I wish I could tell you how amazed I am with the response to the Gang of Twenty and Six, Alphabet Adventures. It’s not that we’ve sold hundreds since the book was published on September 12, 2012. We’ve sold around seventy of the 500 in the original issue. As far as how much money we’ve made? Not much. Neither the team nor I could live on it. Still, there is an excitement in the air. Whether we sell several hundred or ten thousand, I know that the adults that read the book to the children, and the children will have fun and will benefit from the experience. Sometimes it ain’t about money. Sometimes it’s about commitment and hope. Our kids today really need to know how to read…to explore the world around them in books…to think and imagine for themselves, rather than to rely on some programmer in a far away land who imagines for them by creating video games that detracts from their individual creativity, and one day, self-realization. Millpond Ink, LLC exists to recognize the excellence of our children and to encourage adults to spend quality time, with quality material with their youngsters. Explore the world through a book my friends and visit places few have seen.
Millpond Dart: A man woke up one morning and stared at his feet at the foot of his bed. He thought to wiggle his toes and they did. His feet and toes were like aliens to him. He really hadn’t noticed them before but all his life they toiled in taking him here and there. Interesting, he thought, how something as a foot could be so vital but overlooked. Precisely.
It’s all so humbling
When you live your life believing
That you have…
Something deep inside.
A talent or ability that few possess,
Not that others don’t have theirs.
But you move ahead
Despite the risk
And walk the path alone.
And then to find they’re at your side.
The few who caught a glimpse…
And matched your stride.
I cannot fail…
I have had the chance to resume working a little on Heritage Crossing. Although the book is finished, I am going back through it to tighten up the storyline and voice of the characters. It is hard sometimes to get motivated…or should I say, reinspired. Once I am reasonably pleased, I will hopefully find a content editor who will bring the second pair of eyes to the book that my previous editor brought. To this day I am disappointed that she couldn’t finish the race. Oh well…there is a reason I’m sure. Nonetheless, I move ahead and plan for an early 2013 release. We’ll see.
Millpond Dart: I was about to conclude my last sentence by using the word ‘forward’ as opposed to ‘ahead.’ Somehow this election year has soured me on the use of that word.
When people ask, I say retired.
But that’s not really true.
I’m into Ink-the Millpond type.
I hope the same’s for you.
We publish books.
At present one-
Next year we may have two.
“No rush,” I say,
“Just do it right-
It’s not about the count.
We’ll do our best
That’s what the Ink’s about.”
Millpond Dart: Even a myopic has vision, though shadowy figures they see. But blessed is the man who has others that come fully into view and share the vision…if even they dance in the periphery.
The Gang of Twenty and Six, Alphabet Adventures was approved for print. Hopefully, we will have the 1st edition available for sale and distribution by the 10th of September. It’s hard to believe that this year long process is finally coming to a close. Brian Bemisdarfer, the illustrator, told me that this was the longest he has ever put into an art project. And believe me, this effort was an art project as demonstrated through the magnificent illustrations and explosions of color, providing a designed continuity between the poetry and imagery so that the child can both hear the words being read and can see the related image in most instances.
Accordingly, I want to express my deep appreciation for Brian… for his talent and depth of experience. He did wonderfully, and I have no doubt that those of you who come to possess the book will agree. Yes, it is a book that was written for adults to read to their children. In that sense, it is not a children’s book. It’s something that is meant to be shared and treasured by adult and child alike as you build your memories together.
Millpond Dart: Few can remember content but many remember intent.
I wish it was easier to smile
But as I got older
Gravitation has wrought a furrowed brow
A second chin, elephant ears
And a distinct downturn in the corners of my mouth.
What’s so odd is
All my life I’ve stood on my head.
You’d think gravity would have been kind.
Yesterday I submitted the Gang of Twenty and Six, Alphabet Adventures to the printer. On Thursday, we will receive the mockup of the book for final review, edit and approval. It will then take ten business days for them to run the Kickstarter (KS) edition for sale and distribution. I can’t say enough about how much I appreciate those who supported the KS effort. I have already mailed out the ”Thank You” cards and 2013 calendars.
In the meantime, I am also in the process of getting bids on producing an electronic version of the Gang for sale through Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and other e-pub vendors. For those that will receive the e-pub as KS reward, I will notify you later on how to download the book from our website: www.millpondink.com. That site is currently under construction. Your patience is appreciated.
Millpond Dart: Often times we hand our children a remote to amuse and to educate themselves rather than reading to them. Not too astonishing, that is how our children also view us.
This is to let everyone know that we have a new order form for the Gang. Click on the Gang of Twenty and Six, Alphabet Adventures and the order form. If you are not receiving a copy as part of the Kickstarter reward or want more than one book, then now is the time to complete the order form. We are offering a 20 percent discount — $12.75 — to those who order the form in advance. Shipping and handling is separate. Once we have a copy of the book, we will determine the USPS book rate for one or more orders. Handling will be a set $1.00 charge, regardless of quantity. Of course, prices may change in the future, but that is where I see it going right now.
Frankly, I’d love nothing more than to see the complete edition on order prior to November 1, 2012, thus precipitating the printing of the second edition. Then again, we’ll see. Thanks for your support.
After a wonderful vacation, I’m home. There’s so much to do in just a short time to get the Gang of Twenty and Six, Alphabet Adventures into print. For those following, you know that we were able to reach our goal. Now we need to get the Gang into print and sent out to those who contributed $25.00 or more to the campaign. I’ll keep you informed of where we are in the process. So be sure to check back here.
Also, regarding the e-pub, I’m trying to figure out how to produce it with an audio…me reading the poems…without considerable additional expense. When I was reading several of the poems to Banjo, he really encouraged me to read it to the others. I was thinking that if I did this, then parents could give the media to their child in a car and so forth and the child could hear it read. If you like that idea, please comment.
I haven’t been to a Christian camp since I was fifteen years old when my mother dropped me off at the Ashford Evangelical Baptist Camp, Ashford, Connecticut to wash pots and pans for the summer. Now I’m sixty and watching my granddaughter have the time of her life. She is surrounded by young people that really walk the walk in their profession of faith. It was a blessing to be here because it renewed my faith that God is still vitally and lovingly at work in the lives of our youth. In fact, I would say that the young people that I met: ”Faint of Heart, WIFI, Dutch Clutch, Banjo K’Zooie, Speed Racer, Certified Sweetie, Mou Shoe and Coppertone,” among many others, were some of the finest and most sincere young people that I have met in a long, long time. They worked long hours as the youth counselors, food service and activity attendants at the camp. Those weren’t their real names of course, but the names given to them as a result of the personal testimonies they shared during camp orientation. They came to Hickory Corner, Michigan, and the Gull Lake Ministries Camp from many of the Christian colleges in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana. Before they were offered the job, they were closely scrutinized as to their work history, references and personal testimony.
As for the events planned for the week, let me just say that Gull Lake provided such a wonderful and Godly (Christ-centered) family camp environment. My granddaughter was a part of the “Lake Side” group for elementary school age kids through 6th grade. Coppertone was her counsellor. Too cool. My granddaughter, Kambria, made some wonderful friends and heard the Gospel. My wife and I attended adult sessions in the morning. Dr. John Samuel Barnett was the speaker. He was a professor in Masters Seminary (John MacArthur’s outreach), a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and is currently the senior pastor of a church in Kalamazoo. He was an amazing speaker and teacher. This week he focused on the Throne of God and reminded me of exactly who resided there, challenging me to seek Him alone and ask Him to take control of my life. The camp also featured the missionary work of the Slavic Gospel Association (SGA), which reunited me with Andrew Semenchuk who married my wife and me in 1973, and I met Dr. John Provost and his wife Leuetta. Dr. Provost is the SGA Director. We met Doctor Levan (last name much too long to remember), who faithfully has served the Lord in the country of Georgia, for many years. He shared his experience ministering to the Georgian people and the persecution that he suffered for the cause of Christ before the fall of the Soviet Union.
So. Why am I sharing all of this? Well, I must say that I’m a bit fired up. You can’t be around this cast and crew and not be. Has my life changed as a result of this? Absolutely. I find myself entirely recommitted to the cause of Christ and the message of redemption that God in His love has extended to all of us. I’ve spent a long time wallowing in my sin and seeking to advance my agenda. It is only by the mercy of God that we ended up here at Gull Lake this week, and by God’s grace, we will come back next year…hopefully with all our kids and grandchildren.