Kickstarter: What’s that?!

Today marks the launch of my first Kickstarter Campaign. Whoa.

I’m turning to crowdfunding to finance the writing of my first work of fiction. Why crowdfunding? Last year I did a bit of research on the big bad world of publishing and saw that my chances of making it past the gatekeepers were as slim as can be. Why?

I’m not a cool kid. I don’t have a massive readership. I don’t have a viral social media account. I’m not a subject matter expert in anything a sales department would consider worth pursuing. I’m a 43 year-old mom who can’t dress, doesn’t wear make-up and has spent the last 20 years of her life having babies and seeing them through infancy, childhood and young adulthood relatively unscathed. I don’t live near a hub of book publishing. I don’t have contacts or anyone to champion me: I’m a one-woman-show with a 9-piece opening act.

What I do have is a committed core of readers, 5 years of compulsive writing, a high threshold for pain and a creative brain. I have a Master’s Degree relevant to the topic of my novel — law and biomedical ethics — and I completed said Master’s Degree with 5 children underfoot. In other words, I can write, I can absorb information and I can process it with one hand while caring for my family with the other. I don’t think I can convince a publisher that a stay-at-home mother of 9 children is a project worth backing but I know that you — my readers and supporters — know.

Please consider visiting my Kickstarter page. My goal is to raise $3000 to fund the writing of my novel. All the details and rewards are written on my Kickstarter campaign page. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing proposition: your pledges are only realized if I reach my fundraising goal. I created the $15 reward with my Fearless Family Life readers in mind: $15 backers get updates on the novel’s progress plus an exclusive copy of my e-book Unsolicited Advice: Essays from the trenches of parenting. This e-book was put together using blog posts on a variety of topics, from meal time to potty training, teenagers, attachment parenting, sleep and social media. These are some of my most shared blog posts, now available exclusively to my Kickstarter backers.

By my simple calculation, I need 200 people to commit to the $15 e-book to fully fund my campaign. This goal is ambitious but realistic: the Fearless Family Life Facebook page has over 400 followers, I have as many Facebook friends and close to 1000 Instagram followers. I can probably get 200 backers if I put my back into it. The challenge, of course, is that my written material has been available for free for the last 5 years. Convincing people that something they’ve been getting for free is worth paying for is an uphill battle. My hope is that my readers will see the value of the time, love and hard work I poured into writing these posts.

This is my appeal to you today: If I ever wrote something that touched you, motivated you or lifted you up, please try to put a dollar value on the insight you have gained reading my blog and consider pledging this amount to my Kickstarter Campaign. If you are not in a position to pledge anything, please share this blog post and encourage your friends and family to visit the blog and the Kickstarter page. The project backers are the tip of the reader pyramid: I need to reach a wide base of readers to get the 200 backers I need to push this project forward. If you cannot pledge your hard-earned cash, your participation in reaching this wide base of readers is worth more than you can imagine.

Here’s the link:

Please check it out!



4 Very-Serious-Things I am thankful for

A friend tagged me in a Facebook gratitude challenge whereby I was asked to post 3 thankful things for 5 days. Then tag 3 more people, do the hockey-pokey and turn myself around lest I desired to bring forth 7 years of locusts unto my descendants… or something. I gave thanks for 3 consecutive days, choosing family, faith and friends as my themes. I never met an alliteration I didn’t  love and thus running out of f-words I could share on Facebook, I decided to take the gratitude to my blog. And maybe, possibly because I take a stab at –oh — roughly 2/3 of my Facebook friends in today’s first item. By publishing it on my blog, I give them the courtesy of not having it show on their timeline. I’m nice like that.

Today, 4 Very-Serious-Things I am thankful for:

1. Perspective. Because my Facebook and Twitter friends love to share how hateful the leaders of Canada and the U.S. are. One for shutting down rural post offices, the other for trying to introduce health care insurance. And all I think about are the real people trapped on Mount Sinjar who had 4 hours to flee their homes of face barbaric extermination. “Hateful” is what’s happening in Iraq and Syria. “Democracy” is what’s happening in North America. Perspective is appreciating the difference.

2. Flexibility. Someone once told me “We have to be flexible because we can.” Flexibility, the ability to adapt, to roll with the punches, to accept changes without fear, is a gift.Blessed are the flexible for they shall not break.

3. Fertility, childbearing and breastfeeding. I made a commitment to Natural Family Planning 14 years ago and learning the ebb and flow of my whacky cycles has been a struggle. I was once told, in reference to an unplanned pregnancy, that I had a “fertility problem” and I have felt sorry for myself. But I have also seen many people close to my heart struggle with infertility and repeat miscarriages. As I enter my forties, I can see the pain and sadness that infertility wreaks all around me and I am thankful and deeply humbled by the gift of fertility. I have never lost a pregnancy, never had a caesarian birth or an epidural, I have given birth naturally 9 times, including a breech birth and a multiple birth. I have been able to feed my children from my breast and grow them into healthy, chubby wonders. I have experienced, without even asking for it, the natural and peaceful births that other women fight tooth and nail to have. My body is truly fearfully and wonderfully made. When people ask me if/when we will get “fixed”, I always answer “We’re not broken!”

4. Privilege. I received an inheritance I did nothing to earn when I was born white, healthy and loved in Canada. Every day I am reminded of the little things that are made easier for me just because I was born in a privileged situation. As I pass this inheritance down to my children, I try to remind them that to whom much has been given, much will be requested. We do not feel guilty for our privilege, but we honour it by recognizing it and spreading it around.