So many of you know that I was fired recently because my former HR department found out about me writing fucked up books like DONG OF FRANKENSTEIN and POOR BASTARDS AND RICH FUCKS. Something has been working at the back of my brain. Unfortunately I don't know how to proceed because I don't know shit about starting a nonprofit organization.
I live and work in Illinois where you can be fired for any fucking reason in the world unless you 1) are part of a protected group or 2) you have a contract with your employer. That means that if you wear a black shirt and your boss doesn't like black shirts, you can be fired. Or if you think the Cubs are better than the Sox when your boss is a Sox fan, you can be fired. Or . . . well, you get the idea.
There are a lot of states like this. I think it's bullshit, but I guess being the boss is included in being a protected group, so what the fuck do I know? Anyway, I looked into taking legal action. I signed a paper saying that I can't sue the company, and in exchange for that I would get my severance. I had to make a really bad decision, but I needed the money so I signed. I figured that meant I signed it under duress. Turns out, the legal world has a very different definition of the phrase "under duress" than the rest of us. According to them signing something "under duress" means that I would have to have a physical, literal gun to my head while signing the paper. I consulted three lawyers. Two of them didn't know enough, and the third was pretty sure I couldn't do anything, but at least he looked into it. They decided not to take the case.
Here's the thing: I think it's unfair to fire someone because they moonlight as authors of fucked up fiction. Just so long as that other life doesn't interfere with the job life, I should be able to write whatever the fuck I want. If I want to write about Frankenstein creating his own man just so he can have sex with him, then by Christ I will.
Here's what I want to do: I want to create a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping authors who have been fired from their square jobs over the fiction they write. I don't know the first thing about setting this up. All I know is it's got to be nonprofit. It's got to be a charity. I want to help people who are in my position. I want them to have legal recourse. I want them to have at least some kind of stream of income while they're down on their luck. In other words, I don't want people to suffer like I have.
I remember several conversations with other authors of fucked up shit. Over the course of these discussions they have told me that they write under a pseudonym because they don't want to be discovered by their places of employment. I never understood that. I figured it would be fine because the author life very rarely has an impact on the square life. I was wrong. It happened to me. Even though I just got hired at another place I still feel the pain from being fired for something I wrote.
I just want to help authors. Anyone have any suggestions?