October 31st, 2008
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Ms. Smith-
Well, we received the books yesterday and had a “book celebration” yesterday afternoon, explaining to our students the whole story (we had kept this very secret from them). They were beyond excited. I cannot tell you how thrilled my team is to have all of our students get to experience this book.. I must tell you that I already had two of my students show up this morning to show me that they took their journals into the shower with them. I cannot wait to see how much this journal is going to “free” our kids and allow them to thnk more outside the box. Thank you again so much for all you did for us. I will be taking pictures and filming my students doing some pages of the book and I will definelty send you those. I hope one day my team can meet you to thank you in person for how much you have already changed the dynamic of our student’s thinking. Thanks again!
Todd Nesloney

to all who helped out, i hope this makes you feel as good as I do. sometimes it’s the little things in life.
a question to all who donated:
I have received a letter from another teacher who has no operating budget. She is also looking to also get the books for her class. Since there was money left over after I added the $500, I would like to get the books for them (they only need 60). I know I said I was going to donate to donorschoose.org but this came up instead so I feel it’s a good use. If you have any concerns/objections please feel free to write me.

October 29th, 2008
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working on a new book in ten minute segments. stealing bits of time at every turn.
reading Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy, by Stephen Duncombe, which is a lot more of an exciting read than it sounds (but then I am a book nerd). As an artist I am excited by his thinking on implementing the imagination and the usefulness of thinking about impossibility. In an interesting lecture (which i will ink when i find it again) he says, “What we desperately need is the art of the impossible.”
it’s got my brain going off in a number of new directions.
strange connection: I found out that Stephen Duncombe is the husband of writer Jean Railla who many years ago published some of my work on the site Get Crafty (she has a book of the same title). She was one of the first to take a chance on my “ideas” (as opposed to just my illos), and was always wonderfully encouraging. That site was taken over by other people and is now called SuperNaturale, (correct me if I am wrong on this).
also, a really sweet review at Pikaland, thanks amy! (includes some not yet seen interior shots).

October 23rd, 2008
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So Mr. T chose the winners, we put them in a hat. I had planned to send out 5, but it seems that the Mr. wanted to send out 6. So here they are…
Raine Phoenix from Malborough MA
Karen Grunberg from Palo Alto, CA
Katrina Glover from Frederick, MD
Kari Ramstrom from Plymouth, MN
Laura Greenamyer from Seattle, WA
Jezmin Garcia from Trujillo Alto, PR
Congrats to you all, your books will go out in the mail this week.

October 22nd, 2008
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My house was a hub of excitement last night, and into the morning. It was awash in the sounds of email dings, donations literally pouring in from all over the world. I really can’t believe it. ALL OVER THE WORLD!
It seems that this little note from a gradeschool teacher has touched something in so many of you. And that there seems to be a great need to do something to help a school system in need.
My goal was to raise half of the $950.00, and at last count the total raised stands at $834.00! I had thought it would take a few weeks, but it happened over the course of one night and a morning. I got goosebumps.
So I’m going to close the donation link. I will be donating $500 of my own money. Many of you wrote me about the site donorschoose.org, a site where you can donate to classes for materials that they request. So this is where the money will go.
I will do the draw for the book giveaway tomorrow. So check back to see if you’ve won! A hearty thank you to all of you who donated. I am so excited to write Mr. Nesloney to tell him the good news.
more to come…

October 21st, 2008
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About a month ago I got a wonderful letter from a grade 4 teacher in Waller Texas.
Ms. Smith-
Hello! I am a 4th grade teacher from a school here in Texas. I have recently stumbled upon your book “Wreck This Journal”, and have fallen in love with the creativity and “free-ing-ness” of the book! My question to you, is there any way that my fourth grade team and I can write some sort of grant or request to get about 120 books for our fourth grade students? Within our grade we teach a lot to our students about self-discovery and being able to be ok with making mistakes, and I just know that this book would be so liberating for so many of our students, we just can’t afford to purchase that many, especially with our school budget being cut in half in the past year. Is there anything we can do?
I hope we work something out! Thank you so much!
Todd Nesloney
4th Grade
Fields Store Elementary
Waller, Texas

I first asked my publisher if they could donate the copies, but they had already done so with a class last year and I know they cannot give them to everyone who asks. Then I looked at what I would have to pay for them myself with my authors discount (I get them with a 40% discount). Which would be approximately $950.00, (a bit much for my cash flow at this moment).
So I came up with this idea…
I am asking you to donate anything you can to this cause (any amount, it does not matter. it could be $2) Every person who donates will be entered into a draw for signed copies of my new book (and a little surprise gift from me). I will give away five in total. After a few weeks, no matter how much has been raised, I will make up the difference to pay for the books.
Why am I doing this? For many reasons. While living in the US I was saddened by the state of the public school systems, they have very little money to pay for books, the arts programs have been cut out (in some cases completely). Creativity is not a priority in the curriculums. So I would like to do what I can to help bring it back in. (I will be visiting in local schools as much as I can in the next year). If I could, I would buy books for every class who asked. And I will try to do this for all who are genuinely interested in my work. Also, I am very inspired by Dave Eggers and his new site, Once Upon a School.
So will you help me?
Donation link has been closed. Thank you to all who donated! Our goal was reached.
(I’ll keep you posted on the progress.)
p.s. I we happen to make the full amount or go over I will add $500 of my own money either to buy more books for another class, or to go to the ‘once upon a school’ cause.

October 14th, 2008
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I am loving the videos people are making about Wreck this Journal on youtube, there are lots to peruse (do a search under “wreck this journal”). Please send them to me when you make one. They make my day!
this one is crazy!

October 9th, 2008
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Thank you to all who wrote after hearing my husband on NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday. If you missed it you can hear it here. (I apologize for not being able to write you all back, it’s been a bit busy around here.) After the show aired the record jumped to #1 on amazon’s “movers and shakers” list. Pretty damn cool!
If interested, you may buy copies directly from the label here, from Amazon here, or a digital download from itunes (with a digital copy of the book) here, and now or in the very near future from your local independent record store. But you better get it quick, we are worried that they will sell out. You can also see some of the artwork on the All Things Considered site.
Additionally, during your visit you must listen to my husband’s song “Great Beam of light”, sung by the amazing Rosie Thomas about Jimmy Carter getting abducted by aliens, (he reportedly claimed to have seen ufo’s several times).

October 7th, 2008
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(one of my favourite photos of my husband ever!)
I’ve also been waiting to tell you that my husband Jefferson Pitcher and two of his friends Christian Kiefer and Matthew Gerken have a new record out, Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies. I and 42 amazing artists (including Camilla Engman, Eun Ha Paek, Kevin Scalzo, Penelope Dullaghan, Brian Biggs, Jen Corace, Danny Gregory, Rama Hughes, Christine Castro Hughes, Peter Arkle, , Steve Lambert and many more) participated in doing the artwork for each of the presidents, the three disk set comes with a beautiful book. It’s a really wonderful project and I am very proud to have been a part of it! You can read more about it on the website here. (it has been selling so well that it sold out in the first week. so to the artists your copies are coming soon as we are awaiting the second printing!)
p.s. i just got the first email from someone who received ‘explorer’ from amazon. it’s out! these are exciting times in our household.

October 3rd, 2008
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(above is an excerpt from the book)
The reviews for ‘how to be an explorer of the world’ are starting to roll in…
step inside design magazine
education.com gift guide
suite 101
also, it made the American Booksellers Association’s list of November Notables
i feel like a proud mama.

October 2nd, 2008
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i have missed you all in blogland.
we are finally settled back in the old house in flesherton. i have a new p.o. box, #99, (i’ll leave the rest for you to figure out for those who are so inclined, life is more interesting with mysteries to figure out).
i do not have much time to write these days as mr.T is demanding a LOT more attention and i am trying to get the house in order.
will write again soon…
p.s. my book comes out in a few days, i am so excited.
pps. thank you for all the beautiful emails asking for me to come back! i hear you.

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