The SurReal Mother Geek: A Perfect Primer for Progeny!
The SurReal Mother Geek: A Perfect Primer for Progeny!
New versions of well-loved nursery rhymes help kids grasp the basics of geekery while amusing the adults who'll remember the originals.
New versions of well-loved nursery rhymes help kids grasp the basics of geekery while amusing the adults who'll remember the originals. Read more
There is a fine line between genius and madness, and this project is proof of that. Here's a brief explanation, and the only way to know which side of the line "The SurReal Mother Geek" belongs on...
What character is complete without a good back story? Here's Mother Geek's.
Twenty years has seen a lot of change for the geek community. What was once uncool is becoming more accepted every day. We geeks no longer have to hide our hobbies and we're slowly breaking down the stereotype of what a 'geek' is. This shift has affected men, women, and children alike within geekdom. We can be proud of our interests, now, as well as openly raise our kids or take on proteges to train in the ways of the geek from an early age. It is for these children, and the adults that wish to pass on the glory of geekery, that I want to make this book.
"The SurReal Mother Geek" is the first book in a series introducing children, through simple and familiar rhymes, to the wide world of geekery. A geek parent myself, I was always looking for ways to share my passions with my kids, and never had much luck. For a long time, I thought I was alone. Recently, though, I began attending conventions with a friend to help him sell his books and realized I wasn't the only parent wondering how to expose my munchkins to geeky stuff, when most of it is too old for small kids. This discovery made me want to do something to help them, and myself. This is how Mother Geek was born.
Now, the adventure begins...
My vague idea to create a geek kid's book that was both a teaching tool and loads of fun began to solidify after attending Gen Con 2012 with Scott. Somehow, using Mother Goose poems as a basis for these books just seemed right. Here was a way to entertain both adults and children while at the same time teaching their munchkins easy to understand geekery. It would also make training little ones in the references and media we all enjoy easier, as well, by preparing them for the source material long before they're old enough to appreciate it. The first poem was written only a few weeks after I attended Con and, as of October 2012, I had written poems for fifteen general geek subjects. Covered in the "The SurReal Mother Geek" are: pirates vs. ninjas, zombies, apocalypse planning, anime, science fiction, fantasy, Cthulhu, electronics, steampunk, gaming, superheroes, and many others.
Another adventurer joins our quest!
As I received positive feedback from readers, I began to believe I was on the right path to this quest's completion. The addition of my illustrator to the project only furthered that impression. Brett Hatfield has a style and personality that meshes so well with my own, it feels like together we're making magic. I asked that all the roughs be done by the end of the year, and sure enough we had all fifteen rough illustrations done and agreed upon by January. He has until July to create finalized versions of the illustrations, complete footer graphics, and design the cover! I have asked no small task of him, but he has not once let me down. This project could not have found a better fit to help the visual aspect of Mother Geek come to life.
At last, our party is complete! No perilous obstacle can hinder the Fellowship of the Geek! Mother Geek that is...
The software developer behind Veriatas Software is the final key to our journey's end. He is taking Brett's art and my words to make something amazing for users. The iPad eBook will not just be interactive, but will be configurable to work with children of different reading levels. Each poem can be fully read to the child or each word can be individually spoken in order to assist children who are learning how to read on their own. On the pages with illustrations, children will be able to make things move or make noise with the simple touch of a finger. If the art wasn't amazing enough on its own, the completed eBook is going to be spectacular.
From our poem, 'Hush Little Halfling' we have an example of one of the many fun ways a child can play with the The SurReal Mother Geek eBook:
This detail made me giggle the first time I saw it. Now, little ones can take a bite out of 'First World Problems' over and over again:
There will also be non-interactive versions of "The SurReal Mother Geek" on the iBooks store and Kindle marketplace for those that simply want a digital copy of the book. The final detail our App developer has assisted the artist and I bring to life is the book's 'easter eggs'. Each illustration contains a special image for kids to find, however in the App this detail will also be educational! When touched a pop-up will open that will give the kids an explanation of the type of geekery described on the page. It is the designers goal to extend this to feature to the physical books by the end of the year for at least iPhone users using picture recognition software. I will look into having the same available for android users if I can find an android designer capable of making it happen.
We all know how important the supporting NPC's are to the heroes' success, don't we.
So much work has already gone into this project, and yet there is so much more to accomplish before it's finished. I have faith that we're going to make it happen, though, faith that we're going to make it to Gen Con 2013 in August for our debut clutching boxes of books, ready to reveal them to the world. A good part of my faith lies in the incredible support that I am getting from my friends and family on this adventure. For instance, Nigel Sade of Studio De Sade went out of his way to design my wonderful logo. It is a one of a kind piece that can only be gotten through Mother Geek. For those of you who are also fans of our favorite piratical artist, we will be happy to hook you up!
There are many other examples, as well. Another friend, from Demons By Danika, made me the cute zombie goose puppet you saw in the video. I've had friends who are amateur photographers take pictures for me, offer opinions, read and edit everything, aid us in the making of this kickstarter and even allow me to use their voices, by reading poems for the app, for example:
I've even involved local businesses! Alleycat Designs is now my go-to for any screen printing I need and my friend at Short Run Grafx is anxious to start making all kinds of advertising paraphernalia. Everyone I know has been so supportive, and it's for them, as much as myself, that I want to see this book succeed.
It is with an air of hopeful optimism that Mother Geek will indeed be embraced by my fellow geeks that I include this section! One of the definite stretch goals will be a version of the interactive App for those with an android tablet rather than an iPad. Some of the other ideas I'm entertaining as possible stretch goals are the "geek 1" and "geek 2" kids tee shirts from the video, a coloring book based on the book's illustrations, a learning RPG for young children based on the Mother Geek characters, a squishy "No Fail" D20 where each side represents an aspect of geekdom covered in the book, and many, many others. I look forward to having the dilemma of what reward to put with each goal, and how best to thank all of the amazing sponsors that are needed to make stretch goals necessary!! Do you have an idea or opinion for what we should include? Let us know in the comments!
- $ 12,000 - ???
- $ 18,000 - ???
- $ 25,000 - ???
Did I hear sequel? What kind of questers would we be without more adventures waiting for us to go forth and conquer once this one is through?
I'm also using this book to determine interest in the overall concept of Mother Geek. If this book is well received, as I mentioned earlier, there will be more. I want to create a book for each media type and several other subjects pertinent to geekdom. While this kickstarter is specific to "The SurReal Mother Geek" book and iPad eBook, our long term vision is that Mother Geek becomes recognized as the geek household name in teaching kids about popular media figures, movies, comics, games, and much more. So if this is something you would like to see happen and be a part of, please consider funding "The SurReal Mother Geek" (and tell your friends!) so that together we can begin making this goal a reality, one book at a time!
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk for this project is one that we're sure many creators face; time. There never feels like there is enough time, and in our case the clock is audibly ticking. Gen Con, on August 15-18 of this year, is Mother Geek's debut and the booth has been signed, sealed, and delivered. In many ways, there is no room for error and that is perhaps the greatest risk we've assumed on this project.
An aggressive timeline has been laid out, all rough illustrations done by Christmas (which they were), all final illustrations to be completed by the middle of June, coinciding with the end of this campaign, preproduction finishing out June, and July for printing and signing. The eBook is scheduled for release in July as well to draw attention to the book's release the following month. Any of the remaining steps could prove our undoing, anything from delayed art to difficulty in getting the layout just right for printing to the App getting hung up during that apple review process.
Once all of our work comes to fruition, as it is bound to do, I will then begin the next step, preparing to thank our amazing sponsors by coordinating the creation of the rewards. At that point it will be a matter of getting the art to the manufacturers and then waiting to have the completed products returned to me. If something happens in this stage, I will alert everyone of the change and immediately begin working to find a solution, keeping the backers in the loop as I do.
When the printed art and completed books begin to arrive, Brett and I will hopefully find a weekend in late July/early August to get together for a signing party. My plan is to have all of the Aug. deliveries out before Gen Con, however, I am only human and have a booth to build and other products to make for the con so my time will be stretched very thin at that point. After the convention, I will complete any remaining Aug. deliveries and begin the signing process again for the Sept. rewards. Unless some life altering tragedy occurs, the goal is to have all rewards shipped out by the end of Sept.
I have complete faith that no matter what hurdles get thrown our way, we will overcome them and the project will succeed. If you are wondering why I feel so strongly about our ability to overcome, this is why... The illustrator is excited about the project and is anticipating its completion. He is communicative and has proven utterly reliable in terms of his work and enthusiastic attitude. The App designer is the owner of Verietas Software with many completed Apps under his belt and who's work speaks highly of his skills. Finally, I am passionate about this book and dedicated to seeing this project through to the bitter end if need be, not to mention married to a man with quite an entrepreneur's spirit. We make a fairly indomitable team, one that will do everything in our joint power to see the idea of The SurReal Mother Geek become a reality.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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