One week ago today, on the last morning of our 38-day Kickstarter campaign that involved four live events and uncountable networking meet ups, taking me first to Florence, then from London to Nashville to New York to Rhode Island, back to New York, then to London, then Paris, and back to London again, I awoke at 4:30am GMT with a start.


It had become commonplace for me to sprint for 16-18 hours a day between dog walks and 4-5 hour nightly naps. Some nights I didn’t really sleep at all, merely rested, while going over the to do list again and again in my head. I was running on sheer adrenaline by this point – that and the fumes of way too much caffeine ingested for way too many days that coursed through my veins and caused my nervous system to fritz out at even the slightest provocation. I was exhausted, but exhilarated and unwilling, unable to stop, because one thing was clear: The crowd was behind me. YOU were behind me. I now had a responsibility, not just to myself, but also to the TTT&T Team, who had all worked so hard and given me so much, as well as to a community of supporters that was expanding daily with every new campaign backer, twitter follower, and Facebook friend.
 

On the penultimate night of the campaign, I stopped work early – at about 8:30pm. I couldn’t hold my head up any longer, couldn’t will my fingers to type another word. As I closed my computer, we had only $750 left to raise. I felt certain we would make that goal by midnight GMT the next day. I fell to sleep quickly and slept soundly.
 

When my eyes opened nine hours later, at 4:30am, 26 June, there remained only $59 to raise with 19 hours still left on the clock.
 

Giddy with both shock and delight, I laughed so loud that I woke my best friend and husband, Jim, and caused Gryffindog to jump up from a deep sleep and bark in surprise. Over night, just under $700 had trickled in without my having to do anything. Indeed, the campaign seemed to have taken on a life of its own just a few days before with pledges clocking it at between 1-5 each hour.
 

Emails, tweets, and Facebook messages had also come in over night from virtual friends worldwide saying they’d wanted to be the one to take us past the goal post, but they couldn’t stay awake any longer so were happy to get us that much closer.
 

“Look Jim, it's happening. The crowd is going to take us over the finish line.”

It sounds trite, but relief washed over me. Although I had read much about, and had even written on the topic of the doldrums of the typical campaign “murky middle,” nothing could have prepared for the psychological blow of seeing my campaign slow to a trickle for three straight weeks, especially after our electrifying first week when we blasted to 60% in six days. Though pledges continue to come in, progress was so slow it was a struggle not to despair.
 

But 24+ hours out, I was optimistic. And 19+ hours out, I was certain. We were going to make it. Our enormous efforts had not been in vain.

Look what I’m looking at while sipping my morning coffee... Who wants to be the one to send us over the precipice? Bonus reward promised that comes directly from my heart... Click here to make history.

With 17 hours to go, I took a screen shot of the campaign dashboard (see above) and posted it to the TTT&T Facebook page with this message:
 

Ten minutes later, at 8:03am, the familiar Facebook ping signaled a new comment. It was from Sophie Caramigeas, who I’d been introduced to several months before, virtually, by a mutual Internet friend based in Melbourne: Judy MacMahon. Owner and founder of a wonderful resource on French culture, language, and style, My French life / Ma Vie Française, Judy has been a fan of the TTT&T concept since the earliest days of Beware Madame la Guillotine. She had put Sophie and me in touch, saying she felt sure there miight be "an interesting symbiosis" between us.
 

“Sophie you are an angel from heaven!” I replied to her message. I then I threw out there that she should come join us for a champagne toast that evening. And she said, “Okay!” because – guess what? – it turns out that Sophie, an independent filmmaker from France and herself a Kickstarter veteran, also lives in London!


And then I broke into my traditional happy dance.

I had not planned ahead to celebrate: I’d been way too busy dealing with campaign demands, all urgent, everyday; and I hadn’t wanted to jinx the campaign outcome. But Sophie’s pledge made our success real. And so, she joined me and Jim and Gryffindog, as well as a few neighborhood friends I managed to pull together, for an impromptu raising of glasses at 11pm one week ago today, 26 June (we couldn’t wait until midnight or Sophie would have missed the last Tube home.)

Together we all watched the last several campaign pledges come in. The final one landed just 20 minutes before the deadline.
 

Sophie’s is just one story among many emanating from our now thriving community of many more than 277 people that was birthed over these past several months from the positive energy and generous actions of cool folks lending their support, whether financial or in-kind, or just plain sending us wishes of luck and great good vibes.


I know I’ve expressed this many times throughout the campaign, perhaps too many. But it bears repeating:
 

I am so very, very grateful. To each and every one of you.
 

But I’m also scared. Because with your endorsement comes a huge responsibility.

  • My intention to #TurnHistoryOn for kids, teachers, and parents can no longer exist as a mere vision.

  • My goal to create a collaborative publishing house that welcomes quality authors and launches careers can no longer remain simply an objective.

  • My ambition to bring to life the stories of historical locations around the globe can no longer be only a dream.

These aims, and many others, must now be made a reality.

I owe it to YOU, the Team, Mary Hoffman, all my campaign backers, past and present, as well as a world of well-wishers my commitment to fulfill the promise of our campaign.
 

I am humbled by your belief in me. I am excited and not a little afraid to attempt to make good on my promise to you, for what if I fail? This Kickstarter win represents only one success among all the little ones already achieved and the many big ones yet to come. With your patronage and participation, I am confident that we will achieve what we’ve set out to do… and then some.


Because it isn’t just about me anymore. It’s about We. And I’m here to tell you: I’ve felt it, and the motivating power of the community is strong. It's also nice to know I'm not alone!
 

So let’s do this thing. May the real work begin!
Let’s move our community from success to success.
Let's #TurnHistoryOn!
 

Strap yourselves in. It’s going to be a fun ride!

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