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Open Letter to Family, Friends and Internet Acquaintances | July 25, 2010

Terry here, writing to you to appeal to everyone for a little assistance in helping me help myself. You may or may not know that for the past two months I’ve been unemployed – the non-profit no-kill animal shelter is running low on funding and wasn’t able to pay us our checks regularly, so I had to get laid off so that I might qualify for and collect an unemployment check so that I might keep my house and pay my utilities on time.

I am looking for a job, but it’s hard to find a job for anyone right now, much less when you’re limited as I am – you might be surprised how many jobs require you to have a valid driver’s license or have a background that I don’t qualify for.

That being said, I find myself having to sell some books, comics, artwork and the like that I’ve amassed over the years. Granted, it is only “stuff”, but it is still hard to do when all you have to show for your self is your house and what’s inside it.

That’s one of the reasons that I’m writing to you today. I’m not asking for a handout (though I have been humbled by the generosity of friends, acquaintances and complete strangers who have given to me out of the kindness of their hearts with no expectation of repayment. Should anyone care to follow in their footsteps, I will swallow my pride and accept.)

My first step in assistance is my ‘selling’ website. I have set up a page on my website to sell a good number of my items through, and have had some success – but I need more help in getting the word out. I ask that you share the links (and give a personal recommendation – the biggest drawback is that people are leery to buy from a complete stranger without safety devices in place at places such as eBay – and while I do sell there as well, I find that I can get a better value for my product at a lower price for the buyer doing it through my site for many items.)

For the most part, I am selling books, comics, and other collectible items. Many of you will not be interested in buying anything (though, if you are, I encourag you to peruse the pages and see if anything appeals.) Again, I ask that you share the link for my page with an enthusiastic appeal for people in your social network to check it out if they might be interested in buying something, or even sharing the link with those they know who would be interested.

The second appeal I have is related to my writing, to Poo Bah (my fantasy story, a faerie tale for adults, about an imaginary friend who goes on a grand adventure.) There is a ‘crowd-sourcing’ website called Kickstarter, and they are set up to help people with creative or social projects to get funding through pledges from other people.

I have thought that, with the additional free time I have, it would be a good situation to make my own opportunity. Years ago, when I was assistant manager at Waldenbooks, one of my employees, and good friend, Joey Marullo, entered a contest from a software company, using one of their programs, to design a flight simulator.

Joey, being a wonderful geek like most of my friends, designed a flight simulator, but instead of designing an jet fighter flying over scenery familiar to us, went the extra mile so that the player was sitting in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon from the Star Wars movies, flying over the frozen tundra of Hoth (from the Empire Strikes Back movie.) Needless to say, he won first prize in the contest. Based on his work, they sub-contracted him to work on one of their upcoming space combat games, and within six months, he was moving to California to work for them full time. (I’ve since lost touch with him, but I am under the impression he ended up working for Lucas Arts, the game company founded by George Lucas, the man behind Star Wars.)

I strongly feel that Poo Bah is my best work ever,and the best bet of the open projects I have of getting published. But I need the time (and a buffer of ‘security’ so I can sit down and write) to finish it – writing and editing. My goal with the Kickstarter project is to raise at least $2,500 – this will supplement my income for several months, allowing me to spend a majority of my time working on the book; in addition, the money will help pay for the ‘rewards’ – Kickstarter has a reward program – as an incentive to get people to pledge to the project in advance of its completion, they can choose which amount to pledge (and which award they will get based upon that amount.) Some of the rewards include bookmarks, pins, copies of the book, t-shirts and the like.

Should in excess of the goal be raised, additional funds will be used to self-publish a small run and promote that book, as well as to try to get the book into the hands of editors, agents and the like, with the hope of getting it published through a traditional publishing house.

I am hoping that everyone reading this will consider visiting the Kickstarter page and making a pledge – you don’t actually pay anything until the deadline (less than a month from now – Aug 15th) AND only if the goal is met. You do have to register through Amazon Payments, but it really isn’t a difficult process.

In addition to any pledge you may make, again, I hope that you will share the link with your friends and family who would be interested in participating in this as well. Share the link, let them know of your support for me in trying to make my own opportunity – I am hoping I can be as lucky as Joey was… but I’ve found that most of the time, we make our own luck.

I am hoping that you will help me make mine.

My storefront: http://store.770days.com/

Kickstarter page for Poo Bah: http://kck.st/96oA4X

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