Important Note To Subscribers - Tom Cox

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Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Important Note To Subscribers

I started this website a little over two years ago as a different approach to getting my work out into the public domain, having decided to give up journalism and concentrate more on what I love to write, putting it all either in my books or on here. It's all free but there is an option for a voluntary monthly donation via PayPal, which many of you have kindly taken up, and it's help keep me afloat for a little while, but I currently have a problem with PayPal, who will often cancel people's subscriptions when their debit cards expire, either sending them a message saying "Tom Cox cancelled your subscription" (I definitely didn't) or not telling them at all.

Because it's been more than two years since most people initially subscribed, a lot of debit cards are expiring and it's made a significant difference. If you have unsubscribed due to other circumstances, please ignore this message, but if not, I would really appreciate it if you could check if your own subscription is still active. If you do enjoy what I do, and would like to help keep me afloat by subscribing or resubscribing, the link via which to do so can be found here.

I have also now added GoCardless as a payment option for those who'd prefer not to use Paypal. Details here:

Level one payment plan (£1 per month)

Level two payment plan (£2 per month)

Level three payment plan (£5 per month)

Level four payment plan (£10 per month)

Level five payment plan (£20 per month)

Level six payment plan (£25 per month)

Thank you for taking the time to read this,
Tom
Important Note To Subscribers Reviewed by Tom Cox on 11:22:00 Rating: 5 I started this website a little over two years ago as a different approach to getting my work out into the public domain, having decided to ...

45 comments:

JTC said...

Hi Tom,

Have you looked into starting a Patreon account? I know there are fees involved, but might help deal with this issue.

Susan Hemmings said...

PayPal have just yesterday announced a $5.99 international transfer fee and I cannot see how it can be avoided. Please let me know if there is a way. Susan Hemmings.

Squirl said...

Mine's still active. I see someone mentioning a $5.99 international transfer fee, though. Although Paypal is working fine for me now, maybe I'll need to look into whatever new pay method you come up with. Thanks, Tom, for being you. We love you and your writing!
Peg

Sue said...

Dear Tom,
Sorry if you feel you need a break from cats, but the way you wrote about them is what really draws me to your books, enough to buy all of them!! Your landscapes, no matter how quaint or picturesque, are just plain boring, honestly! Can you please get a few more cats with personality, move closer to friends and family, and be happy again? There are pills for that, you know...
Getting a new girlfriend might perk you up a bit too, but you’ve been dragging so lately, that may be difficult.
Hope you have an agent who is giving you the same advice! Lay to your strengths, you love affairs with cats!!
Please consider my advice, I do want to continue to buy more cat books from you. Otherwise, have a nice life in the wilderness...
Sue

Ambermoggie said...

I’ve just cancelled my payment to start a new one that’s a larger amount. Love your work and find I can afford a little more. Thank you for your stories, your inspiration Tom

Tom Cox said...

Dear Sue. Part of me thinks I should not waste precious time replying to your comment but I think that because you made the decision to write it in a public space you'd probably like people to see it, and you've caught me on a week when I'm thinking a lot about meanness on social media, and the terrible effects it can have on people's mental health, especially as two days ago someone close to me attempted to take their own life for reasons not unrelated to this (so, yes, to answer your question: I do know about those pills you mention). I've also been thinking about the way people attempt to read between the lines on the Internet, without bothering to read the lines themselves: the way people piece the lives of strangers' together then make vast judgements and invasive comments about them. I've been thinking about what a social sickness it is, how much I want to find a way to get away from it, yet still do what I love, which is writing. I'm not sure what brings you to a definite conclusion about whether I have or haven't got a girlfriend at present, as it's a long long time since I alluded to my relationship status online. As for my family, I am presently living geographically much closer to them than I have for twenty years, and additionally feel utterly loved and supported by the most brilliant group of friends I've ever had. I'm also very content with the personalities of the two cats I live with and feel no need to search for others with more charisma. I suppose there's a bit of a choice for me here: take to heart your comments about my writing, or trust in the people who write to me every day to tell me how much they've enjoyed 21st Century Yokel and they think it's the best of my nine books (including the four I wrote before I wrote any books about cats), or the other very different feedback I've had about my recent essays, or the uniformly positive reviews the book has had in national and international media. Maybe they are all bullshitting, and you speak the truth? You do seem pretty astute and nice, after all. I think, though, on balance, I'm going to choose the latter of the two paths, follow my gut instinct, and keep doing what I'm doing. You haven't thought to include a surname or a link to any way to contact you directly or privately, so I'm replying this way instead. I'm not doing too great financially at the moment - which is something else that's none of your business - but if you'd like to let me know some way I can do so, I will very happily reimburse you for the money you spent on my four cat books, as compensation for your disappointment in the choices you have decided in your head that I have made in my life since then. All the best. Tom.

Sarah said...

I have also resubscribed at a higher amount (which means you will see a cancellation for the lower amount). I love your writing, and while Sue's comment is none of my business (though as you say she wanted people to see it), I cannot believe someone is asking you to change your life (as she imagines it is) to suit her own entertainment. Thank you, Tom, for your continued internet presence, which brightens my days, and for your wonderful books.

Sam Chapman said...

I had cancelled my subscription as I was temporarily out of work but have now resubscribed as I’ve got some work again and I enjoy your writing, even though I myself am a bit scared of the countryside being a big city idiot!

dutchbint said...

Dear Sue,

You appear to be of an age where most people have already figured out that no one on this green planet owes you ANYTHING. I will repeat this because it's important: NO ONE ON THIS PLANET OWES YOU ANYTHING. This includes writers. Tom does not owe you anything apart from the books you have purchased and enjoyed. He can pick his own topics. Similarly, you don't owe Tom anything, and can therefore choose to just read something else. I am fairly sure the book market is quite saturated with titles that will delight your particular demographic.

One more thing: as far as I'm concerned your comment became disrespectful as fuck when you started dishing out unsolicited mental health and life advice to a stranger. DON'T DO THIS.

Another lesson most of us have already learned is that no one gives a shit about your opinion (and they don't have to). It's something that is always foremost on my mind, and it means my written responses to fuckwittery on the internet are usually aborted rather than published. After all, no one gives a shit about my opinion either. But sometimes you see a bit of fuckwittery that is especially nasty, targeting someone or something you care about, and then it is a keenly felt duty as a decent human being to speak up.

I am sorry there are some swear words in my comment. They are for emphasis. Because I get really fucking angry when I see someone being rude so thoughtlessly and pointlessly.


BE BETTER, SUE.


Best,

dutchbint

Amanda said...

I agree with everything Sarah has said above. The writing on your website is a wonderful gift (I have just increased my sub), and I am very much enjoying following your journey as a writer through your successive books, too. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I lost my main source of income just b4 christmas but shall still resubscribe as your writing is so great. Any chance tho' you could just post an a/c number & sort code for people to contribute to? Ignore the twisted pricks who think it's OK to bully - nastiness is often borne out of envy.

Victoria said...

Gosh, Sue has issues, they are hers though, not yours Tom. It's just a pity she decided to off-load them on to you.
The internet is a double edged sword and social media even more so.
In the bleak of winter with other stuff going on, it's particularly hard to shake off crap like this, especially living in a spooky house set in a challenging landscape and some extreme weather from Siberia thrown in for good measure!
Please continue to write about whatever moves your soul. Any artist with integrity has to create for themselves, it's like breathing.
The Victorians used to believe photographs stole part of your soul, I wonder if social media does that to artists promoting their work online? There's definitely some compromise, and as a writer utilising your life experience as source material, with a public image, people will inevitably feel they 'know' you and are 'entitled' to an opinion on that, sadly.
From one sensitive artist to another, hold strong.

Anne said...

I've just updated my card, based on a broken chip I had to get a new one. So thanks to Sue for spurring me on to get that done. And when I can, I'll be hoping my subscription amount. Be kind, everyone.

Theresa marie-rose said...

At the Athens, Ga college I teach at, I actually teach 2 of your essays in my literature classes. My students happily read "Full Jackdaw" as part of a course section on nature writing. We use this essay to jumpstart a discussion on neologisms- the playful yet searching tone you set in this essay helps them to explore how new expressions evolve. These students find your writing to be quite moving, playful & strange, in the way that nature writing needs to be mysterious. You are in fact their favorite nature writer of those that we have read- they find that, while you speak meaningfully of the transcendence that we can experience in nature, you continually move between solitude and community, which grounds the mysterious in a rich, deep way. These students particularly enjoy how "Full Jackdaw" allows them to move into the quiet atmosphere of spring evenings, and several now feel that they have flown inside the hollow of a tree, like one jackdaw. They especially like answering one of their "Full Jackdaw" quiz questions: "If we accept that being "Full Jackdaw" can't necessarily be defined, how would you describe this state using your own newly created neologism?" The math majors like to give exponents to depict this state. So thank you for sharing your experiences in nature & for writing as sensitively & profoundly as you do.

Leslie said...

Wow! Special snowflake much, Sue? No one - not a writer, a musician, a filmmaker or the person who designs clothes for wherever you shop - owes you anything other than the best possible version of the project *they* have chosen to undertake. If you don't like what they're doing, read/listen to/watch/wear something else. See how easy it is?

And as for prescribing pills, a move or match.com...how dare you? Try looking inward and figuring out what makes you feel so self-entitled & expert in things you're clearly not an expert in, then do some work on *that* instead of telling the rest of the world what to do. (And yes, I suppose I'm being guilty of doing exactly what I told *you* not to do, but you pretty much invited this response. Sauce, goose, gander.)

Tom's a remarkable talent and a multi-faceted human being. Personally, I'm flattered to be invited along on his literary journey.

Laura Willis said...

I have just re-subscribed.
Thank you for making the world a bit shinier, Tom.

Laura Willis said...

I have just re-subscribed.
Thank you for making the world a bit shinier, Tom.

Stephanie Strong said...

There are plenty of books on cats to please a variety of cat tastes, Paul Gallico, Beverly Nichols, but not all as good as yours. As your and yours parents’ cats play and explore outdoors in the beautiful English countryside I think your other works are very compatible. Your writing of this countryside that surrounds you makes me ache to go there, oh please don’t change a thing!

Elizabeth Smith said...

Seem to be having some PayPal difficulty myself in updating card info, pesky lot, so would be very interested in alternatives if they are feasible. In the meantime I have pledged for two copies of your new book on unbound; one to look forward to reading myself and one to introduce your wonderful writing to my sister whose commitment to living an independent life pursuing her art reminds me of your own. I hope that those who believe the anonymity of the internet allows them to be cruel are outweighed by those of us who feel more free to share compliments and little joys with each other. Spring is coming!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tom - please ignore comments from the likes of Sue. Love reading your stuff, whatever the topic. Have cancelled my subscription to Which magazine (how many washing machines reviews can a girl read?!) and increased my subscriptionn amount. Best wishes....Caroline

Jill said...

Oh Sue, how sad and sorry your unkind comments make me feel. I find myself shrinking inside from the ‘anonymous’ cruelty that the internet facilitates, from the belief of some people that they have the right to comment on other people’s lives, actions and dreams. From the outrageous rudeness and total disregard for humans and animals, the cutting remarks and scathing assumptions.
When I see a post from Tom it brightens my day, I keep,it to read, a treat to be savoured and enjoyed slowly, when I have enough time to completely immerse myself in it, not quickly skim through and so miss its’ impact. I have never met Tom and probably never will yet I regard him as a ‘friend’ someone whose work I can turn to when I need company or cheer. I feel personally affronted that you have hurt my ‘friend’, that you have tried to make him doubt his work and his worth. Don’t you know that 1 negative can outweigh a hundred positives, why would you want to do this to anyone let alone someone whose writing clearly conveys his sensitivity and compassion. There’s an old fashioned expression you might like to consider “ if you can’t say anything nice then say nothing at all”. To you Tom, friend never met, thank you for all the times you have made me feel a little more “full jackdaw”:
Jill

Kitcat. said...

Dear Tom,

I purchased 21st Century Yokel, but confess I haven't yet read it, when I do I'm sure I'll love it. Keep doing what you're doing as long as it pleases you.Ignore the obnoxious woman.
Katherine.

Joanna Cunningham said...

Hiya Tom, I'm going to cancel my subscription and re-do it for a higher amount. I think your writing is unique, you are certainly talented and I always remember a piece you wrote about the Bear, about a year before his passing, which had me in tears it was so moving and made me feel as though I was actually with him.
Carry on doing what you are because the world needs fun, talented, interesting writers/folk such as yourself.
I wish you all the very best Tom - be blessed
Much love, Jo, Jasper & Mr Whiskers x X x

Kitcat. said...

Dear Tom,

I purchased 21st Century Yokel, but confess I haven't yet read it, when I do I'm sure I'll love it. Keep doing what you're doing as long as it pleases you.Ignore the obnoxious woman.
Katherine.

claire tony said...

Dear Sue,

Fuck Off. And when you get there, fuck off from there too. Then fuck off some more.Keep fucking off until you get back here. Then fuck off again.

Regards,
The Bears Army.

NatsDugoutLibrarian said...

Done. Please. Just keep being you however you want. I am just grateful that you share a small part with your readers. I see the natural world around me in a different way because of you. Thank you for that.

Em said...

Hi Tom, I need to buy another of your books, I’m a vet nurse and in some strange way I am used to dealing with death of other people’s pets but when I read about any of your cats passing I cried big fat ugly tears as if they were one of my own I felt like I knew them so well. My husband actually thought one of my family had died when The Bear passed.

Please keep doing what you are doing. I love your writing style and I’d read about a paper bag if you wrote about one.

All the best x

Brett-michel said...

Dear Tom
I would be lost in this American Reality show with out your view point
And your writing on any subject. It has been super difficult
To remember what matters most day to day and your work
Sure helps me with that The stress and shame and depression have been a lot for some
Of us and i share your work and turn others on to it
Because i think it will help them too. I am not saying you are a Guru or
Anything so don’t get a big head. Ralph is the Guru. Roscoe heads up the Intelligence
Services , clearly. You are like a fairy god writer!
With love and gratitude
Brett-michel

Susan Hemmings said...

I am one of 8 people doing voluntary shifts moderating a facebook page for a large animal charity that came under serious attack from trolls. There are various opinions as to the best course of action, but mine is just ban them. Yes, they might come back with a fake ID, but ban that ID too, after reporting the fake ID to facebook. These people thrive on negative attention, so let them find it somewhere else.
Your books and your website have given me so much entertainment. You are a born writer and it seems unjust that you are not swimming in money by now.
Oh, and Ralph and Roscoe are certainly not lacking in charisma!

Qhathryn Sedai said...

Hello Tom, from Southern California! As much as I love to hear about the cats (you capture their asshole/angel dichotomy so well,) when you write about your environment its like a journey to a strange otherworld. Not only is it so different from my spot on the globe, but I get the distinct feeling that the world you perceive and inhabit is somehow just at the slightest angle from the mundane dimension the rest of us live in. Thanks for bringing us along for the ride!

Anonymous said...

I work, remotely, for a Wildlife Rescue and Sanctuary, I also live in a seaside village so picturesque that a webcam records the comings and goings of the locals as well as the visitors. All sounds idyllic so far? Well yes, in some ways it is, but I too have my breath taken away by the keyboard warriors who see fit to make the most vile and cruel comments about the animals in the care of The Rescue, a Rescue staffed by volunteers who are giving their lives to minimise suffering and persecution. I am equally horrified by the belief of some web cam watchers that they have the right to comment on the lives that they see unfolding before them, judging, criticising and mocking with an assumed knowledge gained solely from a few weeks holiday once a year. I also know someone driven to despair by the unkind words of strangers, someone to whom negatives have now become far more visible than positives leading him to question not only what he does but who he is. When did it ever become ok to be so openly offensive, is it just for effect, is it all down to anonymity? Shame on you Sue and shame on every other person who feels fit to make comments like these, comments designed to make the receiver question their self worth. Shame particularly on you Sue for your throw away line about mental illiness. Tom, through his words, portrays himself as a kind, sensitive and thoughtful man, you Sue, through your words, portray yourself as spiteful, judgemental and sarcastic - if only there was a pill for that.......
Esme

Alicia Foodycat said...

Dutchbint I think you sound excellent and you shouldn't need to apologise for swearing - after all, Shipley was an unapologetically sweary cat.

Nicola Fox Hamilton said...

I am not subscribed right now as I've currently almost zero income - but I was before and will be again as soon as I can.

Tom - your books are awesome and have gotten even better over time. Your posts on social media are a delight. Everyone that I've recommended your work has absolutely loved it.

Sue is a dick. I can imagine the words Shipley would have for her and I would be in complete agreement.

fifowkes said...

Gosh Tom. That was severely mean and nasty, but there are unfortunately mean spirited people on the Internet. Please (although difficult) take no notice, as most of us love your work, whatever you write about,as it is humerous, inciteful and informative. I will admit to finding your writing because of your cat books, but am so enjoying what you are currently doing and looking forward to seeing where your journey takes you in the future. Keep your chin up, mate, and stay warm. xx

Dave Holwill said...

I'm not a subscriber (because I am skint) but unlike Sue, I came at all this backwards, having enjoyed Tom's writing about Wistman's Woods (after Mary Epworth pointed me at it on Twitter) and then finding the Cat stuff because I don't like golf and I wanted to read more.
I like the Dad stuff as well, and am almost tempted to try the golf stuff.
Write what the fuck you like Tom, and I will keep on buying the books, and sharing the blogs with people who have more money than me that might chuck some your way.

Squirl said...

I first commented before Sue came in and dropped her nasty shit in here. I have a few other words for her, most of which Shipley would have approved. Tom, you and dutchbint did a marvelous job of taking her down. You know most of your fans truly adore you and your writing. Thanks for everything you share with us.
Peg

ElsBells said...

When I first subscribed I was a lot skinter than I am now. Amount duly rectified. Hope you have some cosiness in the snowy hills.

E

Rosa F said...

I second the idea of getting a Patreon account, perhaps some of the wonderful creations from your mother could be some of the higher tier rewards?

Anonymous said...

Hi Tom

I think your writing is beautiful. Sue’s soul is clearly not...

I cancelled my recurring subscription in order to increase it, which I have also now done.

Sending warm, happy vibes to you, Ralph, Roscoe and Clifton. Stay safe.

Sarah

Helen said...

Well Sue has achieved something, which is getting me off my arse to subscribe finally. Every little helps, right?
Although I came to your writing via the cat books, so far I haven't read anything of yours I haven't enjoyed. Okay, I haven't read the golf stuff. Can't abide golf. But it's okay for other people to like it, because I try really hard not to be a dick about stuff like that. I really don't like folk music either but I'm cool with you writing about it, because it's really nice to see people passionate about things even if they are not my things, and you might broaden my mind which is good. You probably wouldn't get really excited about sock yarn or my unhealthily large collection of spinning wheels, because you are a reasonably well-balanced person who doesn't own a set of wool combs or spend hours knitting a pair of socks when a pair could be bought for approx £1.50. That's okay too. Rock on, and I hope Bridget is well-settled with your parents and George isn't imposing on her too much...

Jeannie Borsch said...

Dear Tom,
I left a previous comment on here that was rather Shipley-esque and probably duplicated dutchbint’s glorious defense of you and your rights too closely, as I felt the same way. After a little cooling down period, I realized that what I most believe is that as best we can, we should in the end try to to rise above the level of the lowest common denominator, as you so aptly did in your response. I could almost (but not quite) feel sorry for Sue for her small-mindedness and her lack of self-confidence. People don’t feel the need to cut others down if they like themselves. On the other hand, I so admired how you responded with class and decency. That’s no surprise to your fans, given your writing and commentary. No one has the right to to tell you what to do with your art, much less your life. Only you get to do that, with input from whomever you choose yourself. Like many others who read your work with pleasure, I came to your writing through your cats, but it was your warm, discerning and frankly brilliant writing as you made your way through writing 21st CY that kept me reading your work. So I hope you will always stay true to your own instincts and your own vision. That’s what matters most. Write On, Tom, and your friends will Read On. In between, enjoy your life and live as it pleases you. I thought of you being cheered by all of yesterday’s comments-their insightfulness and vigorous defense of you-and felt happy. I doubt your detractors can say the same. I look forward to reading your next piece and following your comments in the meantime.
Best,
Jeannie

Pluto said...

I’m a subscriber and enjoy your writing on all topics, dark and light. It’s a salve to me. Through your work I've gained a new appreciation for nature and corduroy bell-bottoms. That said, if I had a dollar for every time someone cheerfully offered me an unsolicited prescription (usually from atop a flaming pile of garbage) for how I could change myself so that THEY could be comfortable or satisfied, I probably could just buy happiness. I am picturing Sue as a Python-esque Pepperpot, screeching terrible advice from an ugly upholstered armchair, and it’s better than Prozac. Thank you, be well, and rock on.

Sara said...

Tom,
I won't waste my time with commenting to Sue, but I address you directly. I haven't read all of your work and I don't know you, but I have delighted in everything I've seen of yours. Everything I do know about you and the response you wrote to Sue all scream one word out loud in my head. That word is integrity! Thank you for following your own path and encouraging the rest of us to do the same. It means everything!

Alison said...

Dear Sue,

If cat books are the only genre you want to read, perhaps you would kindly sacrifice your time and ghostwrite some for Tom? You clearly possess a complete lack of understanding of the creative process, even though Tom has often detailed his reasons for taking a different path with his writing. Never assume you know someone because of their public face. And be a little, nay a lot less judgmental about mental health issues. You are not Tom's therapist, even assuming he needed one.

(PS Tom, I'm single and have a steady supply of happy pills that I'm willing to share :D)

Zoë said...

At least Sue's comment has got me to pull my finger out of my arse and finally subscribe.
Please don't stop - your writing is like a verbal landscape and is sorely needed.