I cannot find the FB post, but one of my “friends” thanked us for redoing the main characters in the Tales books emphasizing multi-ethnicity. To paraphrase, she reported that she was happy about this because they had adopted three African boys from foster care. Thinking about this, I felt the impact of these boys opening a book and finding that one of the main characters, Scar boy (aka Hero), in these new additions is black. Our years in the inner city of Chicago, establishing a multi-racial church with a multi-racial staff, marked us for the rest of our lives. We never saw the world as all white again. The lessons I learned in those 10 years, in dialogue with people of color, learning about systemic racism, learning about my own hidden racism (what a horror—I still find lurking remnants), learning that no matter where I go in the world, I am always the learner, never the white Western expert. While on the Inter Varsity board, my assignment with worthy colleagues was to help “brown” the thinking of the board. Now, I serve on the board of Medical Ambassadors International, a Christian world health organization that empowers people to empower people. Jeremy Mains, our son who died in November of an aggressive acute lymphoma, was way ahead of me as far as being a global thinker. This Kickstarter project is a memorial to Jer. How I miss this son who helped me see the world and the people in it in ways, despite all my life exposure, I had never before thought of or known. I miss this global mentor; he’s gone ahead of me in so many, many ways.
Archives for July 2014
I spent one day this week with my two grandsons, age 13 and age 14, visiting the Warren Dunes (at the bottom of Lake Michigan) in Michigan. The weather was cold (61 degrees) and windy. We ate a picnic lunch in the car and laughed at the seagulls, which were valiantly flapping their wings against the wind and flying NOWHERE. The boys climbed to the really high peak of the sand dune while down below I guarded jackets and gym shoes. Then we left, because it was so cold, to improvise the rest of the plan for the afternoon—a stop at an antiques mall (can you imagine two boys wanting to roam through an antiques store with their grandmother?), then a drive up to the resort town of South Haven. I realize that I have had so much death and sorrow and stress over the last year that I am just hungry to spend time with my grandchildren. So we are researching tether ball sets, doing Internet searches (YouTube has a wonderful video on making your own set), figuring the amount of concrete needed to provide stability in the three old tires I’ve put aside for this purpose. Discussions were also held as to bringing the whole family back to the dunes; kites certainly should be hauled up in the car, boogie boards to slide down the sand, etc. Satisfaction. I guess a successful day is when your teen grand kids want to do it again. Thank God.
On a Kickstarter note, we would love to meet our third Stretch Goal of $27,750. But meeting the 4th Stretch Goal of $29,750 gives us enough funds on Tales of the Kingdom to provide a workbook for kids (grade-school age) and parents and teachers. The workbook was designed by Mary Peterson, former teacher who taught Tales of the Kingdom in public school. She and a colleague put the workbook together as a gift. The world is filled with wonderful people. This guide enables you to spend more valuable learning time with your kids—it extends the reading experience in a most professional way. Stretch Goal $31,750 provides a workbook on Tales of the Resistance; the final Stretch Goal of $33,750 provides us with a workbook on Tales of the Restoration. All Backers receive these. Blowing past the $33,750 also makes us #16 in the U.S. for the most-funded children’s-book projects – and #19 on Earth. Guess what I’m praying about.
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by: Karen Mains
We have friends who have four daughters—all grown. The mother was an early childhood education specialist and the father a doctor. After dinner, it was the responsibility of the daughters to clean up the dishes and the kitchen—BUT this task was made enjoyable because Daddy read books to them while they worked. Absolute genius!
Instead of watching television together, substitute the exploration of the wonderful imaginative literature that exists in the world.
One mother wrote me recently, “So glad you’re re-illustrating and reprinting these wonderful books. I have fond memories of my husband reading to our girls, with all three of them often in tears. Our daughters grew up to love the Tales and the King.”
I think reading allows the imagination to develop in another way than watching film does—where nothing, really almost nothing—is left to the imagination. Telling stories at the dinner table, at bed time, reading together, not only creates warm memories, it enhances family bonding, stimulates the creative inner life, and is a GREAT way to get the dishes done and the kitchen cleaned!
>> Enjoy this NEW LINK we published online of David reading Chapter 9 – Two Noisy Knights <<
We still need assistance to reach our goal though, as here is our present status:
$16,091 pledged = 72% funded by 73 backers with 14 days left to raise the balance of $6,384.
IF we don’t reach our GOAL of $22,500 we receive NOTHING. That’s scary, so THANK YOU in advance for sharing our page and story with those you know, to help us get to fully funded status within the next 14 days.
SHARE these links:
Due to your incredible pledges of support, of 129 total Children’s Book Projects live and active on Kickstarter today, we are STILL the 2nd MOST FUNDED! CHECK THIS OUT:
> Kickstarter page
> Kickstarter SUMMARY page
> LIKE our Facebook Page
> BLOG with lots of updates on the project
> #KickstartTales – search this hashtag in Facebook or Twitter to see it pull up all content for this campaign
> The Kingdom Tales website
> Karen Mains’ Facebook Page
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Along many paths, hikers come across stacked stones. These are markers that help trekers understand that something happened, happens or will happen here. I loved these stacked stones at Northwind’s Natural Gardens in Wisconsin. I too have a pile of stacked stones; they are the prayer journals I’ve kept for some 40 years. Something (having to do with God) happened, here and here and here. This without a doubt has been one of the roughest years of my life, but like the Israelites wandering in the wilderness, I look to the journals piled one upon another and remember. Here I met with God or here he met with me. Here our terror was assuaged. Here miracles happened. Then I am at peace.
Last night, before thyroid cancer surgery today (Monday the 14th), I opened my stacked stones, read from the Psalms and despite what you might be thinking prayed, “Lord, I put the Kickstarter Campaign in your hands. If we are to meet our goal and hopefully exceed our goal is a matter of your concern, not mine.” Keep stacking those stones in your life. Believe me they make a difference in good years, and in terrible, horrible, no-good, awful years they make ALL the difference.
Back Our KICKSTARTER Project to RECEIVE 3 Award-winning CHILDREN’S BOOKS to READ & ENJOY WITH YOUR KIDS (or GRANDKIDS) — each story teaches character lessons for life, and comes fully Revised, Re-published in print and all eBook formats, and Re-illustrated with Captivating, Original Art!
Director Hungry Souls
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by: Karen Mains
Dear David and Karen Mains,
My name is Calvin. I am seven years old. I love your Tales of the Kingdom series. I read it at lunch every day. My favorite book is Tales of the Resistance. I like it because it has a lot of action. Sincerely, Calvin.
Did you get the fact that Calvin is seven?
It is a joy to receive letters like this one, hand- written by close friends’ son when he was in his early teens:
Dear Uncle David and Aunt Karen,
I’ve read your second book! (Tales of the Resistance, which isn’t really your second book!) It’s gotta be one of the best books I’ve ever read! I really want to encourage you guys to write a third! The concepts and principles as well as the excitement and adventure make it fantastic, but I could of expected that when two geniuses like you get together! Right now I’m on a plane over Utah writing this letter after just finishing reading your book. I’m dying to know what happens with Amanda and Hero!—so please hurry and write another one! Well, I gotta go! I just want you to know what you’re doing in my point of view is really going to benefit the Kingdom! Keep up the good work!
TO THE KING! TO THE RESTORATION!
Did you get the fact that Shadd (who now has his own adult novel circulating with an agent) was in his teens when he wrote this?
I weep when I receive letters like this, typed on professional stationery:
Your books Tales of the Kingdom and Tales of the Resistance have meant a great deal to me and the people I help. I am a psychologist working with Satanic abuse victims most of whom were raised in multi-generational cults. One of the ways I have found to reach into their shattered lives is to read to them out of your books. Now, reading stories may not seem like your vision of psychotherapy but since I encounter many cases of multi-personality disorder, it is necessary to do quite a bit of re-parenting and teaching. Your moving stories provide a deeply stirring way to reach this need. Enclosed is a drawing that Mary E.—one survivor—drew about story time at my office. She identified with many of the characters but none more than the girl in the pig pen. Doubletalk seemed all too familiar, but it was good to know that the King knew about such things.
Chris lived a life of terror and isolation. She eventually developed a fantasy world of her own. Her idea of God and mine were very different. God touched her soul when the King entered the world of the carnival in your story—even if I had trouble making sound effects like fireworks—BLA-CHEW-AH!
Did you notice the age of this writer and the clients he was helping? They are all adults. That’s why we say that the Kingdom Tales Trilogy is written for children of all ages. They are written to reach the child in age and the child within.
Perhaps you can also see why we are working so hard (and bothering you all with notices) to get these books back into print. Not only do all ages—children, teens (college kids) and adults love them, but many somehow when used by skilled hands, in many lives, the power of the Enemy (the Enchanter) is defeated.
TO THE KING! TO THE RESTORATION!
Become a Backer by going here.
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Zhivko Zhelev has completed his illustration of the girl named Dirty. This is the story in the first book of the Kingdom Tales trilogy about the girl who preferred to live with the pigs rather than accept the kindness and protection of Mercie, the wife of the Caretaker of Great Park. In the end, Dirty discovers Kingslove and becomes Cleone, the clean one. Obviously, this is a story of reclamation and redemption.
During Jeremy Mains’ illness, the girl once named “Dirty” contacted us frequently by phone or Facebook to see how Jeremy was doing. When our son was ten to eleven years old, this young woman who was in her thirties came to live with us and she, and Jeremy became great buddies.
“Dirty” was hungry for love, and the journey to find that love was bumpy and strenuous. She lived with us off and on (and with the newlyweds Doug and Melissa Timberlake—our son-in-law and daughter) over a period of ten years. In time “Dirty” did find Kingslove while I was writing the first book of the trilogy, and so her story became a central part of these allegorical tales.
Yes, there is a “Dirty”. Yes, there is a Cleone. Yes, redemption—Kingslove—shines and transforms and shimmers and bathes us with light and reflected glory, and we all become much more than we knew we could be since most of us have “pig” propensities of some kind.
Pre-order the newly revised, re-illustrated and re-published Tales of the Kingdom trilogy. We are providing Backer levels for illustrated ebooks, a level for the Limited Kickstarter newly illustrated, hardcover Collectors edition (with the names of all the Backers printed in the book, numbered and with a personal endorsement to the recipients of your choice), and if we exceed our goal of $20,400, calendars and posters, greeting cards and bookmarks.
“Cleone” the girl once named Dirty phoned to let us know that a tumor had been discovered on her brain and to give us the date of her operation. A friend reported that no malignancy had been discovered, the tumor was benign and the surgeons had been able to remove it all with no damage to the brain.
If you would like to discover more stories of reclamation and redemption, I encourage you to help us make this a successful Kickstarter Campaign by choosing a Backer level that allows you to pre-order books not only with “The Girl named Dirty” but “The Apprentice Juggler” as well as “The Baker Who Loved Bread” or “Hero’s Quest”—all stories that assure the reader that redemption is for real, there is a King and if we hunt for Him, we will find Him. Click on this link https://www.kickstarter.com/
All the stories of our lives, fantastical or fictional or non-fictional, are still being written. In the telling of them we find one another and ourselves and His-story as well.
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A friend who heard me speaking about the 87 remarkable artists who submitted so many beautiful illustrations for the contest on the Web site 99Designs said, “And knowing you, you want to find some way to use them all!”
It’s true, like many, I have a global heart—hopefully one that mirrors God’s heart for his world. Just reading through the names of the artists whose work we want to use in a calendar for 2015 makes me glad. Perhaps they will inspire you to pre-order product for our Kickstarter campaign—a way of crowd funding the reprinting of the Tales of the Kingdom trilogy.
Just look at the following names and the countries they represent:
January 2015: WidhiSaputro // Jakarta, Indonesia
February 2015: Zoltan Tobias // Szeged, Hungary
March 2015: David Lojaya // Lampung, Indonesia
April 2015: Lorraine Barreras // Nampa, Idaho
May 2015: Kovacs Katalin // BăileTușnad, Romania
June 2015: RoniYulianusNurak // Bandung, Indonesia
July 2015:Leo Leonardo // Manila, Philippines
August 2015: Milan Glozic // Kucevo, Serbia
September 2015: Irina Voloshina // Chisinau, Moldova
October 2015: ZhivkoZhelev // Plovdiv, Bulgaria
November 2015: Edi Jatmiko // Yogyakarta, Indonesia
December 2015: Gil Geolingo // Tagum, Davao del Norte, Philippines
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We found that when we put together our contest in 99Designs that we were working with artists from all over the world. One such artist, Roni Yulianus Nurak, is a big fan of the Website, not only because he has an opportunity to win assignments, but also because he enjoys immersing himself in the huge community of designers it provides, allowing him to test and improve his skills.
“Too,” Nurak, who was born in Indonesia but now lives in Bandung, West Java, added, “I have the opportunity to learn lessons from not only the artists in Asia, but from artists all over the world.”
Like so many of the artists who competed in the 99Designs contest regarding the Tales of the Kingdom Trilogy, Nurak has been pursuing his skills and talent in art since he was in elementary school. While he enjoys working with pencil and paper, he also enjoys computer design. In fact, he is most interested in discovering what new things can be accomplished with graphic design, illustration and animation.
“The Tales of the Kingdom project,” he shared, “allowed me to develop a project in my own unique style.”
One of his favorite parts of the assignment was the fact that Tales of the Kingdom is not only an excellent read, but so effectively brings the Christian message in a non-overbearing way. He knew that his efforts would help to provide inspiration for all those who read it.
His challenge, as he worked, was to create a quality illustration that would correspond to the core story. He accomplished this by first presenting the character, and then developing the “atmosphere” the illustration presents!
You can view Roni Nurak’s online portfolio and see his incredible illustration of Amanda and the Dragon, created for the 2015 Princess Amanda and the Dragon Wall Calendar, by going here.
When you Back Our KICKSTARTER Project you’ll RECEIVE 3 Award-winning CHILDREN’S BOOKS to READ & ENJOY WITH YOUR KIDS (or GRANDKIDS) — each story teaches character lessons for life, and comes fully Revised, Re-published in print and all eBook formats, and Re-illustrated with Captivating, Original Art!
If you would like to get the Wall Calendar and/or back our Kickstarter Campaign to revise, re-illustrate and re-publish the Kingdom Tales Trilogy, go here.
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I am enough of an artist that I love working with other artists. I can remember the first time I was invited to attend a two-week laboratory where one of my books was being turned into a film project. The screenwriter was a friend who had talked me into letting her submit this entry, and I rather reluctantly made my way to New Harmony, Indiana where I realized for the first time in my life I was with a whole group of people and we were all speaking the same language (artist-ese).
So some thirty years ago, when Jack Stockman, the artist who illustrated the first two books of the Kingdom Tales trilogy, began scheming and dreaming with me of collaborating on his first fully illustrated book project and my first venture into creative writing, it was pure joy to see how Jack’s mind interpreted my stories. I loved his work and still love it.
Jack’s process, however, is not cost-effective for a tight publishing budget. It takes Jack a week of work to paint one illustration. His work is detailed, imaginative and leans back into the classic children’s illustrated books of another generation. The artists who submitted illustrations for the contest we ran through the 99Designs Web site are using computer technology. Consequently, the winning artist (from Bulgaria) Zhivko Zhelev, can turn out two to three illustrations per week.
However, David and I (and countless other readers) love the Stockman illustrations. (The publishers hired another artist to do the third book, Tales of the Restoration—one of the headaches of being an author is being subject to the whims and fancies of the publishing industry.) If the Kickstarter Campaign exceeds expectations—and many do (many also don’t even reach their goals)—there will be enough money to pay Jack to complete the third book with his gorgeous artwork. This then, will give us the “classic-illustrated set” in addition to the newly-illustrated set with more of a multi-ethnic representation in the art.
Check out this link https://www.kickstarter.com/
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One of the amazing adventures of the Tales of the Kingdom crowd-funding Kickstarter Campaign was the contest that our son Randall Mains’ Pathmaker Marketing Group ran, searching for an artist to re-do the illustrations of the three books of this children’s trilogy. The Web site, 99 Designs, offers opportunities for artists from all around the world to compete for places to design logos and marketing ventures or, as in our case, illustrate whole books.
When the participating artists who were given the pdf file of one of the stories from the first book of the trilogy, Tales of the Kingdom, climbed to 87 participants (with eventually, some 300 submitted illustrations) David and I were hauled onto the team just to help with the intensive decisions and interaction with artists from a variety of countries.
The first story sent to them was “Princess Amanda and the Dragon”. The process goes like this: The artists are e-mailed the story—remember that most are reading the English narrative as a second or third language—a sketch is submitted, the panel makes suggestions and comments, another more completed illustration is sent back, final comments are made, then the artist sends a final submission.
Many aspects were judged. Was the artist’s English facility high enough for us to communicate clearly with one another? Could the illustrator turn in work on time? (We are needing to receive 36 illustrations by September in order to go to book design, make revisions to the copy, flow the content into the design, choose a cover, design a cover and have copies ready for Christmas mailings! Remember—we are re-doing three books.) Were the artists’ attitudes collaborative and cooperative or did they display an unwillingness to be directed? Were the illustrations appropriate for a children’s reading audience or were they more young adult art?
We received so many superb illustrations that we agonized over our choices. There were next to no submissions that we cancelled because of poor quality of workmanship.
In fact, we had so many gorgeous artistic renderings that we purchased 12 of the “Amanda Slaying the Dragon” entries and will offer a calendar for 2015 as part of the Kickstarter Backer Campaign.
You can see the winning artwork plus the calendar artwork (with a few quotes from the story). Eventually, each 2015 month will have its own quote from the book. Go to https://www.kickstarter.com/