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That's it! I've launched it!

This is it guys! This morning at 4:30 am, Adrienne and I pushed the "Launch" button and started the campaign! We popped the cork on a bottle of champagne and toasted the future. 

Here's the link:

I stopped to reflect for a moment afterwards - this has been in the works for over 3 years now and so much has happened since I hatched the idea. I realized that the path I've been following with this project is quite similar to how my family started and grew. I started out by moving to Ireland as a 22 year old "child" with big dreams and loads of ambition. As the years went by, I had to make several pivots - changing my major goals. I never abandoned my dreams, nor did I cling to outdated ideas and goals. The passion continued to burn brightly but the destination kept changing. Every time I moved internationally, I added another member to my family which changed my goals further and enriched my life. 

This project started as just a plan for making some money so I could switch over to a career as a full time novelist. Somewhere along the line, as I brought Manjit and Sujit into the plans, it started to grow and change into a more ambitious project than I had originally envisioned. When Mike came on board, it became a mission! Early on, one of my Animation Mentor students told me about crowdfunding and sent me a link to Kickstarter, which started me down the road of researching the whole system for months. I remember trying to come up with a hook for the campaign and came up with the idea of making it all about training kids to use their imagination so they would learn to love reading. As things evolved, this idea became a passion that I didn't realize that I had, but I guess it had always been there - the path I'm now on was just waiting for me to discover it, it would seem. :')

My original plan was to do the paintings myself and I worked hard to regain my old painting skills. I realized soon enough that I would never have the time to do it all myself, so I turned to Den for advice on who to approach for doing the illustrations. I knew that he had given up painting years before, due to injury, but he was my best resource for contacting top artists. Ironically, the day I contacted him, he had just moved to Mexico to set up a studio to get back into painting and he was looking for his first job... What are the chances!! When Den started sending me his first paintings and Mike recorded the first test page at Bear studios, it really hit me that this project had become bigger than me - it was far richer than anything I could have come up with myself. Dad, it's like you taught me, a good leader surrounds himself with people that are better than he is. That is what I have done and look where it's lead us so far! Another amazing jolt came when Philip started composing the first themes for the book. Even though his first efforts were a bit rough, I could tell instantly that he "got" the feeling of what I was trying to achieve with the book and his music really started to show the soul of what the story had going for it. Today, his work on the book is as good as any film soundtrack I've ever heard! The whole thing has taken on a life of it's own!

The one thing that was taking painfully long was the campaign video... Without Colin and Greg's help, it would probably have taken me another year just to get that put together! Now that everything is in place, I can't wait to see how this will grow! Richard has put together a website that reflects the heart of what we're trying to achieve and it will soon become the hub of our project, especially after the campaign is over.  Later, we will be bringing on more artists and support people and I know that the project will get richer and deeper than I can imagine as each new person adds their touch to it. When things start to get too big for me to handle, I'll have Matt there to keep everything in order. :")

I've gushed on long enough, I just wanted to say thank you to every one of you for getting us to this point and I'm really looking forward to where we will go from here!

Here's to the future!


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