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$1,646 pledged of $9,000 goal
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Missing avatar By Diana Pressnell (deleted)
$1,646 pledged of $9,000 goal
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About this project

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.  

Here's a rough draft with corresponding final draft section of the illustration for our introductory poem, 'Sing a Song of Geekery'
Here's a rough draft with corresponding final draft section of the illustration for our introductory poem, 'Sing a Song of Geekery'
Another example of a rough with its corresponding final!  This one is a section from the poem, 'Seven Days of Anime'.
Another example of a rough with its corresponding final! This one is a section from the poem, 'Seven Days of Anime'.

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! 

Here's how perfect the logo looks on a T-shirt, as well as our bumper sticker, complete with kickstarter only poem!
Here's how perfect the logo looks on a T-shirt, as well as our bumper sticker, complete with kickstarter only poem!

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.  

How often does someone come in asking to have a screen printing put on a cape.  Yet Alleycat not only treated me amazingly well despite my strange request, but did a fantastic job!
How often does someone come in asking to have a screen printing put on a cape. Yet Alleycat not only treated me amazingly well despite my strange request, but did a fantastic job!

Stretch Goals!!

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.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Whether geek, or fellow nerd, in thanking you I'm undeterred!

    A personal email expounding upon your awesomeness for giving us a hand with the project!

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    Immortalized in carbonite can't be all bad! It shows us you like us, and that makes us glad! Your name will be placed on the sponsor's page of our website in the 'Carbonite' level of donors!

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    As you're flyin' through the black, show Mother Geek has got your back!
    An official Mother Geek bumper sticker is what awaits for you here, complete with our logo and the kickstarter poem! Your name will also be added to the sponsor's page of our website in the 'carbonite' donation level.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Though the alien didn't linger, he left the power in your finger!

    A free download of the eBook App is the perfect reward if you're an iPad owner! You'll also get one of our awesome bumper stickers to flaunt your family's geekiness! Lastly, your name will be added to the sponsor's page of our website in the 'carbonite' donation level.

    **Please note the App only works with an iPad**

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    There is no towel in this book, but it's still a guide, so take a look!

    This copy of "The SurReal Mother Geek" comes signed by the author and the artist and will be the perfect addition to any child's bookshelf! Your name will also be added to the sponsor's page of our website in the 'carbonite' donation level.

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    This is the exact same as the reward above, however your copy of "The SurReal Mother Geek" will arrive signed and safe, a month later than the first 50 backers!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Engage your senses with our decor. Go where none have gone before! Our awesome kickstarter poem is getting a fantastic accompanying illustration that will only be available here. You'll be getting an 8x10 copy signed by both author and artist to display in your starship! This also marks the beginning of our sponsor page's next level of donation. You will be listed as a Dilithium sponsor!

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    This is the exact same as the reward above, however your signed Kickstarter-only art print will arrive signed and safe, a month later than the first 50 backers!

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    This is the exact same reward as above, however your signed Kickstarter-only art print will arrive signed and safe, a month later than the first 50 backers! The iPad App download code will arrive as soon as the app is available. **Please note the App only works with an iPad**

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    With a swish and flick, the app, it zips, like magic at your fingertips. Not only do you get a code that allows you to download the digital magic of our interactive iPad eBook, but you will find yourself the proud owner of an 8x10 signed print of our awesome kickstarter-only art/poem! Your name will also be added to our Dilithium Level of sponsorship on the webpage. **Please note the App only works with an iPad**

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    A dungeon is waiting for parties that fail, our manual ensures you'll always prevail! This nets you a signed copy of the perfect geek primer for any of the halflings in your life, as well as a signed 8x10 copy of our kickstarter-only art print. Your name will also be included on our sponsor page in the Dilithium Level!

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    This is the exact same reward as the one above, however your signed Kickstarter-only art print and copy of the book will arrive signed and safe, a month later than the first 50 backers!

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    The pirate gave a great big yawn and wondered why the rum was gone! An awesome cotton T-shirt decorated with our Nigelic logo is what's up for grabs here. The piratical artist created something that will make fans out of everyone! Not only will you get the tee, but you'll get the bumper sticker too. Now you can show your geek pride on yourself and your car! Finally, your name will also be added to the Dilithium Level of our Sponsor's page on the website.

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    Is your hunger hard to sate? Our game will keep it arrow straight! No matter what district you're from, getting a code to download our wickedly cool iPad app and an 11x17 signed print of our fantastic kickstarter-only art says at heart you're a winner through and through! Your name will also be placed on the website wall of sponsors in the Dilithium Level! **Please note the App only works with an iPad**

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    This is the exact same reward as the one above, however your large, signed Kickstarter-only art print will arrive signed and safe, a month later than the first 50 backers! The iPad App code will be sent as soon as available. **Please note the App only works with an iPad**

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    Even a doctor of time and space needs a good book for him to embrace! With this, you will receive the perfect child's companion, "The SurReal Mother Geek", signed and ready to read as well as a signed 11x17 print of our Kickstarter-only art! To complete the deal you'll be added to our webpage's as a sponsor in the Dilithium Level!

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    This is the exact same reward as the one above, however your large, signed Kickstarter-only art print and copy of the book will arrive signed and safe, a month later than the first 50 backers!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Mutant powers we might not hide, but in our uniqueness we should take pride. Proudly tell the world you're a geek by wearing one of our logo Tees and decorating your home with a signed 11x17 Mother Geek kickstarter-only print. A download code for the iPad app is also included! This is the first reward that earns the 'Adamantium' level of donation as well. Your name will now be listed on both the website and in the back of the book on our sponsor pages! **Please note the App only works with an iPad**

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    In brightest day and blackest night, no deal shall escape my sight! With this publishers/retailers 5-pack, you receive five unsigned copies of the book to do with as you will! Your name will also be added to the Adamantium sponsor section of both our website and the book.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Even an outcast with no iron throne, knows many is better than one alone. This level lays claim to many of our fine rewards. You'll get the Tee, a signed 11x17 kickstarter-only art print, a signed copy of the book and one of our bumper stickers! Your name will also be added to both the book and the websites sponsor pages in the Adamantium level.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    To rule them all, it just takes one, but in assortment lies the fun. And what an assortment we have for you! Who could say "no" to one of everything listed previously: A bumper sticker, a code to down load the iPad app, a signed copy of the book, both sizes of Kickstarter-exclusive art signed, and our logo tee. Not to mention that this is the beginning of our highest sponsor level, Mithril! Your name will be placed on both the thank you page of our website and in the back of the book! **Please note the App only works with an iPad**

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    It's awfully good to nab them all, but in this case you need no ball. With this publishers/retailers 10-pack, you can nab 10 unsigned copies of the book to use how you choose! Your name will also be placed on both the website sponsor page and the book as a Mithril Level donor.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    With mushrooms you grow and stars make you strong, but with our special covers you just can't go wrong. This is a very special opportunity to do something that a child will cherish forever. The cover of "The SurReal Mother Geek" includes two 'geeklings' that are accompanying her. With this reward, we will take a photo of two people/children and turn them into the 'geeklings' on the front. You will then get a copy of the book with your personalized image as the cover. Your name will also be included in the book and on the website as a Mithril level sponsor!

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    Transforming cars may not exist, but changing kids should not be missed! With this reward the illustrator will take a photo and transform your child or loved one into a cartoon to decorate the thank you pages of the book. There will be nothing to associate the image with a name, so identities shall be protected, but with the copy that is sent to you, you can share it with the person who has been immortalized and they will recognize themselves. Your name will also be included in the thank you page of the book and website as a Mithril level donor!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    It's time to run when walker's near, but Groan's a doll so have no fear! If you have decided to attend Gen Con this August, then add lunch with Mother Geek and Groan to your busy schedule! They will will happily receive each lucky sponsor and 4 other guests for lunch as guests on either Friday the 16th or Sunday the 18th! What a great way to introduce your kids to a favorite pastime! Your names will also appear in the book and on the website as our top Mithril donors!

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Funding period

- (30 days)