Our Kickstarter is funded. It reached full funding last week, and I apologize that I’m just now posting this thank you. We spent much of that week trying to figure out what to say. To figure out how to express as much gratitude as we feel. And still, I’m not sure we’ve got it right, because every time I sit down to draft this thank you note to all of you, it falls short and I delete it.
(For some reason, I also always seem to fall a little bit into “Stephen Elliott Writing the Daily Rumpus Voice” when I try. But that’s a nice voice, and I would be happy to write half as well as Stephen Elliott, so there you go.)
Two fortune cookie fortunes. One reads “You will journey to pleasant places.” The other reads, “A thrilling time is in your immediate future.”
Our fortunes from last night. No, really.
We are very excited about our list of cities and writers, and we look forward to bringing you tales from the road–and our guests’ short pieces about food–over the course of the summer. We are. But right now, our overwhelming emotion is gratitude rather than wanderlust.
(Here, really, is where the blog post usually begins to derail. It starts to sound to me like an Oscar’s acceptance speech, which then feels pretentious. And we are humbled by this experience, not made more full of ourselves by it.)
First, we are thankful to all the writers who have agreed to participate. The list is amazing: Sara Pritchard, Jesse Kalvitis and Rebecca Doverspike, Ami Iachini Shiffbauer, Silas Hansen, Randon Billings Noble, Richard Peabody, Laura Bogart, Rob Bennett, Anna March, Jill Talbot, and David Lazar. Many of the people on this list are also on my reading list for my Comprehensive Exams. I can’t believe their generosity in agreeing to share their work and their time with us. We are both a little giddy over this.
Next, we want to thank our families. Kickstarter didn’t turn out to work the way we had anticipated. We thought most of our money would come from interested strangers. It didn’t. Most of it came from the pockets of the people we love, and who love us. Thank you, kinfolk.
(Here, too, the post always falls apart. I want to say that I’m not sure we’d have done this if we’d known that so much of the funding would come from the people who are already enabling us to be middle-aged graduate students pursuing a writing life instead of responsible grown-ups with real jobs. But I’m afraid saying that sounds ungrateful, when really it’s just that we were already so very grateful that we didn’t want to ask for more. If I weren’t making an effort not to be pretentious, I’d say something about cups that are running over here.)
We want to thank our community of fellow writers/readers/editors. I think folk who don’t write imagine that it’s something we do alone in quiet rooms–maybe with a cup of tea, maybe with a glass of whiskey–and that we succeed or fail solely on our own merits. That’s not even a little bit true. (Well, sometimes I do have a cup of tea.) Most of being a writer is something that we do in community with one another: introducing the work of writers we admire to our friends, acting as readers for drafts of work by friends, reading for literary journals, and (particularly at this time of year) inviting one another to give AWP panels/readings/interviews. Writers and editors both got us off the ground and put us over the top on this project. Some of them are friends, some of them strangers I admire, two are crazy famous and sometimes at night I sit up in bed and say to Dominik, “Holy crap, Authors X and Y backed our Kickstarter. Is this really our life?”
“Yep,” he says. And then we both go back to sleep.
And finally, we are grateful to our friends who supported us in this and in so many other our harebrained schemes. We promise to be equally supportive of your next crackpot idea.
(Here, too, past attempts to write this have stalled. I’m sure I’m leaving someone out, and I don’t want to do that. We will be thanking each of you individually both when the Kickstarter is officially over and then, over and over again, for years. Really. Maybe enough that you’ll tell us to please, for the love of God, give it a rest. And probably some more after that.)
Here is the truth of it: we both wake up almost every morning amazed and grateful at the life we get to lead together. (Obviously, some mornings we just wake up grumpy about the papers we have to grade or worried about someone we love or angry over something we heard on the news before we fell asleep. We are grateful, but also human.) We stop in the middle of other conversations to say to one another, “I can’t believe we get to actually do the summer tour. I can’t believe that these amazing writers have agreed to be part of it. I can’t believe how generous and supportive our family and friends have been.” (Also, sometimes, “I can’t believe Brock Lesnar broke the Undertaker’s 21 year winning streak. Brock Lesnar? That’s just not right.” But that’s a whole other kettle of fish, and not related at all to what I was talking about.) We are reeling, in the best possible way, from the support and generosity you’ve shown to us.
(And now, when I know the whole thing is full-on pretentious and that I haven’t thanked anybody adequately, I usually hit delete. I want to do a better job than this. I know that, as a writer, I’m supposed to revise until I’m satisfied but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen, and I know that it’s more important to say “thank you” now than it is to screw around with craft issues in this blog post until I think I made pretty words. So, flaws and all, I’m going to hit send. Right after I say “thank you” this one last time.)