Dear Mom: Letters My Mother Never Read
Dear Mom: Letters My Mother Never Read
Cancer took my mom when I was 23. As I raised my toddler son alone, I wrote letters to her to help me feel less lonely and isolated.
Cancer took my mom when I was 23. As I raised my toddler son alone, I wrote letters to her to help me feel less lonely and isolated. Read more
When my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, I began mentally writing her letters. Letters about parenting my son alone, about the things he does, about how hard it is to help your parent prepare to die, about the unfairness of life. I never shared these letters with her because she had enough to worry about at the time. After she died, I continued writing letters, this time on paper, on the computer, on napkins - on anything, really, celebrating what a wonderful mother she was. I talked about all the times I felt her presence when my son did something especially stupid (yet hilarious) and I could swear I heard her laughing. I wrote about my frustration over all the times I had to be both mother and father, and I felt like I was failing miserably. I wrote about my awe at how she managed to raise three children, one with cancer, while I could barely handle one with chronic illnesses.
I am beginning the process of collecting all the pieces of my writing together for publication. (Part of that means pulling out the writing that has been etched into my brain for the last 15 years. I will never forget a single word of it.) This is where you come in. I am asking for your support through the process of putting it all together, hiring editors to help keep it flowing well and concisely, hiring a graphic designer to create a cover that compels readers to pull it off the shelves, getting the right people to help me market it in the right places, and helping me afford to travel to the right events to market it. I cannot do this without your support.
Cancer affects more and more people each day. I fully expect it to hit me or my son one day. It has already taken my sister, mother, father, grandmother, several cousins, uncles, aunts, etc. While it is true that they were all different types of cancer, the fact remains - it was cancer.
Stories like mine are more and more relevant. I was 23 years old and suddenly a motherless daughter raising a child on her own. That is heavy, scary stuff. Somewhere out in the world, another 20-something motherless daughter is raising her child on her own and wondering how to grieve and celebrate her mother. My book needs to be in her hands. Or maybe there's a fatherless son out there who needs to read this. Please help my book become a reality.
Risks and challenges
All projects come with risks and challenges, especially when you are talking about a book that has not 100% been written yet. Part of what I am asking for is the funds for me to be able to sit down and finish writing it without having to go out and find a summer job to fill in the gaps left from my teacher pay. My plan is to sit down and write during the nearly three months I am off for summer break, then send the book out for all the copyediting/graphic design/conversion to Kindle/publication at the beginning of August and have it all done by end of November in order for it to be sent out in time for Christmas 2015.
Risk: The book won't be finished in the three months of summer break I've allotted myself to write before school starts back.
Why I'm qualified: I participated in and won National Novel Writing Month in 2012. For those of you who don't know, this is where a person sits down on Nov. 1 and starts writing a novel completely from scratch. In order to "win", the person must finish a 50,000 word novel no later than Nov. 30. I did it and won in 2012, while working full-time, going to school full-time, and raising my son by myself. Having nothing to focus on but this book will be like a vacation for me.
Risk: There is a delay with Amazon and the Kindle conversion isn't ready to go by the end of November.
Why I'm Qualified/How I'll Fix It: I was a secretary for 16 years before I became a teacher. If I have to, I will PDF the edited manuscript and email you an advance copy to read then send you the official Kindle version once it is ready. All the while, I will be in daily contact with Amazon's publishing arm, if necessary, to ensure they fulfill their end of the bargain to get the manuscript edited and published on time. Furthermore, I will post updates at least weekly to the Kickstarter page to let my backers know what is happening.
Risk: I talked a lot about the uncertainty of life in my pitch. There is always the risk that I or my son could get ill. Won't that delay your writing?
Why I'm Qualified/What I Can Do to Fix It: I have a laptop and can write pretty much anywhere. Also, I am an insomniac. I have to have something to do in the early hours of the morning!
What funds will be used for:
- Pay for professional copy- and line editing services
- Pay for professional book cover design
- Pay for professional interior book layout
- Pay for professional marketing materials
- Pay for book jacket line copy
- ISBN registration
- Pay for publication of paperback books for use at book festivals
- Pay for transportation costs to attend book festivals
- Pay for booking fees to attend book festivals
- Pay for book signing location (upper end pledge reward)
- Living expenses for me and son while I finish writing the book over 3 months this summer (normal expenses, nothing extravagant)
- Pay for shipping and handling fees associated with sending out pledge rewards from Kickstarter campaign
- Pay for any fees associated with publicity for book sales
- Pay for additional copies of book to be printed/electronically published
- (30 days)