So, the Long Beach Comic Expo is coming up and Spencer and I will be there February 20th and 21st. We’re really looking forward to the experience and hoping against hope that the books have arrived in time for the expo. If not, we’ll sell prints and get creative with getting the word out about the book. Well, really, we’re going to get creative either way.

A PVC cactus skeleton - it all starts here.

Cactus bones!

We’ve decided that in order to get some attention while we’re there, and have something else awesome to talk about, we’re building a cactus. A 10’5″ huggable cactus.

Now, neither Spencer and I are professional builders, but we do like making cool things and we’re relatively handy. At least, enough so that we’re willing to undertake the project.

The materials you see used here to build our skeleton are pretty basic. I’ve got some 2″ schedule PVC pipe – both a 10′ straight pipe and a large curved for the arms. I’ve got a 2″ 4-way connector, a 2″ to 4″ adapter that I’m using to connect to a 4″ debris cap that happens to be very sturdy and have 8 slots to accommodate 1/4″ bolts. The bolts are connected to the bottom of our 2′ x 2′ plywood base with standard 1/4″ nuts.

The bolts will be cut to ensure that the base sits flat on the ground.

Coming up next: we need to fill him out…

CactusInHand

So, getting this guy in the mail was incredible. Spencer and I have worked so hard to make Could You Hug A Cactus? a reality, and finally getting to hold it is pretty special. The fabric-wrapped cover is amazing, the art looks amazing on the page, and we are really, really proud.

So… now what?

Something funny happened after I held the advance copy for a few minutes. I slowly realized that I have a whole lot more of these coming. Sure, I’ve had visions of signing copies for people, reading it to groups of kids in school, and even trying to sell them to local stores – but I never envisioned the process of moving a pallet of books to a local storage unit and writing checks to pay the storage fees indefinitely until they’re gone. I never thought much about what kind of table-covering I should buy to dress a 8-ft table for an expo or how expensive packing materials become when you’re buying them by the thousands. You know, the real stuff…

It’s exciting, and frightening, but mostly exciting… I think…

Really though, as I sit with this nervousness a little, the reality of what kind of efforts this undertaking will require, I’m more excited. All of the nerve-wracking, laborious, and menial work that will go into making my new endeavor a reality are precisely what make it real. And that is what is exciting.

I’m anxious about my new path. I’m excited to put in the real effort, and I have a feeling  in the pit of my gut that this is what I should be doing. Thank you again to everyone who believed that this was possible, to all the wonderful folks who helped make it happen, and to all of the people I’ll meet in the near future that will help make it real.

Bye for now, friends.

Hey! So, now in the process of finalizing all of the files for our book and I come to this wonderful little hurdle. The AUTHOR BIO. This feels so strange. Now, I’m getting ready to take professional photos tomorrow morning in an effort to convince somebody that I’m a responsible adult, and trying to write all about myself in a pleasant, interesting and marginally mature manner.

 

So, it’s not surprising that I can’t take it seriously. Check out my first draft!

author-bio

WE DID IT!!

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 10.00.42 AM

Thank you all so much for being a part of this journey with us! Thanks to your amazing support, in only 30 days, we raised $21,000 from 324 backers to help us turn “Could You Hug a Cactus?” into a real book. We’re going to be working very hard over the next few months to get the book and other rewards made and into your hands as fast as possible. We will keep you in the loop on our progress and make sure you know where we are every step of the way. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

Hey everyone! Thank you so much for your support! Being able to know that we are making this book is incredible and we couldn’t have done it without you! For those who haven’t already checked it out, preorders are still going on until September 9th on the Kickstarter page, so you can still get it on the action and get a bunch of cool extras for being a part of the launch!

kickstarter-promo-bar2

Awesome news! Spencer Smith and I are working hard to make a real, hold-in-your-hand 40-page book of poetry called Could You Hug A Cactus?! With the incredible help and insight of Mike Matola, we were able to carefully choose a selection of my poems to include in the collection, and Spencer painted some incredible illustrations in full acrylic for the book… as you can see!

Hero poetry and artwork

Spencer’s ability to capture the essence of the character is on full display with this art from Hero

Right now, we’ve got a Facebook page set up that we’re updating regularly and on August 10th, we’ll be launching our Kickstarter! Please join us as we work to get our first book off the ground!