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A writer attempts to transform his stories and reflections from the year his dad is dying into a vision for a new creative residency.
A writer attempts to transform his stories and reflections from the year his dad is dying into a vision for a new creative residency.
338 backers pledged $37,001 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$37,001

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THANKS TO YOUR SUPPORT, INSPIRATION DRIVE HAS BEEN FULLY FUNDED! ALL CONTRIBUTIONS OVER THE GOAL WILL GO TOWARDS PHASE TWO OF DEVELOPMENT: BUILDING THE YEFE NOF RESIDENCY

Establishing a nonprofit organization that can seek government and foundation support requires infrastructure. In the near future we will work closely with potential residents and other creators to invent a process that converts their ideas into currency for a tiny percentage that can be contributed back to the program. For the time being, you are our scaffolding. This project evolves as a collaboration with you. It's an interaction between the writer and the world in which this book is going to be situated. That world is you. 

Inspiration Drive and the rest of the products are only available here for FORTY-EIGHT MORE HOURS. Come be a part of this. When you do, it will come out of you, too. 

Kickstart Inspiration Drive: the book and the vision.                   (Outside US/UK/Canada? Click here.)

Two years ago, in mid-December, I made a routine Sunday night call to my dad to confirm my plans to be in California for the first six weeks of the new year. He flipped open his phone —“Hell-O”— and straight away I heard an unfamiliar concern in his voice. This is where the story begins, I think — on a moment that passes for everyday life. He said, “I have shitty news.” He used his favorite word. I stopped talking and took a deep breath. He said, “The melanoma crossed my blood-brain barrier and the doctors are giving me six months to live.” It was the facts like you hear them on evening television dramas. One year later, Dr. Zvi Leo Soltz, father of two, psychologist to many, former accordionist and hotel night clerk, soul of a scout, consummate walker, peaceful man of modest aspirations and an amazing work ethic, died gracefully in his sleep. His concern to his dying day was his quality of life. My concern was how to live. 

In 2014 when my sister and I open the Yefe Nof Residency (YNR) in his mountain home eighty-five miles east of Los Angeles, it will be thanks to you, the Kickstarter backers. 

The book.

If fully funded, starting in January 2014 I will be the first Yefe Nof resident and spend six weeks crafting Inspiration Drive, a story of the love between a boy and his father during their last year of life together. Told in a form that mutates along with the dramas that surround them, their quiet connection emerges in consensus reality and in daydreams, sometimes as the deep breath of memoir and often as the coping exhale of fiction. I’m writing it as a lyric essay. At its core is the YNR origin story driven by everything contained in the microcosm of my dad’s days on earth—what he believed and valued about life, art, relationships, family, love, and work. 

Inspiration Drive would demonstrate a product of the organization I was planning, and illustrate the purpose of the organization. In other words, it would be the work itself and the story about the place where the work gets finished.

The vision.

A secluded place in the mountains for no-name authors and groundbreaking work.

It’s in the human spirit to create, to design, to imagine things differently than they appear — and yet we often don’t get to realize our visions. My dad would have said he didn't have a creative bone in his body, but he created a home — the house he called Yefe Nof, Hebrew for “beautiful scenery” — for him and future generations to use. Instead of selling his creation or dealing with it as a novelty of the past, my sister and I said, let’s step forward and use it for more than our dad would have ever imagined. Let’s re-purpose his house as a creative residency.

The Yefe Nof Residency will be a place where writers, researchers, and designers bring their projects for the final stage of execution, one resident at a time for six weeks each. 

See yourself and see outside yourself.

Become part of the work of YNR in its early stages. Program details will be announced as we advance towards making it a reality, but we want you to consider that you may be a future resident. You may be selected to go to Yefe Nof to become reinvigorated by the mountains, experience the lake, and push your work to completion without the stress or expense of daily life.

The value in supporting this publishing project now is, foremost, that you will take part in the creation of Inspiration Drive — the first edition of a YNR publication. You may be credited for your participation and you might also become part of its discourse. The structure of the residency itself will organically extend from the various levels of support for the initial work.

If I contribute to this Kickstarter campaign, what will my money fund?

If successful, this Kickstarter will help me do two things: it will help me produce Inspiration Drive, and it will help me start the residency and maintain it for the first year. Your backing will cover me for six weeks with a stipend — which all selected residents should receive in the future — and provide the means to have the book edited, proofread and printed, thank you profusely, and reward you accordingly. Any funds exceeding our initial goal will be invested in the continuation of the Yefe Nof Residency program.

Backing. US/UK/Canada and PayPal option.

$5+ HOPE

Our dad's legacy will be offered with sincere gratitude to those who contribute to the creation of YNR. You'll have access to one of five transcribed interviews where Dr. Zvi Leo Soltz shares his thoughts on writing, the work of a psychologist, judging others, human behavior, and job satisfaction.

$18+ AN IDEALIST CARD

You punch mine, I mail you yours. I will personally send you a postcard with my written “statement of an idealist” from somewhere around the world. To get in touch with the idealist in you.

$33+ INSPIRATION DRIVE

Current interior of the approx. 250 page Inspiration Drive
Current interior of the approx. 250 page Inspiration Drive

This is only raw material. You can read some of my polished writing by clicking on the photo above.

$60+ HOLIDAY NO-LOOKIE

It's simple. You don’t see what it is until it comes in the mail. This holiday season, I'll do a limited run of a street art experiment I started in the Paris metro. You or whomever you designate will receive a one-of-a-kind photo booth photograph of me as my Streetrunner character holding up a notebook page for you to read. Thoughtfully executed, each photo in this series is also a voucher redeemable for one signed copy of the book.

$80+ SAGE bkr

“The more you reason, the less you create.” –Raymond Chandler

Introducing the most limited edition bkr ever, Sage. The addictive clean bubbly glass + soft silicone water bottle is inspired by me and my sister's love of beauty, ideas, and innovation. It's a design statement that typifies the YNR creative culture. (Reward exclusive to this backing level.)

$175+, $250+ ENLIGHTENMENT

A Large Party, Guided Experience (2013). Click for reviews. Photo: Gil Soltz, Courtesy "How a book will compete with the purchase of two martinis or a taxi across town" Archives
A Large Party, Guided Experience (2013). Click for reviews. Photo: Gil Soltz, Courtesy "How a book will compete with the purchase of two martinis or a taxi across town" Archives
$500+, $1000+ ADVENTURE 

 
Yefe Nof is ideally located. Its position in a national forest at 5,600 feet above the desert provides enhanced quality of life benefits and outdoor recreation opportunities, and its proximity to Los Angeles offers the accessibility of urban experiences and conveniences.

* Please note: We will contact backers to schedule their stay at the end of the Kickstarter campaign. Due to the limited number of weeks in each season, the choice of weeks for house stays will be on a first pledge first serve basis. 

Credits.

Directed by Ambarish Manepalli

Additional camera by Mason Richards and Brent Large

Music: Uniform Motion "Without You" 

Photography: Annabel Soltz

Logo Design by République

Risks and challenges

My biggest challenges may seem to be a six-week time constraint and the distance between where I live and where much of this project is based, but I am prepared to meet these demands. The more complicated risk is that if we don't reach our Kickstarter goal, we face losing a home for experimental creation.

With a tiny team we can design a system that will anticipate logistical issues and operate to give creators the greatest possible freedom to produce groundbreaking new work, but it will be some time before we build the capacity to demonstrate that YNR is impacting factors contributing to static, strangled, and self-interested innovation. The publication of Inspiration Drive is the first step in this direction.

We ask for your patience and flexibility while we grow and expand. We deeply appreciate your support for this project and will keep you updated along the way. Thank you for joining my sister and I while we begin establishing this unprecedented community.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    HOPE—Sincere gratitude and access to 1 of 5 transcribed talks between father and son. Dr. Zvi Leo Soltz shares his thoughts on 1) Writing, 2) The work of a psychologist, 3) Judging others, 4) Human behavior, and 5) Job satisfaction.

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    AN IDEALIST CARD—A postcard with my “statement of an idealist” mailed to you from somewhere around the world. (Plus HOPE).

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    Pledge $33 or more About $33

    INSPIRATION DRIVE—The ground-breaking book. Thank you for placing the foundation of the Yefe Nof Residency in your hands. Your founder status will be commemorated on our official website. (Plus AN IDEALIST CARD and 2xHOPE).

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    HOLIDAY NO-LOOKIE—A Kickstarter-exclusive gift voucher for Inspiration Drive. Go in blind. You or whomever you designate will receive a photograph of me with a specially selected page from my notebooks. Each unique photo in this limited series is good for one signed copy of the book.
    (Plus AN IDEALIST CARD and 3xHOPE).

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    SAGE bkr—Beauty, wisdom, and innovation in the most limited edition bkr ever. Exclusive to this backing level. (Plus NO-LOOKIE, AN IDEALIST CARD, AND 4xHOPE)

    Add $10 to ship within the US.

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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    THE RAW BUNDLE—The first three works to come out of YNR and a raw (blank) notebook—one of the works could be yours! Plus, exclusive digital advance of raw selections from Inspiration Drive. (Plus NO-LOOKIE, AN IDEALIST CARD and ALL HOPE).

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    EARLY BIRD ENLIGHTENMENT a.k.a. STELLAR JAY—Paris is a stellar idea right now!! Get enlightened for cheap and be thanked in the book! You and up to four others will meet me, have a private two-hour guided experience, celebrate the YNR launch with a Parisian crowd, and leave the City of Light with exclusive YNR materials. (Plus THE RAW BUNDLE, NO-LOOKIE, AN IDEALIST CARD and ALL HOPE).

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    ENLIGHTENMENT—Take a tour of my creative laboratory in the streets of Paris and be thanked in the book. You and up to four others will meet me, have a private two-hour guided experience, celebrate the YNR launch with a Parisian crowd, and leave the City of Light with exclusive YNR materials. (Plus THE RAW BUNDLE, NO-LOOKIE, AN IDEALIST CARD and ALL HOPE).

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ADVENTURE—A weekend at Yefe Nof.
    See it with your own eyes and be thanked in the house. Yefe Nof’s proximity to Los Angeles contrasts the anything goes Southern California urban experience with the tranquility of being near a lake in the woods. It sleeps four comfortably, all fees are included, and it is available between residencies in all seasons. Plus, the first five residents will send you a letter from the house. (Plus ENLIGHTENMENT, THE RAW BUNDLE, NO-LOOKIE, AN IDEALIST CARD and ALL HOPE).

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

    HIGH ADVENTURE—A week at Yefe Nof. Pass on conformism and egoism and check your dates. Seven nights of mental release near a lake in the woods. Same as above, but more stars and sun, or snow and fireplace, or barbecue and balcony. Explore and enjoy the mountain like a resident and receive an invitation to attend YNR steering committee meetings via webcam during year one.

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Funding period

- (30 days)