Rising from the ashes, another phoenix emerges…

I was all set to write a post about some of the recent departures ( of the earthly life and death kind) that have happened over the the recent past.  But then I got other news from someone, that even though we have never met in person, I consider a friend.

In the summer of 2012, I launched my second Kickstarter project in order to publish the first collection of my panda cartoons, The Panda Chronicles Book 1: Your Brain on Pandas. 

The original of this cartoon can be yours!

The pandas help The Little Brown Farm with their Kickstarter campaign.

One of the things that I have grown to love about Kickstarter is the community that has formed around the process of raising funds for a project by putting it on the internet and seeing who salutes.

In addition to doing two of my own projects, I’ve also taken a hand in bringing several other projects to a successful conclusion, Including The Little Brown Farm’s project, Cook on Clay, and Island Shakespeare. I’ve also supported over 20 other projects, mostly in small ways, but it is putting the crowd in crowd-funding that is important.  Besides getting the funds needed to make a project happen, it is also a way to gage whether an idea has legs or not. One project I’m supporting now is Niya Christine’s 365 Story Paintings Art Book project. She spent an entire year doing a painting a day, and now would like to make a beautiful hardcover book. I hope you’ll take a look at it, and support it if you can.

I’m getting ready to launch another project, to get funding for some production work on Pandamorphosis, my wordless picture book that I have been working on for over 4 years.

Pandas are yearning to spring forth!

Pandas are yearning to spring forth!

But the project I want to talk about now, is one that was going on at the same time as my Panda Chronicles project, The Kerfluffles Marshmallow project, to create a new business to make and sell homemade marshmallows. Their project was successful way beyond their wildest dreams, which in turn, created some logistical problems.  (Instead of the approximately 100-200 backers they were anticipating, they wound up with over 2,600 backers, which bumped their project to a level that necessitated a much larger scale operation.)

They did it! They launched a new business, a website, and were able to satisfy most of their backers in a reasonable amount of time. But last week tragedy struck.

A sad day for lovers of fluffy goodness

A sad day for lovers of fluffy goodness and the Kerfluffles Marshmallow team

A fire destroyed the building where their commercial kitchen was, effectively putting them out of business. Now, as someone who has lived through a devastating house fire of my own, I know from experience that they have a long road to recovery.

Even though no one was physically hurt, fire is one of the more terrifying things that a person can live through.  Last year another friend barely escaped from a fire that consumed her office building in mere minutes.  Even though my house fire was almost 19 years ago, the smell of burning wood doesn’t make me think of campfires and happy times, it makes me think of fearing for my life and losing much of what I owned.

My heart goes out to them.  But Spring Barnickle is a strong person.  She  overcame other obstacles in her life, and emerged a kind, creative person.  I know she will come out the other side of this with even more compassion and a new mission in life.

I can’t wait to see what that is.


3 thoughts on “Rising from the ashes, another phoenix emerges…

  1. Don’t get stuck in the marshmallow goo. I’ve always found it the stickiest goo anywhere.

    When are Ralph and you coming to Oregon? I’d like to cook for you and have Felix bring the wine.

    Susan Vanderbeek

  2. As a fellow fire survivor, I can relate to the struggles that follow such a disaster. I bought a house in 1999 and lost it and most everything in it in 2003, including three precious cats: Madeleine, Jesse (better known as Beaniegirl) and the only boy in the crowd, Buddy Guy Smiley Sir George of Ghent. It hurt to lose things I’d had since childhood, but losing my three furry friends was the worst. We rebuilt on the same spot, but on a hot muggy day I sometimes catch a whiff that acts like a time tunnel to that year. Terrible things happen to us for a reason, however; I have complete faith from what you’ve said that Spring will rebound from this loss. I did, in ways that I never could have imagined at the time.

    • Truer words were never spoken. I am so sorry you lost your furry friends. In my case, my cat (bless his self centered little heart) know something was wrong, and left the house, long before I realized the roof was on fire. If not for the neighbors dog, who I was doggy sitting at the time, hadn’t alerted me by being very anxious and nervous, the story might have had a far worse ending. I suspect I will remember that day for a long time, as do all who live through personal disasters. There is something about fire that is particularly terrifying.
      It definitely changed my life in ways I never expected, mostly for the good.

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