IBOL – The PDF (updated)

The book is drafted.  The PDF of it is here.  (That’s an updated link — this newer .pdf file has links that work! All hail, OpenOffice!)

OK, now that I have that out of the way, here’s the rest of the information.

I set out to write something specific, to try and pass along some of the lessons I learned doing IBOL.  I did not set out to recapture the glory of IBOL, to re-tell the tale of what happened.  I wanted to write something for the next person who would try something like this — and I think this is a pretty good first draft.

Yes.  First draft.  It’s not done.  I know that there’s more than can / should go into it.

My wife says that I need to talk about the realization I had that IBOL was growing out of control.  She’s totally right, too — she almost always is, BTW.  I reached some point when I realized that it really, really was going to be HUGE, and I had to do things like inform my boss, see about helicopters, borrow dunnage, get pallets, etc.  The issue is about scalability, and about knowing when you’re at a decision point.  I need to talk more about that.

And my darling Princess brought up the IBOL name and the identity it developed.  She’s totally right, too — I need to try and explain that.  The name was no accident — Iraqi is a key part of it, as it was only going to apply to Iraq; bundles are a signature item of this whole thing; and love, well, the love that everyone put into doing this far exceeded anything that physically went into a box.  And IBOL?  Yes, that was deliberate, too — I checked Google for a few possible names, looking for something for which there wasn’t a lot or any search results.  The project needed a unique name; if you heard IBOL at your guild meeting, and went home to Google, you needed to find it right away.

But that’s just two things that I did not cover in the edition.  What else did I miss?  What else needs to be added?  Leave me a comment, send me an email — I want and need your input on this, too.

On Facebook, I mentioned wanting to try and make a Kindle format on this.  Wow, I had no idea what I was suggesting.  Suffice it to say, making a book for Kindle is a lot harder that I thought.  I may try it again sometime, but my initial efforts produced the worst results ever.

Third-to-lastly, I’d like to do an audio book of this.  That takes some time, of course.  It wouldn’t be an actual reading of the text — that, I think, would be kind of boring — but more of an accompanying piece wherein I talk some on these same topics.  I might be funny. Maybe.

OK, second to last.  A fan-of-IBOL from way up in the Army contacted me a while ago, and again last week.  She wants to help recognize some of the amazing family members who are helping other families while their soldiers are off in harm’s way – a small group of Family Readiness Group volunteers from all across the Army.  I know that in the world-o-IBOL there are a few supporters of the American military, and that some of them sew and quilt and knit.  If you’re curious and / or want to help, contact me — I can put you in touch with the right people.  It’s a pretty darn-tootin’ cool project, but I’ll save the details for those truly interested.

Lastly, today is a huge day for Iraq.  It brings me great happiness, seeing them hold elections.  It’s no accident that the PDF is being released today; it’s what I could do to mark and honor this great day.


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27 Responses to “IBOL – The PDF (updated)”

  1. Maureen Breach Says:

    Art, I haven’t met you formally yet and am looking forward to doing so in June. I read the PDF and it’s very well written, informative and uplifting. It’s a wonderful example of “paying it forward.” Many kuddos to you and the numerous young and old that supported IBOL.

  2. Art Says:

    Well, thank you. We’re looking forward to June — should be a grand adventure!

  3. happy zombie Says:

    Bravo Zulu, Art!!!! I can’t say this enough – thank you for allowing me to be a grain of sand in your desert of goodness!

  4. joan Says:

    i’ve just started reading it, but noticed that none of the links in the PDF are working. anyone else have that problem?

  5. Jan Says:

    Woo hoo! Great job! Sounds like you are headed to Afghanistan — will there be an ABOL in the future???

  6. IBOL Guy Says:

    Joan, we can thank Microsoft for that. I’ll try to fix it tonight.

    Not a feature I wanted, BTW.

  7. Nancy Anne Says:

    So great to see that you are writing about this big adventure, Art! And as for the next one, please add me to your list. I’m in the middle of getting my house ready for sale, but I’m sure I can find some time to contribute to the cause. Looking forward to the audio book!

  8. quiltdivajulie Says:

    I’ve printed out your pdf and will take it with me on my lunch hour today.

    Will share my thoughts via e-mail … congrats (A LOT) for getting this far!

    Is your end goal to have this live online or to go with a hard copy “hold it in your hand” book (makes a difference with the link issues)??

  9. IBOL Guy Says:

    Ms. Quilt Diva, my goal is something my mom can read — you know, gotta make a momma proud. Ideally, it’d be all digital. Since this whole IBOL thing has been cashless, and avoiding the appearance of having any actual $ involved, that rules out physical books unless I or someone else makes them by hand, I guess. I know that there are online firms out there, where I could upload the stuff and they’d do the printing, but really, I can’t see having someone make a profit off of IBOL. So, digital.

  10. Ellen Says:

    Hi Art,

    You have piqued my curiousity. What is the next secret project? I’m going to read the pdf next.

  11. Dr. Mauri Collins Says:

    Thank you for giving our family the opportunity to be part of IBOL. Norah asks please can you tuck in a mention of the IBOL kittehs and goggies – as an example of your use of universal humor, perhaps?

    You wouldn’t believe us when we told you that you’d need those helicopters: (http://www.solsistershandbags.com/2009/08/calling-for-air-support.html )

    Are you going to do this (or something like it) in Afghanistan? (if so, I will start saving my postage money now)!

  12. IBOL Guy Says:

    You know, I probably should mention the kittehs. They were a running sub-theme throughout the whole thing, weren’t they? A pretty good example of both humor, and keeping a personal feel to an effort.

    Am I going to do something like this in AF? Well, I’d rather stay home and play dad and doting husband. I haven’t been told to pack my bags, so for now, it’s conceptual. I have a few pages of notes in my book, on ideas for how to do it better, though the notes differ for Iraq and Afghanistan. We’ll see. I’d be OK being at the house for a while, though!

  13. stephanie Says:

    I’ve not read your book yet, but wanted to let you know of my continued support and interest! Anything we can do to build positive connections in the world is something I’m proud to be part of!!

  14. MaryAnn Says:

    Art, whats next on the agenda? I think its so important we all help our service men and women show the world the real American hearts.

  15. Kathleen Says:

    Hi Art – it’s so nice to see an update, and I can’t wait to read the manuscript… My kitteh George (remember his photo with the ball of yarn under his chin?) says you MUST put the kitteh’s in, especially the camo kitteh… It was the humor and the ‘real-ness’ of IBOL that made it successful, I think. Good work, my friend.

  16. Debbie U. Says:

    Art–Thanks for taking the time to put this all into writing! It was a great effort and I am happy to have been a small part of it. I am glad you have the chance to be home and be Dad and hope it lasts for a good long time! If you are working the kittehs in to a future revision, you should add the post about the homemade jams also…….that was my favorite! Your good humor and personality really shined during this entire project! Blessings to you and your family!

  17. Alice H. Says:

    I loved being able to be part of IBOL. And then, of being able to share it with my 2 nieces while were cleaning out my parent’s house to send another 2 packages.

    Do you think that there is a way you could put me in touch with say the Salah ad Din women’s sewing co-op, so that maybe we could become sister sewing/quilting groups and we could on an ongoing basis perhaps assist some of our kindred spirits in need.

    I belong ot a local Long Island Quilting group. We do local things like donate some of our quilts ot local women’s shelters and the Ronald Mc Donald House and Festival of Trees for CP and quilts for abused animal shelter. I just think it is nice to go global, as well as, stay local, but with a personal touch. I loved IBOL.

  18. IBOL Guy Says:

    Well, I have found one guy who is moving to Northern Iraq right about now (Dyala, not Salah ad Din), and he’s checking to see if they can try something like this. Yes, he’s the guy from the Columbus newspaper article — his mom is an IBOLer (I just love saying that). If so, I can put you and potntially others in touch with him.

    And me, well, I flew back to America last night, from 2 weeks in Iraq. Yes, I, too, am headed back for one last year in Iraq. I have no idea if I can try something like IBOL again this time around. I’m trying to figure something out.

  19. Ellen T Says:

    I am definitely interested in another round of IBOL! I wish you luck on your final (I hope) service in Iraq and I thank you for your service to our country.

  20. Lisa Says:

    Interesting idea. I would be willing to send a bundle. Please send me the APO.

    May I share the APO address with my quilt guild or do they need to email you seperately?

  21. JUNE KLEEMAN Says:


  22. lizzy Says:

    It’s getting late but just found out aout BOL would like to quick get something in the mail Please sen mail address THANK YOU

  23. Mary ann Says:

    I’ll be checking out the PDF during lunch this week. And I am game for helping with what ever your next project is Art. We can’t do enough for the folks who protect us or their families. However my bulldog Spike thinks we should be featuring puppers the next time around!

  24. Lisa Quintana Says:

    A sandstorm, I tell you! A veritable whopping sandstorm you’ve created Art! And it is a good thing….but, do remember to take care of yourself in all this. Your family and wife and kitteh sort of love you. 🙂

    Lisa Q.

  25. Melissa Says:

    Wonderful .pdf book. Congratulations on seeing a dream realized. My box is out of the state and on its way today.
    Thanks for this opportunity.

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