Thursday, September 27, 2012

Campaign Notes

I just completed an IndieGoGo campaign, raising funds for my small business. I want to let people know how it went and thank the wonderful folks who donated to it. 

It was great fun putting together a video but a little more difficult writing out an explanation of my objective. First, I struggled with whether to tell people that I’m unemployed and having problems getting enough funds together to cover the basic costs. In the end, I didn’t reveal that fact.

Secondly, besides my dream to be able to support myself on writing and creating things for the Etsy shop I just started, I have a true desire to support and inspire people who are struggling with their dreams. Additionally, I think it’s terribly important to safeguard and encourage the aspirations of children. Anything adults can do to help them believe in themselves is sacrosanct, in my opinion. But communicating that belief in a compelling way isn’t easy. I could almost hear readers saying, “Yeah, yeah, another treehugger wanting to keep the kids dreaming. What’s new?”

But I did the best I could and launched the campaign. The first day, I was blown away by very generous donations from Rob Guthrie and Cinta Garcia, fellow writers.  Over the fifteen days of the campaign, other writers followed: Emma Calin, Elise Stokes, Cathy Carson and Ronald Dahle.  Then came donations from Twitter friends, Melissa Tackett and Frankie Engelbert. Two very close personal friends, Valentine and Sandy, helped me out in a big way.  These wonderful people all contributed within the bounds of the campaign.  Thank you is not enough, but still thanks to you all with all my heart.

Outside of the campaign, a follower of my Twitter entity Red Mojo Mama, @Uberbookworm sent me a Amazon gift card to begin with and followed that up with an offer to pay for 6 dolls to be made and given to Sacramento Children’s Home. This was the crème de la crème of the whole experience. Besides the great financial help it was, it truly made my closely-held dream come true. I want my Etsy shop and the blog that goes with it to benefit others. Here I’ve been given the opportunity to make something that will hopefully will give a little happiness to six children.  I cannot express my gratitude adequately for this particular gift. In fact, I have trouble holding the emotions back as I write about this. 

I started with a goal of $950, which would encompass beginning a trademark process and chose the flexible funding option (which allows you to receive whatever’s raised, with the percentage being larger if you do meet your goal).  In the end, I received $415 through the campaign and $100 outside it, plus a large commission for the dolls. I was able to buy a printer, order labels, buy materials for the products, shipping supplies, organizational tools, packaging. The commission has allowed me to order a camera as well, which I really, really need.

So, at the end of the day, I would recommend giving IndieGoGo a try if you have no other means of raising desperately needed funds.  It’s been a fabulous experience for me.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

They Say It So Well...

I'm still deeply involved in making my own dream come true - to have a launching pad for any number of wonderful things to happen, beginning with a new Etsy shop where I intend to sell items that will remind and encourage people to follow their dreams. So, as I was trying to come up with a blog post today, I wandered through Goodreads list of quotes. I came upon several - most too long to tweet - which just have to be passed on. I hope you find some inspiration here. 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

 “You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.”
― John Lennon

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”
― Barbara Kingsolver

“We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming - well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate.”
― Amy Tan

“Yesterday is but a dream, Tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”
― Kālidāsa

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you're going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.”
― C. JoyBell C.

I wish you hopes and dreams a plenty!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Langston Hughes Said it All

I'm working on bringing you a number of inspirational stories of people who pursued their dreams and made them happen. For the moment, here's a poem from Langston Hughes. 



Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

~Langston Hughes

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Dream Come True

This past week I finally opened my Etsy store after a month’s planning and working to create some of my ideas. For years I’ve been yearning to express myself in other creative ways outside my writing. So, making the things that I dream up, usually while actually sleeping, and offering them for sale is indeed a dream come true for me.

 In my life as a writer, which I’ve been active in for nearly 30 years now, I’ve often run into people who are “dream stealers”, those who have both bold and subtle ways of destroying the aspirations of others.  You know them. They are everywhere.  It has been a top priority for me for a long time to encourage other creatives to pursue their passion and I’ve managed to help a few over the years – especially writers. 

I've grown to realize that the dream thieves attack all kinds of visionaries – whether it’s a child who wants to grow up to be a painter or someone who wants to change the world through solar stoves. There will always be a group of people for whom imagining success at an endeavor is impossible and therefore they literally destroy the future with their negativity. So, one of the main thrusts of this new shop is to produce items that will help adults and children to hold on to their hopes and follow their hearts, no matter what.

That won’t be all I offer, because the other side of this dream of mine is just to make whatever creative thing comes to mind and put it out there for the world to see. If I sell a few things that will be wonderful, but I fully intend to roll around joyfully in the crafting of these dream items one way or the other.

I’d love it if you stopped by to see what I have so far, but let me just tell you – I’m planning so much more; art dolls that are legendary dream questors, fun kindle covers with pockets for notes, special “crowns” to help children dream and several other ideas are already in the works.

Good luck, my friends, on pursuing your own dreams and let me end this post with a quote that so fits my situation - “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ― C.S. Lewis

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dream on

When I was just starting out as a serious fiction writer, my daughter gave me a bookmark with this George Elliot quote on it:  “It's never too late to become what you might have been.” It meant the world to me.

What my daughter saw in me was the dreamer who was feeling a little defeated by time. She nurtured that dreamer with a simple gift and I will always be grateful.

So, hold on to your dreams, whether they are new ones or old friends. Continue to pursue them, knowing that they are possible at any age and nurture the dreams of others, especially the little children's.

Here’s a little practical advice for keeping your dreams alive:
  • Write your dreams down. 
  • Use sticky notes to post them all around your living space – mirrors are great. 
  • Journal about your aspirations. 
  • Talk about them to your treasured friends, but limit those conversations to people you know you can trust with your dreams. Don’t expose your dreams to naysayers – or as I like to call them Dreamstealers. 
  • Pick at least one small step you can take every day towards your dream.

Good luck, fellow dreamer!