Have You Seen My Pet Dragon?

Children's poetry book

Guys! Gals! I am so excited to share my latest project!  My husband and I are currently promoting on Kickstarter a children’s poetry book called “Have You Seen My Pet Dragon?”

The Origins Of This Children’s Poetry Book

A little less than two years ago, while I was nursing my son in the middle of the night my husband, David, would stay up with us (most nights) and in an effort to keep himself awake, and me entertained, he started to write fun, rhyming poems.  It worked at keeping us from dozing off as we tried to come up with themes and rhymes.

But something happened to David. He just couldn’t stop himself. He would be in the shower, driving to work, or feeding our constantly-hungry child and new ideas for poems kept popping into his head. And they were getting better and funnier.

Six months ago we realized that he had quite a large collection of poems — over 200!

Could we turn these poems into a book? Wouldn’t that be something, we thought. What a gift to be able to give to our little boy for his first birthday, his second birthday for an upcoming holiday. But a children’s poetry book needs artwork.

I could do it!  I thought. Out came the sketching pencils, chalk, watercolor and my sudden realization that I lack the skills to illustrate the whimsical things he was writing poems about.

Watercolor and chalk drawing of "Grass" for a children's poetry book "Have You Seen My Pet Dragon?"
Drawing grass isn’t too bad. Maybe I could do this. But gorillas wearing mittens and a peg-legged, hook-handed ninja …? Hnmm. Maybe. But, maybe not.

So, we found ourselves an illustrator and we’re much closer to making “Have You Seen My Pet Dragon?” a reality.  I am immensely proud but I can’t celebrate just yet.

"Grass" illustration for "Have You Seen My Pet Dragon?"
Behold! The actual artwork for “Grass” — one of the many poems in “Have You Seen My Pet Dragon?” And, a really good example of why you work with professionals.

Help “Have You Seen My Pet Dragon?” Come To Life

The poetry book is within our grasp. Kind of like this …

Just GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

So, close little buddy. So, dang close.

But Kickstarter is All-Or-Nothing. Meaning that if we make our fundraising goal then we can make a beautiful and fun children’s poetry book. If we are shy of our goal then, well…

Nothing GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Why is Kickstarter so extreme, you ask?

Great question! As taken from their website:

All-or-nothing funding is a core part of Kickstarter and it has a number of advantages:
It’s less risk for everyone. If you need $5,000, it’s tough having $1,000 and a bunch of people expecting you to complete a $5,000 project.
It motivates. If people want to see a project come to life, they’re going to spread the word.
It works. Of the projects that have reached 20% of their funding goal, 81% were successfully funded. Of the projects that have reached 60% of their funding goal, 98% were successfully funded. Projects either make their goal or find little support. There’s little in-between.

Well, boy howdy, we are motivated! And so far the response has been positive but we can’t let our foot off the gas.

Please Support Us

Raising a large amount of money for a project you believe in can be scary. So does asking friends, family and folks who you hope won’t unsubscribe from your blog, but then there are moments (to me this is one of them), where I can’t not ask.  However, the neat thing about Kickstarter is that folks can back a project at whatever price point they are comfortable with.

So, please, consider backing our labor of love and in return (if we get fully funded), you will get a lovely children’s poetry book that you can keep for yourself or read with a little in your life.

And, since I’m already asking, please also help spread the word. If more people are aware of this project and know that that time is running out to act, we may increase our chances of bringing “Have You Seen My Pet Dragon?” to life.

Watch Our Video To Learn More

Video Transcript:

Hello Kickstater. My name is David and I’m very excited to share with you my new project. It’s a children’s poetry book called “Have You Seen My Pet Dragon?”

Let me tell you a little bit about this project. One of my son’s favorite things is to grab one of his books and hop into my lap and ask my wife and me to read to him.

I wanted to create something from my own imagination that I could share with my family. This started as a small scale, personal project. It started as a handful of handwritten poems that I was hoping to one day be able to read to my son at bedtime. But just like my son, this project has grown. It’s now a collection of over 220 poems. It’s my dream to bring these poems together in one hardbound collection just perfect for small hands.

I’ve partnered with a wildly talented artist whose illustrations bring these poems to life. Her illustrations are whimsical, fun and really captures the spirit of what it is to be young. We have poems that appeal to everyone. There’s one about a vegetarian lion, there’s one about a time machine. My wife’s personal favorite is one about a pirate and a ninja who decide to switch jobs for a little while. My personal favorite is about two people on opposite sides of the world who don’t realize that they are planning a game of tug-of-war on the same piece of grass.

We’ve put together a few samples that we’re ready to share. I wanted to make something for my son that would last him the rest of his life. Maybe even something he could share with his own children some day. And I want to share that experience with you and your family.

“Have You Seen My Pet Dragon?” is almost ready to hit a child’s bookshelf near you, but we need your support. How many poems we can afford to print and illustrate really depends on the success of this campaign. What we need is the seed money to help get over the initial hurdle of the first round of production.

Please check out our donation tiers as we’re offering copies of the book as well as hand-printed bookmarks and even postcards that are beautiful enough to send or frame. Please help us spread the word on social media so we can bring some awareness to this campaign.

 

With gratitude,

Martita signature

 

Fifth of July and Feeling Grateful

Watch out now! Here comes a rambling post, but there will be some goodies for you here too.

Focusing On The Positive

above the cloudsI think most of us feel independent after the 5th of July, like the Eddie From Ohio song (especially if you happen to live in the United States), however today I feel grateful. The opposite of how I usually feel when I come to this blog and realize that it’s been a month since I last wrote something.  Oof! But, hey, it’s OK.

Can we all agree that there is enough negativity in this world? So let’s focus on the positive things in our life and show some gratitude as it is much more nourishing.  This exercise can be a little difficult when you’re in the thick of it and the stress of everyday life is just raining down.  I feel you, brother/sister.

But let’s try this together:

  1. Give yourself permission to take a deep breath. And by “deep breath” we’re talking about filling up your lungs and diaphragm so much so that you feel your shoulders lift up.
  2. Slowly exhale and allow the air to leave your lungs first and then your diaphragm.
  3. Take as many deep breaths as you need.
  4. Remind yourself that each breath is a gift and so are you.  Go further and, silently, tell yourself that you are grateful for you.

If that is too hokey for you, no worries, try this one on for size. Start a running list (either write it down or think of them) of the things you are grateful in your life.  It can be anything from serious things to silly things.

Littlest Martha’s List Of Things She’s Grateful For:

    • Myself: my mind, body and spirit.
    • My health: that I am strong, I can see, hear and walk.
    • My husband: the person I am most myself with.
    • My family: near or far but always in my heart.
    • My dogs: their unconditional love and never ending shedding.
    • My friends: the new ones that you can share life’s stories and the old ones where you can begin where you left off.
    • My home: a safe place to be ourselves and enjoy our mementos from past adventures.
    • Where I live: the beauty of the desert with her vast sky and bright colors, if you know where to look.
    • The country I live in: the freedoms I can enjoy here that might otherwise be denied to me.
    • My job: not just the security that I can provide for myself and my family but that I enjoy the work I do.
    • Yoga: the lessons in breathing and loving myself (a big inspiration for this blog post).
    • Acupuncture: the reminder to return to balance.
    • Dancing: the joy I feel when I move my body to the music.
    • My creativity: for never shutting out the importance of creating something; anything.
    • Vegetables: for their variety, flavor, nutrients and keeping me satisfied.
    • Flash fiction:  a medium I didn’t know existed until recently and enabled me to publish my first story, Calaveras On The Coffee Table.

desert in bloom

 

What are you grateful for?

Doing What You Like First

Eat your dinner first and then you can have dessert. Clean your room and then you can play. I’m not sure if this behavior of doing what is out of obligation before you can reward yourself with something you want to do is still strong with you but I fight with this one. All. The. Time.

Today was a prime example. There are chores that I want to get done every weekend and I’ve become quite efficient at completing within two hours, but I can go down the rabbit hole of cleaning and if I don’t catch myself (like setting a timer) I will be organizing the pantry or garage (which are much larger projects).  I’ve noticed that that these obligatory tasks, feel great when done, are distractions from the things I really want to do.

So, if you’re like me, try doing the things you like first. Play before you work, especially if you’re at risk of never making time for play. Play time may look different for adults (for me it’s writing this blog post), but play time is certainly not just for children.

 

Saving The Best For Last

I am grateful for you, dear reader. Maybe you don’t post comments (and that’s alright), but I’m glad that you’ve found something on this blog that you enjoyed, read and shared.

Thank you, or as they say after each yoga class, Namaste. 

Martita signature