Filkers on Patreon

Just a list of some filkers’ (or close-to-filkers’) pages on Patreon:

If I’ve missed some, please let me know.

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The Helva Peters CD project

An IndieGoGo campaign has started to produce a CD of Helva Peters’ recordings and help pay her medical expenses.

In the early nineties, Helva often sang at conventions in the northeast and MASSFILC gatherings. At the time she had a very impressive voice and gave a moving interpretation to her own songs as well as songs by others. She can be heard on the Wail Songs tapes Shoot the Moon, The Programmer and the Elves, and Let’s Have a Filk Sing, as well as the CD set Balticon Tapes (all out of print). Since then, various health issues, particularly Multiple Chemical Sensitivity aka Toxin-Induced Loss of Tolerance, have taken their toll on her, though she still sometimes comes to filksings.

Things have lately taken a more serious turn with her; she now has Stage IV cancer, and family sources are advancing her money for a trip to Tijuana, where she believes a treatment not available in the US will be more helpful to her. She’ll be piling up a lot of expenses and would like to be able to return at least some of that money.

At the same time, it would be a wonderful thing if more of her old recordings became better known to filkers. This project’s goal is to produce a CD from them and raise money that will help her meet her expenses. Harold Stein will produce the CD. All proceeds after costs of materials, which will be minimal, will go to Helva.

Please support the campaign and help spread the word.

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The Helva CD project

In the early nineties, Helva Peters often sang at conventions in the northeast and MASSFILC gatherings. At the time she had a very impressive voice and gave a moving interpretation to her own songs as well as songs by others. She can be heard on the Wail Songs tapes Shoot the Moon, The Programmer and the Elves, and Let’s Have a Filk Sing, as well as the CD set Balticon Tapes. Since then, various health issues have taken their toll on her, though she still sometimes comes to filksings.

Things have lately taken a more serious turn with her; she now has Stage IV cancer, and family sources are advancing her money for a trip to Tijuana, where she believes a treatment not available in the US will be more helpful to her. She’ll be piling up a lot of expenses and would like to be able to return at least some of that money.

At the same time, it would be a wonderful thing if more of her old recordings became better known to filkers. Her presence at early MASSFILC meetings was one of the things that kept me coming. We’re both fans of the Ron Perlman-Linda Hamilton TV show Beauty and the Beast, and her song “Vincent (Wells)” is a favorite of mine. Helva is her fannish name, taken from Anne McCaffrey’s The Ship Who Sang, and she’d often sing Cecilia Eng’s “Helva’s Song.”

To accomplish two things at once — raising some money for her medical expenses and making this happen — Helva and I are working on a crowdfunding project to produce a CD of her recordings. Harold Stein has been enthusiastic about the idea, and some other people have set out digging for recordings of her performances. The current plan is that I’ll run the campaign on her behalf. If you read my earlier post asking about raising money for another person, now you know the reason.

I’ve made a video of Helva talking about her situation and asking for support. It will be a while before the campaign is actually online, but I want to start building awareness now. If you have photos or recordings that might be usable, please let me know. If you might like to donate something as a premium, let me know. I’ll be throwing in some number of copies of Tomorrow’s Songs Today. The basic premium will, of course, be the CD. We expect to offer downloads through Bandcamp as well.

A lot is still fluid, but I can promise that everything after expenses, which we’ll keep minimal, will go to Helva. None of the other principals will be paid anything.

Fundraising

I’m making plans for a fundraising campaign for a friend with serious medical issues. This turns out to be rather complicated if I don’t want to get hit with income tax on money that I’m not keeping. I’m not ready yet to reveal specifics; this post is about exploring this issues. If anyone knows more, please let me know.

Fundraising and gifts for an individual are not tax-deductible. If I collect the money and pass it through, the income is the recipient’s, not mine, but if I don’t carefully document that, the IRS could get nasty.

The plan is a crowdfunding campaign, and the key question is what account or accounts the money will go into. I’ve found an article on the Massachusetts Attorney General’s site which looks useful. It appears that opening a special bank account jointly with the recipient is the safest way to go. Commingling money with my personal funds can look bad, so I shouldn’t use my PayPal account; the recipient may have one, or we may have to go with credit cards only. There will be expenses, so I’ll need to have access to the money myself.

If you have suggestions, let me know. I already understand that comments don’t count as legal advice.

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Update on hardcopy TST

I just got a quote on spiral binding for Tomorrow’s Songs Today. It’s still not cheap, but it’s doable. All hard-copy books for supporters and other commitments will be spiral bound, with card stock covers front and back, and the front cover in color. I expect to have some additional copies for sale afterward. This is the signed and numbered edition; it’s possible that there will be a less expensive print version, but I can’t make any promises now.

I’ll be talking with people at OVFF about filk history, to gather as much information as I can. If you’ll be there and would like to be interviewed, let me know.

If you want to support the project, you have till the end of tomorrow (midnight Pacific time). You can still get your name listed as a supporter, as well as the tote bag, the printed book, or even your own custom songbook. Same URL as usual.

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Goal reached!!!!

The goal for Tomorrow’s Songs Today has been reached!! There will be a book!!!

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Tomorrow’s Songs Today: New stretch goals

The campaign for Tomorrow’s Songs Today is within a hair’s breadth of its goal, but the stretch goal of $3500 for full editing is a big reach, so I’ve added some intermediate stretch goals to fill the gap.

As long as the campaign reaches its basic goal, I’ll donate one signed and numbered print copy to Interfilk. At $2600, I’ll donate a copy to the Cushing Library at Texas A&M, which has an active filk collection. At $2700, I’ll make it two copies to Interfilk, and at $3000, three copies (plus the copy to Cushing in both cases). More than that would flood the auction market. All signed and numbered books, including perks, will be in “perfect” (paperback) binding with a color cover. Update: Sorry, but the quote for perfect binding was much higher than I expected. Watch for an update soon; at this point spiral binding is the most likely.

As always, thank you all, and keep spreading the word. There’s still a chance of piling more work on Terri!

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Tomorrow’s Songs Today: The final 7 days

The IndieGoGo campaign to fund Tomorrow’s Songs Today is coming down to its last seven days. If you’re planning to support it but have been procrastinating, time is running out. If you’ve already made a contribution, thank you, and this would be a good time to remind people of the campaign so it can meet its goal and be as good a book as it should be.

The book will happen no matter what. I’ve committed to that. But with a thousand dollars to go, it’s necessary to talk about “shrink” goals as well as “stretch” ones. If the campaign doesn’t reach its goal, IndieGoGo withholds 9% instead of 4%, so it’s a loss to all of us. In the worst case, if no more money comes in, the book will have no paid assistance. This means I’ll be relying on volunteer proofreaders, and the cover art will be whatever I can come up with by myself or with free help. I can’t draw, so this might mean just a colorful version of the title.

If the campaign hits $2,000 but less than $2,500, I’ll pay Terri Wells for copy editing but have to give up paying Matt Leger for cover art.

The perks will still happen. The tote bags won’t look as impressive if the goal isn’t reached, but you’ll get them. No one’s opted for the wall clock; people like the hard copy book better. Today I’m planning to ask a local printer about options, and I’ll post shortly about what I expect the paper book to be like.

Really, though, it’s not that far to make it happen right. Small and large contributions are both good. Even if it’s just worth $5 to you to see the history of filk made available as a free e-book, that $5 will help.

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Tomorrow’s Songs Today: Progress report

Yesterday I had another Skype conversation with Lee and Barry Gold, resulting in more information on the history of filk zines and a great story on how Bob Kanefsky found his way into filk (which I’m currently asking Bob to confirm or expand on). The word count is past 30,000. I’m still trying to expand on my meager supply of information on filk in countries that don’t have their own filk cons (such as Israel, Australia, and New Zealand). If you have any leads, let me know.

After reaching the 50% mark, progress has slowed down. This is normal in a crowdfunding campaign, and it’s still ahead of schedule viewed linearly. To keep the momentum going, I need more people to notice. If you can post a link where even a few more people will see it, that can help; you never know when someone will pick up that link and spread it further. I’m confident of success, but at the same time I’m the kind of person who gets nervous at any setback.

If you’ve decided you want to contribute but haven’t yet, please don’t wait till the last day. Again, it’s hard on my nerves, and contributions encourage more contributions.

Here’s the link again. Or if you want an easy-to-remember redirection URL: http://www.mcgath.com/tst/.

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A messy piece of filk history

Covering the history of filk means reviewing some of its unpleasant parts. The most unpleasant was the breakup of Off Centaur Publications in the eighties. For those who don’t recall, it was a filk publishing business that raised recording standards and provided the first audio publication for some important filkers. It broke up in 1987; there was a lawsuit, a counter-suit, and a lot of lasting hostility. Most of what OCP published now has the status of “orphan works,” which no one can re-release because the copyright issues simply can’t be cleared.

I have to cover this, but I won’t touch the personal issues out of which it arose or the ones that resulted. I’ll deal with the goals of OCP, its role in advancing filk, the business reasons for its demise, legal actions that directly involved the business, copyright issues that linger, the relationship between OCP and Firebird Arts and Music, and the effect of those events on the Bayfilk convention. The personal issues are relevant to a full understanding, but I just don’t think it’s worth bringing them up in a publication at this date. I wasn’t there, and I couldn’t give the personal dimension a fair and adequate treatment in any case.

Since I want to be as fair as possible in the issues I do cover, yesterday I contacted Teri Lee, one of the three founders of OCP, through the Firebird site. Today I got a cordial reply from Frank Hayes, saying that she doesn’t want to say anything on the subject. He gave me a very brief account of the events, which agrees with what I already knew. While I would have liked to include her side, I can fully understand her wanting to put the issues behind her.

There are enough other sources that I’m able to assemble a factual account. Rick Weiss’s The Filking Times did a very good job of covering the events. With the help of the Internet Archive, I’ve found other sources of information. If you have information that you think I need and don’t already have, please let me know.

If you want to help me to complete and make a free publication of this history of filk, please support my IndieGoGo campaign and let others know about it.