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?



Thanks to recent generous contributions from Mono Lely, Jill Chase, Michael Dutton, Nancy Nancy E. Randolph and Dutton, we are now one-sixth of the way to our goal, and it has taken us one-sixth of our campaign time to get there. Remember: IF WE DO NOT REACH OUR GOAL, WE GET NOTHING.
The optimist in me cheers and points out that, mathematically, we are on track.
The pessimist points out that the first few days of any Kickstarter tend to be followed by a droop, a slump, a echoing silence.
In other words, we are only on track if we keep working steadily and eagerly. Please donate HERE, if you have not done so. Please keep spreading the word and encourage others to support us. And by all means send me ideas for reaching out and incentives to draw more supporters into the Endangered Alphabets fold.
Thank you. So much.

The Good Birthday News, the Bad Birthday News

Birthday greetings in Malayalam
Birthday greetings in Malayalam

The good news is that I have never received more numerous, more colorful or more multilingual birthday greetings in my life. Rahul Upadhyay created this beautiful pictured item in Malayalam; Naoki Watanabe wrote a birthday greeting in no fewer than 18 languages, several of which he is probably the only speaker on Earth. Many, many others wrote, especially through Facebook, and I thank you all.

The bad news is that we need to raise at least $600 in pledges in the next 24 hours or we’ll be seriously falling behind. If you were waiting to see whether others would back our campaign, please wait no longer. If you were not sure about the value or the impact of the Endangered Alphabets–well, that cascade of birthday wishes from all over the world is the evidence you need. Please support us now by clicking HERE.

The Times That Try Men’s Souls

Save these hands!
Save these hands!

These are the times that try men’s souls.

There was barely any movement all day on our Kickstarter and I felt like giving up carving endangered alphabets and trying something different, like maybe becoming a window cleaner.

Then Janice Perry, Justin Varney, Bob Robert Malesky, Carol Bick, Jesse Williams and Darren Lee Cameron came through, and my blood pressure and pulse began to return to normal.
Please don’t let that happen again. Imagining a future cleaning windows–not a nice way to go. Please zoom over to Kickstarter and help secure the future of the Alphabets.

Now live: our most ambitious Kickstarter campaign yet!


Since the Endangered Alphabets began in 2010, by far the most significant source of funding has been our crowdfunding Kickstarter campaigns. We have just launched our most ambitious yet–to support the creation of a major exhibition of carvings saying “mother tongue” in endangered languages, to be launched on International Mother Language Day in February 2017.

We cannot do this without your support. Please check out the video HERE,  and support our campaign. And please recommend your friends do likewise: we are going to need all the help we can get!



Here we go!

keep-alphabets-aliveThe new Endangered Alphabets Kickstarter campaign is going to launch ON MONDAY–that is, June 20th. We’re setting our goal at $15,000, which we need to create a major exhibition for International Mother Language Day in February 2017. In an effort to set your mouths a-watering, here’s news of some of the rewards on offer for those who pledge:
* Postcards featuring Endangered Alphabets carvings
* The Endangered Alphabets “Mother Tongue” poster, featuring a carving of “Mother tongue” in the endangered Manchu script
* Signed copies of the brand-new second edition of my book Endangered Alphabets
* Endangered Alphabets wall clocks, featuring either the sinuous E of the Cham alphabet or the Tibetan phrase “Graceful kindness” carved twice in a circle, like a mandala
* Signed copies of Michael Horlick’s comprehensive Uzbek-English dictionary
* Carvings of a pair of initials of the donor’s choice
* Carvings in cherrywood of suksma, the Balinese for “Thank you.”
PLEASE SHARE this post and support the work of the Endangered Alphabets.

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