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.