Archive | June, 2013

DVD educational Kickstarter video – How to build your own cnc router

21 Jun

DVD educational video – How to build your own cnc router

by Sam Faix

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1151413310/dvd-educational-video-how-to-build-your-own-cnc-ro

A DVD educational video detailing step by step the construction of a DIY CNC router.

New cnc router designNew cnc router design

DVD Educational Video – How to build a Computer Controlled Router

This project will be the production of a DVD video detailing the construction of a DIY open source cnc router. All steps of the construction will be documented and explained, including material sourcing, fabrication, assembly, and hardware/software configuration. Final CAD design drawings of the cnc system will be open source.

Drought in the central Texas area has devastated the trees in the area, killing more than 500 million trees state wide. We have partnered with a tree removal company which has now given us access to a huge amount of timber resources that would be destroyed otherwise. A cnc router prototype has been constructed and a new design has been created – one specific to the use of rough cut wood slabs. This new design will allow for massive wood slabs to be loaded via forklift, and easily secured for machining. The cnc router will be capable of cutting intricate relief carvings, joints, and curves.

The unique feature of this cnc router design compared to others is the table top. It will be made from evenly spaced 2×4’s mounted to a slotted iron frame. The 2×4’s will provide an ideal securing surface for rough wood slabs, and allow material to be loaded via forklift.

Funding of the project will cover the cost of 4 industrial stepper motors, stainless steel rails and ball screw drives, power supply, 4 axis cnc controller, basic pc, 3KW water cooled spindle, variable frequency drive, and structural iron material.

The final open source CNC design and implementation details will be freely redistributed online in order to accelerate the innovation of the technology. Any pledge of $25 or more will receive a video of the construction of the CNC machine as well as the final CAD design plans – everything necessary to build your own CNC machine. We have no goal of mass producing the CNC machine at this time, only the production of the DVD and the construction of the unit. This will be an interim step to a possible mass production design.

We are overworked and underfunded. Every pledge will help. Thank you for joining us in this project which is sure to be an adventure in engineering and art!

The DVD will be shipped internationally at no extra charge!

Rustic Cutting Board - $50 PledgeRustic Cutting Board – $50 Pledge
Military Plaques - Marine, Army, Navy, Airforce Available - $60 PledgeMilitary Plaques – Marine, Army, Navy, Airforce Available – $60 Pledge
Edison Quote Plaque - $75 PledgeEdison Quote Plaque – $75 Pledge
Wildlife Carving - $200 PledgeWildlife Carving – $200 Pledge
Rustic Coffee Table - $1000 PledgeRustic Coffee Table – $1000 Pledge
Rustic Bookshelf - $1500 PledgeRustic Bookshelf – $1500 Pledge
Refrigerator Magnet - $15 PledgeRefrigerator Magnet – $15 Pledge
Prototype cnc cutting religious reliefPrototype cnc cutting religious relief
Rustic Desk - $2500 PledgeRustic Desk – $2500 Pledge
Advertisements

LE CHERCHE MIDI: Fragrance without compromise #Kickstarter

20 Jun

LE CHERCHE MIDI: Fragrance without compromise

by Nathan Motylinski

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/954210464/le-cherche-midi-fragrance-without-compromise

Fashions change. So should your fragrance. Introducing the Autumn/Winter 2013 luxury fragrance collection by Le Cherche Midi.

Not all fragrances are created equal.

THE LE CHERCHE MIDI DIFFERENCE:

1 – Artistic expression without any filters. Our fragrances are inspired solely by the creative vision of our perfumer rather than marketing reports, trend forecasts or other data-driven approaches. Most companies follow trends – we lead them.

2 – Perfumery built on heritage. What good is a great idea if you can’t make it work? Our perfumer, Cecile Hua, was classically trained in the birthplace of perfume – Grasse, France – at the best perfumery school in the world. With her in-depth understanding of chemistry, artistry, and perfumery, we are able to bring new fragrances to life with a sophistication and finesse that will ensure our fragrances never go out of style.

3 – The world is constantly changing and so are we. Drawing on our knowledge and expertise of over 2,000 raw materials, we are constantly updating our line with innovative luxury fragrances built around new ingredients and combinations. We launch an entirely new collection twice each year – Spring/Summer, Autumn/Winter – allowing you stand out in a sea of ‘me-too’ fragrances.

4 – Sold direct. Luxury fragrances sold through retailers often come with a hefty price tag to pay for expensive endorsements, licensing agreements or overdone (and often useless) packaging that ends up in a landfill. By selling directly through our website, we are able to offer a higher quality product at a better price.

5 – We know our limits. Literally. Everything we make is assembled by hand, so in order to ensure the highest possible standards, we limit production of all our fragrances and products. Each bottle is numbered and supplies are only available while they last.

Are our fragrances for men or women?

Both! In fact, fragrance has never been gender specific – just like art, music, or wine. Unfortunately, the idea of gender-specific fragrance was created as a marketing tactic to increase sales. Our rule of thumb – wear what you like!

Why don’t our fragrances have names?

We’re often told what to see, hear, taste and even smell by clever marketing campaigns that can disguise and obscure unoriginal ideas. Our fragrances are not about endorsements, catchy names, or flashy images, so we decided the best way to present them was with a number and a color inspired by the fragrance.

OUR PRODUCTS (YOUR REWARDS):

Travel Spray (yours for $10+ pledge)Travel Spray (yours for $10+ pledge)
Travel Spray Trio (yours for $25+ pledge)Travel Spray Trio (yours for $25+ pledge)
100 ml eau de toilette (yours for $79+ pledge)100 ml eau de toilette (yours for $79+ pledge)
Eaux de Toilette Collection (yours for $169+ pledge)Eaux de Toilette Collection (yours for $169+ pledge)
Bespoke Fragrance (yours for $999+ pledge)Bespoke Fragrance (yours for $999+ pledge)

OUR STORY:

As fragrance industry professionals, we (Nathan and Cecile) have seen far too many great fragrances and concepts get sacrificed for corporate constraints that focus more on what’s ON the bottle than what’s IN the bottle. With our combined experience and passion for fragrance, we decided to BE the change we wanted to see and now showcase our own original concepts with two luxury fragrance collections – Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter – each year. So join us in exploring the infinite world of luxury fragrance – without compromise.

THE TEAM:

Nathan Motylinski, entrepreneur and owner of Le Cherche Midi, knows how to transform concepts and ideas into reality. Nathan holds several fragrance-related design and utility patents. In addition to running Le Cherche Midi, he assists companies of all sizes with fragrance and product development.

Cécile Hua, perfumer was born in Marseille, France and knew by the age of 7 that she was destined to become a perfumer. After earning a Master’s Degree in Chemistry to lay the foundation of her technical knowledge for perfume creation, Cécile was chosen to attend the invitation-only Givaudan Perfumery School in Grasse, where she furthered her understanding of creative fragrance development.

Graduating first in her class from the world’s most prestigious perfumery school, Cécile decided to take her talent and ideas to New York, where she was the first recipient of the Fashion Group International ‘Rising Star Award’ for Fragrance Design in 2003. Since then, Cécile has been the creative drive behind many fine fragrances and continues to develop perfumes with some of the most famous celebrities and brands in the world, including Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Estée Lauder, L’Oreal, Abercrombie & Fitch, Brooks Brothers, David Yurman, Vera Wang, Michael Kors, Alfred Dunhill, FCUK, Gendarme, Henri Bendel, MAC Cosmetics, Fresh, Park Hyatt, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/954210464/le-cherche-midi-fragrance-without-compromise

SURRENDER Kickstarter – photography art book

19 Jun

SURRENDER

by Jim Young

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/941940706/surrender-1

Stunning images that honor the dignity of life by stimulating the surrender of our outdated views and attitudes about one another.

ABOUT SURRENDER:

“The late Photo-Secessionist, Alvin Langdon, wrote, ‘Photography teaches its devotees how to look intelligently and appreciatively at the world, but religious mysticism introduces the soul to God.’ This new body of work by Jim Young accomplishes both. Always an extremely insightful photographer and a master writer of the inspirational word, he brings these gifts together in Surrender.”

Stephen C. Sumner, award-winning photographer and Executive Director, Center for the Arts, Evergreen, Colorado.

“…Jim Young has used his consummate skill in handling light to masterfully interpret his subject. Young succeeds in this endeavor through a clear vision of the project, a trusting working relationship with the models and exemplary control of the photographic process. It also presents a way to see that we all are destined to bear out own cross, as we endure each struggle that accompanies life as a human being.”

Ron Lutz, award-winning photographer, Eureka Springs, AR

Anonymous reviews from the Amazon/Kindle version of Surrender:

“Surrender – the most daring spiritual book of the decade!”

“To say a picture is worth 10,000 words was never more true than here. Both the images and words convey a story ‘the church’ would rather not tell.”

“A virtuous treatment that rings the inner bell with profound resonance!”

“Provocative, redeeming photography that unshackles devotional servitude…a coffee table and conversational must!”

“A titillating crucible, contrasting compassion and servitude, virtuosity and betrayal, liberation and infringement.”

Surrender, a provocative photo essay, honors the dignity of life by stimulating the surrender of our outdated views and attitudes towards one another. It also honors the dignity of life by clarifying life purpose and meaning through a spiritual narrative, releasing the stunning inner images that speak through spiritual awareness. Through the photographic and word images alike, it celebrates the innate beauty of the human figure and soul, as we stand naked before God in all our innocence.

Surrender is not about religion, or even spirituality. Surrender is a book aboutyou! Surely, allowing yourself to BE with the images, both individually and as a collection, will have its very own profound impact on you—and it could well empower you to reach well beyond current views and circumstances.

Surrender will be printed in a 9” X 9” format, using a tri-tone process to make these exquisite black and white images be as close as possible to their archival print counterparts.

Some background:

Although I have authored and published 16 spiritual books with three different publishers in the past 7-8 years, photograph books are exceptionally expensive and thus difficult to publish. Even though many of my photographs have been accepted and awarded in juried exhibitions worldwide over the years, publishers have been reluctant to address spiritual issues using such powerful images. Even so, I’ve worked diligently to see that Surrenderhas as least found its way into many individual collections through the Amazon/Kindle digital publishing program. (See this version on my website: www.creationspirit.net.)

Since its release a little over a year ago, readers continue to clamor for a first rate tabletop hard copy, as well as wanting to obtain prints of the images themselves. Recently, two artist friends who also happen to be gallery owners—both of whom have contributed commentary to this book—suggested that putting the entire collection and related perks into the hands of artistically and spiritually motivated patrons would provide both, and at much less expense. Eureka!

Archival print included as $100 perk..Archival print included as $100 perk..

So here it is. Surrender is fully designed and ready to go. It’s up to us now. Let’s show the world what it really means to collaborate! Why you should participate?

• Because you’d be the proud owners, not only of an autographed, limited edition classic photo book of black and white images and sterling commentary, but also—depending on the level of support provided—the possessor of a signed, limited edition archival gelatin silver photograph for your collection.

• Because you’re a good friend, a loving family member, a treasured member of my computer-based social family or simply interested in fine art photography and/or spiritual issues.

• Because you’re interested in issues of the heart and being empowered by deeper meaning gained from a variety of sources.

• Because you would like to share this abundance with other loved ones, those who also appreciate such approaches to deeper meaning and clearer purpose.

• Because you’d like a book on your coffee table that could spark interesting conversations with neighbors, visitors, friends, colleagues and family.

• Because you think the body of work deserves to be published, and are moved to be part of bringing this creative venture to fruition.

Whatever your reason(s), I invite you to join me in making this project a reality by making finances available pertinent to your level of desire and interest.

The cost for publishing a limited edition of Surrender is $7750. This is not inexpensive, but this is what it takes to make a great book—a book you can give for a special occasion, and get lost in for a change of inner scenery, which is sure to also transform how you see life—from the inside, out.

Over the years, I’ve invested far more than this amount of money, plus immeasurable time and energy, to bring the images and the Amazon/Kindle version of Surrender to fruition. And I’ve contributed hundreds of books from my collection to others, simply to help “seed” the spiritual development of interested persons.

Now, at this point, I’m asking for your help to make this single printed version a reality. For all these reasons, I would greatly appreciate your generosity of spirit, both financially and by telling your friends about this opportunity, so they, too, can join in.

Thank you!

Jim Young

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/941940706/surrender-1

Losing Altitude- A collaborative art book #birds #kickstarter

19 Jun

Losing Altitude- A collaborative art book

by Arras Wiedorn

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/animuspanthera/losing-altitude-a-collaborative-art-book

This collaborative art book will feature over 50 artists and over 100 pages of full-color art of endangered birds from the world over.

Tiny little dinosaurs

Birds are some of the most beautiful and interesting animals in the world. They live on every continent, and over the ages they have developed all kinds of interesting adaptations to life in all those different places. With such a huge variety of species, shapes, plumages and colors, birds have inspired artists from the world over. This art book will bring together more than 50 artists from around the globe to illustrate threatened and endangered birds ranging from the little Fairy Pitta and tiny Dusky Starfrontlet to the magnificent Great Green Macaw and the mighty Javan Hawk Eagle.

The details

The finished art book will be 8.5 x 11 inches and will come with your choice of a hard or soft cover. It will include well over 100 pages of full-color illustrations, photographs, and artisan crafts ranging from sculpture to culinary arts featuring endangered and threatened birds from around the world, created by over 50 different artists. The book will be printed through The Art Bookbindery.

Each illustration will include an infographic with information on the species pictured. Also included will be a section on conservation and what you can do in order to help protect these birds in your own area and a list of resources and relevant websites. All information will be drawn from reliable sources and fully cited.

Feeding those starving artists

Since artists cannot create their art without the necessary funds, the profits of this book will be divided up among contributing artists. Artists will receive a portion of the profits based on their contributions. Furthermore, since part of the point of this project is to help support deserving artists, all participating artists reserve the rights to sell originals, prints, and merchandise (etc.) of their art.

Stretch Goals:

For every extra $500 we raise over the goal we will release one more acrylic charm design! Up to 5 total designs- if we raise $7,000, then all five designs will be available.

A little sneak peak

Here’s a few finished pieces and works-in-progress, to give you an idea of the beautiful work you’ll be getting.

In-progress cover by Namu-The-OrcaIn-progress cover by Namu-The-Orca

Lesser Florican by Josefine SpenkeLesser Florican by Josefine Spenke

Blue Bird of Paradise by Andrada BerbecaruBlue Bird of Paradise by Andrada Berbecaru

Javan Hawk Eagle by Tania Ávila VillalbaJavan Hawk Eagle by Tania Ávila Villalba

Work in progress- New Zealand Kaka by Pia RavenariWork in progress- New Zealand Kaka by Pia Ravenari

Puerto Rican Amazon by Pia RavenariPuerto Rican Amazon by Pia Ravenari

Swift Parrot by Pia RavenariSwift Parrot by Pia Ravenari

Nene by KayVeeDeeNene by KayVeeDee

Work in progress- Resplendant Quetzal by Maricela UgarteWork in progress- Resplendant Quetzal by Maricela Ugarte

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/animuspanthera/losing-altitude-a-collaborative-art-book

Tomahawk Five Nine – An Unconventional War Story #kickstarter #crowdfunding

19 Jun

Tomahawk Five Nine – An Unconventional War Story

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tomahawkfivenine/tomahawk-five-nine-an-unconventional-war-story

A memoir of a rogue Army Captain who, in order to win in Iraq and save lives, sacrificed it all…and lost everything in the process.

WHO ARE YOU?

Hi! I’m Captain Mike.

GREAT. NOW WHAT DO YOU WANT?

I want to write a story. About my life. About the Iraq war.

And a little bit about Jell-O.

Here’s my adult life thus far in sparse words:

Enlisted. Army. West Point. Infantry. Airborne. Ranger. Iraq. Prison.

Yes, at first glance it seems like the typical career track for most soldiers, but I’m here to convince you otherwise (if I have to try too hard, I’m not the only one with problems…).

For transparency’s sake, let me put this out there first: I’m a convicted felon. There, I said it. I’m a criminal. A villain. The scum of the earth. The stain in your undergarments.

I sent home money that wasn’t mine from Iraq, spent it like a madman (more on the “mad” later), got arrested, and then went to federal prison for my trouble. I’m not here to defend those actions – they were wrong and I take full responsibility for them.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s address the real problem. What bothered (but didn’t surprise) me most about his whole ordeal was that no one in our self-righteous media – or in general – asked the obvious question: how the hell did this happen?

It didn’t happen in a vacuum.

WHAT IS TOMAHAWK FIVE NINE? AND WHY IS THE TITLE SO WEIRD?

Tomahawk Five Nine is a 3-book memoir detailing the absurdity of my life in the Army and combat during the Iraq War as well as my struggle with the conflicting concepts of “what’s right” versus “what’s necessary.” The “weird” title is derived from my call sign in Iraq, thanks for asking.

This unorthodox yet true tale aims to explore many controversial themes while focusing mainly on my tour in Iraq from 2007 to 2008, right after violence in the country peaked and ultimately led to a “surge” of troops – the D-Day of our times. As much good as we accomplished over there, I have to be honest: we also screwed a lot of things up.

And endangered our honor.

But before we get into the heavy stuff, let me introduce you to…The Tomahawks.

THE “TOMAHAWKS?” WHAT’S THAT, SOME LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM?

Not quite.

The Tomahawks are part of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, a cutting edge quick-strike infantry unit. Now, many an army unit like to consider themselves the “redheaded stepchild” in their respective brigade/division to give themselves that romantic, “us against the world” feeling, but the Tomahawks lived it…and didn’t revel so much in the title.

And they had, for the most part, these men to thank for it.

*Names have been changed to protect the incompetent*Names have been changed to protect the incompetent

These are the four top ranking – and arguably most powerful – men in a 700-soldier infantry battalion. So when all four suck, the battalion’s hurting.

This Kickstarter campaign is to beg for funds to publish the first book, Part One: In There Too (yes, it’s an even stranger subtitle, but it all makes sense) that follows my misadventures with the Tomahawks on the first part of our tour – from April to September 2007 – as our (anti) illustrious commander, Lieutenant Colonel Mycroft (a.k.a. “The Nutty Professor”), volunteers us into perhaps the most violent neighborhood in Baghdad.

When it came to our chances of making it through combat under Mycroft’s leadership, I can confidently convey, on behalf of most Tomahawks, what we all thought at the time: “we’re all going to die.”

ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT – GET TO THE “ENDANGERING HONOR” PART

Very well. There was a time when I was foolish and idealistic enough to think my profession demanded honorable conduct, even and especially during times of war.

This ideal was shattered for me when I first learned about the death of this man:

As my West Point thesis advisor, infantry mentor, and hero, Colonel Westhusing was the warrior-philosopher I aspired to be. I regret putting off my keeping in touch with him after graduation.

Because I learned of his death from a Newsweek magazine – two years after the fact – on the eve of my combat deployment.

There’s still a lot of controversy surrounding his “suicide,” but based on the many discussions he and I had on philosophy, honor, and the warrior ethos, there’s no doubt in my mind: he was murdered to protect careers and political/corporate interests at a time and place where laws and accountability count for very little.

I was devastated. I suffered a moral injury before even crossing the Iraqi border.

Over the next 15 months, I discovered an adverse culture of compromising principles and a dangerous, pervasive mindset of “doing whatever it takes to win” in Iraq and the Army’s higher echelons; how it allowed this “suicide” to happen; how General David “Peaches” Patraeus, Westhusing’s boss at the time of death, and his cronies fostered it…

…and how I ultimately had to succumb to it to protect my own.

SO THIS IS ABOUT YOU BLAMING OTHERS FOR YOUR MISTAKES, THEN? YOU PITIFUL DISGRACE?

Yes, yes, a pitiful disgrace to be sure, and make no mistake: I committed my crime. I failed to seek help when I needed it. I know nothing will ever change that, and those are probably the only things I can ever take credit for.

But there’s a difference between taking responsibility for one’s mistakes and accepting the blame for everyone else’s. I’m not in the business of the latter. It’ll never be enough to make an example out of me without context.

And the context is damning indeed.

How we conducted the war, to include massive wastes in spending, leadership failures, in-fighting between departments and “allies,” giving amnesty and money to enemies who’ve killed our soldiers and innocent civilians, turning a blind eye to human rights abuses, and cheating our traditions and honor to win will potentially be embarrassing for the Department of Defense, but this story must be told, and not because I’ve got an axe to grind by trying to snatch our “victory” away from Iraq. Mistakes were made by many and there are untold lessons to be learned here – the mark of a good leader and an adaptive organization is acknowledging those mistakes, fixing them, and becoming better for it. None of that can happen until those mistakes are identified – this is where I do my part.

If anything, you’ll at least be entertained. Consider this an amusing after action review with the world.

OMG! WASTEFUL GOVERNMENT SPENDING? HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES? DUDE, I ALREADY READ THIS STUFF ON YAHOO AND MOVED ON. WHAT MAKES YOU SO SPECIAL?

Yes, I understand Yahoo News, TMZ, and their entire ilk are the definitive authority on journalism and relevance, but hear me out before you go back to finding out what happened on The Bachelor.

How I was able to gain access to obscene amounts of money wasn’t so much skill or capability on my part – it was supposed to be a punishment. The worst thing you can do to an action guy – an Airborne Ranger trained to kill our country’s enemies – is keep him from the action. They really didn’t like me.

With a smile, Mycroft took my beloved platoon away and put me in charge of Iraqi reconstruction.

Politics – it doesn’t pay to hold your incompetent commander in contempt while shouting it to the world. Not saying I was perfect or anything – I had personal problems that well preceded my joining the Tomahawks, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t in good company!

So I did what I was told and spent millions to rebuild Iraq – at one point I even thought I was doing some good. But we didn’t have enough troops to protect our hired Iraqi contractors, who instead resorted to paying “protection money” to our enemies – al-Qaeda, Jaish al-Mahdi, and fellow anti-Western d-bags – to be left alone to finish their substandard work. I learned quickly that the United States was terrorism’s largest funder in Iraq…and I helped.

Without enough security, our area steadily fell into violence and chaos. Everything that subsequently transpired in Book One – in Baghdad – created the perfect storm. It allowed me to find a creative and…unprecedented solution.

AND WHAT, EXACTLY, DOES “UNPRECEDENTED” MEAN?

Of the first deaths the battalion suffered, three were from my former platoon. Watching soldiers you once led die under someone else’s charge does something to a person – none of it good.

After so many Tomahawk deaths, the worst happened: our commander quit. We then left Baghdad for a dangerous new area with no leadership.

With a leadership vacuum and more Tomahawks dying, something snapped in me – I couldn’t tolerate the helplessness any more. So I scrounged up everything I could – Humvees, weapons, bullets, explosives, radios – and recruited whomever I could find, from leftover staff guys to Civil Affairs, Psyops, and Human Intelligence peeps, to Rangers and former Force Recon/Delta Force operators-turned-defense contractors. A rogue task force was born, and with millions of Iraqi reconstruction dollars at my disposal and almost no oversight in our new area of operations, I was going to fight the war my way.

WHERE WERE YOU? BURGER KING? WHAT DO YOU MEAN “YOUR WAY?”

I couldn’t just take my team around and shoot people in the face at will for revenge’s sake – we’d have to prove they were bad guys first.

Patraeus enacted the shortcut strategy of bribing our enemies to not shoot at us (the so-called “Awakening/Sons of Iraq” program). Considering how many Tomahawks we lost to these newly-converted “concerned local citizens,” it sickened me, but I realized that with the money I had, I held the power to buy intelligence and leverage cash and reconstruction contracts into bounties and hits. Why not fix Iraq and clean house at the same time?

So I went everywhere with my “civil military ops” team to recon, gather intel, promote governance, assess projects, make “friends,” and get shot at or IED’d. Behind everyone’s backs and using money for more than it was meant for, I ran an unauthorized secret intelligence network comprised of key political, tribal, and business leaders as well as snitches, warlords, police, and other assets. I found out who in the “Sons of Iraq – Pay for no Spray” program were once al-Qaeda or Jaish al-Mahdi fighters – bad guys.

Then I let cash-starved Iraqis kill the bad guys for us and paid out monies to maintain the peace – all to keep the Tomahawks out of harm’s way. You wouldn’t believe what some men would do for a little money.

Money can do wonderful, terrible things.

As life got better in our area, things started unraveling for me mentally. I thought, fought, and cheated like the enemy – compromised my values to win.

Patraeus would’ve been proud.

Westhusing would’ve been ashamed.

Combined with my personal problems, this all took its toll. Then came the moral despair and the fall – the damage had been done; it just needed to run its course. *SPOILER ALERT* Everything falls apart in the end for me. Tragedies follow. Oh yeah, and that Bin Ladin guy gets whacked at some point. *END SPOILERS*

Despite all the catastrophes, the soldiers of the Tomahawk battalion did not once falter in their duty and conviction to honor. When all was lost, they found faith in each other and fought on as a team – a family; any other unit would’ve lost hope and fallen apart.

They knew what it meant to be Tomahawks.

So as much as this story is about what others and I did wrong, this is also about how the Tomahawks as a whole did things right – and became unsung legends for it.

But we’ll save all that for the rest of the trilogy.

WHOA, WAIT – WHY 3 BOOKS? YOU TRYIN’ TO HUSTLE US MR. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY?

No, I is not trying to hustle you. Player.

Each book is a different battle and evolution for the Tomahawks and me. Book One focuses on the Battle for Baghdad while Books Two and Three focus on the Iraq War endgame and the battle at home respectively. With so many themes to address – themes our public must be exposed to – I need to make sure they don’t become diluted or eclipse one another within a massive volume.

There’s the other reason: Book One is already large enough. Putting all three together would make War and Peace look like a novella.

More than just one antihero’s journey through life and war, Tomahawk Five Nine is filled with memorable characters and incredible settings that are very much a part of our American history and consciousness now, for better or worse. I will immerse you in that world and give you an American experience that you would’ve otherwise had to take up arms for and risked your life to have. You’re welcome.

And for those of you who were there, I’m hoping you’ll laugh, be outraged, or maybe even shed a tear. But in the end, I hope you nod and say, “Yep – that’s Iraq, alright.”

I can’t do all of that justice in one book, anymore than you could capture the entire Twilightsaga in less than four.

Hmm…maybe not the best of examples.

HOW CAN YOU WRITE A BOOK? YOU’VE NEVER WRITTEN ONE BEFORE!

Yes, I’ve heard that catch-22 many times. Stupider things have been said.

These are my first books, I’ll admit – I’ve been playing war and in prison for the last decade plus – but I’ve been writing extensively all those years and paid attention in class at the Academy (when it counted). I’ve been mentored by published authors and professors, so when my writing doesn’t make them cringe (too much), I know I’m on the right track.

Tell you what: here’s a sample chapter. If you don’t like what you see, don’t support the book. Simple as that.

PREVIEW CHAPTERS

If you do like what you see, understand that the entire series will be written in a similar style, with the tone maturing as the story moves along. If you’re okay with that, please donate/pre-order then tell, like, 300 of your friends about this.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THE MONEY? RUN OFF TO THAILAND?

Tempting, but no. The money will go towards numerous objectives, to include:

  • Hiring a professional editor so we can fight over my choice of words and content

  • Conducting a legal review to ensure I’m not revealing classified material or techniques…that hasn’t already been published in other books or shown in movies or video games

  • Publishing this little guy for military history/entertainment/posterity purposes

  • Printing softcover/hardcover copies for initial distribution (especially for you heroes helping me out)

  • Distributing this little guy to the masses where it can inspire (or mortify) generations of Americans

  • Marketing this little guy so the public affairs champions at the Pentagon can go into crisis mode and start calling me names in public

  • Last but not least: establishing a merchandising and warrior brand for Tomahawk Five Nine and the Tomahawks in order to use the proceeds to aid combat veterans

That last bullet is near and dear to me, as my secondary objective is to set up a source of income for a future nonprofit organization designed to help Tomahawk soldiers – former and current – in a wide array of needs, from financial to personal, to include mental health.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tomahawkfivenine/tomahawk-five-nine-an-unconventional-war-story

Photography Photography Book #kickstarter – #selfpublishing #art

19 Jun

SURRENDER

by Jim Young

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/941940706/surrender-1

Stunning images that honor the dignity of life by stimulating the surrender of our outdated views and attitudes about one another.

ABOUT SURRENDER:

“The late Photo-Secessionist, Alvin Langdon, wrote, ‘Photography teaches its devotees how to look intelligently and appreciatively at the world, but religious mysticism introduces the soul to God.’ This new body of work by Jim Young accomplishes both. Always an extremely insightful photographer and a master writer of the inspirational word, he brings these gifts together in Surrender.”

Stephen C. Sumner, award-winning photographer and Executive Director, Center for the Arts, Evergreen, Colorado.

“…Jim Young has used his consummate skill in handling light to masterfully interpret his subject. Young succeeds in this endeavor through a clear vision of the project, a trusting working relationship with the models and exemplary control of the photographic process. It also presents a way to see that we all are destined to bear out own cross, as we endure each struggle that accompanies life as a human being.”

Ron Lutz, award-winning photographer, Eureka Springs, AR

Anonymous reviews from the Amazon/Kindle version of Surrender:

“Surrender – the most daring spiritual book of the decade!”

“To say a picture is worth 10,000 words was never more true than here. Both the images and words convey a story ‘the church’ would rather not tell.”

“A virtuous treatment that rings the inner bell with profound resonance!”

“Provocative, redeeming photography that unshackles devotional servitude…a coffee table and conversational must!”

“A titillating crucible, contrasting compassion and servitude, virtuosity and betrayal, liberation and infringement.”

Surrender, a provocative photo essay, honors the dignity of life by stimulating the surrender of our outdated views and attitudes towards one another. It also honors the dignity of life by clarifying life purpose and meaning through a spiritual narrative, releasing the stunning inner images that speak through spiritual awareness. Through the photographic and word images alike, it celebrates the innate beauty of the human figure and soul, as we stand naked before God in all our innocence.

Surrender is not about religion, or even spirituality. Surrender is a book aboutyou! Surely, allowing yourself to BE with the images, both individually and as a collection, will have its very own profound impact on you—and it could well empower you to reach well beyond current views and circumstances.

Surrender will be printed in a 9” X 9” format, using a tri-tone process to make these exquisite black and white images be as close as possible to their archival print counterparts.

Some background:

Although I have authored and published 16 spiritual books with three different publishers in the past 7-8 years, photograph books are exceptionally expensive and thus difficult to publish. Even though many of my photographs have been accepted and awarded in juried exhibitions worldwide over the years, publishers have been reluctant to address spiritual issues using such powerful images. Even so, I’ve worked diligently to see that Surrenderhas as least found its way into many individual collections through the Amazon/Kindle digital publishing program. (See this version on my website: www.creationspirit.net.)

Since its release a little over a year ago, readers continue to clamor for a first rate tabletop hard copy, as well as wanting to obtain prints of the images themselves. Recently, two artist friends who also happen to be gallery owners—both of whom have contributed commentary to this book—suggested that putting the entire collection and related perks into the hands of artistically and spiritually motivated patrons would provide both, and at much less expense. Eureka!

Archival print included as $100 perk..Archival print included as $100 perk..

So here it is. Surrender is fully designed and ready to go. It’s up to us now. Let’s show the world what it really means to collaborate! Why you should participate?

• Because you’d be the proud owners, not only of an autographed, limited edition classic photo book of black and white images and sterling commentary, but also—depending on the level of support provided—the possessor of a signed, limited edition archival gelatin silver photograph for your collection.

• Because you’re a good friend, a loving family member, a treasured member of my computer-based social family or simply interested in fine art photography and/or spiritual issues.

• Because you’re interested in issues of the heart and being empowered by deeper meaning gained from a variety of sources.

• Because you would like to share this abundance with other loved ones, those who also appreciate such approaches to deeper meaning and clearer purpose.

• Because you’d like a book on your coffee table that could spark interesting conversations with neighbors, visitors, friends, colleagues and family.

• Because you think the body of work deserves to be published, and are moved to be part of bringing this creative venture to fruition.

Whatever your reason(s), I invite you to join me in making this project a reality by making finances available pertinent to your level of desire and interest.

The cost for publishing a limited edition of Surrender is $7750. This is not inexpensive, but this is what it takes to make a great book—a book you can give for a special occasion, and get lost in for a change of inner scenery, which is sure to also transform how you see life—from the inside, out.

Over the years, I’ve invested far more than this amount of money, plus immeasurable time and energy, to bring the images and the Amazon/Kindle version of Surrender to fruition. And I’ve contributed hundreds of books from my collection to others, simply to help “seed” the spiritual development of interested persons.

Now, at this point, I’m asking for your help to make this single printed version a reality. For all these reasons, I would greatly appreciate your generosity of spirit, both financially and by telling your friends about this opportunity, so they, too, can join in.

Thank you!

Jim Young

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/941940706/surrender-1

Robot and Fox: The Amazing Journey children’s book #kickstarter

19 Jun

Robot and Fox: The Amazing Journey

by Jason Oshman

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/993696346/robot-and-fox-the-amazing-journey

Robot and Fox is the story of Roland and his epic journey with his buddy, Fox, as they search to find Roland’s ship and get him home.

Robot and Fox: The Amazing Journey is a children’s book about a robot named Roland Botemus and his journey across the galaxy to find the perfect gift for his fiancée, Rosie. But, when Roland accidentally becomes separated from his ship on a distant planet, his mission plans change, and instead, he must scour the planet to find his ship and return home. Luckily for him, one of the planet’s furry inhabitants is ready and rarin’ to help!

Meanwhile, Rosie receives a distress signal from Roland’s lost ship. When she tries to contact Roland and doesn’t get a response, she decides to venture across the galaxy and rescue the one she loves. Little does she know, she’s going to have to face her own set of perils as she encounters dangerous space anomalies and cunning, crazy pirates!

Robot and Fox: The Amazing Journey Book CoverRobot and Fox: The Amazing Journey Book Cover

My goal is to release Robot and Fox: The Amazing Journey as an eBook and online. As a first-time self-publisher, this is the best way for me to make the book widely available for everyone to read quickly and inexpensively.

Robot and Fox will be available for purchase online to read on your tablet, e-reader, phone, or computer!Robot and Fox will be available for purchase online to read on your tablet, e-reader, phone, or computer!

The world of Robot and Fox is full of robots, snow whompuses, pirates and more! Click the picture of the whole crew below to find out more about all the characters Roland and Rosie come across in their journey!

Click the image above to see detailed character bios on the website!

The funds from this campaign will be going toward the costs of finishing the Robot and Fox: The Amazing Journey eBook and getting it ready to release online.

These costs include the final editing and formatting of the manuscript, final touch-up and preparation of the cover and inside illustrations, and the legal costs associated with releasing the book (which includes purchasing the copyright, and ISBN numbers). The cost of all of these things would be covered by the $1500 raised and get the book ready for release.

I love the characters and world of the book, and there’s so much more I want to do with it! I’d be thrilled to raise the initial goal and release the book, but if we can raise more than that, there are more things I want to make the book even better!

If we can reach the $1500 goal, I have some other things planned for Robot and Fox and would love to do them!

My first goal beyond releasing the book would be to finish an animated trailer I’m working on to help promote and bring attention to the book. The trailer will be a 90-second, 2-D animated venture into the world of Robot and Fox. The goal would be to give potential readers a stunning and beautiful peek at the world of the story.

Trailer Preview

I’m currently working on animating and creating the backgrounds. There’s a long way to go, but here’s a few pictures of from the trailer in progress:

Backgrounds

Roughing in and creating a series of mountain ranges to fly over.Roughing in and creating a series of mountain ranges to fly over.
Creating the inside of a volcano.Creating the inside of a volcano.
Roughing in a shot in the desert with a stand-in image of Roland.Roughing in a shot in the desert with a stand-in image of Roland.

Animation

Fox smiling up at Roland, waiting to be animated and colored!Fox smiling up at Roland, waiting to be animated and colored!
Animating in Toon Boom StudioAnimating in Toon Boom Studio
Going from storyboard to key pose drawing.Going from storyboard to key pose drawing.

I’m extremely excited to bring all these characters to life with animation, but my little laptop can’t handle the task. The shot featured above took a full day to render on its own. In order to finish the entire thing, I’m going to need a more powerful computer to handle the complex visuals featured in the trailer.

There are some shots in the trailer also require 3D set elements. I would like to use a tool that works with After Effects called Element 3D to incorporate these set pieces in After Effects. The software is relatively inexpensive at $150 USD.

Finishing the trailer on my own would also be a Herculean task. Much of this stretch goal would go toward getting some helping hands in the animation process with animating, inbetweening, coloring, and compositing.

With the right equipment, and the help of some friends, I would love to release the trailer side-by-side with the book at the end of July!

If the campaign reaches its initial goal of $3000 and reaches beyond that to this level, I will commission my friend Steve Blumenthal to create a Robot and Fox: The Amazing Journey soundtrack! I’ve worked with Steve on all of my short animated films, and I know he’ll be able to make something awesome! He will create 20 songs (one for each chapter), and I will release the soundtrack as a free download on iTunes! It will be free for anyone to download!

I would be so stoked to raise this much for the book! If the campaign goes beyond these other goals, funds raised above and beyond the $4000 mark will go toward a paperback version of the book. The process for this is expensive, and the book as it is now is not well-suited for print. Color illustrations are extremely expensive to have inside a book, so additional funds will go toward creating a new series of black-and-white pen and ink drawings for the book. Printed books also require more exact formatting and setup for print, and fund would go toward making these changes to the manuscript.

I’m hoping through a combination of the funds received from this Kickstarter campaign, and the early sales of the book, I can deliver a print version of the book in the near future!

If funding does reach this level, stay tuned for other stretch goals for other fun Robot and Fox ideas!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/993696346/robot-and-fox-the-amazing-journey