Tag Archives: Kickstarter


Oh what a joy to hear Stephen Fry narrating a program on Dolphins and Whales last night called DEEP THINKERS. I adore dolphins but didn’t know their brains are larger than humans, only topped by Whales, and that they share Spindle Cells, which may be the key to developing a higher aspect of consciousness – self awareness – and so adaptive cognitive thought. Perhaps shared primarily by humans, Cetaceans, primates and elephants, although I believe the weave of Super Nature to be far more mysterious, in the emergence of consciousness itself. But first to the joy and play of those delightful creatures, so magical and mysterious because they seem, unlike man, so at one with the element they inhabit. Perhaps in life we should all just be studying a capacity for freedom and deep play, as happened when the scientists placed a bubble ring machine at the sea bottom and then watched the dolphins first investigate then begin to sport with it, diving gloriously through the expanding rings, or trying to eat them. The idea seemed so cleverly in tune too with the next sequences of what Humpback Whales do so naturally themselves, apart from all that echo locating (um, do whales echo locate too?) or underwater song – bubble netting vast catches of herring, as they breach like hungry Titans. There are very few who are not somehow spiritually moved or even repositioned by encountering those creatures in the wild, hence the animal’s celebrated healing powers, just as so many have said that looking into a whale’s eye brings a connection. Then to the placing of a mirror in an aquarium and seeing dolphin fascination as they came to explore, try to look behind the thing and realizes that they were seeing themselves. For more than a moment you could be forgiven for thinking a dolphin had just smiled and winked at you.

It brought back so many memories of wildlife travel writing for UK National newspapers, years ago, and getting to do some really astonishing trips too. Like searching for Bottlenose dolphins in the Cotto Golphito in Costa Rica, when I was stupid enough to take off my shirt on the little dingy hugging a slimy sea and got secondary burns, within a couple of hours. Or touching the primeval thrill of spotting a hammerhead shark, half way up a mast on a beautiful Ketch sailing in the Azores, or feeling my heart cope with the sudden fear and desire to hyper ventilate, as I came up just ten feet above to six foot reef sharks navigating a gully diving in Lombok. Breathe, and be at one! Weirdest was a nigh time drift dive in the red sea, when a US marine very literally had to take me in hand, I got so spaced out by how the night shift came online on the reef: Crustacea with burning eyes, waving fluorescent anemone, ghoulish faces poking from the living coral and prawns that seemed to be wearing cloths ‘like the falring skirts of Spanish dancers’. Such wonders, that so make me so want to support the likes of Kelly, a young ecologist who has written here so well on her work with Coyotes in California. That trip to the Azores though, where once the seas had turned blood red with the spear whaling of remarkably brave if misguided whalers, before those mighty bodies were melted down in giant vats, was a kind of spiritual Cetacean fest. Like seeing pilot whales, with their shiny black alien heads nosing up to us out of the wild spume, or something like sixty Sperm whales breach, thundering into the skies and turning the sea into a riot of sunlit splashback. The best moment though was in a dingy at the side of that ketch when a mother Sperm whale, guarding her calf, suddenly dived and only half a boat away the fluke of her gigantic black tail rose before me, a kind of sub-equatic miracle, like a living tree dripping with new rain, before she slipped back into the deep.

The film though was such a glorious antidote to the awful and damaging documentaries that are often pumped out there, especially in the US, I’m afraid, exploiting the melodramatic or sensationalist, like the ‘killer this or that‘, essentially to encourage that most tragic human capacity, irrational fear, for all the awareness we do need in and of the wild. It is one of the things we have always done best, thanks to the likes of Sir David Attenborough. With Sol’s bird photos though being so wonderfully posted on the Facebook page “Stories in The Post – the Dragon tries again”, or Socrates, Kelly’s chum, the marvelous dogs, cats and horses (and of course Kate’s mice, to cheer on a musical CHEESE!) that I’ve seen among the Kickstarter street team and now Charlie posting about the attack on Romanian forests, such a preserve of bears and wolves in Europe, perhaps we can all connect our Spindle Cells, to affect each other and the world in some small way! Please do come and join the Facebook party too then and help breath life into a more mythical creature too, a little Fire cutting Dragon called…!


Dragon in The Post is now being blogged in part on Wattpad, at David Clement-Davies’s page there and on Facebook. It is in preparation for another Kickstarter campaign and attempt to create a crowd funded publishing model. The photo is a public domain Wikepedia image of a pod of Dolphins in the Red sea.

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UKIP achieving in the polls, mutterings of the final break up of the BBC, yawning questions about the reality of recovery or the direction of this country, a feeling that social differentials have returned to the 16th Century, without the patronage, and what greater place to look on its real greatness and courage again than through the tradition of its writers and that greatest age of theatre, the English Renaissance! It seems you do not need a rebirth when the kind of productions the Globe company just staged as The Duchess of Malfi are screened on BBC Two, in the new covered theatre next to Sam Wannamaker’s Globe Theatre on Bankside, now called The Sam Wannamaker Theatre. It is a beautiful little house, in fact much smaller than the real Blackfriars Theatre over the water from the original Globe, that the Burbage brothers fought so long to open, and where Shakespeare staged a performance of Henry VIII, in the very place that Henry had announced his Divorce to the Bishops, and the restructuring of the English Church. Perhaps art was never so far from truth as we think. So Ben Jonson referred to the new trend in theatre in The First Folio, with the audience sitting on the stage, the arrival of more expensive seats, candlelight that ended open air rounds and precursored ‘the limelight’, but also the darker, more intense tragedies of Jacobean theatre, in an age tipping towards Civil War.

But so you’ve had a bit of schooling or University and think you know it all, yet to rediscover Webster through this performance was almost miraculous. Perhaps that is the very point of reconstructed houses and doing it as it was, taking you back to the power of individual words and an individual consciousness. It is not the period costumes that naturally get in the way, it is the attempt to make things ‘modern’, when perhaps everything was always the same. It was written in 1612-1613, five years after Shakespeare’s brother’s death, probably the year Shakespeare wrote The Tempest and has all the flaws of the bloody revenge tragedy. Yet so does Hamlet, a stage strewn with corpses at the end, or King Lear, and what is so astonishing about both that age and the play is its profoundly revolutionary nature. In the creation of a woman as ‘The Prince’, and such a remarkable, articulate woman, raising up a man and steward because of his virtue and her love, but destroyed by the coiled lusts of near incestuous family possession and male power, it is feminist par excellence. Yet neither Shakespeare nor Webster would have placed themselves within the constraints of Feminism either, reaching to sound out the source of human tragedy, or the power of theatre to explore the human condition, in the empty glass of life’s performance. When men and woman are at war tragedy must ensue and Art is the struggle to understand. It remains a running question how, after the age of that greatest and most impossibly challenged Queen, Elizabeth I, and the death of a strangely female centric faith like Catholicism, with all its roots in female nature worship too, Puritanism so defined the model both of English power and English brutality, in the explosion of world capitalism that defines almost everything we do.

It is very hard to do such bloodletting on stage without it becoming comic, and yet this production, seemingly perfect for that little, powerful TV Box too – please give us more and you can have my license fee – proved that that very transition to intimate theatre was the movement from external symbols of faith towards the exploration of more intense individual human psychology, perhaps stripped of the life-giving link Shakespeare has to the generative power of nature itself, but set against the attempt to give meaning on any kind of wider philosophical life journey. Does it compare to Shakespeare? Well sometimes, if you see it within the movement of its age and what happened. But above all it and this production underlined the sacred place of theatre, to sound the heights and depths of the human ‘soul’, both foul and beautiful. Funny, careful, perfectly lit by candle light, sinister and deeply sexy, Gemma Aterton as the Duchess was brilliant and, though he will inevitably draw comparisons with Alan Cumming, David Dawson was utterly courageous. Dominic Dromgoole’s direction was a masterpiece of modern ‘period’ theatre, which frankly is just great theatre. Boy, having tried Kickstarter here, do we wish that world Globe venture with Hamlet had succeeded! But have no fear, British theatre is alive and well and living on Bankside (if you can afford the seats) and sometimes on the BBC too.


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In turning to Kickstarter then getting cross about it, I also backed the Globe Theatre project with its world tour of Hamlet. I must admit there should be a little question mark around an institution such as The Globe turning to crowd funding, trumpeted in a very good film that sang the song ‘a’begging we will go‘ although it probably will be a model in future. Yet could there not be a more shining example of the impoverishment of our enormously wealthy and culturally ignorant society than the fact that the project will probably fail in 4 days time, and so little has come from the top? Just look at the statistics – Pledges of £5 or more 266 backers, £50 or more 66 backers, £100 or more 101 backers, £2500 or more 1 backer, £5000 or more 1 backer.

I’ve long said we’re returning to the kind of social differentials they had in the 16th Century, when actors were classed with the likes of vagrants, vagabonds and strangers to be whipped out of town and the walls of The City of London, but the difference is that society had a true sense of powerful patronage, especially towards literature and the new theatres. We have none whatsoever.

If you have a few grand to spare then, or just want to show some last minute solidarity with a £1 or £2 why not cheer them up by CLICKING HERE

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When the dust settles on the Dragon In The Post kickstarter project running for 17 more days, win or lose, and thanks to the support of younger fans and backers too, an inspiring new generation coming of age, Phoenix Ark Press will bring a classic, Fire bringer, back into print copies again, in the UK and territories not controlled by the US and Canada, where it is still available (we think!). It is real books an author here loved and loves and many fans too, we believe, as opposed to the vast jumble of ebooks being pumped out there, many in part just to test markets. The model must be POD, publishing on demand, at Createspace, Lightening Source or perhaps another printing house.

So an open invitation stands to artists to show their interest now and perhaps win a cover design for that and our ebooks too, or tell us how to re-design everything at Phoenix Ark Press. Just write to us, or comment below. That is much part of the spirit of a Kickstarter project right now too, Dragon in The Post, that is still very much alive but which needs grass roots fire and backing. It can open a door, like a little Firecutter dragon trying to burn a doorway into wonderful worlds (you have to watch the film!), onto many other projects here too, including a Bear epic.

You can join the story of that, help it happen and become part of a wider adventure too by BACKING THE DRAGON!

Thank you again.


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I guess this is really for people like Barb, Mathew and others, backers of Light of The White Bear and long-standing readers here, who haven’t backed the Dragon. So musings on whether I have offended you, by saying too much or having a go at folk who downloaded nearly 8000 free ebooks during a previous campaign, yet didn’t support this time. I really hope not, and you have to realize surviving as a writer can be as difficult as for anyone, but at least I hope I have put a great deal of heart and energy into things. In fact, money or not, large or small, your moral support can be just as important as anything and I have always said a book and publishing project might not even be worth pursuing, even if I hit a 6k target, because somehow a whole doorway has to be opened. One that is not about remorselessly self promoting on Social Media either, but some kind of new spirit, a grass-roots publishing excitement, a shared energy and inspiration, that would get the word and deed out to many people swiftly. To make those Friends of Phoenix Ark Press a reality at last too. So think of a Dragon as leading the charge on many things, like bears, a new wolf book, The Christmas Code and indeed your projects too. Can it be done though?

Dragon in the Post, like that strange blue egg wobbling in Gareth Mark’s suddenly delivered adventure, in the post, now hovers precariously on the brink – at 33% we are nearly at where Light of The White Bear didn’t make it, yet we stall have a fiery 20 days to go! To make the break through. To hatch a publisher. To crack it open!

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With such creative younger fans, one who has just painted us a real egg above, a British Michelin Starred chef now on board too and Backing the Project, who I met many years ago, we can stand with the great Bouchbold in the kitchens of Pendolis, a citadel in Blistag, and cook up many genius life recipes. I have slogged at Social Media, irritated at Facebook, growled too much, but reached many. But I hope this weekend we can all somehow make a little blue Firecutter fly, cut a doorway into wonderful worlds, and I will try to give it back to you, however I can! Come love a little dragon into life then, and a real publisher, and for all my flaws, I will try to start again:

Here’s the link and hope you support and see what it’s about https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1159695087/dragon-in-the-post

Thank you.


The photos are a special created egg sent yesterday by Stephanie Jackson and a still from the animation, labelled Pummrey Farm. Come and Like The Dragon In The Post page at Facebook too and “Join the story, become part of the adventure.”

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The one thing I hope you can trust about this blog and tiny publisher is the story is true and also happening now. I have said in a Kickstarter film for Dragon In The Post that I want to make this place ‘Your publisher‘. But what exactly does that mean?! It means that I haven’t stopped listening to people’s stories, even while going on too much about my own, and so I hope this site has a human face. It also means that I was very inspired by the warmth and support that has come from my own readers in all this.

But what has happened is that in the frustration of trying to make something work, amid all the noise, I have had some very acute bits of advice and wonderful offers of support too. Like what exactly is Phoenix Ark Press, from J, or any mission here? So I have re-written a Mission Statement above, pointing out I need first to protect my own work, stories and career again, if I am to do anything else. That will change and evolve itself, just as I put the idea of building in some charity element, but it was rejected at Kickstarter. But if it works, if you and I can really open a door, the idea in future is to go grass-roots, and to cross support writing, journalism and art among other creative people, with crowd funded projects. So I would have to become some kind of lightning conductor to that energy and passion. Let’s start a fire and burn down the Social Media house, or at least make it ours again!

In that vein, and because Y for instance has just so kindly offered her own artwork at Deviant Art to help, it’s time to throw the doors wide open, to you, amateur and professional, younger and older! It means possibly helping to redesign this website, to put up new artwork here, to redesign e-book covers and much more. At Kickstarter it means either Backing and/or spreading the word. At first I am afraid the reward, apart from rewards if we hit project targets, is an outlet for you, a chance to work with me, I hope something for your CV. But if we fly, we will see in the future. Would you like to do new e-book covers for Fire bringer, The Sight or Michelangelo’s Mouse? Here is your chance. Would you like to write articles here, on subjects that matter, with my help? I have a lot of journalistic experience. Would you like to learn marketing, at a grass-roots level, or re-design the face of Phoenix Ark Press itself? At every level then that message on the book of the animation for Dragon In The Post needs to become true: “Join the story, become part of the adventure.”

With 23 days to go but now at 30% you can join that story right now, by writing to me here and by BACKING DRAGON IN THE POST


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It really is a scandal. Are readers here just a bunch of inveterate scumbags who have no honour and what or who do you actually care about, apart from getting something for free? I exclude the passionate friends and readers helping and backing two Kickstarter projects. But the fact is that when I ran a Free books promotions to support the Light of The White Bear project, with the generosity and passion I have always given here in poetry, essays and ideas at Phoenix, OVER 7000 COPIES OF THE SIGHT, FELL AND THE CO-EDITION were downloaded from Amazon! Delighted that those books and stories live and circulate, but I asked you to give back too, to support a Kickstarter project, with whatever you could afford and hardly saw the Back This Project button being pressed or the stats shooting up! The value of those books, in fact donating just 99p per book, could well have taken Light of The White Bear into the black and made a publishing kickstarter project succeed. I am angry for my backers too.

Is that how you live, how you find your pride, in our something-for-nothing world and do you care about how authors survive or work? I have told you about a monumental publishing battle, about being betrayed by an editor I loved in New York, and a so called best friend in London too, that struck at all the values in my stories. I have told you about fighting back, resisting an attack on free speech, held in the chains of contracts in New York, and even fighting proven perjury in the New York Supreme Court last year. But how do you respond, you lurk about loving only the sad story and then pounce in to get your free goodies and return nothing but you own lack of shame! It may be coming from word of mouth around Amazon, it may be those semi-criminal pirate elements who hope to profit, in our awful internet culture, but is the same culture of greed and opportunism that will swallow the planet and cares about little. Well, since my anger is now like a flame, YOU might start feeling a little ashamed, good readers, do something real for a change and come in and support DRAGON IN THE POST now and writers and artists at Kickstarter too by GOING THERE AND BACKING THE PROJECT

David Clement-Davies



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Only five days in and the little Dragon is flying at 27%. Good meeting yesterday too, many thanks to all who came, although many apologies if I failed to keep the right Facebook page open! It’s the same syndrome of getting a block for ‘friend’ invites, in trying to navigate Social Media at all and break back out. Bit of a dragon or dinosaur here. Therefore an open apology to Facebook people if I have irritated you. I’m sorry.

Especially younger fans and a brilliant ‘Street Team’ were right in saying several things yesterday though. Firstly I can’t lean on them too much and must lead the way myself, (being Top Author and David Clement-Davies (!)) which first and foremost means appealing to my fans and those who know my stories, because why else would people be interested or back Dragon In The Post? Of course there’s a wider ambition in Kickstarting Phoenix Ark Press too, several projects, even cross supporting Kickstarter projects with other authors, artists and illustrators and the idea of ‘Paying it Forward’ as well. I hope the Dragon Street Team will remember that, in talking about work for younger and older, but I doubt that is what appeals first and the first goal is to hatch a Dragon In The Post, and get it out to you, in the post.

The absolute key is the passion of friends and fans then, thus love of books and stories, so also finding the right forum for it all. So despite the outreach, that isn’t necessarily Facebook at all, but Goodreads. (Thank you Kelly and SJand S for that inspiring comment yesterday up at Kickstarter). But at Goodreads I’m working on my page and also just beginning to upload books that I loved and love. I’ve also created a new group there PHOENIX ARK PRESS AND KICKSTARTING GRASS ROOTS PUBLISHING and am starting to send out invites. Poor you. Do come and talk my and your favourite books though, publishing ideas, the Dragon project, whatever you like! I have put some Rules up too. One day I will get the hang of all this and change back, like the Beast in Beauty, I hope, from ruthless or sad Social Media self-promoter, to someone who can share many ideas, adventures and stories. What I want to do is find the space to write. So “Join the story, become part of the adventure” and you can do it more actively too by watching a film, and bumping that target before 26 days elapse by GOING TO DRAGON IN THE POST

Thank you.


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A great and brave start, but the truth of kickstarter and reaching targets, only when any money is drawn down, is much harder while if Dragon In The Post doesn’t build momentum right now, it could easily fail. We are at 26%, which ironically may put people off supporting itself. That would be completely wrong though, not least because the ambition is to go beyond the 6k, open a door on a whole publishing project and bring out Light of The White Bear, Looking For Edmund Shakespeare and many projects together.

Also the received wisdom is ‘no talk of the past‘, a professional video that stays up for the duration and so on. Yet the statistics show that only 73 have watched the video for Dragon In The Post so far, and those that do love it, although the average views only reach 30% of the entire film. As opposed to over 700 that viewed the very personal talks on the Light of The White Bear project, with an average of 50% watched! Is that because people really like the pain of the personal, a sad publishing and private story, and to the shame of those following this publishing blog?! THAT’S YOU! Is it better to weep, top yourself or set fire to the room, than to just engage in the passionate and professional? I hope not, and never surrender, while there is still plenty of time to turn everything around and work some magic. Momentum is vital though.

Be good Phoenix supporters then, come back as backers of Light of The White Bear and both spread the word and BACK THIS PROJECT by CLICKING HERE

Thank you.


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A round of applause for the first day’s outing at Kickstarter and a thank you for all your support too. Dragon In The Post has already reached the ‘popular’ pages at Kickstarter, as you can see at https://www.kickstarter.com/discover/popular?ref=popular

You will have to scroll down though, since there are many projects jostling for attention, recognition and support. The hard truth then is the need for powerful momentum and pushing up the target immediately, also to open a doorway on many projects. I can only do that if the support comes now. Is it only about success breeding success, people wanting to be part of something? Who knows, but I hope you will see it is all done from the heart and I am trying to talk through the noise of the net. Perhaps we can all learn from the experience.

The project URL itself is https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1159695087/dragon-in-the-post

Likes are great, spreading the word better but if people don’t put their support where their mouth is, by pressing that little green button and encouraging others to as well, then a grass roots publisher is just a dream. Please kindly the little dragon’s fire then and ‘Join the story, become part of the adventure.


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