suggestions for other awesome things I could offer people! I’m new at this, so I wanted to start with a few simple options.
Since y’all are already amazing and I met my monthly goal, I’ll keep y’all updated about the assistant I am hiring. It’s very surreal to be able to say that, but frankly, I need help. On average, I get between 300-400 emails a day, not to mention commission orders, video passes, etc. It’s been a challenge doing this myself, but it’s time for me to finally get some help. You can also expect a new email address for me that will go straight to the assistant instead of directly to me, but that’s in the future.
For now, you can support me on Patreon monthly, or you can check out this page for other ways that can provide support to me. Donations are certainly welcome through PayPal, since I’m struggling to recover from dropping a few thousand dollars in the span of a week. I’ve also begun to populate my Amazon Wish List with things I need around the home. When I moved from Oakland, I sold about half of what I owned in order to consolidate down to ten moving boxes. Suffice to say, I didn’t ultimately need to do that, which means I now need to buy practically everything new. I own no furniture. So, I’m putting household stuff up there that I am discovering I desperately need around my apartment.
Thank you all for helping me through this. Even with what little I’ve told you, I hope it sheds some light on why these past 3 months have been so hard on me. I’ve moved twice, plans I had for this year were upset multiple times, and I’ve had to spend a lot of money just to keep things going. But each of you who read and comment and participate have helped to keep me going, and I am forever thankful for that.
Mark Reads Videos!
So, this is more of something I wanted to bring up to discuss here before I make any decisions. I am becoming increasingly displeased with YouTube as a platform. First of all, their video processing queue is a disaster, and I despise that I have to format my videos into those 2GB – 5GB monsters that then take a lifetime to upload. It’s why videos go up Sunday at midnight; I have to spend all night letting them upload. On top of that, YT is constantly showing upsetting and triggering ads, even when I turn them off in videos, and I hate that it’s part of my platform. I don’t want to advertise to you pretty much ever, and I’m even more sickened by the thought that flashing lights or misogyny is being sold to you prior to my videos.
I have been considering releasing Mark Reads videos as I do for Mark Watches. This means you’ll get them Wednesday night instead of Sunday at midnight. The same system – one person can pay $0.99 for a video and give it to nine others – will still be in place, so that those who cannot afford it can still watch the videos. All the YouTube videos would also stay up, and I would slowly begin to archive them on MarkDoesStuff.com in case they ever went down.
What are your thoughts on this, Mark Reads? I am interested in how it might affect you, and I won’t make a decision until I see how everyone feels. What would be a good starting point to begin this conversion?
Okay, enough writing. TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS, FRIENDS.