Category Archives: Project Update

Project Update – May 19, 2014

Now that I’m distributing the book, I thought I’d let you know where the book is going.

So far, I’ve placed 6 books at my local VA outpatient clinic, 2 in a VA clinic in Colorado Springs where I was visiting, 5 at a VA outpatient clinic in Golden CO, 1 at the VFW in Golden and sent four to USA Hockey (they are our Paralympic hockey team and have four veterans on the team). I have one being placed in a VA in Maine and one in West Virginia. There are a few on the way to an Air Force base where at least one will find a home at a local Fisher House. One is at Pathway Home in Yountville, California.

Dropping off books this weekend!
Dropping off books this weekend!

I’m also incredibly pleased to say that I’ve been able to give a few copies to a company called Wounded Wear for their use and send a personal copy to the President of the company, Jason Redman (whose words in his recent book The Trident partially inspired me in this undertaking). That’s right, I cold called (via email) his company and he was kind enough to write back.

I’ve also been able to send out copies to many veteran friends and acquaintances which makes me very happy, indeed!

I’m delighted to say that the feedback from the book has been quite positive and it’s the best feeling in the whole world!

The first edition is out but I’m not done yet. I’m still asking people who want a unique way to show our veterans some support to write letters and send photos of themselves. I will definitely be doing a second edition and hopefully many more. Currently, the project is entirely funded by me and my cookie jar. I am scheming ways to get additional funds but whether I do or not, I will continue to distribute books. Outside money just means more books out to our veterans…faster.

Do you want to be in the next edition of Words For Warriors?

If you would like to be in my next book, I invite you to send a letter along to words4warriors1@gmail.com. Please understand this isn’t a writing contest. It’s not about fancy language or perfect grammar. A few simple words from the heart is all that is necessary. its something meaningful you can do and it doesn’t cost a penny, just a few minutes of your time.

 

 

Project Update – May 11, 2014

Delivery of the first shipment of the first edition of Words For Warriors!
Delivery of the first shipment of the first edition of Words For Warriors!

This is the lovely sight that greeted me when I finished my workout on Friday.  There were boxes at the front door containing my first order of Words For Warriors.  I was very excited to finally have the books in hand.

I opened one of the boxes and took out the top three books.  Those have a special home waiting for them.  One is going on my shelf, to be saved until the end time just in case I meet up again with the Marine I used to write back and forth with on Bodybuilding.com who had the tagline “The Marines are at war, America is at the mall.”  If you read the About Words For Warriors Project page here, you’ll understand.  One of the books is for the Sailor who wrote a passage in his book that made me want to bring this project to fruition.  I don’t know him.  I have no idea how to contact him, but in case I figure it out one day, I’ll save it for him.  One is for Gary Dolan, who has been so kind since the moment I first started writing to him.  He’s a wonderful man and has encouraged me every step of the way with this project (and others).

The first three books out of the box are being  saved for particular people.
The first three books out of the box are being saved for particular people.

I’m anxious to get the book into the hands of some of our veterans.  I’ve already got the first batch ready to go out on Monday.  I’m happy to report that 4 of them will be going to USA Hockey.  One copy is for Josh Sweeney and the other three are for his teammates who are also veterans.  One is going to the PATHWAY HOME program in Yountville CA.  If they like the book once they see it, I let them know I’d send individual copies for the men in their program (I believe there are 12 residents there currently). Several copies are being sent to veterans who wrote letters for the Words For Warriors Project and a few copies will be going out to personal friends (all veterans, of course).

In just one week or so (depending on shipping time) there will be Words For Warriors books in Oklahoma, California, Virginia, Colorado, Utah, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and West Virginia.

Starting Monday I’ll begin the process of distributing books to VA hospitals/clinics.  So far have one set to be placed in a VA in Maine and one in West Virginia.  

This part, the distribution is SO fun for me.  What a pleasure….I wish I could win the lottery.  I could just go around collecting letters, making books and giving them to our veterans!  Actually I’d do a lot more than the books but I’d definitely keep publishing as part of my efforts.

It’s Mother’s Day today…and I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing than thinking about how to keep pushing the Words For Warriors Project forward and getting books ready to go out in the mail tomorrow!

Happy!
Happy!

 

 

Project Update – May 7, 2014

I’m very happy to report that the book was sent off to the printer yesterday.  Just a little longer and I’ll have a box of books on my doorstep and I can begin phase two of this project.  I have created a partial distribution list and will go to the post office today to get mailers so I can address them and have them ready to go once I have the books in hand.  No delays…I want Words For Warriors out there ASAP!

I met the most interesting man yesterday.  I heard him say he had been in the Navy.  He joined up when he was very young.  I’m guessing he’s a WWII veteran.  I gave him one of the Grateful American coins I carry around and we ended up having a great conversation.  He gave me a couple of books of his and we exchanged information.  In a few weeks, I’ll go back to visit him with a copy of Words For Warriors for his library.  He seems eager to chat and from a few of the stories he told me I think a letter from him would be a marvelous addition to the Words For Warriors Project.

Don’t forget, I’m still collecting letters.  If you have people in your life who you think would enjoy being part of this project, please direct them here.  The more letters I get the better the next edition of Words For Warriors will be!

Let our veterans know their hard work is appreciated!
Let our veterans know their hard work is appreciated!

Project Update – April 30, 2014

It’s official!  The Words For Warriors Project is now a corporation…and I’m the President!  The great thing about this is that I can now accept donations from people who wish to offer them.  I’m not actively soliciting donations at this time but it’s nice to know that when I’m ready I can do so.  My plan is to get the first books out and into the hands of some of our veterans and then get feedback regarding the book upon this site.  One thing I’ve learned in life is that success breeds success and once there’s concrete evidence that the books have been well received, it will be much easier to attract additional funds to this project. I will continue supporting the Words For Warriors Project and distributing books with or without outside money but if other people want to help it just means more books to more veterans…faster!  Once I get some book reviews up it will help attract attention.  Everybody likes supporting proven endeavors with a bit of a track record.

It’s for that very reason that I’m so very grateful and appreciative of all of you who took a chance and made contributions to this first edition of the book.  I feel very honored by your trust in me.  Many of you weren’t quite sure exactly what I was going to come up with. I’m sure some of you had visions of me taking a stack of photocopied letters, stapling them in the upper, left-hand corner and passing them out.  Nevertheless, you kindly took your time to write some beautiful letters to our veterans.  I don’t take that lightly.  We’re all busy and have lots of demands on our time and attention but those of you who saw the value in this project came through with some of the most wonderful letters I’ve had the pleasure of reading.  Thank you!

I set today as the day I would send the book off to the publisher.  Although it’s a bit frustrating I must delay that by a few days.  This is because now that I’m an official corporation, I had to set up a business account.  I met with the banker yesterday and all the paperwork is in process.  I sign a few additional documents at 1:00pm tomorrow….which finalizes the business account (and will provide me with a business debit/credit card with which to order the books).  I could have rushed ahead and debited my personal account as planned instead of transferring funds for the book into the business account but now that I’m a corporation any money spent must come out of the “official” Words For Warriors account. It’s a boring explanation.  It doesn’t make me happy to wait a few extra days but it’s the proper decision.

The book is completely edited and ready to go…I can’t wait to get it to the printer.  I’m quite pleased with the way it turned out.  I changed a few minor things. The photo of the American Flag on the first page was switched out for another American Flag photo, I changed the font of some of the text and the background color of some of the pages.  I also switched the order in which some of the letters appear.  Nothing major was changed and the book looks great!

I am now in the process of doing the paperwork that must be submitted in order to get non-profit status for the Words For Warriors Project.  That should all be in by the end of next week then I just have to wait for government response.  There isn’t any way to tell how long it will take but a couple of attorneys have told me to expect it to be a few weeks to a few months.

Don’t worry if you check in here over the next couple of weeks and things look different.  I’m going to be playing with this website to see if I can create something more pleasing to look at.  I know how I want the website to look and I’ll be experimenting with it for a bit.

Although our first edition is complete, I’m still collecting letters for subsequent editions of the book so please feel free to tell friends about the Words For Warriors Project.  I’m always happy to accept new submissions!

let-your-kind-words-change-someone-elses-day

 

Project Update – April 15, 2014

Here is a better look at some of the inside pages of Words For Warriors.  I’m happy to say that the first edition of the book will be going off for printing at the end of the month.  The turn around time is a couple of weeks so that means I’ll be able to start the book distribution mid-May.  Very excited about getting Words For Warriors into the hands of our veterans!

*These are screenshots.  They’re a little better than the cell phone photos but any bit of blur you see is not representative of the actual book.  Photos and text are crystal clear in the hard copy of the book*

This is the dedication page in the front of the book
This is the dedication page in the front of the book.  It’s what you see when you open the front cover.  It says, “This book was created as a celebration of your service.  It represents a collaboration between citizens with a non-military background and your fellow veterans.  We wanted a place to express our thoughts and give voice to our appreciation and support.  America owes you a debt of gratitude which cannot be repaid but it most certainly can be acknowledged.  This book is for you, our veterans, crafted with great love and respect.”

 

Gary Dolan wrote quite a bit and had lots of great photos so he has a two page spread.
This letter is from a veteran (Army Ranger) and Attorney.  He wrote quite a bit and had lots of great photos so he has a two page spread.
A letter from a retired Medical Technologist/Grandma and an Amateur Historian
A letter from a retired Medical Technologist/Grandma and an Amateur Historian
A letter from a business man and dog lover and one from a Marine who just won an Olympic gold medal
A letter from a business man and dog lover and one from a veteran (Marine Corps) who just won an Olympic gold medal
A letter from a Korean War veteran (Navy) and an Oil and Gas Executive
A letter from a Korean War veteran (Navy) and an Oil and Gas Executive
This is a two page spread from a veteran (Navy SEAL),  Strength and Conditioning Specialist and military fitness trainer
This is a two page spread from a veteran (Navy SEAL), Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Military Fitness Trainer
A letter from an Attorney and one from an Analyst
A letter from an Attorney and one from an Analyst

 

A letter from me, Gym Rat and Academic Editor at a Research University and one from a small business owner.
A letter from me, Gym Rat and Academic Editor at a Research University and one from a small business owner.
A letter from a 15 year old student and one from a Finance Analyst
A letter from a 15 year old student and one from a Finance Analyst
A letter from an Engineer and a letter from a veteran (Navy),  Aircraft Maintenance Manager
A letter from an Engineer and a letter from a veteran (Navy), Aircraft Maintenance Manager

There are lots more pages but those examples give you a good idea of what the book looks like inside.  When the book goes to print, I’m estimating that it will have about 50 pages.

Remember, this is an ongoing project so please spread the word.  I’m always delighted to get new submissions and even if a submission ends up being too late for this first printing, there will be subsequent ones!  New letters are always happily accepted.

 

 

Project Update – April 7, 2014

I’m happy to report that the hardback prototype book I ordered more than met my requirements.  I love it and will be proud to distribute a book of this quality.  I haven’t received the soft back version yet so will reserve judgment on it until I have a chance to inspect it.  I took some photos so you can see exactly what the book looks like.  Please note that not all the submissions that will be in the final copy (of the first edition) are included in the prototype book.  This was sample for me so I could tweak text color, photo placement, font size etc.  The prototype book is 29 pages, the first edition of Words For Warriors will be about 40 pages (unless I get a slew of new letters in the next couple of weeks in which case it may have more).

This gives you an idea of the size of the book.  It's not itty bitty and the text and photos are easy to see.
This gives you an idea of the size of the book. It’s not itty bitty and the text and photos are easy to see.

 

This is the cover.  The cell phone photo washes it out a bit but the color is a nice vibrant red and the flag really pops on the front.
This is the cover. The cell phone photo washes it out a bit but the color is a nice vibrant red and the flag really pops on the front.
An example of what the book looks like inside.  Despite the little blur of the cell phone photo, the text and photos are clear and crisp.
An example of what the book looks like inside. Despite the little blur of the cell phone photo, the text and photos are clear and crisp.

20140406_154338

This letter from Gary Dolan had his photos on the right hand side of the spread and the text of his letter on the left.  I decided to reverse the order which seems more logical and like a better placement to me.  That's why I ordered the prototype book.  So I could see how the layout feels when you hold the book in your hands and read it.
These pages had Gary Dolan’s photos on the right hand side of the spread and the text of his letter on the left. I decided to reverse the order in the final printing which seems like a more logical and better placement to me. That’s why I ordered the prototype book….so I could see how the layout feels when you hold the book in your hands and read it.
Another couple of pages...
Another couple of pages…

 

 

Project Update – April 2, 2014

The following is what the prototype book I ordered looks like spread flat.  The blue is the back cover and the red is the front cover.  It’s a 10 inch x 10 inch book and I ordered it in both hardcover and a softcover version.  The copies I donate to the VA clinics/hospitals will be hardcover since they’re likely to get a lot of wear in the waiting areas.  I am considering creating some softcover versions to give to individual veterans as personal copies.  The softcover version is considerably less expensive and therefore I’d be able to produce and distribute more of them in the community.  When the prototype books arrive I’ll determine if the softcover version is of the quality I want and then I’ll make a determination regarding the numbers of each version to order for distribution.

Project Update – April 1, 2014

I was away from my desk for a week to celebrate spring break with my family on the beach.  I had a wonderful time but even while I was lying on the warm sand, I was contemplating ways to make this project successful.

It occurred to me that there are now enough submissions to create a prototype book out of.  I set my mind to creating one the minute I returned.  I did just that and my prototype book should be printed (one in hardback and one in softback), bound and on my doorstep within a week or so.

I’m excited to have a “product” to show people when I solicit submissions for the Words For Warriors Project.  I think it will make the idea concrete for people.  It will give them something to hold in their hands.  They will be able to flip through it and get an idea of what we’re creating and they’ll be able to assess the quality of the books for themselves.

Currently, I have enough submissions to fill a 29 page book.  My goal is to collect about 10 more for the first volume for publication and distribution.  Pricing for the books is done in sets of 10 pages.  In other words the 29 page book is the limit for the pricing at that particular level.  If I add even one more page, the price goes up but it stays at the same rate whether I have 30 or 39 pages.  If I surpass the 39 page mark, the price per book increases again.

When my prototype book arrives, I’ll be able to attend to the details of the publication.  I can determine if I need to increase font size or decrease photo size on some pages.  I’ll be able to double-check for spacing, layout and see if navy blue print on a light blue background makes the text too hard to read.

When the books arrive, I’ll post some photos so you can see what I created for the first go-round.

Please tell anyone you think might be interested in making a submission that they are welcome to do so.  It’s an easy way to brighten someone’s whole day!

thepowerofwords

Project Update – March 19, 2014

I had a meeting yesterday with a Vietnam era veteran who has connections at the VA and with some veteran’s organizations.  Looks like I have an “in” at the VA so when the books are ready to go out, I will definitely be able to get them inside where the veterans will be able to read them.  This is a good development since I was fully prepared to set up camp outside the various VA clinics and hospitals and hand out copies to vets going in and out.

I have a meeting on Friday with a veteran’s group at a manufacturing plant.  It’s always good to have the opportunity to get the word out about this project.

I was exercising this morning and had a bit of insight.  I think there are people I’ve solicited for participation in the Words for Warriors Project who feel intimidated by the prospect of writing an open letter.  Since I love to write and it’s a very comfortable way for me to express myself (I’d rather write than talk most of the time, which is why my friends all know to text me or email me rather than call me on the phone) that thought hadn’t occurred to me before now.  I know lots of people who love to talk but think of putting pen to paper as torture. To that end, I made up some sheets so that people can dictate what they’d like to say and I can just write it down for them.

I will use this form to write down notes from people who'd rather just talk and not write.
I will use this form to write down notes from people who’d rather talk and not write.

I see myself standing on a street corner somewhere in the near future with a clipboard and pen ready to go!  Since we’ve already established that talking to people isn’t my strong suit, especially talking to strangers, this will prove to be an interesting exercise in “how-much-do-I-want-it?”

I can tell you right now, this project WILL be successful and if I have to go outside my comfort zone, then that’s exactly what I’ll do!

Bless all of you who have so kindly made submissions.  Remember you never know how much a kind word can mean to someone.

534940_4161035342272_1390517692_n

Project Update – March 4, 2014

I’m happy to report that the Words For Warriors Project is underway in earnest. I have gotten some great submissions from a wide variety of people who wanted to express their support for our military men and women.  There are now submissions from a great-grandmother, a teenager, a ten year old, a veteran, a newly minted American citizen, a couple of attorneys, a retired toolmaker and a worker in a nail shop.  It’s gratifying to see such a lovely array of participants.

I am starting to reach out into the larger community.  I have composed a letter explaining the Words For Warriors Project which I will send to local churches to see if there are members of their congregations who might like to participate.  Those letters will be going out tomorrow.

I have a couple of meetings set up this month, one with a veteran’s group at a large manufacturing plant and one with a single veteran who may have advice/suggestions for connecting with more people and for places for distribution once I have enough submissions to bind.

If you’ve already made a submission, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  If you haven’t, won’t you please take 15 minutes, jot a note and send it along to words4warriors1@gmail.com?  As always, I appreciate your help spreading the word.  The more submissions we get, the better!

Remember a simple kind word can be a very powerful thing!

Lynn