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A very sweet and beautifully illustrated children's picture book about Connie the mule and her good friend Burt.
45 backers pledged $3,875 to help bring this project to life.

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$3,875

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What happens in this book?

Connie the mule and Burt the old-timer love hiking, camping, and prospecting in the mountains.

Connie the mule
Connie the mule
Burt the old-timer
Burt the old-timer


One day lots of bad things happen on their way home and poor Connie feels like it's all her fault.

Run! Those bees look angry.
Run! Those bees look angry.
Whoosh! There goes Burt's hat.
Whoosh! There goes Burt's hat.
Oh no! The raft is sinking.
Oh no! The raft is sinking.

Burt helps Connie see that it's not all her fault and she shouldn't feel so bad. In fact, in some ways, she should feel like a hero!

What is this book really about?

"The first thing you need to do is convince him it's not his fault." This was the advice from a family therapist when we asked how to tell our wee four-year-old boy his parents were separating. It doesn't make sense to us grown-ups, but children can get extremely upset over little things and often feel guilty for things they're not even responsible for. No child should ever feel this way and that's what this book is about.

Bad things happen, both little and big. Sometimes we're responsible and sometimes we're not. I hope this book will help children better understand the things that happen around them. It's a helpful reminder for parents as well! ;-)

Who's helping you with this book?

The Illustrator:

I was lucky to connect with Michelle Lockamy, the amazing digital illustrator bringing Connie's Long Way Home to life for me. She loves "making fun, intricate art – with bubbles, leaves, and all kinds of glowing stuff." Please check out her other great work at michellelockamy.com.

The Editor:

I am grateful industry veteran Pam Glauber has given me so much insightful editorial feedback and, quite frankly, the confidence to continue with this endeavor. I think my story will have kids on the edge of their seat!

The Musician:

Fay Lovsky was kind enough to permit me to use music from her wonderful children's CD Jopo In Mono in my Kickstarter video. Thank you, Ms. Lovsky! Please visit her site at lovsky.com

Where is the book at right now?

The biggest hurdles have already been overcome: I have a strong manuscript thanks to an insightful editor and my illustrator has already completed all thirty pages of interior story artwork!

Remaining tasks:

  • Book interior design (artwork complete!) 
  • Book cover 
  • Book plate
  • Stretch goals? If this Kickstarter performs well!

Update: Check out Michelle's initial sketch for the book plate!

An initial sketch for the book plate.
An initial sketch for the book plate.

How did you determine the amount of your campaign goal?

The process of writing and self-publishing this book has been extremely interesting and exciting – and not cheap! I need to pay an illustrator, an editor, a printer, and other professional services and things to make this book happen.

Want to know a secret? Since this is my first Kickstarter I did some research and discovered the following tip (paraphrasing): "Set your goal as low as possible, below even what you actually need, because people will be more likely to give if they feel the goal can be reached, and then they'll give even more." So, that's what I did! But don't worry, the economics of my project ensure this book will get printed and show up in your mailbox, and at the same time allow me to make my core rewards more affordable for the average parent. Woo-hoo!

What is this TOTE BAG from the art shop?

As part of the $50 pledge you will receive a 13" x 13" tote bag from the illustrator's art shop at Society6: https://society6.com/product/connies-long-way-home_bag. It’s a stylish way to carry your books around!

And now a few words from the illustrator, Michelle Lockamy, about the guidelines and rules of her artwork commissions:

Commission Terms

How and when will the commission start? I will be able to begin your commission once I have received your signed commission form. I may be expected to fulfill several commission rewards for this Kickstarter along with my other work, and therefore cannot commit to a specific delivery time. I will be working on commissions on a “first come, first served” basis. A routine email list will be sent out to all commission backers, to keep you informed of when you are next in line. My ultimate goal is to complete all commissions no later than May 2016.

What decisions do I get to make about the art while it is being created? If you have opted for a surprise illustration of Connie and Burt, or a surprise illustration of anything, your illustration will remain a complete surprise until the time that you receive it. If you opted to commission me with your idea, there is a process for revisions. First, I will email you a rough sketch of your commission. As a commissioner, you will have the ability at this time to request up to one major revision and three minor revisions. After the sketch is done, you may request an additional three minor revisions before you approve of the image for final delivery.

Please note that your commission idea must be appropriate for inclusion in my own portfolio. If I find your idea inappropriate or offensive and we cannot come to an agreement on the subject of your commission idea then I reserve the right to decline your request and deliver a surprise illustration in its place.

How will the art be delivered? All commissioned images will be delivered by email upon completion. Please allow up to three weeks for a sketch and five weeks for a digital painting, as multiple commissions may be going on at once in addition to other campaign responsibilities. A signed 11x14” print will also be mailed out to your specified mailing address, so shipping times may vary depending on the information you have provided. Printing and shipping is covered by your pledge. Right now, we are only able to ship art within the USA.

What can I do with the final art? Commissions are not to be used for any commercial purposes by any person(s) or organization(s) other than Michelle Lockamy, including copying, editing, reselling, or redistributing. However, backers may share and post their commissions on social media with a proper artist credit line. If desired, you can also include a link to my website and to our Kickstarter campaign.

If you have any unanswered questions, or just want to chat, you can always reach me by email. I would love to hear from you. Thank you for helping us bring Connie’s Long Way Home to life!

Thank You
Thank You

 Thanks, Michelle!

Risks and challenges

I have never printed a book before, and while I feel like I have done my due diligence, there may be unforeseen pitfalls that may sidetrack or derail the project.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    TIP JAR
    Thank you for helping make this book a reality! You'll get updates on any changes and important announcements. And if you want something more, please check out the other rewards below. Thanks again!

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    DIGITAL
    You will get a digital version of the book suitable for Apple, Android, or Kindle device platforms. You will be able to choose via survey when campaign ends. Delivery time is longer for this reward in order to accommodate possible inclusion of narration and other bells-n-whistles for this version. We'll see!

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    SOFTCOVER SIGNED
    You will get one softcover copy of the book, plus illustrated book plate signed by author and illustrator. Shipping included in pledge amount. Ships to USA only.

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    HARDCOVER
    You will get one hardcover copy of the book. Shipping included in pledge amount. Ships to USA only.

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    HARDCOVER SIGNED
    You will get one hardcover copy of the book, plus illustrated book plate signed by author and illustrator. Shipping included in pledge amount. Ships to USA only.

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    HARDCOVER SIGNED + TOTE BAG
    You will get one hardcover copy of the book, plus illustrated book plate signed by author and illustrator. In addition, you will receive an illustrated 13" x 13" tote bag. Please see campaign description for more details. Shipping included in pledge amount. Ships to USA only.

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    STOCK A LIBRARY
    Is this a thing? I heard it was a thing. You will get three hardcover copies and three softcover copies of the book, plus one promotional poster. Shipping included in pledge amount. Ships to USA only.

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    HARDCOVER SIGNED + SKETCH COMMISSION
    You will get one hardcover copy of the book, plus illustrated book plate signed by author and illustrator. In addition, you will get to commission a sketch by the illustrator and receive a signed 11" x 14" print of commissioned work. Please see Commission Terms in campaign description for guidelines and delivery details. Delivery time of the commissioned work will differ significantly from that of the book. Shipping included in pledge amount. Ships to USA only.

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    STOCK A BOOKSTORE
    Is this a thing? I heard it was a thing. You will get ten hardcover copies and ten softcover copies of the book, plus three promotional posters. Shipping included in pledge amount. Ships to USA only.

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    HARDCOVER SIGNED + DIGITAL PAINTING COMMISSION
    You will get one hardcover copy of the book, plus illustrated book plate signed by author and illustrator. In addition, you will get to commission a digital painting by the illustrator and receive a signed 11" x 14" print of commissioned work. Please see Commission Terms in campaign description for guidelines and delivery details. Delivery time of the commissioned work will differ significantly from that of the book. Shipping included in pledge amount. Ships to USA only.

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Funding period

- (29 days)