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I’m a Kickstarter delinquent. 

Yep, that’s me. I Kickstarted my Book Lush project. The campaign was wildly successful. We raised over $9,000 with 141 backers supporting the book. Cue tears of joy and supreme optimism for how literary projects are valued by our society.

Yet, it’s been FOUR YEARS and I still haven’t delivered.

I’m not sure, but I may possibly hold the award for longest delay of a kickstart project. A dubious distinction to be sure.

As one backer recently commented, time is a banana slide. I corrected him. Time is a banana slide slicked with coconut oil.

Some of my other backers have had less amusing comments. And while their blunt brutality stings, they’re right. I owe them a book!

I still remember the moment I first conceived of Booklush. I was sitting on my balcony in Japan sipping a whiskey, listening to Miles Davis and reading Murakami’s Kafka On the Shore. I turned the pages to find that the character in the book was doing exactly as I was, drinking the same drink and playing the same music. How magical and funny! Instantly, the book felt more real. Not only was I visualizing the literary universe, but I could taste and hear it as well.

Matching custom cocktails to classics gives an opportunity to introduce great books to new readers, and perhaps give long-time fans yet another way to re-experience books they love so well.

When we read more books, particularly fiction, we build our capacity for empathy. When we command greater empathy, it becomes more and more difficult to split people into groups of “us” and “them”. When we see only “us”, we all experience more love and greatly reduce avoidable suffering worldwide.

Yes. Proliferating empathy is something I believe in. That makes this project worth completing.

So what the heck happened?

All started well. I made progress as expected—writing chapter sections, doing research and happily hosting Book Lush events. I spent some of the Kickstarter funds on a graphic designer creating book illustrations, promotional items and supplies for in-person backer rewards.

And then life threw some unexpected surprises my way.

The first was the intervention of a close family member for alcohol abuse. Swiftly following this upset, the toxicity of my marriage reached untenable levels and my home fell apart. Unable to keep up with the emotional rollercoasters at home and the demands of the fast-growing company I was building, I closed up shop and packed my things. My daughter and I spirited ourselves away to a small seaside town in hopes of finding safety and stability.

Book Lush came to complete stand still. As did a great many other important projects.

The isolation, loss of my beloved business and grief over my marriage took a sledgehammer to my mental wellbeing. For the first time in my life, I, the woman known as hopelessly happy, fell into deep depression.

I survived. Thank God. It took dramatic steps to pull myself out of the darkness. How dramatic? My daughter and I sold our belongings and hopped on a ship cruising across the Atlantic. We spent almost a year traveling the world. I spent time on wellness, gratefulness and closure. Balance and happiness restored.

So does all this give me a free pass to write-off my Book Lush promises. No way!

You and I both know that Book Lush is a freaking awesome idea and needs to see the light of day.

So, if you are a backer, hang in there! Book Lush is back on the wagon. I’m not going to make a promise about how quickly I’m going to get it done, because really, I have no idea. HOWEVER, I will be posting an update every Thursday to let you know what’s been completed during the week.

If you’d like a refund, I will give you one with my apologies and no hard feelings on my end.

For the rest of you curious about how this particular literary adventure ends, you’ll get an unveiled view of the entire book creation process from here forward. You’re invited to visit the Book Lush page on my website anytime to see how things are going.

Yes, I’m leaving this post open to comments. Oh dear lord.

I love Booklush. I love you too, as a patron of the arts and a person who loves books and great life experiences.

Yours truly, a reformed Kickstarter delinquent, Kelsye Nelson