"If you want to know the difference between a contribution and a commitment, look at a plate of hams and eggs. The chicken made a contribution. The pig made a commitment." -Joe Brown, my father.
I know this didn't originate with my dad, but he's who I learned it from. I plan to be the ham in finishing this book.
Dad taught me many things. Sometimes he spoke them directly. More often, he lived out and demonstrated how he thought I should love. I want to create a book that collects many of the lessons my dad taught me over the years as well as a few stories that demonstrate how he taught them.
Why now? My dad was recently diagnosed with cancer. Rare, aggressive cancer. He's responding to treatment, but the situation served as a kick in the pants to get going on this. I've planned this for many years, but I want to finish in time for him to hold a copy in his hands.
Why him? My dad taught college for over 30 years (I even had him for a few classes), but he taught so much more out of the classroom. Dad taught me how to be a man and how to walk in this world, usually without using words. HIs lessons were often subtle, yet profound. I want to share his wisdom with others as well as provide a small idea of just how much he means to me.
What about the book? I plan to create a small book (6 inches by 4.5 inches) full of lessons he said directly and those he taught without words. I'll also include a few stories that really show how he taught them in both words and deeds. To keep costs down, I'm going the Print On Demand route. Some of the content will come from a post on my site I wrote on Dad's birthday entitled 50 Things I Learned from My Father. If you'd like to get an idea of my writing style, you can peruse all the stories at Stories Now Told.
How I'll Use Pledges
The largest single cost is to hire an illustrator. I have one lined up whose work is amazing (you can check out some of it here). I also plan to pay for a small bit of marketing to help promote the book (the second largest budget item). The rest will be spent on copyediting, design help, etc. Everything will be spent to make this project happen.
I plan on releasing the book with a Creative Commons non-commercial share alike license. I want people to be able to use my words to create other cool things if they want (and they don't get paid for it). I believe collaboration is possible even between those who never meet. Art becomes a living thing when partially released in the wild.
A Final Plea
Please help nurture this project and help it come to fruition. I believe I've created some cool and worthwhile rewards. Many have learned from my father, both in the college setting and personally. Also, just imagine the joy my dad will feel as I present him with this book, a love letter, memory, and tribute combined.
And if that doesn't get you, help me at least send a copy to my 10th grade English teacher who said my writing would never amount to anything. Imagine sticking it to the smug establishment that always told you your dreams were not worth dreaming.
- (40 days)