Hello! My name is Rebecca Pillsbury and I am a non-fiction writer based in Portland, Oregon. My mission is to inspire others to live their bliss—which I do by following my own: writing transformational stories about people who have learned how to do just that!
Last year, I wrote a memoir, Finding Ecstasy, about my own journey to bliss. The book was a prize winner in the international Transformational Author writing contest, solidifying my childhood dream of becoming a published author. After the book’s publication, I immediately went to work on another project dear to my heart—Saved by the Blues—about the healing power of blues music and dancing.
Blues dancing? What’s that?!
Blues dancing as a historical partner dance—also known as slow dancing or slow dragging—can be traced back to the post-slavery era in the deep American South. The contemporary blues dance scene, however, is a recent—and rapidly growing—movement that evolved out of the swing revival of the 1990s. Thriving subcultures can now be found all across North America and Europe and even in parts of Asia, South America, and the Middle East. Its members are attracted to the dance due to its unique outlet for self-expression, community building, and intimacy and partner connection and for their love of blues music itself. For many of its ardent fans, the healing power of the music and dance has, in essence, saved them. This book chronicles the stories of dancers who have used blues dancing to help recover from divorce or relationship dissolution, social anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sexual abuse, back pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, and many other emotional fears and physical limitations.
Want to see what it looks like? Here is a video from Portland, Oregon's Rose City Blues Festival last November (video features music by Kevin Selfe, who is a contributor to Saved by the Blues).
Where am I in this project?
Over the past year, I have interviewed over 40 blues dancers from around the world, transcribed the interviews, and turned them into stories to enchant and inspire. I am excited to say that the first draft of Saved by the Blues is now complete! I have been deeply moved by the courage the contributors have had to share their struggles and their triumphs with me, and with the world.
But in order to make their messages of inspiration available to the public, a significant financial investment is necessary for the self-publication of this book— including professional editing, formatting, and cover and interior design. I have been through this process before; self-publishing requires a great deal of work and money, but the reward is beyond magical.
This time, the story is not just my own—forty other people are counting on me to make their message known. And that’s not all…this book is to be the first book ever written on the contemporary blues dance scene! I feel it’s about time this beautiful art form and some of the transformational stories that have evolved from the dance were honored and shared---and used to inspire other people to dance!
How does this work?
Kickstarter's model is simple. You pledge an amount towards my fundraising goal by clicking the "Back This Project" button on the top right hand side of the page. If I make my goal in pledges by my deadline, August 15th, you will then get charged for your donation, and receive some exciting incentives in return (like the Saved by the Blues T-shirt and drawstring totebag below!) However, if I don't make my goal, your card doesn't get charged and I don't receive any funding--making the project take much, much longer to reach the world.
(Also available in Women's)To review the various incentives and their corresponding donation levels, scroll through the column on the right. The quicker I receive funding for this project, the quicker I can begin the professional editing process. I already have an editor I love working with and a graphic designer who is excited to get started on the book’s cover design. All we need is you and your support!
If the fundraising goal is met by August 15th, the anticipated date of delivery for the prizes (to include an advanced copy of the completed book!) is February 2016.
Where does the money go?
I'm asking for $3,500 to complete the project. This will ensure enough money to publish a basic version of the book--without images or illustrations—and cover the rewards and Kickstarter/credit card processing fees. Here is a breakdown of the estimated expenses without images:
- Editing: $2,075
- Formatting: $250
- Cover Design: $325
- Rewards: $500
- Kickstarter/credit card processing fees (approx..10%): $350
What happens if we overfund?
I do a major happy dance! And here's what you can look forward to...
If we raise over $5,000 the book will be expanded and reformatted to include incredible visual components, allowing for a more powerful impact on the reader by being able to put a face (or a dance move) to each story!
If we hit $6,500, I'll be able to include the comic 'Dance Yourself Clean' about dance transformation from cartoonist and dancer Lucy Bellwood.
If we raise over $8,500, get ready to party! I will host a kick@ss blues dance party in Portland, Oregon to coincide with the book launch. There will be yummy snacks, readings by contributors, raffle prizes, and of course--lots and lots of dancing!
If we raise over $10,000, there will be LIVE MUSIC at the party, by a legendary blues musician. It will be epic. I promise.
Want more information?
If you’re already convinced this is a worthwhile project to back, thank you so much for seeing the value in motivating and inspiring others to discover the healing power of partner dancing for themselves! If you’re still on the fence and would like more information on me or this project—or if you’d like to read a sneak peek of Saved by the Blues—you may visit www.findingecstasy.com/blues.
You can also see quotes from the fabulous contributors to the book by visiting the group’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/savedbytheblues/
Still have questions? Drop me a line through the campaign page or at http://findingecstasy.com/contact-us/. Thank you again for your interest and support in this project!
Photos used in the video were taken by Drew Tronvig, Patrick Fulgencio, Fredrik Lindbom
Risks and challenges
The main challenge is the difficulty in predicting how long the editing process will take. Editing is a collaborative effort with a professional editor, in which multiple drafts may be required in order for the manuscript to reach its highest potential. Additional research may be required (deeper history of blues dancing/music) or additional interviews may need to be conducted.
If the project over-funds, an additional challenge may be the technical requirements to include photos/illustrations. Not only do permission and rights need to be obtained by all of the photographers and subjects, but issues could arise in the design/formatting of the book that could delay the process.
Despite these challenges, I have an excellent team of editors and designers ready to help this project read and look as professional as possible! I am determined and confident that if the project were to run into any delay, that the extra time will be well worth the wait.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)