The Thousand-Dollar Weekend Takes Off


The thousand-dollar weekend is thundering along, with more than $400 in pledges by mid-afternoon on Saturday, and expressions of encouragement and support from all over the world.

Just as a reminder: we need to raise at least $1,000 by Sunday night to have a chance of meeting our Kickstarter goal, and if we don’t, we get nothing.

Jump on the train at, or simply click HERE.

Thanks so much!

The Thousand-Dollar Weekend


The thousand-dollar weekend has just started. We need to raise at least that much by Sunday night. Seriously.

As I type this at Saturday noon, we are well on the way, with $150 pledged already. But we need you to keep the momentum going!

And by the way, Madalena Cruz-Ferreira did a wonderful article HERE.

Okay. I won’t hold you up any more. Please back us now HERE!

Then start contacting your friends and convincing them to take part in the thousand-dollar weekend!

A new reward, a new sense of urgency

Paul Morrow, designer of the first Baybayin font, and the mug he created for us
Paul Morrow, designer of the first Baybayin font, and the mug he created for us

Halfway through the current campaign, and already this Kickstarter has seen an outpouring of support unlike anything I’ve done before. Literally every day I get between 10 and 100 messages from all over the planet saying how much people believe in the Endangered Alphabets Project. Some of our amazing supporters have translated the Kickstarter appeal into Japanese and Indonesian. Someone else has written an article about us in Russian. Yet the hard fact is we’re still $10,000 short of our goal with only two weeks to go.

If we don’t reach that goal we get nothing, and the cost of all of the Alphabets activities for the rest of the year will have to come out of my own pocket. Materials and mailing alone will cost several thousand dollars.

We can absolutely still reach that goal, but only by changing the way we’ve been doing things.

For my part, I’m creating some new rewards, the first of which I’ll tell you about in a minute. It gives a good feeling to support a worthy cause, but it gives a better feeling to receive something fun, interesting or useful—or all three—in return.

For your part, if you believe in the Endangered Alphabets, I have to ask you whether you can make a donation to our campaign. If you’ve made a donation, I have to ask you whether you can increase it, as some of our backers have already done.

If you’ve been waiting to see whether we really need your support or whether we can get by without it, the answer is—we can’t. Don’t wait any longer. Support us now.

And then tell your friends about the Alphabets. Hearing about our campaign from someone who has already donated is the most powerful referral. If you can’t make a donation, which I totally understand, can you still be a spokesperson for the Alphabets? Can you personally contact two or three people? That’s actually more effective than simply sharing a post or an email with everyone you know. Tell them your impressions. Send them to And then give them the Kickstarter link.

While you’re at it, tell them about the new reward, the Endangered Alphabets Mug. Very affordably priced at $25, it features the phrase “endangered alphabets” in English and Baybayin, one of the pre-colonial scripts of the Philippines that is finally starting to enjoy a revival thanks to few few dedicated people interested in their heritage.

Give me an excuse to send you one of these mugs, or one of the other rewards we’re offering to backers. Support us today. Now.


Any suggestions?

Dear Friends of the Endangered Alphabets:
Today, being a holiday in the U.S., is a brief breathing-space before I throw myself into the hectic last two weeks of the Kickstarter campaign. As such, I’m asking you for suggestions. At this stage, suggestions may be as valuable as donations.
I’d love to hear from any of you if you have ideas as to how I can ratchet up my campaign and draw in the $10,000 I need in these next two weeks. I’m open to any ideas: new rewards to offer, new people or groups to contact, new strategies–anything you think might help.
Thanks so much.
PS The Kickstarter is, of course, at And I want to send my heartfelt thanks to recent backers: Amalija Vitezovic, Joe Gilbert, Daniel Vincent, Marcia Morrison, David Ennever, Ray Adams, Rowena Fry, Thomas Leigh, and Helen Helen Mary Donnelly.


Our first urgent goal: $5,000 by Monday


Mondatv 5000

Friends of the Alphabets, one and all, it’s time to get serious. We’ve been dawdling along until now, but not at a rate that would get us to our goal. So let’s set our first immediate, short-term goal: $5,000 in backing by Monday.

That would take us to the point where the first two weeks of the campaign are done and we’ll need $10,000 in the next two–double the rate up till now, but not impossible.

So please step in. If you’ve been thinking of supporting us but felt we would reach our goal calmly without you, please reconsider.

If you’d like to back us but can’t afford one of the higher-level rewards, we can still get there with plenty of small contributions.

If you’ve already backed us, you’re the perfect spokesperson to convince others to follow your lead.

One way or the other, please recognize the increasing urgency of the campaign and do whatever you can to help. At the Endangered Alphabets, what we’ve achieved has largely been made possible by our Kickstarter friends. Please keep that tradition going HERE.



Another new Kickstarter reward, and other news

Original sacred spaceWow. Our last new Kickstarter reward, the Balinese “Om and shanti” carving, was on offer for barely 15 minutes before it was snapped up.
Still slightly breathless from the experience, I went into the vaults and brought up just one more carving, also from my Balinese Period.
There’s nothing like this in English: it’s not, strictly speaking, even a letter. It signifies that the piece of text that follows is sacred or spiritual writing, and as such it advises the reader to adopt a particular openness of heart when reading. It says something about our culture that we don’t understand the need for such a written device.
It struck me that carving this character, and thus converting it from two dimensions to three, implies a metaphorical change: especially if hung on a door, perhaps, it might mean “You are entering a sacred space.”
Carved in an unknown wood with pockets of burl, between and around which the lines flow like grace.
Again, just the one is available, at the $375 level. Go to to back us and earn it as your reward.

Continuing thanks to Artemis Walsh, the fine documentary filmmaker Helen Donnelly, and Charles Pryor for backing the Kickstarter.

In other news, a wonderful segment on was devoted to the Alphabets. Check it out HERE.
Please share this post. And please give whatever you can to this campaign, which is vital for our continuing work.


A small flurry, but a big flurry needed

Our new $5 donation level proved to be instantly popular, with donations coming in right away from Darren Cameron, Tev, Mark Turner, Kris Williams, Molly Allison and Cindy Womack. Thanks so much to all of you, and I’m looking forward to sending you your Endangered Postcards…

…but of course that will happen only if we meet our goal. And right now, even though we’ve broken $3,500, we are steadily falling behind the daily donation rate we need. We haven’t quite got to the point of needing to hold up a series of gas stations, but neither are we coasting along happily.

Please, please reach out to your friends and anyone you think might be interested in this unique combination of artwork, language and social justice, send them to and ask them to join you in supporting the Alphabets.



P.S. A wonderful web magazine article on the Endangered Alphabets just came out. Check out the homepage at

The Coolest Kickstarter Reward Ever?

The Endangered Alphabets Guitar
The Endangered Alphabets Guitar

Hold on to your hats. We’re launching what is surely the coolest Kickstarter reward ever: The Endangered Alphabets Guitar.

This beautiful instrument, this work of art, is a custom electric guitar, hand-made by Alec Julien. The woods are mahogany, walnut, and wenge. The pickups are Seymour Duncans, there’s copper shielding in the electronics cavity, the electronics are all high-grade. Comes with a Gator hardshell case.

Whoever pledges at this reward level gets to commission me to carve a monogram in the upper half of the body. This design could be their initial(s), or a word, or a symbol, in an endangered alphabet.

I’d even stretch my usual definition of an endangered alphabet and carve in Elvish or Klingon.


Is that cool or what?

Only one is available. Act now! Rock over to HERE.

Please share this post, and feel free to gush, rave, the whole shebang.

Beyond my ken

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 12.00.42 PMThis is why I love what I do. Early this morning Jerson Partible contacted me asking me if I want to carve something in Tagbanwa. I had never even heard of Tagbanwa. Within a couple of hours he had sent me this. It’s the phrase “mother tongue,” and it will be part of my exhibition for International Mother Language Day 2017 IF AND ONLY IF our current Kickstarter campaign is successful. Did you get that hint?

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