Michael Carmody here. I’m writing today to tell you about my latest project, Honk Journal, which I am trying very hard to make my full-time job. Honk is an online magazine featuring my writing — both new material and archived pieces from my long hopscotch career as a journalist, essayist, editor and critic. Many of the stories are free for anyone in the general public to read, but those who subscribe to Honk Plus have access to my restricted personal memoir entries as well.
In those members-only articles, I am telling stories from my toxic redneck childhood, filled with physical, emotional and sexual abuse (1970s); my awkward teen years living with my grandmother (1980s); my glory days as a bar league musician and budding journalist (1990s); my escalating struggle with mental illness (2000s); my surprising period of success as a businessman and community figure, subsequently shattered by murder, suicide and bankruptcy (2010s) and my shocking, life-shattering fall from grace at the dawn of the 2020s. It’s the old “sex, drugs and rock & roll” bit, but as experienced by a nakedly sensitive, deeply damaged Gen X kid trying desperately to find a path to recovery and redemption, and to heal the trauma I have inadvertently passed on to others through my own actions.
And now here I am, hoping against hope that with Honk Journal, I can earn enough support to eke out a living through one of the few things I have consistently been best at over the years — writing the whole story, taking it all apart, examining the experiences that have made and unmade me, striving always for stark honesty in the telling, and hoping to find some sort of therapeutic value in it for myself and those who choose to read it.
So it is with great humility that I ask you today to consider becoming a paid subscriber to Honk Plus.
For as little as $5 a month (Mercury level) you will get access to all the restricted content on the site, to comment/discussion areas on each article, and to the upcoming Honk podcast, which I am in the process of developing now. PayPal handles the payments and will auto-debit you once a month after you subscribe; you can of course cancel at any time.
Those subscribing at the $10/mo (Gemini) level will get first listen to each new podcast (one week ahead), and will receive an 8×10″ print of one of my art photos, suitable for framing! Subscribers at the $20/mo (Apollo) tier will get not only the advance podcast access and photograph, but also a USB flash drive containing my entire extant discography as a musician, including unreleased recordings going all the way back to 1989. (This is another ongoing project; the work-in-progress Proudfoot & Bird Radio is streaming online now, and physical flash drives will be mailed out upon completion of the compilation process.)
To sign up, just click here and choose your membership tier.
Interested parties who would like to subscribe but do not wish to enroll in recurring billing can become members by sending any amount they like via PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Venmo (@onedollarjokeservice) and letting me know to which tier they wish to subscribe. I will then set their account up manually for their desired access level and duration of time. (Locals can of course pay cash in person if they wish.)
Even if you choose not to become a member, I hope you will still find something to enjoy in the public Honk Journal content — lots of writing on music, movies, pop culture, cars, food and other areas of general interest. In addition, many of the music articles include painstakingly curated Spotify playlists you can enjoy anywhere you go, and more are being added all the time.
Music collectors may also take interest in my online record store, Vinyl-a-Fudge, featuring lots of vinyl records and compact discs. And I still provide freelance graphic design, writing, video production and other creative services, too; check out my portfolio here.
Thanks so kindly for your time and consideration. You cannot imagine how much I appreciate your still being in my orbit today. And though I have absolutely no expectations, I do hope maybe you will find enough value in the work I am doing at Honk to become a patron, helping me to continue being here for the people who need me the most.
With love always,