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I founded elephantjournal.com. Now I've written my 1st book. Next, let's create an indie book company that pays writers right.
892 backers pledged $53,643 to help bring this project to life.
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"Love is about finding one's match, which means we shall touch our minds and hearts together at once, and never condescend or aim for any goal between us but the truth."  

Here's a more-final mockup of the elephanty mindful pin for Things and Elephant Books backers who get that level reward: 

The light yellow will be gold. The pin is eco! Recycled.
The light yellow will be gold. The pin is eco! Recycled.


Things I would like to do with You
is a contemplation of love for a new generation—a generation no longer satisfied with a "Mad Men" paradigm of "you complete me" claustrophobia or shiny yet see-through idyllic, happy endings.

Is there a love that includes room for change, independence, humor—even loneliness? 

Why support "Things I would like to do with You"? 

1. If you'd like to read or gift it, buy a copy. With your help, I'll be able to swim upstream against a cynical corporate book world. Instead of big box stores & Amazon, we'll print Things on ecopaper at one of the last surviving great American book printers, helping to shore up middle class jobs. I'll distribute independently (ie, from my kitchen table). And with every purchase, we'll offset any carbon footprint by planting a tree in your honor. 

2. If we get to $50,000, you'll enable an independent, grassroots distribution of Things: without Amazon or corporate publishers, while carbon offsetting every book with one tree planted. Enable Things to come see you! Tour of 10 cities, in no particular order:

Boulder > Boston > Chicago > Seattle > Los Angeles > San Francisco > New York City > Austin > Portlandia > Philly > Denver.

I will (bike) tour from sea-to-shining-sea hitting up indie bookstores, yoga studios, meditation centers and holding book readings and hosting interviews with thought leaders. 

3. If we get to $60,000, Things will launch a new indie publishing company: Elephant Books. Elephant Books will serve writers by using elephantjournal.com's platform (18 million readers/month!) to "A/B test" chapters in reaching beyond the choir, then assembling quality writing into ebooks—while paying authors approx 50%, not 8-15%—changing an industry paradigm. Let's pay writers right.

You'll also enable Things to see more of you: the above 10 cities plus

> Lincoln, Lawrence, Madison, Eugene, Madison, Charleston, Asheville, Ashland, Bozeman, Portland (Maine), Burlington, Santa Fe, probably Salt Lake City > Santa Barbara, N'awlins, Berkeley, Encinitas, Nashville > Iowa City...and the top-suggested write-in from the Notes section of this Kickstarter's supporters.

But enough talk:

>>> Listen to the "Preramble" of Things. 

>>> Click here to read the first chapter, 

"Things I would like to do with you in the Woods."

“The simplest things are often the truest.” ~ Richard Bach

I would like to go a way’s away, to a Cabin, and I would like to look you in the eyes, and you look me in the eyes, as lovers do, a soft invisible smile, quiet, warm, calm. I would like to not come back for ten days (ten days is not long enough, but it is longer than I have taken for myself in eleven years). It would be a first visit, a return to the woods of my youth. I can cut wood quite well, and show you how. I can pick too much mint, because I am distracted by you. The mint is strong, almost bitter, in the wild.

I would like to walk with you in the moonlight. The grass is wet. I can see you clearly in the dark, only you are black and white, but I cannot see how the gate opens, so I have to feel for it, and the ground is uneven so…walking, talking, listening to and with you…I walk left then right, as if tipsy. The ground is not flat out here, and I love you. I mean, I love that about nature: it is uneven.

I would like to love you, but I do not know you, and I value space more than even love, for in space we can play. I would make a fort in our cabin out of sheets and we can go inside and just lie there. I am looking at you, into you, and you are looking at me, into me. And we could read a paperback. I have a good reading voice. And we could have a fire, though it is not cold, but it would light up the fort, flickering, warmly, with shadows of our future. I would like to love you and you love me, for love can only be shared, but my luck does not run that way, these days, or for awhile, and I have a feeling that I will not love and be loved again until all my luck is run out.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu

I would like to talk with you about things I care about that others do not care about because they do not care about me, and hear you care, not because you care about me, but because you care about the things I care about.

I would like to listen. I could do it half the night, hour turning over hour, until I fall asleepinyourwords. I need make up time: I need to listen and breathe and take you in and just...read the rest of the first chapter, here.

#thingsiwouldliketodowithyou
#thingsiwouldliketodowithyou

“A cabin began this story that is not a story. This story is not true, but it is not fiction. This story is my heart’s life.”

I serialized Things I would like to do with You on elephantjournal.com—where it met with the most enthusiastic reaction I've ever seen in 12 years of blogging, writing and editing. Things already has 90K fans on Facebook [join if you like], with over 1.5 million readers reached globally—not bad for a yet-to-be-published first novel.

Things is about a search for true love—a love without clinging that allows room for change, independence and humor.

Things is about something we all share: a longing for a modern yet timeless love that includes space—for appreciation, for sadness—for less and more than a conventional claustrophobic contract.

Now, for the first time, we've gathered together the 30 chapters and are hoping to go to print at one of the last great American printers still in business. And I've calligraphed and illustrated it personally.

About the book:

> 250 pages. 
> Eco-responsible paper & vegetable-based ink. 
> Printing in the USA at Thomson Shore in Michigan. 
> Carbon-offset by trees planted in your honor! 
> Red cloth cover with golden embossed title, illustrations.

"If you read my words and if you are excited, remember that I do not know you—not really. If you read my words and you are upset, and if you said you did not want to read them anymore, I would like to remind you that these words are not about you.

Except for the sweet parts.

I am a lover of love and I am a lover of words, and the two together spin visions of airy castles, but also may pierce the heart of hope. And so I remind you that I am a fool, a poet, and what matters is reality, not lovely words. Words are full of promise, yet empty of matter."

"I will bring our book and read it to you. It will not all be romance, it would be better: it will be ours."

The Book Tour:

If successful, this Kickstarter campaign will release a #Thingsie book tour of 10 (see below) cities and 20 (see below) towns. My tour will be eco in every way possible—I'll bike, invest in meaningful offsets and use other eco transport.

Along the way, in addition to book readings, I will host my "Walk the Talk Show," elephant journal's popular video series. I'll highlight farmers, yogis, entrepreneurs, poets and game-changing luminaries. Elephant's team will produce lovely videos and we'll share them with you and other Things supporters.

If you're in town, you can join a reading, an afterparty, a brunch. Wherever you are, you can buy a book, a handthrown mug, a comfy organic tee shirt, and the other prizes to the right. You can join us in Boulder for a Writer's Workshop Weekend or bring me to your hometown for a Writer's Workshop.

This is what the mug will look like, only with the elephant "logo" in red. Our friends at Dojo4 in Boulder made this mug with Alex "Mudlover"—I own a bunch of his mugs and bowls and love them every day:

The Mug. Only with a red elephant logo.
The Mug. Only with a red elephant logo.

"Love is not selfish love but rather caring for another, which means we help to nurture our fundamental kindness."

About Elephant Books:

But there's more! If successful, we'll not only mindfully print and eco tour but...I've decided to use Things I would like to do with You as the guinea pig for Elephant Books. If successfully funded (see funding levels, below), Elephant Books will be a new community-driven, independent, eco publishing company dedicated to being of benefit. And it will pay writers—get this—5x the industry status quo.

Instead of working with “The Man”—Amazon and traditional publishers print in China or elsewhere with weak environmental and employee standards, pay authors a minimum, and too often publish without a mission to be of benefit. 

Elephant Books will be about three things: meaningful, fun content; right livelihood (triple bottom line: joyful people, healthy planet, stable profit); and paying authors and editors properly.

"None of this may mean a thing, and you are nervous, and you want space. It may mean something, and I am not nervous, and I will give you all the space you need. For love if true is caring about another's heart, not merely one's own."

Funding goals:

Funded! $35,000: Enable us to print the book in the US on ecopaper.

$50,000: Enable an independent, grassroots distribution of Things: without Amazon or corporate publishers, while carbon offsetting every book with one tree planted. Enable Things to come see you! Tour of 10 cities, in no particular order: 

> Bahston
> Chicago
> Seattle
> Los Angeles
> San Francisco
> New York City
> Austin
> Portlandia
> Philly 
> and Denver.

$60,000: Enable the full launch of Elephant Books: an independent, eco-responsible, mindful book publisher for us all.  And enable Things to see more of you: the above 10 cities plus 

> Lincoln, Lawrence, Madison, Eugene, Madison,
> probably not Las Vegas, Charleston, Asheville, Ashland, Bozeman
> Portland (Maine), Burlington, Santa Fe, probably Salt Lake City
> Santa Barbara, N'awlins, Berkeley, Boulder, Encinitas, Nashville 
> Iowa City...and the top-suggested write-in (Vancouver? Halifax? Montreal? Las Vegas?) from the Notes section of this Kickstarter's supporters. 

Rewards: We've worked hard to come up with a fun list of eco goodies that we hope you'll like. We've sourced locally, with people who care about what they do and do it well. (See Rewards at right!)

"I would like to listen: to get to know your stories, your life, your dreams, your daily humors small and large—I would like to read your story until, like a well-read book, your story is well-known to me, the favorite parts wrinkled from the bath, or the rain, or tears...and dried by the eastern sun."

About Elephant Journal: with no savings, way back before Kickstarter even existed, I built up a nationally-distributed eco-printed Elephant Magazine. But after 6 years, I killed it to shift online—so we could reach millions, not just our choir, and so we could better walk our eco-responsible talk. 

elephantjournal.com is now the world's largest mindfulness web site: we've won dozens of online awards, including top in the US twice for #green coverage. We reach 18 million readers a month, and our mission is to "share the 'mindful life' beyond the choir, to all those who might give a care." Subscribe free: elephant journal's curated newsletter.

Risks and challenges

> Funding a mindfully-printed (read: expensive) book published in the US is, well, pricey.

> Distributing it without The Man is really hard—as an indie-published book, Things won't be available in most book stores, unless indie book stores give us a chance.

> Doing a national tour without the blessing of a big publisher is hard: book stores may say "who?" when we call to schedule a reading.

> And, finally, starting an eco-minded indie book publisher is hard—we're reinventing the wheel because we don't want to be taken for a ride by the corporate giants like Amazon.

Asking for your help through Kickstarter gives me a chance to directly connect and distribute to you, our potential backers (which cuts down on shipping, reshipping, and re-reshipping to get it to you).

That's why I need you to make this happen.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Thingsie Lite level: This level includes good karma (you've been bad) + a month-long gift subscription to elephantjournal.com + a subscription link to videos of the #Thingsie book tour ft. thought leaders, poets, farmers, entrepreneurs, yogis & book readings.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    eCare Package level: "I don't want a book made out of a tree, I want digital magical invisible stuff!" You got it: this level includes the "Things" ebook + HD digital desktop poster of original illustration from book for your device, + audiobook of book readings by the author for your favorite boring commute + everything the Thingsie Lite level includes.

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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    Just the Book level: one copy of "Things I would like to do with You" (printed in US on ecopaper, cloth hardcover embossed in yellowgold), 1 tree planted for you to offset printing & shipping + admission to afterparty at a local joint with the author & elephant staff if you attend a book reading. Talisker not included.

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    Pledge US$ 55 or more About US$ 55

    Brand New! By Popular Demand: everything in our eCare Package Level + everything in our Just the Book level. I shoulda thought of this earlier. Now you can read Things under the covers with the lights out on your mobile device…or read Things with the electricity out on your good ol'fashioned ecopaper book by candlelight.

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    Pledge US$ 108 or more About US$ 108

    Overly Enthusiastic Introvert level: autographed book + cabin-love bookmark/sticker + eco lapel pin (the coolest thing we're making) and a dumb magnet for your cluttered fridge. Admission to afterparty at a local joint with the author & elephant staff if you attend a book reading (hoppy microbrew not included), + everything the eCare Package level includes!

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    Pledge US$ 222 or more About US$ 222

    Double Trouble Cuddle Puddle level: two Cozy oversized tee shirts to sleep in for you & a dear pal + 2 Books to read while cuddling + 2 fancy Bookmark/Sticker Thingies. Lover, bestie, sister or brother not included. Plus: 2 magnets that resent being called "dumb" they're actually pretty cool for your fridge, 2 lapel pins, 2 admissions to afterparty.

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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    All the Things! Level. Take a deep breath before reading. This level includes a treasure chest of eco schwag: the US-printed ecopaper Book (inscribed w/one-of-a-kind you-had-me-at-haiku-for-you by author!) + US-made + printed supersoft organic cotton Things-illustrated tee-shirt (oversized to wear to bed) + handthrown mug stamped w/ Things Cabin-Love "logo" + Things book cover magnet + eco-made lapel pin + everything the eCare Package level includes, baby! Make it rain!

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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    Share the Love level: get 10 copies of Things for your book club/book store/yoga studio/meditation center/university/cult or gift to your company as the sweetest corporate gift ever.

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    Pledge US$ 575 or more About US$ 575

    "Treat Yo Self" level includes everything in the All the Things! level, plus: VIP Brunch with the author & a few other fellow readers & elephant staff at a favorite local eco breakfast spot the morning after a reading & afterparty. Includes organic local food (Waylon will personally pour coffee into your mouth)...but not drinks or travel. Brunches available only in cities with book readings (see city and town lists at left under "Funding Goals"). Note: If we don't reach our Book Tour funding goal, we will send you 2 All the Things! levels.

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    Pledge US$ 1,111 or more About US$ 1,111

    New! Prior Level Sold-Out! Make the vision of Elephant Books Possible. Right now it seems out of reach. Oak-Level VIP Make All Things Possible Benefactor level. Book equivalent of Director credit: your name or business in Bold! thanks on a page up front: This Book made possible by...You. Plus: the book! Autographed and signed with a personal thank you! Plus: All the Things! level (only book is signed)

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    Pledge US$ 4,000 or more About US$ 4,000

    New! Host the Author level: Make the vision of Elephant Books Possible. Right now it seems out of reach. Scotch-Level VIP Make All Things Possible Benefactor level. Book equivalent of Executive Director credit: your name or business in Bold! thanks on top of a page up front: This Book made possible by...You. Plus: the book! Autographed and signed with a personal thank you! Plus: All the Things! level (only book is signed)

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

    VIP Make All Things Possible Benefactor level. Book equivalent of Executive Producer credit: your name or business thanks on a page up front: This Book made possible by...You. Plus: the book! Autographed and signed with a personal thank you! Plus: All the Things! level (only book is signed)

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Funding period

- (29 days)