Hi there, I’m Michael Carmody.
Honk Journal 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 these members-only articles, I am telling stories from my toxic redneck childhood on the Kansas-Oklahoma border, filled with chronic neglect, unpredictable violence, and physical, emotional and systematic sexual abuse (1970s); my awkward teen years living with my valiant widowed grandmother (1980s); my stint as a bar league musician, psychedelic explorer and budding journalist (1990s); my escalating struggle with mental illness (2000s); my unexpected midlife fatherhood and success as a businessman and community figure, subsequently devastated by a close succession of traumatic events (2010s); and my shocking, life-shattering fall from grace at the dawn of the 2020s. Yeah, it’s the old “sex, drugs and rock & roll” bit, but as experienced by a nakedly sensitive, deeply damaged Gen X kid frantically grasping in the dark for anything that might bring healing — less for my own sake than for that of the next generation of my family.
Those in my immediate community are aware of the series of cataclysms that have rained down on my personal life over the past few years — the campaign of terror waged against me by a psychotic ex-best friend who eventually murdered another close friend, followed shortly by the suicide of my beloved business partner, the ensuing loss of my business (and ongoing crippling bankruptcy case), false but socially devastating accusations of sexual impropriety against me, and now the loss of my prime parental figure — the grandmother who did her best to save me from the horrors of my youth, and for whom I provided full-time care in the last months of her life.
Suffice it to say the cumulative effect on my mental health has been frankly catastrophic, and to be completely honest, if I didn’t have my two young sons to take care of, I most likely would not be here at all today. I have lost my connection to much of the community that nurtured and sustained me for decades, and I cannot possibly convey to you the profound severity of the resulting effect on my psyche.
Long story short, I have been unable to make much of a living the past few years. 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 even more, for those who choose to read it. Perhaps that’s too lofty an ambition to make of a glorified blog; at any rate it is sincere.
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 $20/mo (Apollo) tier will get not only the advance podcast access and photograph, but also a USB flash drive containing my entire extant discography as a musician, including unreleased recordings going all the way back to 1989. (This is another ongoing project; the work-in-progress Proudfoot & Bird Radio is streaming online now, and physical flash drives will be mailed out upon completion of the compilation process.)
To sign up, just click here and choose your membership tier.
Interested parties who would like to subscribe but do not wish to enroll in recurring billing can become members by sending any amount they like via PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Venmo (@onedollarjokeservice) or CashApp ($HonkJournal) 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. I appreciate you taking the time to read this, 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, so I can continue being here for the people who need me the most.
With love always,