Certainly he scored it, bold, and black, and firm,
In that Indian paper—made his seniors squirm,
Quoted office scandals, wrote the tactless truth—
Was there ever known a more misguided youth?
—Rudyard Kipling, The Man Who Could Write
It’s the last few days of my moving sale. All my paintings are over 50% at my Etsy store. The current listings go inactive Wednesday night before my stuff goes in storage and I go vagabonding next week. So now is the time to grab what you want!
As I prepare to put my stuff in storage and travel the world with a backpack making art, I want your help picking my next writing project. To vote on a list of possible book projects for me to prioritize this year, check out this two-question survey.
I want to pick the project that:
1. Best celebrates security—in the sense of helping the world feel safe to flourish—through trust.
2. Feels most important in the sense of giving good to the world.
3. Is most exciting to readers and therefore might have an actual market instead of just being another thing I produce—like a dissertation or hundreds of oil paintings!
Warning: My writing is powerful. So you should help me pick the right project now—before somebody gets hurt. Here are a few of the things my writing has accomplished in the past—and might accomplish in the future—with a key distinguishing the two at the bottom:
a. Earned $30,000 plus a new laptop in roughly 30 minutes.
b. Probably cost me a high school diploma.
c. Established a narrative for a breakaway sect of ISIL (which we’re not calling the Islamic State) that supports religious liberty and art.
d. Started an argument that got me a job.
e. Challenged the dominant narratives of race and crime in America in a way that contributed to trust and flourishing.
f. Gotten the White House to call me on demand.
So take the survey where you can see a one-paragraph summary for each project. Please take a few minutes to tell me what book you want to read, and pass the survey on to others so I get a bigger sample. I value your opinion, and appreciate your support as I follow my heart.
Writing Accomplishments Key: Past or Present?
a. Past. An essay I wrote in about half an hour won a three-year Rapoport Service Scholarship Stipend at the University of Texas at Austin. I returned the first $10,000 check and computer when I transferred to UVA in 2002.
b. Past, obviously. I published Gordon, the student newspaper, as a junior at Indian Springs School in Indian Springs, Alabama from 2000-2001, during which time Vice Principal Roberts’s rein of terror was existentially threatened by my uncanny ability to apply White Out to a Time cover.
c. Possible future. See #s 1, 2, and 6 on the survey.
d. Past. Three cheers for the Cavalier Daily and the UVA Women’s Center.
e. Possible future. See #3 on the survey.
f. Past. I didn’t get Joe on the phone though. Sometimes everybody needs an editor.