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.
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.
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 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.