The Prescribed Burn Book Binding and Final Copies!

On Wednesday, I visited my printer – Starnet Media in Mahwah, NJ – and had a chance to see my books being bound. The pages and covers had already been printed, but I was able to witness one of the most interesting steps: what happens right before I could hold a finished copy, still warm from the perfect binding machine.

In the video above, you can watch me stand before a stack of raw pages and covers and walk through the process, from gluing to trimming. That day, I was able to take home a few copies to begin to sending to reviewers and Kickstarter backers, but the process to bind 1,000 books can take about 4-6 hours, depending on the skill and pace of the machine operator. I’ll hopefully have all the books sometime this week!

Reader Community Now Active

I’m excited to announce that The Prescribed Burn now has a reader forum and community,! On the site, visitors can post general comments about the book, connect with other readers, post their responses to the Questions for Discussion and Creative Writing Exercises found at the end of the book, and also respond to Veda’s Guide to a Creative Life. In addition, readers can leave questions and comments for me. I really look forward to communicating with readers!

Kickstarter Project Has Been Funded!

I’m so happy to announce that my Kickstarter project was funded today. That means I’ll be able to cover the printing costs associated with my book! I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the financial and emotional support from generous friends, family, and even strangers. Check out my Thank You page to view the names of all the people who helped make my dream become a reality. Now the hard work begins!

The Prescribed Burn in the Press!

Recently, The Prescribed Burn has received press related to my Kickstarter campaign. You can check out each of the articles by clicking the links below:

Web.Search.Social (6/20/12): Kickstarting A Dream: How One Aspiring Writer Is Using The Web And Social Marketing To Make Hers A Reality

Jersey City Independent (6/13/12): A Little Help from the Crowd: Writer Laryssa Wirstiuk Uses Kickstarter to Fund Short Story Project The Prescribed Burn

Jersey City Reporter (6/10/12): Summer Heat: Local writer launches ‘crowd funding’ campaign for ‘The Prescribed Burn’

The Boken (6/5/12): Jersey City Resident Seeks Pledges to Print Collection of Short Stories “The Prescribed Burn”

How Kickstarter Can Help Writers

Yesterday, on Craft Your Drafts, I wrote about 5 ways that Kickstarter – both using it to create and back projects – can help writers. After writing the post, I thought about how many of my points can apply to other creative people or even people trying to be more creative. If you have a moment or two, please consider checking it out and letting me know what you think!

New Kickstarter Reward Inspired by Horoscope

I don’t usually pay too much attention to my horoscope (in The Prescribed Burn, Baba makes Veda read the horoscopes out loud to her), but today’s Twitter horoscope caught my attention. The first sentence began, “If you have been relying on others to support you recently, you may need to re-evaluate your plans…”. You can read more about my thoughts on this horoscope in my first Kickstarter update.

Basically, I decided to offer an extra reward to ALL backers, regardless of pledge amount, if I meet 50% of my goal by this Friday. If I can meet the goal, all backers will receive a free, never-before-seen supplementary e-book titled “Veda’s Guide to Living a Creatively Rich Life,” and it will include 10 tips from Veda herself. She’ll draw on experiences from the book to enlighten you.

So what are you waiting for? Pledge today and make sure everyone, including you, gets the free e-book!

When Fiction Becomes More Fictional

My boyfriend sent me a news story from the Star-Ledger titled “Light at the end: Garden State Parkway says goodbye to dangerous traffic signals in Southern N.J.,” and I immediately thought about my story “Fireworks.”

Much of the story takes place while Veda and Madsy are driving south on the Garden State Parkway, and when they get to Cape May County, Veda thinks, “Finally, we reached the beginning of the Parkway.” In an earlier draft of this story, I described the Parkways suddenly changes from freeway to a local road with traffic lights but decided all the description was too wordy. Perhaps I made the right decision.

“People are traveling down the Garden State Parkway for 120 miles and then all of a sudden — traffic light!” said Vicki Clark, president of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce, which has an office right next to a light at mile marker 11.1 in Middle Township.

I was actually surprised by how much controversy surrounded those lights, which I always thought were more of a quick rather than an annoyance. They always signaled that the long journey to one of my favorite places in the whole world had come to an end, that I had entered a magical land. However, I can understand why many people want the traffic lights removed. As it stands, my story already pretends they don’t exist.

(Photo – not of aforementioned traffic light but still in Cape May – by wfyurasko)

Kickstarter Launch Today!

This afternoon, I pressed the “Launch” button on my Kickstarter project, and I have a feeling that the next few weeks are going to be both emotional and stressful. What lies before me is a tall mountain, and I don’t really have the luxury of taking any breaks before I reach the top!

If you get a chance, please check out some of the cool rewards I’m offering in exchange for pledges. For what I think will be the most popular reward, $25, the backer gets a signed paperback copy of my book, a free e-book, a personalized “thank you” note in the mail, an original bookmark, and your name on a “thank you” page on this website. I’ll also probably sneak in some extra rewards for all backers if I can make my goals by their deadlines.

I’d like to thank my friend Mark Mariano for encouraging me to try Kickstarter and for giving me some great tips. He successfully funded one book using the crowdfunding platform.