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A true story about finding what's important, starring brain damage, a sailboat, dogs, love, sex, Zen masters, Bahamian snakes and a new kind of poetry
A true story about finding what's important, starring brain damage, a sailboat, dogs, love, sex, Zen masters, Bahamian snakes and a new kind of poetry
109 backers pledged $12,690 to help bring this project to life.

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Eight years ago Lee Carlson was a successful freelance writer, known for writing about travel and outdoor adventure. His personal life, however, wasn’t so wonderful. His mother had fallen down a flight of basement stairs and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. He was in the midst of a difficult divorce. Then he woke up in a hospital intensive care unit. He had been hit by a car and suffered his own traumatic brain injury. He ended up living on his father’s couch, spending every day in rehab, every night helping to care for his mother. It was a difficult time.

And yet, and yet...

It was a chance for a new beginning, a new, better life, a passage to nirvana.

Every year 1.4 million people in the U.S. sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, almost the same number as are diagnosed with cancer. Yet their story remains largely untold. The personal, financial and psychological toll on survivors and families is staggering. “Passage to Nirvana” is a memoir from someone who has been both a caregiver and a survivor; it is a story of loss, discovery, healing and hope. It is a story that needs to reach a wider audience.

But “Passage to Nirvana” is not just a memoir about TBI. It’s about Zen, sailing, poetry, families—it’s even got a little sex. “Passage to Nirvana” is about finding peace in spite of a traumatic life event, whether it be the illness or death of a loved one, a divorce, or a debilitating disease. At some point, we are all faced with life’s traumas, and what we do when that happens is the great question.

Lee Carlson turned to what he knew best: writing. He started writing really short poems, taking baby writing steps, and a new kind of poetry was born. Shorter than haiku, he calls these poems "po." But these poems ended up being more than just baby steps, they had a beauty all their own. Eventually he wrote short reflections to accompany them, and a book was born. “Passage to Nirvana” is a testimony to the healing power of words.


A PERSONAL NOTE FROM LEE CARLSON:
Hello, and thanks for considering to be a patron of "Passage to Nirvana."

The money being raised will help pay for cover design, expanding the website, publishing the book in paperback, hardcover, ebook and podcast, and marketing and PR. The funds will not cover everything that needs to be done, but it will be a great “kickstarter” and your generous help will be greatly, greatly appreciated. Please visit www.passagetonirvana.com to read sample chapters and sign up for our mailing list. It’s a good book, it’s got good karma, and it will do good work, raising awareness of Traumatic Brain Injury and helping people find their own path to nirvana. And perhaps best of all, you're supporting the art of writing, the art of creating books.

If we raise more than the target amount, that will allow us to do more to promote the book and get it more quickly into alternative formats (expanded ebook and audio). The time window to raise the money is short, since I would like to get the book published in time for the summer reading season. So if you’re interested in helping fund “Passage to Nirvana,” please don’t delay. And tell everyone you know!

Thank you for your time and interest,
--Lee Carlson

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Economy got you down? Like to pledge but cash is tight? Lend your moral support by pledging a dollar and adding to the number of backers. It's not all about the money. You get a big woof from Henry and added to the email list for project updates so you can still play a part.

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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    You get a PDF of the book emailed to you, along with my heartfelt thanks.

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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    Step up to a real published book. A big book. Lots of words. Good words. Approximately 325 pages. You get a trade paperback first edition. With, of course, my heartfelt thanks.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Nothing is permanent in life, but hardcover does tend to last longer than softcover. Get a hardcover first edition, hot off the presses. You get my heartfelt thanks, and I'll tell Henry, and he'll let out a big, heartfelt woof!

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Now you're getting really personal. You get a signed trade paperback first edition, heartfelt thanks, and the big Henry woof-a-roonie.

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    Pledge US$ 85 or more About US$ 85

    You get permanent AND personal. Hardcover first edition. Signed. A great collector's item. Heartfelt thanks from both Henry and me.

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    Pledge US$ 125 or more About US$ 125

    Signed first edition hardcover, with an personal inscription. And of course eternal thanks from Henry and me.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    This is turning into one of those drinking memory games, or the twelve days of Christmas: Signed first edition hardcover, personal inscription, big woof from Henry, eternal thanks, and a partridge in a pear tree... Okay, the partridge and pear tree will be replaced by a personal, signed letter of thanks, suitable for framing, or at least to keep folded inside the book.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    I don't know...we'll figure out something for anyone over $500. More books to give to friends as gifts? Dinner with me to talk about the book, Zen, life, TBI, dogs, Bahamian snakes, whatever? A big lick from Henry? I'll just be really, really grateful, and we'll figure out something.

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

    If I had connections, I'd nominate you for sainthood, but instead I'll just sit back and say wow, and then we'll figure it out from there. A sail on Nirvana? A personal visit to your book club? Your survivors' group? Let's talk.

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Funding period

- (46 days)