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This poetry-infused memoir weaves together life's beauty and brokenness into a layered whole, like the notes of a minor chord.
This poetry-infused memoir weaves together life's beauty and brokenness into a layered whole, like the notes of a minor chord.
64 backers pledged $4,043 to help bring this project to life.
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The Dark in the Song: A Memoir in Poetry and Prose

$4,043

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I am a full-time mom and part-time writer in East Hollywood, California.

My neighborhood
My neighborhood

 By “part-time,” I mean moments stolen during naps and when my wonderful husband plays with our son so I can leave the house for a few hours. I love my life as a stay-at-home parent, but I have this idea that I can’t seem to shake: I want to write a book. 

So far, I’ve written eight chapters, outlined the book, and collected poetry I’ve written over the last several years. Now I need to finish the draft, hire an editor, and start the process of publishing!

 What I really need to finish this book is time, but that’s hard to donate on Kickstarter. So, instead, I’m hoping to raise the funds I need to pay a babysitter for several hours each week - to spend some more focused time writing, in addition to hiring an editor and publishing the book.

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What, you might ask, do I want so much to write about?

I have been on quite the metaphysical journey in the last few years. Four years ago, I thought I was an extrovert. Afraid of what I might find within myself if I spent too much time alone, I filled my life with distraction. They were good distractions, like teaching 180 seventh graders how to read and write, or singing with the church up the street, or playing Ticket to Ride with our housemates. But they were distractions. Eventually, I began to realize that I was running away from the darkness within me. 

Through some very dear friends, through therapy, through faith and art and poetry and trying to come to terms with infertility, then parenthood and leaving my career, I have come to a place where I feel safe with myself. I am no longer afraid of the darkness within me, because I have come to recognize it as part of this song we call life. I’ve often thought about singing in the dark – how moments of joy and light help us through the dark, difficult times in life. What I finally recognize is that the darkness is part of the song itself, like the notes of a minor chord.

There is darkness in this song, but it is a good song.

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Where will your money go?

Some of the funds will go toward paying a babysitter. Another portion will be set aside for publication: hiring an editor and either sending manuscripts to publishers or self-publication (probably through Amazon). The rest will go to incidental costs: creation and shipping of rewards, a few books on writing, that sort of thing.

The adorable, distracting Everett.
The adorable, distracting Everett.

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What will you get if you donate?

Certainly, you will have my gratitude. Rewards that are slightly more tangible include:

  • $1 – I will (literally) shout your name from the rooftop (of the parking garage across the street).
  • $10 – Digital copies of a preview chapter and a poem from The Dark in the Song.
  • $25 – Signed copies of a preview chapter and poem from The Dark in the Song.
  • $50 - A digital copy of The Dark in the Song, signed copies of a preview chapter and poem from the book, plus a piece of artwork by the amazing Everett.
The proud artist!
The proud artist!

 $75 – A signed copy of The Dark in the Song, an e-copy of the book, plus early e-copies of a preview chapter and poem.

$100 - Your name in the acknowledgments, signed and digital copies of The Dark in the Song, plus e-copies of a preview chapter and poem.

$150 – Your name in the acknowledgments, signed and digital copies of The Dark in the Song, plus e-copies of a preview chapter and poem. Oh, and I will make you cookies.

Thank you for your support! Please spread the word!

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P.S.  Putting this kickstarter together was like a barn-raising - much gratitude to all the fabulous people who helped make it happen! This includes (but is not limited to) Dave Kludt for editing the image, Trey Burns for filming, Claire Wellin for her beautiful music, and Cory Howard for directing and editing the film. I couldn't have done this without you.

The book's title was inspired be the wonderful children's book The House in the Night.

Swanson, Susan Marie., and Beth Krommes. The House in the Night. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Print.

Risks and challenges

Writing a book, like any art, brings a lot of fears with it. What if I can't actually do this? What if the pieces that are still in my head don't make any sense when I put them on paper? And what, worst of all, if I think they make sense on paper, and no one else does?

As an old friend recently reminded me, fear is part of the process. "Use it," he said. "Embrace it... What separates the greats from the amateurs is that the greats don't let the fear own them." I will do my best to do just that.

There is also the difficulty of what to do when I'm finished. Do I self-publish? Or do I go after publishing companies until I find one who wants my work? I think my openness to either option will help me get through that stage. This is certainly not a money-making venture, and I'm happy to give my work to the world in whatever form makes the most sense once it's finished.

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    I will literally shout your name from the rooftop (of the parking garage across the street).

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    Digital copies of a preview chapter and a poem from The Dark in the Song.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    A digital copy of The Dark in the Song, signed copies of a preview chapter and poem from the book, plus a piece of artwork by the amazing Everett (previews will be fulfilled in August 2014!).

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    A signed copy of The Dark in the Song, an e-copy of the book, plus early e-copies of a preview chapter and poem (previews will be fulfilled in July 2014!).

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Your name in the acknowledgments, signed and digital copies of The Dark in the Song, plus e-copies of a preview chapter and poem (previews will be fulfilled in July 2014!).

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    Limited 8 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Your name in the acknowledgments, signed and digital copies of The Dark in the Song, plus e-copies of a preview chapter and poem (previews will be fulfilled in July 2014!). Oh, and I will make you cookies.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 8 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)