Great news that I have to share: I was just contacted by The Fenimore Art Museum , part of the New York Historical Association. They've been watching Red Fred Project an wanna sell our books on their selves! I talked with them this morning and they want to start by selling Emma's book (Friends Fight Fear) because it takes place in a museum. Haha! They ordered 2 dozen! When I asked our new friend, Sue, what the shelf life is (sometimes book-sellers need to set those parameters to make room for other books, and we totally understand that), she said, "Always. We're buying them. They'll live here until we sell them. We'll start with Emma's and then work towards getting the others in time." Yes!!! Why is this significant? Because it shows me that these kids' stories touch all sorts of places, like museums, and lakes, and basketball courts, and farms, and city-centers, and shopping districts, and river-walks, and front-yard trees and thereby have relevance in a rainbow of ways. Can you imagine our books filling museums across the country? I can! This was a WIN today, folks! Stick with us: only open sky ahead!
October was a magical month here at the Red Fred Project. On the 18th we had a Book Signing hosted by The Leonardo. Our lovely guests heard about why the project was created, who inspires us, and even got to take a sneak peek behind the creation of a Trooper!
We loved seeing so many friends, new and old. We were so pleased to be joined by Nathan Glad, author of Climbing With Tigers, and his wonderful family! He wowed us all with a speech he wrote himself and his great, big heart.
Perhaps the most significant portion of our time as artist-in-residence at The Leonardo was "exploring the JOLLY art of theatre" with some new friends. We asked our collaborators (who happen to be creative geniuses), Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory, to conduct one-hour "Play-Shops" with a number of guests that have showed up on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
These new friends are from a couple of pretty great organizations: Angel's Hands Foundation and Ronald McDonald House. Both organizations have been very supportive of our efforts and are very much interested in similar things we are, namely: awesome kids that are problem-solving some tough stuff, with a lot of creativity and wisdom.
Each hour, the play-shops were divided into a portion focused on mask-making and a portion focused on character development and story imagining. Scott and Andra, the geniuses from Flying Bobcat, have done a terrific job with our new friends and helped us think more about making stories and then acting them out!
We've met some GREAT new friends during our time at The Leonardo as the artist-in-residence. As a focus, we've been exploring "the JOLLY art of theatre" by making 3D masks for an upcoming production our RFP's first book, "Climbing with Tigers"! Each of the noses you see below showed up and donated some serious time to helping us create some costuming (we'll show you that in another post).
We printed our Creative's Troopers (from our first 6 books) on cardboard and then asked our Volunteer friends to pick up the Trooper that "spoke to them" and pose for a picture. Isn't it interesting which Trooper each person picked up. Was it picked for its color? Was it picked for their story? Which Trooper would you pick and why?
We sure appreciate EVERY SINGLE EFFORT made to help us get further along in our project. Thx to all you Volunteers! It was wonderful spending time with you!
We're on our last week as the artist-in-residence at The Leonardo, a wonderful museum which encourages its patrons (and it's artists-in-residence) to explore, explore, explore! This is our second residency with them and during our time here, we've seen and learned some fascinating things.
When we were thinking about getting the public's opinion and thoughts regarding something touching our project, we decided to ask them what we ask each of our Red Fred Project Creatives at the beginning of every story-making process:
"If you could write a story for the whole world to read, what would it be about?"
We had Jane, our new RFP graphic design intern, chalk up the wall pretty-like and then let the rest of the doing happen on its own accord. What you see below are images we've captured of the public's response. Read them. Chuckle at them. Think about them. And then, think about YOUR response if you were asked the same question.
This past Saturday we participated in our first book festival! Being still fairly "new kids on the block" we were very excited to receive the invite from the Utah Center for the Book to join the book-loving audience in Utah, celebrating all things BOOK through the end of October. This past Saturday's event took place in the Urban Room of Salt Lake's City Library Branch—a fantastic and remarkable space for our community. We set up a table, draped it with red and then began stacking our current five titles. We were so impressed by our volunteers that came out and supported us on that drizzly, fall afternoon and we found the time racing by as we made new friends. We had a wonderful reception from those that hadn't heard of the project and we were able to raise more funds for our Creative's and their families. There were kind and happy tears from many of our guests as we shared WHAT it is we are discovering through these great kids and their families.
We hope this is the first of many and we want to thank the Utah Humanities Council for including us in their wonderful event!
A couple weeks ago, Red Fred Project visited our favorite people in North Carolina: Zachyus Bowers and his incredi-community of family and friends! We all met up at Bonfire Bar & Grill Restaurant and celebrated the dunk-slamming Trooper, Zach, and learned a little more what it meant to be INCREDIBLE. When we walked into the signing room, our jaws dropped a mile when we saw what Tyesia (Zachyus' mom) had been prepping for the book signing: thank you bags, t-shirts with the book's cover art, wristbands, water-bottles branded with the book title and the most INCREDI-CAKE we've seen: a cake that was designed and made to celebrate the book! We met lots of new friends and were able to meet Dream On 3, the organization that introduced Zachyus to us months ago. One of my favorite parts was when we all sat down while Zachyus read the book aloud and talked about the themes and lessons from the book. What an incredi-kid! We won't forget our new family in NC and want to thank them for what they're sharing with the rest of us through this project! If you'd like a chance to purchase Zachyus' book, click here.
Last weekend, Red Fred Project packed up and headed to the City of Kings to enjoy a few hours with our Green Flyer King, Colin! The event was held at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital among new and old friends. Colin's book signing table was tucked away in a cheery room, surrounded in books! The Jolly Troop stuck to the walls while the friends and family hugged and got acquainted in the middle of the room. Colin roared up in his new power-chair, along with his amazing side-kick brother, Jesse. He used a very cool stamp, with his signature, since he gets tired pretty easily from long physical activity. We thought the stamp was an awesome idea! We had a reading with the audience, but maybe the best part was when Colin gave a book to a gal in the audience—without her knowing it was going to happen! We've had such a great time getting to know Colin and his family and hope the book sales from his book continue to help out with his medical expenses. If you'd like to help out the family, even more, please visit their GoFundMe page, as they are trying to get as much assistance as possible to pay some hefty medical bills! Click here to be directed to their page and click here is you'd like to purchase a copy of his book! We love you Colin! Way to go, buddy!
Well, it doesn't get much better than this. This past wkend, we hopped over to Los Angeles to meet up with RFP CA Creative, Jordan Vincent, for her book signing. Jordan has decided to give the profits from her book sales to an extraordinary organization, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. As we pulled up to the sidewalk, oodles of wonderful people showed up to set up, assist, tell about Jordan's decision and to simply celebrate this great gal and the good she is doing. We'd like to thank the Vincent family and ALSF for allowing us to hold hands with them, and we'd especially like to thank Jordan for the great time it's been creating her story with her! You can still support her efforts to end childhood cancer by purchasing her book: The Fashion Nest (click here) . There are still some autographed copies available! Thanks to all of you!
Dear RFP Backers,
Good morning! It's 5:23a and my mind just opened for business, which means my body will have to follow—quickly—if we are going to make this an effective update, with no misspells. Bear with me.
This week on Facebook, I shared something I hadn't done before: two messages from strangers. Every now and then I get direct messages, via website, personal message on Facebook, or a handwritten letter. As I was reading these messages this past Saturday morning, I decided to share this with those of you that are connected to me on Facebook. Why? Well, I hope to share as many of these "good things" I receive with you. Beyond their shortened initial in their signature, these are copy and pasted directly as they arrived to my personal email inbox.
Clicking around the internet. Came across your project. I'm honored to live in a time when the likes of you are doing such amazing things. I'm inspired and a better person for knowing of Red Fred. I live on Long Island, NY. If you need anything when your project brings you to NY, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Hi there -- Your Red Fred Project series may well be the best therapy those fifty kids -- along with their families, plus other disabled kids and their families -- will receive. Because a disability pension is basically my income (car accident, 1979), and I certainly don't have a credit card (!), I can't offer much in the way of a donation. I live in Alberta, Canada and, if you'd email me your actual postal address, perhaps I could forward you a small cheque? Also, would I be able to order from your 'catalogue?' Your all-encompassing project is worth so much more... Thanks in advance.
The same morning I was getting ready to attend a funeral of a very dear friend of mine; he was 37 and a master at caring for others. He was a Salt Lake City epicenter—as you could find a number of connections to him, in a variety of circles. He lived a very full life and was a fantastic example of how you "care" for your clients, customers—who really end up being your friends.
Within the hour of getting the news from those two loving strangers, Red Fred Project also received two monetary donations, via the website. As I peered at the amounts and the names of those do-gooders, I saw that one had also input their phone number on the form. Suddenly, I had this notion of "How would Justin (my deceased friend) handle such happiness?"
He would call them.
So I did.
The sweet gal didn't actually pick up, so I left as kind a message as I could muster with my froggy Saturday morning voice.
Why share this with you? I guess for a couple of reasons. The Red Fred Project is getting to be known by the merits and efforts of others. I am completely humbled each and every time I hear of "how" it gets noticed or "why" someone decides to send us "as much as they can."
And it's because of the very nature of these "kind strangers" that are coming into our lives that I want to improve HOW we share... WHAT we share. Because I think we all need to know these kind of things.
Secondly, I find it wonderfully pleasing that I want to be better, at connecting with others and listening to them, because of the life of my deceased friend. I love how he handled his relationships. In fact, it was said at his funeral that he had very few material things; but what he did have—and what he valued above all—where his relationships. It was amazing to see people that had known him 1 week that showed up to pay respects.
So, what can we do to be a little better communicating with our friends? Our clients? Our contributors? Are they well? Are they happy? How can we improve their lives as they are, most likely, improving ours?
Thank you, very much, for your continued support. I feel it every day. As for the wrap-up: I'm going to load up 3 images from "The Fashion Nest" which will be sent to proof this week (!!!). Two of the images are actual spreads; one of them is a study on nests (we made it outta parenthesis).
Make it a great week!
Dallas & Red Fred
Good morning, my dear Red Fred Project Backers.
I hope this finds you well and up&at'em. Unlike our usual Sunday updates, I've decided to post this today because I'm too excited to wait until Sunday.
A couple of months ago, just days after you helped us exceed our Kickstarter goal—thereby enabling us to move ahead on the project—I was contacted by an organization that is intent on sharing "good news—only." They call themselves HooplaHa (I love saying it aloud; it kinda jumps around in your mouth!) and they were very interested in what we were doing. They told me they'd like to come on one of my workshops with our Creatives and film how it was done. We determined to have them come along when I met Jordan, our third Creative for the Red Fred Project, based outta Santa Monica, CA.
Here's the thing: going into people's homes is a special thing. Something about walking into their walls and then sitting in the front rooms, drinking tap water out of the glasses they use, day in and day out, or eating a peanut butter sandwich at their dinner table while you chat with the kids is ALL very special to me. I'm always cautious of who else comes with me because, well, we're sitting and creating in their very personal spaces.
We know our project is special; we know we have been entrusted with the highest trust. Consequently, I make sure (and then I make sure 4 more times) anyone that walks through that front door with me understand the place they tread on and how silvery it is.
HooplaHa sent us a very caring, loving videographer, Jeff Katz, who created what you're going to see next. He sat and watched me, quiet as a church mouse and then very tastefully interviewed Jordan and her parents. I'd like to thank him for the care with which he did his work. You can imagine my utter delight when they sent me the link to see what they had created.
Yesterday, I was sent this link and posted it on Facebook, but still knew there were thousands of you that I'd hope would like to see it. We, the Vincents included, we are all in love with this piece and we think it did our "Slayer" (Jordan's nickname) right.
I hope you take a moment to watch this 4-minute dose of sunshine. I hope you take a moment to realize, as you quietly watch this in your kitchen, in your office, at your college, in your home room—I hope each of you realize this was able to happen because you believed in what this project would do. And now... we get to see powerful glimpses into the lives of these children. What a seat to be in!
Of course, if you share this video, it will only garner more strength and attention to our project. If you are so kind to share it, would you mind also directing viewers to our Facebook page? Naturally, I'll post this in our blog, as well, so that we will alway be able to find it.
With a grateful heart and teary eyes, I thank you for helping us. There are MANY more of these videos that will be made possible because of the belief you have in these powerful, wonderful Creatives.
Now I'll give you your 4-minutes. :) Click here or click on the link below.
,&! my friends,
Dallas & Red Fred
Dear Red Fred Backers,
It's 6:30p in Salt Lake City and just this afternoon, I returned from workshopping with our fourth Creative for the Red Fred Project: Colin Kopacko. I thought I'd share a few things from you regarding the visit.
• I arrived Friday afternoon, jumped in the rental car and made my way to Midtown, where a great guy, Greg Marx, gave me keys to his soon-to-be sold house. When I arrived at the house, the real estate agent was actually showing a couple the space. Greg had revamped this place and it was very nice. There was a large bedroom with a queen size bed and a bathroom with a tub with jets. Great little area to be located in as there were cafes and restaurants in walking distance from the front door. All this was done, free of charge to me. Imagine my gratitude!
• After I dropped my bags, I headed out to meet our film crew, Ryan and Jed. The two of these gentlemen work for Kidnected World—a lovely organization intent on sharing the powerful stories and interests of children, around the world. They volunteered to be eyes and ears and to create a piece of our time spent that we will show later. We met up and drove to the Kopackos together.
• We stopped at Chick-Fil-A to grab some waffle fries for Colin and Jesse, as this is the only solid food they can eat. And I wish I was being figurative—but I'm not. These two brothers have mitochondrial disease which attacks on a cellular level which doesn't allow their bodies to digest proteins. We enjoyed some fries with the boys and then jumped into figuring out the story.
• The super-fun was designing Colin's Trooper, Charlie. You'll have to wait to see what he looks like, but I'll give you a couple of hints: he's "Hulk" green and is almost as tall as Stilts.
• Ryan and Jed were able to capture some of the everyday processes of health and medication the boys and their parents go through. This was especially sobering, as we learned what "maintaining a healthy life" meant. We were moved to tears. You'll get more on that when Ryan and Jed's piece is produced.
• Saturday morning we met downtown, in Memphis! The boys were bundled up, topped with their RFP Creative Caps. Colin even brought his own camera to join me in shooting. We were hunting for colors that matched the Troopers that will be involved in his story, as he's very interested in the idea of camouflage. We also walked around historic parts of the city and even saw the entire city from the roof of The Peabody Hotel.
• After the city, we drove to a park to capture a few images Colin had been musing on. He called them "mushrooms." We spent a few minutes there and then said goodbyes to one another.
• Last night I had dinner with an old friend of mine, Angela, that has volunteered to be the Volunteer Coordinator for the book-signing when we next come back. That's a big deal and it means the world to have a friend out there that will help make it a success! Thanks Angela and Ty!
• Our time this morning was cut short, as we had a miscommunication, so we were unable to take a family photo; that being said, we did Skpye tonight and Colin informed me of more details of his story.
On a personal level, I had a rough go one of the mornings. Being a witness to these families... being a stranger that comes into their home and gets a glimpse at what goes on... it's all very humbling and at time, hard—because I find it hard to understand how they keep going. I shared a very real, honest response to this, via Facebook, and have decided to share it with you, as I feel/know I have your trust.
Click here to see the video on our Red Fred Project YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rQ7MYFb2-o&feature=youtu.be
Lastly, I thought I'd add some images from our time together to let you in on our experience.
As always, I am deeply moved by your continued support and love. We are so excited to continue this project across the country. Everyone we encounter—on the planes, in cafes, on the streets—loves the Red Fred Project. You helped us get here and we're going to continue to grow.
Heart-felt thanks to each and every one of you!
Dallas & Red Fred
Good Evening, Red Fred Project Backers.
8:16p in Salt Lake City, Utah. We've had a happy "clearing" the last couple of days in our air quality: blissful, clear blue skies and white mountains. I was reflecting on the words of that Mr Emerson so many of us enjoy. Please allow me to share:
"We are always getting ready to live but never living."
I'm surrounded by wonderful people who also happen to be my friends. The lives they live remind me of this very thing Mr Emerson was penning. I wonder what it conjures in your mind when you read it. Hopefully "the good stuff"—encouraging thoughts that enable the "living" we all so desperately seek.
Some really wonderful news I'd like to share with you:
• we have selected our next Creative! He's a five-year old named Collin, from Tennessee. We had our first Skype session with him and I was astounded by his very exacting words, the way he presented himself and his good nature. We plan to have another session with him this coming Thursday to see how he's done with his creative tasks, so far. To learn a little bit more about Collin and the condition he and his younger brother face, visit their website: http://www.kopacko.com/
• Jordan, our California Creative, has decided on a title for her book: "The Fashion Nest." She is going over the outline and then we'll be able to start in on the book with her approval.
• I sent many messages to a number of you regarding rewards. Thank you for your patience. We've almost got things in place so we can start those in interest. Thank you for your responses. If you haven't received a message, don't worry—you will.
• we have a number of contacts in other states that are helping us find our additional creatives; we hope to announce them as soon as they are firmed up
Before I sign off, I want to thank you for allowing me to do this great work with children. Please know I feel your support and I'm doing my best to make sure we have a strong beginning that only becomes more solidified with each new experience with these wonderful families and children.
Wishing you a very happy New Year!
Dallas & Red Fred
Happy Holiday, Red Fred Project Backers!
It's Sunday night, 6:16p, in Salt Lake City, and the holiday cheer couldn't be merrier, to be totally honest. This last week we had a scare as the printers weren't sure if they'd have the books ready for our book-signing, but Old St Nick pulled a fast one and we now have 200 copies of the book—all purchased by the Simis family—in the boot of my hatchback. We are going to "sled" them up bright and early tomorrow morning.
As far as what's going on and "upcoming":
• the event is being held at this address: Scentsy Office Tower, 2901 E Pine Avenue, Meridian, Idaho, 83642; 6:30p-8:00p.
• tomorrow night, 6:30-8:00p, is our second book-signing with Shaelyn! So much of what we're doing with all these Creatives will culminate at this event, as they are able to connect with their friends, family and community to share what they've learned and created with their individual books. So, in a BIG way, this is one of the pay off days!
• just a reminder: all of the proceeds made from the book purchases go to the family. This is one of the major reasons why we are excited for this family. It's a fun creative way that your support really does support a great cause!
• the book is now available for purchase and will be shipped to you! We place the orders weekly on Monday. This week's orders will not be arriving before Christmas, but hopefully you'll still find reason to share and support the effort, even if the holiday goes by.
• SPOILER ALERT: there is a certain "lightning" bird that may make a cameo appearance in our new book. :) I guess you'll have to read it for yourselves.
• we are currently working on Jordan's story and hope to give you more on that. If you didn't catch it from Facebook, I'll share it here: her bird's name is Delilah and she's a fashion designer.
• we are in earnest to get you your rewards. Thank you for bearing with us (and by "us" I mean me, Dallas. It's a one-man show right now and I'm doing my best to get your rewards out the door).
Thank you for all the amazing support as we move ahead with this project. Seeing the book-signing to number 2 only makes us more excited to see the signing for book number 3! We'll keep you updated via social media, as much as we can. In case you haven't found us, here you go:
Twitter: @redfred_project Facebook: search Red Fred Project Instagram: @redfredproject; #redfredproject
Wishing all of you buckets and pillows of Holiday Cheer!
Dallas & Red Fred
Dear Red Fred Project Backers,
It's below freezing in Salt Lake City (a balmy 21º F) and yesterday in Santa Monica, CA, I think it was low 70s. Regardless of the shift, things are moving ahead, into the sky, with the Red Fred Project.
Here's what's going on:
• we had our workshop with our California Creative, Jordan, last wkend! I found the Vincent family tucked away in a lovely neighborhood in Santa Monica. Jordan was chipper, sharp and always siding towards silly. On Friday we talked about her likes, basic ideas of the book, we designed and named her bird (Delilah Brannboll), ate spinach pizza and also had an interview with a organization named HooplaHa that will be doing a story on Jordan. It was a lot and she did wonderfully.
• Jordan was also selected by Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for their Holiday Campaign. There is a very real and moving montage of her that I invite you to view. There are volumes to take away from it—realizing what children like her go through in their efforts to slay cancer. Please take a moment, watch this montage and let your intuition do something to you. http://www.alexslemonade.org/slaycancer
• we have been notified by our printer that "Friend Ships in a Storm" may be delayed for the book-signing event next Monday night. We are crestfallen, a bit, but we still hope a Christmas miracle happens. I'm very sorry to be delivering this news, but please stay tuned, especially you Idaho folks planning on going, as to what we will do.
• the city of Boise and some people helping plan a New Year's Eve event have invited us to be apart and they want to showcase the Simis Family! We are trying to work out details as to what that means and, it might be there that we have a New Year's book-signing. We'll keep you posted.
Each time I've started a new book project with a new child, I'm fascinated by the universal realization that they are all very different and all very similar. That sounds like an obvious observation, I'm sure, but I think you can imagine what I mean, too. The continued desire I witness, over and over, is one of perseverance, optimism and maturity.
We hope our dropping in on you reminds of the "upper" things during this Holiday season. Thanks to each of you, we get to continue our movement forward in finding and working with each of these new Creatives!
More to come!
Dallas & Red Fred
Dear Red Fred Project Backers,
I couldn't hit the hay without our weekly "meet up." I enjoy these moments with you more and more. This is going to be very quick, so I hope you'll forgive my brevity.
December marks a very FUN/FULL month with the Red Fred Project for the following reasons:
• we are closing in on the story and artwork for the new book by our ID Creative, Shae, Friend Ships in a Storm
• we will be meeting with our CA Creative, Jordan, for her workshop either the first or second wkend in December to capture the content of her story
• we are hoping to have significant events around the both books completions
• we are hoping our super-powers kick in addition to Santa's helpers giving us a hand trying to create 2 books before Christmas—simply because that would be great fun
• reward fulfillment starts in earnest this month, with us doing AS MUCH as we possibly can to fulfill the rewards in a timely manner so be on the look out for emails asking for info
We had some really great media coverage of our time with Shae in Idaho the last couple of weeks. If you'd like to watch and read these stories, please see the 3 links below:
We have a few more families we are going to be contacting with regards to the selection of the new Creatives, as well, so that's in the pipeline!
There's A LOT going on, as you can see. We're so very glad we are able to do this. As always, your support is incredible. Your continued support means the world. Please continue to pass along the links, tell people about the books, order copies for presents and take time to read with your children... All of this do-gooding will do more good.
In closing, I'd like to share a fantastic quote I received this week from the book Tesla Inventor of the Electrical Age:
Einstein said that “imagination is more important than knowledge” because “knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
What a fine thought to go to sleep to. G'night, my friends.
Dallas & Red Fred
Dear Red Fred Project Backers,
Two days late! My apologies for being a couple of days late to our "regular" sit down on Sunday. Thanks for bearing with me.
Maybe it's the "bowl full of jelly" atmosphere that seems to be tip-toeing around my neck of the woods, but are you noticing some serious MAGIC? I am! The Jolly Troop and I are constantly amazed by what's showing up—and not just RFP-related; goodness on all accounts.
Here's what's going on this week:
• I pressed "send" TODAY for book 2 "Friend Ships in a Storm" to be sent to the printer today. They will print it and then I'll need to proof it. If all goes well, we'll get a nice order ready for our Idaho book-signing
• All you Spuds: mark your calendars for Monday, 23 December. We want you to show up and show some love and support as Shae has her first book-signing event in Boise/Meridian area. We've almost nailed down the venue, so we'll be sure to send that along.
• When Shae's mom, Holly, spoke with me about the 2 lessons at the end of the book today, my words and throat got caught and the tears came easily. I'm astounded—again—by what this young girl has tried to share and the simplicity of her voice in saying what she's learned. Again: the book is worth the purchase for those 2 lessons alone.
• We are flying to Santa Monica Friday and meeting Jordan Vincent to begin the story-making for book 3! She has a wonderful premiss to her story and it's going to be a ton of fun making it. Additionally, there will be a story on her and the project done by some new friends of ours back East that are flying here to film the story. We'll give you more on that as it approaches.
• CA Film Folks: I need an indie film-maker / videographer type that can show up and help document my time there. Please send me a note (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you think you can help out Friday, Saturday and Sunday for about 2 hrs each day. Your content will be used for a *cross your fingers* documentary we will produce in the future. Please get in touch with me ASAP and I'll let you know if I can use your help!
• I'm working with some folks that are trying to help me with finding a more price-effective point for our printing. My goal is to give the kids the funds past the point of printing, so we are figuring out new details where that can happen. It's GOOD news.
• My apologies for our delayed printings of "Climbing with Tigers." We're trying to get that mended, just as soon as we can. We had to revise some art and the printers are trying to do their best with our needs as well as many others. I know most of you have planned these for Xmas. I'm hoping that we can do that! Know that we are doing our best!
• Please message me personally if you are interested in volunteering at our event in Boise/Meridian. I will put you in touch with the RFP Volunteer Coordinator for Idaho.
And, as usual, I can't thank you enough. Just this week we received a very generous donation of large scale; and while eating tonight, a stranger stopped me and embraced me because she had heard about the project and offered to give what she had: $20. Do you know what's amazing? It's all the same: you helping us help these kids create something lasting and real.
All our love,
Dallas & Red Fred
8:22a | Sunday | Salt Lake City
Dear Red Fred Project Backers:
Good morning to all you early morning risers (why am I saying it's "early"? Who am I kidding?). I hope your day begins with a delicious breakfast, some slow, slipper scuffing around and a pleasant opportunity to read some things you like.
We've made some great progress on our Idaho Creative's story this week. Working on some of the artwork has brought back the familiar-and-yet-always-new elation of creation. The photo-editing has been intriguing as I look at all the images we shot and try matching what we saw with what we storyboarded. The happy "trick" is also knowing that one image may used more than once, depending on how smart we are and which portion of the image we use. Additionally, as we match up the images with the written content, we are always trying to "match" the feeling of what is being shared as a story and how it matches the backdrop.
After some happy consideration last night, I've decided I'm going to share the title of the new book, as well as the cover art, with you today! You'll recognize its similarity toClimbing with Tigers as well as a distinct difference. Are you ready?
Cover art for our Idaho Creative's book!
Isn't that little Daisy bird about the cutest thing you've seen? Shae wanted her teeny-tiny, so we made it so. If you click on the image it will bring you to our next big news: we are making it available for pre-order, as it is planned to be completed by mid-December! Regarding purchasing the book:
• if you are planning to go to the book-signing in Boise/Meridian next month, may I suggest you wait to purchase the book there, with Shae's family (you'll probably get a signed copy!)
• if you won't be able to attend the book-signing and you live outta state, then by all means, order your copies online through our shop
In case that link doesn't work, click on this link to go to the shop: http://redfredproject.com/shop/friend-ships-in-a-storm
We hope to have our first draft ready for printing proofs and copy edits by the end of next wk! I'll be doing my best to stick to that schedule.
Thank you for your amazing support. We couldn't do this without you. I promise each of you: this new book offers new, generations-old insight on the significance of living and the powerful imagination that children have. This week, as we gobble into Thanksgiving, I want you to know how grateful I am for each of you. And I'll also say how much the Glad family and the Simis family are grateful for your love and support. I correspond regularly with them and they are enamored by your thoughtful support.
Enjoy your Sunday. Love one another. Play a joke on someone that will enjoy it. Let's enjoy these moments together.
Dallas & Red Fred
Dear Red Fred Backers,
It's 9:14a in Boise, Idaho and it smells like Autumn when I look outside. I've been staying at our Host Family's residence: a fantastic property that has been in the Boise area for 40+ years. Brick sidewalks, mini-donkeys, a silo with ivy growing on it's side and trees that lived longer (and taller) than me.
Miaken Christiansen (member of the Creative Team) joined me on this jaunt from Salt Lake City. She's been capturing motion and still images the entire trip and I'm happy to report that she has seen/heard some powerful things regarding our ID Creative, Shaelyn Simis.
We arrived in Meridian on Friday around 1:00p and made our way to Shae's elementary school. As it was a teacher's prep day, school was "out" for the day so it was unusually quiet for an elementary. Shae's principal, Melanie Koch, greeted us at the door with a giant smile and we all made our way to Shae's first grade class room. The tour was wonderful: we saw where she keeps her other books (illustrated pages of important days in her life), where her cubby was, where she puts completed assignments, where the dice and where card and board games were placed, alongside the dice. In tow was a photographer from a local station that was interested in the story.
Our next stop was the school library where we found a very helpful librarian. We asked her where she thought Shae's book would live, once it was completed. She directed us to the stacks and shelves where she thought it might go: possibly biographical work, but as it was a fictional, illustrated storybook, it may go somewhere else. Shae also showed us how to check out a book and we considered what it would be like to have her book checked out by other students.
Our last bit of workshopping that day was to create her Trooper, so we made our way to her home and cracked open my lap top. This part of the workshopping is so much fun because the child gets to think and figure on shapes of letters, we talk proportions and placement. I also brought my big color swatches and she was able to thumb through the peacock-array of my colors to decide what color her bird, Daisy, is going to be. I think it's safe to say we all fell in love with Daisy, immediately, and she looked very "apart" of the rest of that gaggle of Troopers. She especially looked good sitting atop Blue Lightning's (Nathan's Trooper) back.
As I'm in a bit of a rush this morning, I'm going to have to sign off now. But just so you know: yesterday we spent photographing at her imaginative space and it turned out WONDERFULLY. We are thrilled to share it with you.
My hope is that we can get this created by Christmas, so that hopefully we'll have a new book for all of you and all of us (don't think I'm not on that waiting list—I want my copy, too!).
Thank you for all you've done. Thank you to all you folks in the Boise area that have shown up and supported. If all things go according to plan, we'll be back in a month to have a book signing. We hope as many of you as possible can show up to support the ID Creative for the Red Fred Project: the very brave and gregarious Shaelyn Simis.
Dallas & Red Fred