Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Back to work!

Whew, what a year. For all of us, yes? Well, let a new chapter begin! I return refreshed, after a Siberian winter of action and change. It's a good thing I love drama and surprise! Yikes.

Meanwhile, I have evolved a nice idea for how to move forward with the 31 Project, and how to get these stories in the hands of people who want--and those who can't bear--to read them. This was a big thinking exercise over the winter: What is the most high-impact thing I can do, that is sustainable, that I can do without a big team, and that gets the stories to the audience(s) I want to reach? I had to think through a lot of questions: Who do I want to reach? What does it mean to 'publish a book'? What medium will served me well? What do I want out of this? What can I do that is useful? Do I want to be useful? Do I want to just live my own life, take myself beyond "just survival" and invest only in living my own life?

Not a linear exercise! Chaos always makes me go back to the chalkboard and think primary thoughts like this. No wonder it takes me forever to clean a closet.

Anyway, in a nutshell, here's my plan: I want to place the book chapters online one at a time. (They are done, just sitting on my shelf.) Each will be fully elaborated over time. This means each chapter will have the photos, (filtered) reader comments, my comments, any relevant information about the woman whose story is in the chapter (such as "what she's doing now") (if it's a chapter with an interview), audio/video, etc. Depending on how linearly I post, which we can assume will be less linear than more, once the chapters are posted they will also be available as a full set... ie, as a book.

I believe this will be effective, and it will also be an extremely interesting process for me. These stories are very deep and true, and there's more to say than can be contained in a straight book. I'd like to work through this more complex construction, then see what book arrives.

I'd like your help, dear reader.

Next topics (this is a note to myself!): How readers can help. Target audiences. Who should hear these stories? Also!! Mom's 31 quilt interview for the Library of Congress.

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