The Road to Steemfest — Choices

This week, @anomadsoul gave us a prompt for our Road To Steemfest post. That prompt was “choices.” Choices definitely factor in whether we all get to Krakow or not, especially since so many of us are having to make significant financial and lifestyle sacrifices to fund it.

I made a choice in 2013 to devote my life to animal rescue. The need in my area is so dire that only an all-consuming effort would make a difference. This meant investing my life savings, acquiring property away from my nice home and patient husband, and spending all my time there recycling pets that our community throws away. The numbers are staggering. Currently I care for more than forty dogs who all live inside the house on the rescue property with me. Thousands more enter the local kill shelter every year and only a percentage of them make it out. Times are desperate, money is almost nonexistent, and the only solution is an aggressive spay/neuter program that none of the well-funded animal welfare organizations are willing to support.

Steem has saved this rescue and paid for the care of these animals for a year now. With the price of Steem so low, we’re suffering. Add to this the cost of round-trip air fare (for me, just over $1500,) plus a Steemfest ticket and accommodations. What I’m left with is a choice: I can either throw my hands up and quit or write my way there with post after post after post and hope for a miracle.

In addition to being the Director of this 501c3 rescue, (@tarc) I’m also an author and co-founder of The Writers Block. TWB is a writing group on Discord where we offer interaction with writing peers, community support for quality content creators, and soon, a new front-end interface dedicated to heightening visibility of fiction and other creative content on the blockchain. Later this year we’ll launch a publishing house for novel-length fiction. So, yeah. I definitely have my hands full.

But that isn’t all. I’m also one-fourth of the witness team @noblewitness, along with @gmuxx, @anarcho-andre, and @sircork (pictured below in this order, with me in there somewhere.) Part of my responsibilities with this witness team is networking within the greater Steemit community to try to raise awareness about witness voting and be a voice for content creators in an investor-driven world. I highlighted witness voting because only a small percentage of Steemit users actually cast their thirty votes. This is alarming, because witnesses keep the blockchain running and in the higher ranks, make decisions about hardfork changes that affect you directly. If you haven’t done so already, please cast a vote for @noblewitness. We’re trying very hard to make this blockchain community the best on the web. You can vote HERE, on Steemit’s site, or HERE, on a site designed by @drakos that shows all the witnesses and highlights the inactive ones. Please review your witness votes and make sure you aren’t still voting for a witness who has gone inactive. If so, remove your vote from that dead witness and give it to someone who’s still up and running and working hard for all of us.

As far as things to give up, I’ve already given up nearly everything for this rescue. For the past three years I’ve lived what amounts to a camping lifestyle, without sufficient heat in winter, without modern amenities, in an older house filled with dogs. I rarely get fresh fruits and vegetables because I don’t have the budget to buy them. I pick my groceries up 10 Steem at the time from Dollar General. I don’t have access to television—paying for internet is an expense for the rescue I can justify, since the internet is how we fundraise, but I don’t believe I could convince our donors that cable TV is necessary for the dogs. We won’t even discuss the indoor plumbing situation. It exists…but like I said—old house.

So, what can I give up to raise more funds? Sleep, perhaps, so I can get more writing done. Time with family, so I can get more writing done. Junk food, which would then mean I eat nothing until September. I’d definitely lose weight, but I don’t believe anyone would agree that’s the best way.

If I sound overly pessimistic, that’s not my intention. I’m just trying to convey that in my world, there’s simply nothing left to sacrifice for this trip. So I’ll pray for a miracle. I believe one will come, because I believe I’m supposed to attend this huge meetup in Poland to advance the ideas of TWB’s front-end and publishing house, as well as represent @noblewitness alongside @gmuxx and possibly @sircork. It’s just makes sense for me to be there.

Hope to see you in Krakow!

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