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Putting together 15 years of study and living with animals for a book and e-book: "Talking To Animals," new paradigm for communicating
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349 backers pledged $16,576 to help bring this project to life.

About

$16,576

349

I have been writing about animals and living with them for 15 years on Bedlam Farm, my farm in upstate New York. Every day I have been studying how to communicate with them - dogs, donkeys, goats, cows, barn cats, chickens and sheep. I have written nine books about animals from my farm.

As the author and naturalist Henry Beston has written, "we need another and a wiser and perhaps more mystical concept of animals."  I agree, we are so busy emotionalizing animals we have not taken the time to learn what they are telling us. Animals are not our children, they are not our brethren, they are a separate world unto their own.  I need time and specific photographic equipment to pull all of my research, observations and many photographs into a book and e-book that will hopefully offer a new kind of language for communicating with animals, one that incorporates body language, emotion, food, reinforcement and tradition and deep and active listening. In our world, we are emotionalizing and personifying animals rather than learning how to talk to them.

I have explored these subjects in my life and books and I want to gather my knowledge and experience together to break some new ground that will be helpful to anyone who lives with an animal, pet or livestock. I believe I can help move towards a new language, a new way of talking to animals and listening to them. They don't have words, it is a different kind of language. While the pledge period is short and finite, I will need between six months and one hear to complete "Talking To Animals," a book to be published in book and e-book format. I expect to have a commercial publisher to work with me, and as I do on my blog, www.bedlamfarm.com, I see this work as a collaboration between my readers and contributors and myself, that is what interactivity means, that is why I have come to Kickstarter.

www.bedlamfarm.com

http://www.bedlamfarm.com/2014/01/07/talking-to-animals-they-are-not-our-brethren-they-are-not-underlings/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlOVRgzr1yU

http://www.amazon.com/The-Second-Chance-Dog-Love-Story/product-reviews/0345531175/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_5?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addFiveStar&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

Risks and challenges

First, I need time to focus on this project, always challenging in our distracted world. This would be my 26th book
Secondly, I need sophisticated photographic equipment to capture the emotions, eyes and details of animals, always difficult in the face of weather, movement, changes in light. Animals do not pose naturally, I need to acclimate them to my camera and proximity, have lenses strong enough to photograph them from a distance, fast enough to capture their eye movements and expressions.
I need a camera sophisticated and powerful enough to capture moving images in great detail in unpredictable light. These images are as integral a part of the project as are the words I will use. Animals communicate by emotions and instincts and movements, and I will describe those in detail and support them in images. I do not have the equipment necessary to do that at this point.
Creatively, the greatest challenge is putting aside my words and emotions and language and working to construct a language that works for animals and human beings. I am confident about it, but it is the single most daunting task I have undertaken. I am excited about a truly interactive project like this, it helps define the new relationship between writers and readers. And hopefully, this will offer meaningful insight to animal lovers.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Everyone who provides support for "Talking To Animals" will be mentioned in the acknowledgements, with gratitude.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    All of the people who pledge $25 will receive up to 10 photos taken by my new camera used for "Talking To Animals," and 25 will receive a version of the completed book "Talking To Animals" the end result of my project. They will also receive occasional photos as the work unfolds, send as jpegs. I will share the findings of the work as it unfolds.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Several backers have suggested a new idea which I hadn't thought of but like. Backers who pledge $80 or more are guaranteed to receive a signed and personalized copy of "Talking To Animals" within 30 days of it's publication. Lesser pledges will receive the awards outlined above.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Call it a communications with animals lesson. With only three days to go before the project closes, I've decided to add one more reward to those who pledge $250 or more to this project, that is a tour of Bedlam Farm near Cambridge, N.Y. You can come to the farm and meet the animals I'm writing about, meet the donkeys and sheep, watch Red do his quite astounding sheepherding, talk to me about the "Talking To Animals" project. I'm not sure how many people will respond to this, I might need to limit the number of people who can come or spread the visits over time. I would imagine the tour would take several hours, and a visit to Maria's fiber arts studio. I enjoy showing off the farm, it would also be valuable to me to get some input about what people are seeking. That might be valuable for the project itself. I wrote seven books at the first Bedlam Farm, I'm working on my second here at the new one. You can meet Simon, Lulu and Fanny, Zelda and the sheep, Red, Lenore and Frieda. Some chickens too, probably some lambs in the Spring. This is going to be a collaborative and interactive project.
    I will offer a talk on what I have learned, and suggestions for communicating with animals, from dogs to donkeys.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Those who pledge $25 or more will receive photographs of the "Talking To Animals" project, and at the completion, will be eligible for up to 20 e-book copies of "Talking To Animals" and up to 75 copies of the paperback editions of my books "Izzy& Lenore," "Dancing Dogs," or "Rose In A Storm." I will also be offering updates on my findings and conclusions.

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Funding period

- (29 days)