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A book about the profound yet overlooked ways dense communal living has shaped human affairs from our moods to our businesses to design
69 backers pledged $4,190 to help bring this project to life.
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$4,190

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Hello believers! This contribution earns you my eternal gratitude, handshakes and hugs. You will be a crucial part of the book's success.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You will receive email dispatches from wherever I'm writing or reporting, including surprising encounters, funny observations, first-person anecdotes and progress reports on the book's development. Plus, my eternal gratitude.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    You will receive a copy of my nonfiction chapbook, "A Secondary Landscape," plus the chance to email me any three questions you have about writing nonfiction, pitching articles or generating book ideas. Pick my brain. I'm happy to help with your writing since you're helping with mine.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Your name will be printed in the book’s acknowledgements page so the world can see how much I appreciate you helping make this happen! Plus, I’ll email you personal dispatches from Tokyo and Manhattan and other places where I'm writing or reporting.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Your name will be printed in the book’s acknowledgements page as a thank you, and you’ll receive first look at the book's cover design – a full-color jpeg of the mock-up – once the design is determined. Plus, I’ll send you a copy of my nonfiction chapbook "A Secondary Landscape," and email dispatches from wherever I'm writing and reporting.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A combo platter of thanks: you get your name printed in the book’s acknowledgements page, a first look at the book’s cover, and I’ll mail you handwritten postcards from the places my reporting takes me, from Tokyo to Manhattan to a greasy spoon in exotic Seattle. I’ll also include photos of me hugging the good people I meet on city streets. This is what people did before Facebook.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Earns a thank you in the book's acknowledgments page, first glimpse of the cover design, a copy of my nonfiction chapbook “A Secondary Landscape,” email dispatches from wherever I’m writing and reporting, and the chance to email me any three questions you have about anything. No matter how probing or inappropriate, you will get an answer. Then I’ll dedicate an entire day where the only thing I post on Facebook are messages about how much I appreciate your help.

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    Pledge $155 or more About $155

    EDWARD ABBEY: As an aspiring writer in my early twenties, the desert Southwest's literary provocateur Ed Abbey was my first role model. This contribution earns a signed large-format hardcover of Abbey’s 1971 photo book “Slickrock: Endangered Canyons of the Southwest.” It's one of my few treasured possessions, but I'm happy to offer you it in order to write a book that Abbey's legacy helped inspire. Abbey wrote the text, Philip Hyde took the photos, and The Sierra Club published it. And Cactus Ed's signature graces the front page! (Unfortunately, book is missing its dust jacket, and binding is slightly loose; all pages intact, though.) Includes a thank you in the book's acknowledgments page.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    You will receive all of the $150 category, plus handwritten postcards mailed from the various places where I'm reporting! (Will likely include dispatches from various diners, motel rooms, rooftops, roadsides and coffee shop counters.)

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    BARRY HANNAH: This earns you a signed first edition hardcover of legendary writer Barry Hannah's 1996 story collection "High Lonesome." Sure, you could buy this same book for less money, but the proceeds wouldn't be helping a writer achieve his dream of writing his first book! (Book is in new condition, with dust jacket in protective Mylar wrapper. Hannah signed it while browsing the shelves of his old local bookstore, Oxford Square Booksl that's also where I found it.) Plus, your name in my book's acknowledgement page, a copy of my chapbook, and email dispatches sent from the road.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    LARRY BROWN: Larry Brown is an American fiction writer whose prose and approach to writing inspires me. He was a fireman, husband and father, yet he found the time to teach himself to write by practicing any chance he got, often through the dark of night, alone, in a spare room.

    This pledge earns you a signed advance reader copy of Larry Brown's 1991 novel "Joe," plus a thank you in my book's acknowledgments page, first glimpse of the cover design, and personal emails from the road, Sure, you could buy the same book for about $175, but the proceeds wouldn't be helping a journalist live his dream of writing his first book. (Book is in very good condition and in a protective plastic sleeve.)

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    FOR WRITERS: Earns you a thank you in the acknowledgements page, and personal help with any short, finished nonfiction manuscript you've written. I can give you feedback, line edits, macro-level suggestions, whatever you're looking for. Or, call me up. Pick my brain about writing nonfiction or pitching articles to magazines, or just to chat for an hour on a sunny day. I love conversation. It'll be fun. Plus, you get email dispatches from wherever I'm writing and reporting.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Wow, you are generous! This gets your name in the acknowledgements page, first glimpse of the cover, postcards and photos from the road, a copy of my chapbook and signed copy of "Crowded," and... What else would you like as thanks? Editorial feedback on your own short nonfiction manuscript? I'm open to suggestions. It's the least I can do.

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

    For this, I would give you my car, but it's old and that would be punishment. Instead, I'll send you a signed copy of "Crowded" with your name printed in the acknowledgements page, and all of the offerings in the $150 category. Endless thanks to you!

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Anyone who donates this kind of money clearly already has a place in some sort of heaven, but if you live anywhere near Portland, Oregon, you're also cordially invited to my book release party when I throw it. Besides your name in the book's acknowledgements page, I'll write your name in icing on the (gluten-free) cake. You deserve the world for this level of generosity. Sorry if a cake party seems a bit weak for the price-tag, but it and all of the offerings of the $150 category are yours.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    FUTURE TENSE BOOKS PACKAGE: Includes all three of the new Scout Books chapbooks (Melody Owen's "Dream Journals," Sommer Browning's "Presidents (And Other Jokes)" and my chapbook) and a copy of a Future Tense Books paperback of your choosing. A sweet deal!

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Funding period

- (30 days)