Anyone Know God (can you put in a good word for me)?

Hello Everyone!

So, if God steps in there’s a chance I will make my Kickstarter goal, but assuming he/she’s too busy, probably not. So, I’m working on next steps.

Kickstarter page -

Kickstarter page –

The honest truth is that I don’t have the kind of social media following that one would need to successfully complete a Kickstarter campaign at this level. If you’ve had a chance to look around Kickstarter, the site is no longer a one person indie start up site – the pages are professionally done and the videos look as if Francis Ford Coppola himself lent a hand. This was an experiment and I went in both feet first. You win some, you lose some. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Yada, yada, yada….

My next thoughts move to grants and possibly a smaller Indiegogo campaign where, as opposed to Kickstarter where you only get the pledge money if you reach your final total goal, you get all pledge money in the end (no matter how much it is).

All The Pardons Home Page  being played with

All The Pardons Home Page being played with

This project will happen either way and I want to make a pledge to you that this is the case. I am still working hard in the background on the app (page sample attached here). It’s happening no matter what!

So this is the time for me to humbly ask you to sign up for my mailing list (I promise that I show that list to no one) so that I can keep you informed as to what is going on and when the app will be available. Also, I want to make sure that you get the app when it is ready!

In the meantime…I am looking for some testers to help me work out the kinks. Anyone interested? I would love for it to be one of my loyal Kickstarter backers (those guys get first dibs if they’re interested) or blog readers to help me out with this!

I look forward to hearing from you…..:)

People Really Think You Can Get Rich Off of an App?


So, as most of you know, my Kickstarter for All The Pardons app is three quarters of the way done. This was a learning experience through and through. It’s not over yet, but I think I can pretty safely say that I’m not going to make my goal.

I SO appreciate everyone who’s taken the time and thought to pledge any amount toward this project! You have no idea how much I appreciate it…anddd…I won’t forget it either.

This was a risk and I knew it would be a risk. I also knew that I was diving into totally uncharted

So, I am choosing to unequivocally be proud of myself. Yes, you heard me. “Who does that?”, you say? I’m trying to start a trend here.

So many people have told me that they never would have attempted this but, why not? I say. Nothing ventured, right?

It’s true that I did invest a bit in Facebook advertising – just to see if it would work. I got some attention but not sure how well it worked practically. Anyway, lots learned.

The next options are thus: 1)Redo crowdfunding but on Indiegogo, where there is no goal to reach to get the funding 2)Grant searching (already looking into this) 3)Both 4)Ideas I haven’t come up with yet but working on it.

It’s funny – going back to the title of this post – so many people who I’ve told about the app have said “you’re going to be rich”. That’s probably happened the number of times that you can count on 10 fingers and 10 toes and the companies are household words, but honestly, even those are companies where the app came much, much later, or later anyway. My point is, it’s a rarity and it’s really hard to even make your money back on an app, but of course, it costs a lot to have made, or make.

Anywho, I am mucho open to any ideas any of you may have on opportunities to fund this project. I am already exploring the Aspberger’s/Autism world as I think the app has a lot to offer anyone who has trouble with social cues. Ok, I’m open to ideas…I’m listening…go ahead….:)

I’ve Finally Launched My Kickstarter Campaign! Have You Done This Before?

All The Pardons logo

All The Pardons logo

Ok, so it’s finally launched! I can’t believe it!

This was a long and complicated road. It seemed so simple, but that’s an old story, right?

Have any of you done this, or tried to do this before (I say that because I can totally see how giving up might be an option :)? If you have, I would love to hear your experiences with it.

Well anyway, so my first deadline was set for before I took my vacation (the first one in 3 years has to fall in the middle of a deadline, right?), then it was moved to after my vacation (good move), then because of technical difficulties, two weeks after that. And now it’s done. Well….not done per say, but launched.

And this is exciting! I mean exciting in the way that it feels like you’re deep into a video game and you feel the competitive urge and passion that you must… win! And I do feel the passion here. This is a labor of love and I know you will all see the deep need and use for this app in the world. We all know someone who can use it…or we need it ourselves, right?

So, the next step is that I am now going to ask you to please consider pledging to my Kickstarter campaign. Just in case you aren’t familiar with Kickstarter…it’s all or nothing. Either I make my entire financial goal or I don’t make anything. It’s 30 days long and there are lots of fun gifts that you can get.
You can just pledge $1, if you’d like, and anything you pledge helps me reach my goal – so it’s all important and appreciated by me!

Santa Clara, Cuba

Santa Clara, Cuba

I would also like to ask that if you like what you see & hear, would you please share this with your contacts? The only way this will succeed is if it spreads far and wide and I definitely need help with that part.

On that note I will leave you with one of my gazillions of photos from my recent trip to Cuba where I was struck by the people’s sense of community and great social gifts. I’m not sure we were ever that warm a people here but we have definitely lost a great asset with the onset of technology in the front of our thoughts and phones buried deep within our faces.

How Do You Handle Immense Amounts of Stress?


So, I’m really interested in how you deal. Really. I’m experimenting and learning new things about myself daily with this new venture that I’m up to my eyeballs in – the All The Pardons app.

When you get deep into it…how do you maintain a sane level of anxiety? Or do you? I want to learn from you here.

Well, here’s what’s going on all at once:

  • New versions of the app where I have to visually show what needs to be adjusted
  • Finishing the editing of the video
  • Researching as many Kickstarter campaigns as possible for layout, content and funding
  • Starting and planning getting my Kickstarter video off the ground
  • Planning for promotion once Kickstarter gets off the ground
  • Adding Facebook and Twitter accounts for the All The Pardons app and now planning posts for two accounts from each place, preferably twice a day but this is proving challenging (this is no small feat)
  • Setting up new site hosting accounts
  • Being terrified that this project will crash and burn and I will lose my shirt and end up alone and crying (did I just say that out loud?)

And all of this in addition to my usual obligations and, oh yeah, trying to have a life too.

But I’m not complaining – no matter how much it sounds as if I am… You know why? Because I am a lucky girl! I have been given the great gift of being able to even attempt this risky endeavor, that not many people get the chance to attempt. That’s why. I am grateful. I am.

So, share with me how you deal with stress. I truly want to know.

And don’t forget to enter the contest to name the All The Pardons app logo here.

Have You Ever Made A Video?

Hey all!th

So, video making is easy these days. Seriously, when I was in film school it was a huge freakin’ deal to put a film, or even a video, together. If you made a film it was really expensive, you had to make well sure you got every clip you needed the first time, editing was stressful as you had to literally cut and match the sprockets (I haven’t used that word in a really, really long time) up and tape them together…ok, yes, I know, dating myself. Anyway, it was an ordeal. Video was the tape version and you needed big heavy equipment to do anything.

Soooo, today you need a phone and iMovie, or it’s Android equivalent. So awesome!

The skills are basically the same and I was so happy to find that they hadn’t left me, phew. I shot 3 vignettes that showed little instances where the app would come in handy with guest appearances by some of the Youth Scholars from work, friends of friends, my niece and my mother and then MC’d it myself with my friend Silvia Graziano (thanks Silvia!) who added a great bit of humor. Oh, and another friend, Donna Diamond, who helped shoot the parts I couldn’t (thanks Donna!).

There’s one vignette on the subway that was really challenging as we had to shoot multiple takes on the train with the doors opening from different sides and trying to keep the continuity straight. Not easy I tell you! People were so nice about it though, giving us space and moving to make life easier for us. The train conductor even came over to ask if everything was ok because people kept getting off and on the train over and over again at every stop, heh, heh. You’ll have to tell me if my instincts are any good but the video should be done sometime this weekend. Please let me know what you think!

All The Pardons logo

All The Pardons logo

Oh, and don’t forget about the logo contest! I’m looking to name the All The Pardons logo (see just over here >). Contact me on my website contact page here, or however you want to get it to me, and the best name entry will get an All The Pardons T-shirt with the logo on it after my Kickstarter campaign ends. I’ve got some great entries so far and I might even have some multiple winners by the end. Come on and enter! It’s free!

Are You As Excited As I Am?

All The Pardons logo

All The Pardons logo

Hello y’all.

Though at the brink of exhaustion, I am making good headway on the All The Pardons App. Oh so close to having the website up and running, the video is 75%-80% done and the Kickstarter is being formed (ok, mostly in my head, but that is where it all happens, Peeps).

This is more work than I could EVER have imagined, and what a risk we take in our creative endeavors when we put ourselves out there like this? There is no certainty of success or that any of this will come out as I had originally envisioned (in fact, changes are happening every day as I adapt to what is possible and what is not), but it’s rewarding anyway. Funny, isn’t it? It’s new and exciting and challenging and I believe in its goal. That’s what’s driving me. Passion, baby!

In the end, I hope y’all like it and that it makes a positive difference in your lives, or the life of someone you know. That is it. Simple, yet true.

That little person you see to your right is the All The Pardons logo. He’s nameless at the moment but here’s my idea…

I would like to conduct a little contest. This little androgynous person needs a name and would love some input here. Whoever comes up with the best name gets a free All The Pardons T-Shirt, with the logo on it, when I print them after the Kickstarter event ends. Up for it? Come on, it’s free to enter so why not? Just go to my website and go to Contact.

I will be using high quality shirts, made in the USA and made of organic cotton. Not sure of the end date yet but will probably keep it going until the right name finds me. I’m waiting….

Do You Really Listen?

So, my life really revolves around working on my new app, All The Pardons, these days and just the fact that I’m constantly thinking about social etiquette makes me at my most socially conscious. So….. you (whoever you are…is there anybody out there?) are the imagesrecipients of my current brain state.

What I’ve noticed is how little everyone is listening to each other these days. Now, I’m not talking about politically, but of course that’s true as well, or in passing, again true, but in situations where you should be absolutely giving your full attention to someone you care about. In social conversations where people are confiding in one another.

Just to clear up the definition here, listening is not defined as “waiting to talk” while someone else imagestalks. Listening would mean that you are not thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner or how hot the waitress is that just walked by. You are with the person who is talking and trying to feel what they feel. When was the last time you felt that?

Here’s the secret that no one tells you…it gets you out of your head and makes you feel better. Really.

We are hardwired to have empathy (in person) and doing something about the empathy gives us the feelies. These days we are in a hurry and all of that seems like a giant slow down, but no! Well, yes, it does slow us down a bit but makes us feel so much better, less stressed, overall more blissful.

Try it, you’ll like it!

Can You Identify With This Photo?

Family of Four at Algiers, Cambridge, MA

Family of Four at Algiers, Cambridge, MA

So, last week I was kind of obsessing on this photo that I took at one of my favorite hang spots in Cambridge (when I’m in Cambridge), the Algiers Coffee House. This place has the best vibe, and vibe is the right term (I’m not trying to be all hippy dippy here) as it has a warming “you are welcome here and, by the way, stay as long as you like” feel to it.

It’s been there as long as I’ve known Harvard Square and while a lot of the surrounding square has gotten more and more trendy and expensive (in addition there used to be a ban on chain stores and it now has 2, yes 2, Dunkin Donuts’), Algiers has retained the same casual, beautiful atmosphere that it’s always had.

Algiers Coffee House, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA

Algiers Coffee House, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA

Ok, so getting to the picture I took….I took this on a lovely, lengthy hang out with a friend of mine, after attending the Icelandic Film Festival (yes, there is such a thing) at the Brattle Theatre. We enjoyed the private corner, lack of pressure to leave, as well as the fact that often (as we did that day) you have to get up and find your own menus and sometimes even find a waiter when you are ready to order. I mean, when I say lack of pressure, I mean lack…of…pressure.

So, I took the above photo when my friend went to the loo and I had a moment to myself, just admiring the simplicity and significance of the 4 little objects before me. They were all functional objects on the table, with much in common in the spice world, yet they were all mismatched. Now, when was the last time that you saw a mismatched salt and pepper on your table in a metropolitan city restaurant? Who will allow that these days?

I find this so refreshing as it relieves the air of perfection that seems to exist everywhere around us these days. We expect ourselves to be perfect at everything to the point of depression. We expect our sports teams to be perfect, our public figures of all sorts (and of course, if they’re not, we enjoy reveling in their destruction), everything we buy, eat and interact with….yikes!…it’s exhausting.

The result of this is that everything pretends to be perfect and appears sanitized. Anyone who reads this regularly or follows me on social media knows that I love Dick Cavett. Those interviews were raw, honest and personal. We’ve sacrificed this for the late night TV circuit where all of the discussion topics are rehearsed, cleaned and laundered ahead of time and are booorrringg. I have no interest in watching that fiction.

Long live Algiers and all of the other Algiers’ of the world!

Have You Seen the Whitney Biennial This Year?

The Whitney Biennial used to be hit or miss and pack as many artists in as possible. One, maybe two, pieces per artist and no real cohesive plan (at least that’s how it appeared to me in the days of yore).

This time it’s different. There are less artists but more work by each one and there is a cohesive theme that runs through the entire show. This theme reflects the world we are now living in, as the Whitney puts it, filled with “racial tensions, economic inequities, and polarizing politics. Throughout the exhibition, artists challenge us to consider how these realities affect our senses of self and community.” Amen it does.

Cameron Rowland, Public Money, 2017

Cameron Rowland, Public Money, 2017

Though I can’t say that every piece does it for me (now really, when has that been the case anyway), there is some really strong work in there – AND, it all does, or attempts to do, what the theme states. Some of the most compelling work shows how to take responsibility for, and sheds transparency, through projects (and, I have to say, taking responsibility for anything these days is so “splash me in the face” refreshing). For example, Cameron Rowland who documents a Social Impact Bond, also known as a “pay for success” contract, to reduce adult incarceration rates, between the Whitney and Social Finance, Inc. and has all of the paper work framed for all to see including the non-disclosure agreement as well as a copy of the $25,000 wire transfer, holding all accountable. It doesn’t get more transparent than that!

Samara Golden

Samara Golden, The Meat Grinder’s Iron Clothes, 2017

My favorite piece was by Samara Golden who did an amazing installation called The Meat Grinder’s Iron Clothes. The installation is disorienting in that you are looking at a series of building levels that are seemingly incongruous to each other – a penthouse apartment, a dirty and neglected institutional setting, a middle class apartment before or after a party – that you are looking at from an outside edge with mirrors top and bottom and an outside museum window framing the scene, it’s hard to know anything for certain except that there is much disparity and little in common between these scenes except that they are so close yet so isolated from each other.

My inclination is to interpret the title as a hard and messy reverse of The Emperor’s New Clothes. What you see is what it is and there is no pretending that it’s not. Good stuff!

Curious Dog = Empathy. Dig?

I went to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Boston Opera House last night, for the second time. I saw it on Broadway in NYC last year and fell in love. You should know that this is the first play of any kind that I’ve seen twice. It’s really something special and I could feel the audience get that – they were enraptured.

Winner Best Play 2015 Tony Award

Winner Best Play 2015 Tony Award

Here’s why I think this connection happens with this play in particular. Empathy. Yes, I know, I’m always going on and on about empathy and compassion, and I’m unapologetic because these are important topics that make us human and make us whole. Without them, we are grumpy, sad and feel as if something’s missing from our lives. Just do something nice and/or thoughtful for someone else and you will remember what I mean – the opposite happens.

So, this play puts you squarely inside the head of a 15 year old boy with autism, literally, inside his head (the stage is a grid of the inside of his head but also transforms through other people into all kinds of things) and you can feel what he’s feeling and how he neurologically interprets things in a different way than we do. Being in that grid transforms your experience to his experience rather than yours. What an amazing thing, and an incredible gift. We could all use a little more experiential empathy in our lives – kind of like virtual reality empathy.

I can’t really say enough about this play – GO SEE IT, if you can, if you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity. You will find it to be a gift and we don’t get that many true gifts handed to us these days….do we?