Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A collection of essays by Michelle Gardella.
232 backers pledged $22,907 to help bring this project to life.

About

$22,907

232

Stretch Goal of $20,000 REACHED! 

YOU GUYS! Every single backer will receive a one-of-a-kind, handmade pottery pin! WE DID IT!

"It's only through disruptions and confusion that we grow. 

Jarred out of ourselves by the collision of someone else's private world with our own." 

-Joyce Carol Oats

// C A T C H  & R E L E A S E 

I carry stories in my pockets the way children collect pebbles. 

As a child I'd spend my days staring wide-eyed into the world, outlining the shapes of emotions. The bend of sadness on the grocery clerk's brow, the arch of joy in the child's elbow. 

"Why are you always staring off?" My friends would ask. 

"Because if I don't notice, who will?" I'd answer. 

After the birth of my daughter I translated this gift of noticing-the-unspoken-details into a photography career. Through my River Story work I've shared the most incredible adventures with hundreds of women in rivers all across the country. I've spent close to a decade carefully listening to and documenting their stories. 

Now it is time to share my own. 

As a child I would burrow under my Grandmother's kitchen table and listen to her and her girlfriends talk for hours while they met for their weekly card games. They'd laugh and cry and just share story after story and if there ever was a heaven on Earth, to me, that was it. 

I have always been in love with stories. I believe, with my entire heart, that our unspoken truths hold the collective secret recipes to soothing even the strongest fears. That the validation and love that flows from seeing our own shadows reflected back to us by other bright souls who have made it through the storms, offers grace and power unspeakable. 

Catch and Release is my Grandmother's kitchen table for you to sit under. For us all to sit under, together. 

A collection of essays shared with the sole purpose of reverberating this truth to as many people as I can: You Are Not Alone. 

I now know that the best thing I can do to help others is both the simplest and most terrifying: speak my truths.

My most sincere hope is that Catch and Release will become a dogeared well-weathered friend to you, whenever you need it most. I hope you share it with others and that it ends up, generations from now, tucked in a dusty corner of an oceanside used book store, waiting for just the right person to walk by. 

If you feel that this book is worth writing, and sharing, I would love your support. 

// R E W A R D S 

The rewards for this project are:

$5 or more - A Pocketful of Moonbeams

A digital card with original watercolor and pen-ink illustration by me. Perfect for screen savers, phone backgrounds, and printing for the nightstand. This artwork will feature a quote from the book, rooted in hope and made with so much love. 

$30 or more - An Exclusive, Signed Copy of Catch & Release 

A signed, limited-first-edition copy of the book that will ONLY be released during this Kickstarter campaign. While I do plan to let truths fly long after this campaign is completed, the book that is being offered here is an exclusive version that will never be available for purchase again. 

You will also receive the digital card included in the "Pocketful of Moonbeams" reward, mentioned above. 

$50 or more - The Book + The First Look

In addition to everything mentioned above, you will be the first one to read the words on the pages. Contributors at this level will receive a series of exclusive emails containing top secret excerpts from the book before it is released. 

$100 or more - Your Name in Ink

This reward comes with everything above, and you will also have the name of your choosing included on the contributor's page of this exclusive edition of Catch & Release. This one means so much to me because it's like having a circle of people holding my hand while I take this huge leap. Having our names all together in print feels like the best kind of magic to me, and I will frame this page and keep it on the walls of my house, wherever I may go, forever and ever. 

$500 or more - 5 Books + Handmade Pottery + A Signed and Numbered Print

You will receive 10 signed copies of the book, the name of your choosing on the contributor's page, the exclusive first looks, the digital card and a one-of-a-kind made-just-for-you piece of my pottery. 

Every single day I made something with clay. For the last six years this has been my practice of centering, soothing and letting go. I have never offered any of my pieces to anyone until now. I thought so much about how I could truly express my gratitude for someone supporting this project and believing in me at this level, and this feels like the only thing that will do. I use collected river waters and clay gathered from the local earth. I turn up my pottery playlist, light my favorite balsam candles, sit on my rickety old stool and feel so completely myself at the wheel. 

You will also receive a signed and numbered exclusive print. 

This reward level is a collection of my favorite things (photography, pottery and prose), and I am so super excited to offer it, here. 

$1200 or more - The River Story Collection

If you or someone you love has ever dreamed of having a River Story Session with me, this is your chance to hold a spot. 


  This contribution includes one signed, limited-first-edition copy of Catch & Release, your name on the book's contributor page, the exclusive preview, a custom handmade piece of pottery, a signed and numbered print AND a River Story Session with me in my most sacred waters.


  The session will take place between April 2019 - October 2020 near Austin, Texas, at my magical top-secret location, an hour before sunset. As for the exact date, you can let me know when you're able to come and we will work with you to make it happen. Think of it as a River Story gift certificate that you can cash in whenever you are ready.


  (Serious/boring talk: This reward covers the entire photography session fee as well as a collection of full-sized, edited digital image files. 

All other fees and expenses, such as travel, lodging, clothing, and anything else you want to bring/add are your responsibility. This reward is for the session fee and files only.)

// T H A N K  Y O U 

I have been nervous and I have been brave a thousand times. This feels different because it's the first time I am standing here as I am with no frills. No images of other people to hide behind, no awards or accolades listed. I went back and forth about making a video for this main page and then decided I want to allow this to stand on its own two feet. No performative emotions or forced productions. 

Just me and my words and a hope that this is enough. That I am enough. 

And so I just want to take a moment to thank you for being here. Truly, from the bottom of my heart.

Risks and challenges

To say I'm not nervous would be the biggest lie every told. Even though I have done a successful Kickstarter and run a successful business this feels scarier because I'm not hiding behind anyone else this time. It's just me. Honestly the biggest challenge and risk was just showing up here on Kickstarter. Publishing is so crazy expensive and filled with all sorts of winding roads and detours. But at the end of the day, I know WE can do this and I cannot wait to get these books into your hands.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    No love is ever too small

    Thank you so much for supporting this book. With your support of $5 or more, you will receive a digital card with original artwork by me. It will feature watercolor and pen-ink illustration along with a favorite quote from the book.

    Includes:
    • Original Artwork Digital Card
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    EARLY BIRD BOOK

    Early Birds can get a discount their signed, limited edition copy of Catch and Release!

    Includes:
    • Catch and Release - Signed, Limited-Edition Book
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Catch and Release (Just the Book Please)

    Contributors at this level will receive one signed, limited-first-edition copy of Catch and Release. I cannot believe my book will actually be in your hands but it's true! If you'd like more than one copy, please add $30 each to your contribution (plus shipping) and send me a note to let me know. So grateful to have your support!

    Includes:
    • Catch and Release - Signed, Limited-Edition Book
    • Original Artwork Digital Card
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    164 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The Book + The First Look

    Be the very first one to read any of the pages!
    This reward gives you one signed copy of the limited-first-edition book, as well as a collection of digital previews peppering your inbox as the process of the publication unfolds!

    Includes:
    • Exclusive Digital Previews
    • Catch and Release - Signed, Limited-Edition Book
    • Original Artwork Digital Card
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    12 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    3 Book Bundle

    This is a *NEW* reward for anyone who would like to get 3 copies of the signed first-edition of Catch and Release.

    Includes:
    • Catch and Release - Signed, Limited-Edition Book
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Your Name in Ink

    This is my favorite reward. I can't even type these words without tearing up. I would LOVE for you to be in this book with me. It will be like we are holding hands, except better.
    Contribute at this level to receive one signed, limited-first-edition copy of Catch and Release, AND have the name of your choosing included on the book's contributor's page . This one feels extra special to me because when I am 99 years old, I promise I will skim my little wrinkly fingers over the names on this page and thank my lucky stars that you believed in me and this work. It just feels so incredibly magical. Thank you for linking arms with me on this journey. Having your support means everything.

    Includes:
    • Your Name Featured in the Book
    • Exclusive Digital Previews
    • Catch and Release - Signed, Limited-Edition Book
    • Original Artwork Digital Card
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    29 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    All of My Favorite Things!

    My dream has always been to write books, but if I'm being honest, having my book be part of someone's bookclub, (or gifted to friends, local schools or libraries) is the ultimate dream. Oh my GOSH I can't even imagine! If you contribute at this level you will receive 5 signed, limited-first-edition copies of Catch and Release. You will also receive the exclusive digital preview, the name of your choice featured on the book's contributor page, a handmade one-of-a-kind piece of pottery made by me just for you and my unending gratitude forever and always! In addition to the pottery made just for you, I will also send a limited release 11x14 photography print, signed and numbered. This bundle is basically me in a nutshell. To write, and make pottery, and take pictures has always been my dream of dreams. To be supported at this level means the world to me. Thank you. Truly!!

    Includes:
    • One-of-a-kind Handmade Pottery
    • Limited-Edition, Signed Photograph
    • Exclusive Digital Previews
    • Catch and Release - Signed, Limited-Edition Book
    • Original Artwork Digital Card
    • Your Name Featured in the Book
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    River Story Collection

    If you have ever dreamed of a River Story session, this is your chance to hold your spot.
    This contribution includes one signed, limited-first-edition copy of Catch and Release, your name on the book's contributor page, AND an exclusive River Story Session.
    Your River Story.
    This reward covers the entire photography session fee as well as a collection of full-sized, edited digital image files.
    The session will take place between April 2019 - October 2020 near Austin, Texas (at my magical top-secret location) an hour before sunset. As for the exact date, you can let me know when you're able to come and we will work with you to make it happen.
    This reward is very limited, and very, very sacred.
    (Serious/boring talk: All other fees and expenses, such as travel, lodging, clothing, and anything else you want to bring/add are your responsibility. This reward is for the session fee and files only.)

    Includes:
    • River Story Photography Session
    • One-of-a-kind Handmade Pottery
    • Your Name Featured in the Book
    • Exclusive Digital Previews
    • Catch and Release - Signed, Limited-Edition Book
    • Original Artwork Digital Card
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (19 days)