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Update #9

The End...For Now

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We (Mac and Windy) did not expect to be thanking two more backers today, but we are happy to. In the final hours Kickstarter regulars Muazzam B. Sham Khiruddin and David DiPillo came through with pledges of good will. Thanks guys!

So, yeah, as stated in our last post this project, in this proposed form, is not going to happen. We did not meet our minimum number of pledges and we are out of time here on Kickstarter. This means no one will be be charged for their pledges. We would have had to make the minimum we set for any action there. Thank you again, really, deeply and truly, for your support, in whatever form it has taken.

Can you hear the sound of taps in the background though?

Well, we're going ahead with Plan B. We will see how plan B works. Plan B is an interactive, but printable, ebook version of Peace Play that we are thinking of pricing at $2 per month for a personal-use download and $10 for all 12 months at once, with further discounts for multiple copies. Not something either of us totally know how to do yet, but it seems doable. I also have not been able to wrap my mind around how to price this for an institution yet. All advice and thoughts are appreciated. 

Do you think Plan B will fly? I (Windy) am feeling like the printed and mailed version, while aesthetically superior, was just too expensive to appeal to most people at $30. And we could not not price it that way. We were unwilling to use a non-union printer and the cost of mailing each lesson was itself a pretty penny. The ebook format is the only good way to deal with this pricing issue and keep the rest of the idea in tact, maximizing how many kids have access to this book. We think we can do this and do it quite beautifully still.

Another issue we faced with this proposed version of Peace Play was that many of us, myself included, believed initially that the institutions which we are connected to will help pass something like this around. I may have not been asking right, but the truth is, from the responses to inquiries that I did receive, that our institutions, religious and non-profit, are also fundraising and feel as if they cannot promote the fundraising work of others. It is really up to us, individuals and families, to do the work of getting the word out about the projects of our peers that we care about and want to see happen. This is a new world for me in some ways, this being unaffiliated with a larger organization but doing the hard work of building genuine community and the hard work of making a living while doing it. Any thoughts on this are appreciated. I believe in this experiment in living.

Separate question: should we bother with Kickstarter again for Plan B?

This past week I (Windy) had a piece up on Counterpunch on anger in political work. It is our (Mac and Windy) hope that this book will be part of a constructive solution to the war on our children, all of our children, that makes us so rightfully angry.

As I said in my last update, I have a newsletter that I will be using to update anyone who is interested in the progress of Peace Play. Stay in touch.

Our family is now preparing to attend the Baltimore Yearly Meeting at the end of this month, where I will be serving as a teacher. Maybe I will see some of you there?

Thanks so much,

Windy (and Mac) :)

 


Update #8

Plan B

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Friends,

We have few days left in our efforts to get Peace Play, in the form we have proposed, adequately funded. It's not going to happen, we think, is the reality.

BUT, this experiment is not in vain. We have learned that while the idea may be sound, like we have no money, others have no money either, it seems. And, we happen to think this is a great project.

So...onto Plan B. Drum roll.

We live in the time of the ebook, and so it is that Peace Play will live on in 2013 as such. Mac and I will edit and lay the book out and produce it in a form that can be downloaded and used, or downloaded and printed. This will be less risky or us, as the only expense is our time, and we can offer the book for less too.

We are just returning from the Great Labor Arts Exchange. Thank goodness for the collective wisdom of Windy's union, the National Writers Union, and our shared experiences with creative activism in this decade. It is from our brothers and sisters in the NWU that we have revisioned this project in terms of making it happen, even if not in the way we originally saw it. Thank you.

We expect to have the book finished in time for Christmas and will offer it on a month by month basis as well as at a reduced rate for the entire series of lessons.

Want to keep in touch? Windy has a newsletter, where she will post updates to the project and let you know when and how you can order your copy. Please subscribe here.

Thank you all so much, everyone, those who have pledged and those who have simply expressed their excitement. And of course, all those who pledged will not be charged by Kickstarter because we did not meet our minimum needs for the print version. 

Warmly,

Windy and Mac


Update #7

Two Weeks In and Two Weeks to Go...

2 comments

Thank you so much to my former mother-in-law, the paternal grandmother of my children, Susan Stith, for her very generous pledge. Susan is the director of the Family Life Offices of the Altoona/Johnston (PA) Catholic Diocese: http://www.ajdiocese.org/family-life I, personally, really like the Montessori classroom she and her collegues have created to dialogue with children about the values of the families in their community.

And thank you so much Susan Roscigno! Family titles in a divorce are interesting things in our culture, as it is supposed that when one occurs, everything that was once true is broken, that relationships with people are disposable, while relationships to titles is forever. Susan is the cousin of my former husband, John. I am so grateful for your support, Susan. The support of my family and friends means so very much to me. Susan is also a teacher and a fine, fine mother. 

So, we are past the half-way mark in our time here on Kickstarer. Sorry I have not been posting updates as of late. My younger child was out of school and not quite in his own activities yet, so we did a lot of playing and picnicking and not a whole lot of screen time.

We are not anywhere near the half-way mark in terms of funding this project. This means that unless something miraculous occurs this project is not going to happen the way I had envisioned it. No worries backers, if it is not funded that means you will not be charged anything by Kickstarter. No gain, no loss, there. 

I have been a little bummed out by all this, but I feel like there is enough interest, even if not enough to support this work in the form I proposed, that I am working on something I can salvage from the experiment. Something that I can afford to put my time into.

So, there will be more on that later. I still prefer the proposal I have made here, in this Kickstarter ad, but what can you do? Moving forward with anything isn't only up to you. Reality is something we create together. That may be lesson #1 in peace. There is nothing you can force and not destroy in the long run.

This is proving to be a very interesting experiment in creation and meditation on values.

Post again soon!

Windy

 


Update #6

My goodness, we sure do have some classy backers.

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I'm impressed. 

Our gratitude is extended today to Rosalie Riegle, who wrote a book that really meant something to me about 10 years ago: Voices From the Catholic Worker. http://www.amazon.com/Voices-Catholic-Worker-Rosalie-Troester/dp/1566390591 Rosalie, I didn't realize last night when we corresponded that you were the author of this book. This book was the first gift that John Stith, who is now my dear friend -- and the father of my children -- ever gave me. He mailed it to me in an old stationary box that I later reused to package a baby blanket in for a friend. Anyway, enough about the box. I loved your book. It helped me in my thinking through the connection between the personal and the political. Thank you for writing it and thank you for your pledge. 

Rosalie says she will be giving this as a gift to a "young friend." This makes me happy. 

And thank you, hellraiser labor-folk singer Anne Feeney! http://annefeeney.com/. Anne is the bestest. You should hear her in concert! Wowsers. We will be seeing Anne at The Great Labor Arts Exchange later this month. http://www.laborheritage.org/?p=1309

We're moving along here, building up some support to finish this book and print it up and mail it out. We'll need a whole lot more support to make this happen. We'll need it this month, I'm afraid.

Why have we set the goal where we have? Because hiring out competent services for an editor and layout person and using a union printer and mailing the lessons month by month and having the resources to expand our reach (which is what is going to make this a powerful act) are all very expensive. We need help to do this and do it well, and we need to know that this project is wanted and needed to keep going on it. Life is short. Projects like this need to be good and have reach.

So, just a note about how Kickstarter works: no one who pledges will be charged anything ever -- if the minimum goal is not met by the end of June. Mac and I will not recieve anything either. And the project will probably die, at least in its current vision.

If the minimum goal is met, and you have pledged, you will be charged through Kickstarter in early July. I will add this to a FAQ section too, as this is a common question we get. 

Thanks a bunch! Please keep helping us get the word out!

Windy


Update #5

Moving forward...

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Hey,

So, many blessings and much gratitude to Diana Waters, madam wonderful, for her pledge to Peace Play yesterday. I know Diana from Goddard College (http://www.goddard.edu/), where I am currently enrolled, and she also works at the totally amazing Philadelphia Center:  http://www.tpc.edu/about/bio/diana_waters/

And thank you to my compatriot Aurora Levins Morales (http://www.auroralevinsmorales.com/). Aurora, the poet, Aurora, the activist exemplar, Aurora who wrote, in Medicine Stories: History, Culture and the Politics of Integrity: “Solidarity is not a matter of altruism. Solidarity comes from the inability to tolerate the affront to our own integrity of passive or active collaboration in the oppression of others, and from the deep recognition that, like it or not, our liberation is bound up with that of every other being on the planet, and that politically, spiritually, in our heart of hearts we know anything else is unaffordable." Aurora, despite disability and deep and serious financial constraints, has honored Mac and me deeply with a pledge to this book -- a pledge that cost her one hour of much needed help in her home. Thank you Aurora. I understand what your pledge means.

We are so very deeply grateful to everyone who has worked to spread the word about this project and about who Mac and I are. We are happy with where we are in this project, but we are worried too, to be honest. We are only at 25% of where we need to be for this week to meet our goal by the end of the month. 

What does this mean? It means we are at a loss as to how in the world we can afford to move forward, edit and lay out, print, and invest ourselves and our very limited rescources in marketing this book with travel and ads and such. Producing something like this is a huge financial investment, with money going out to pay for services, and in terms of time spent in which I earn nothing to support my family. 

When I was younger I volunteered at my own emotional and physical expense. There is a machismo to activism that I embraced, following the lead of people who needed to prove themselves, I think -- not impoverished single mothers, like I was at the time. None of us can move forward without the communal experience, however much machismo is the culture of our work. This is what being a "radical homemaker" and "solidarity" mean to me today. This book project is many things. One of the things it is for me and Mac is an experiment in making the hard work of peace and justice sustainable. 

We get letters of support, and thank you. This book, however, cannot move to the stage of being something you can hold in your hand and share with anyone if things do not improve in our fundraising for it.

Thanks so much for everything.

Crossing my fingers!

Windy


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  • Pledge $30 or more
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    7 backers

    One copy of the Peace Play book, one lesson delivered every month for a whole year, to the family of your choice, a handwritten note in each. The giver will be gratefully listed on the website for Peace Play as a benefactor.

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    3 backers

    Two copies of the Peace Play book (maybe one for your family and one for a friend?), one lesson delivered every month for a whole year, to the families of your choice, a handwritten note in each. The giver will also receive a signed print of her favorite illustration and be gratefully listed on the website for Peace Play as a benefactor.

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    Three copies of the Peace Play book, one lesson delivered every month for a whole year, to the families of your choice, a handwritten note in each. The giver will also receive a signed print of her favorite illustration and be gratefully listed on the website for Peace Play as a benefactor.

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    3 backers

    Five copies of the Peace Play book, one lesson delivered every month for a whole year, to the families of your choice, a handwritten note in each. The giver will also receive a signed print of her favorite illustration and be gratefully listed on the website for Peace Play as a benefactor.

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    Priority status in the 2013 workshop tour of Peace Play and 30 copies of the book. This is the perfect gift for a small school or club. The giver will also receive a signed and framed print of her favorite illustration and be gratefully listed on the website for Peace Play as a benefactor.

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    Priority status in the 2013 workshop tour of Peace Play and 75 copies of the book. This is the perfect gift for a school or club. The giver will also receive a signed and framed print of her favorite illustration and be gratefully listed on the website for Peace Play as a benefactor.

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    Priority status in the 2013 workshop tour of Peace Play and 150 copies of the book. This is the perfect gift for a large school or club. The giver will be presented with one of 12 framed, original illustrations from the book and be gratefully listed on the website for Peace Play as a benefactor.

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- (30 days)