So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, good-bye...
I wanted to write all of you to confirm the rumor that was spread by rhino Elizabeth that she is taking over Naplwrimo's main management tasks. It is true!
As many of you know I moved to San Francisco 2 years ago to pursue my M.A and explore a career as a drama therapist. My time in grad school is reaching its final semester and assignments and internships are taking all my focus. It started becoming obvious in the past year that I could not dedicate the time and energy that Naplwrimo deserves to keep growing and to keep its momentum.
I was going to call the whole thing off, but rhinos would not have it. Elizabeth Spreen (who has been a part of Naplwrimo since the beginning days) and several others have spoken and said they didn't want Naplwrimo to close down. They wanted to help keep it alive and well.
Elizabeth and I met (she is in the bay area too!) and started the transition of all logistical things Naplwrimo. In support of Elizabeth's wish, I remain an advisor to Naplwrimo.
The endeavor will always be dear to my heart and I am thrilled to see it move to its next encarnation.
As some of you might recall, I created Naplwrimo in the throes of the grief of losing my mother. I had a play that was weighing my heart heavy and I experienced writer's block in a way I did not imagine possible.
Taking a joke and turning it into a community that gathers people to make art and help each other is one of the most meaningful and rewarding things I have ever done. Little did I know that creating something that I thought would help me get through a difficult time would in turn energize and help so many others.
I believe that the confluence of art, community and mutual acceptance and support create a most powerful combination for transformation.
At times, I felt that running an online community of artists was a small and meaningless less thing when compared to the sorrows of the world we live in.
But if you talk to the people who have consistenly and actively been a part of Naplwrimo (and written their horns out), you will hear stories of recovery, stories of breaking out of isolation, stories of new friendships, stories of works of art that may never have seen the light of day
I know this because every time I was tempted to shut the whole thing down, I received one more email from someone telling me another story about the difference that Naplwrimo made in their personal or professional life.
Running Naplwrimo for the past four years has been such a privilege and joy. There were stressful technical times, but the help I received was phenomenal. There are so many people for me to thank ( and most of them know who they are) that I cannot list them all here..
I want to specifically raise a paw to all our donors for believing in the worthiness of the cause. I also wish to thank Greg Bear who made our drupal site come to reality; Steven Ptacek who told me to go for it, Dan Trujillo, Josh Conkel and Toni Wilson for being amazing forums moderators; Holly Arsenault for doing dramaturgy; William Cooper for the apple rhino idea... Erin O' Connor for drawing the rhino icons, Jeremy, my husband for doing graphics on the icon and tolerating my absence and insanity every November.
I also want to thank the kind people at The Shunpike for keeping us accountable as an organization and for being our umbrella for our non profit donations. Naplwrimo remains a partner organization of The Shunpike and I hope our partnership remains in the years to come.
I am wiping a tear as I bid you adieu for now. It feels a bit silly as this is not the death of the rhino! This is the passing of leadership to one of the most intelligent and talented women I know: Ms Elizabeth Spreen. I can't wait to see where this Rhino goes under her fine leadership!
I hope this email finds you well and getting ready to write your rhino butts in November!
From the fullness of my heart, thank you for your continued support and participation of Naplwrimo.
I'll see you soon in my new lurker role!
Naplwrimo runs on love, sweat and your generous help.
Thank you to our donors!
Machelle Allman, Holly Arsenault, Will Bond, Karen Chandler, Michael Lee, Leslie Liautaud, Jeff Mackey, Maggie McAleese, Marian McNamee, Marla Porter, and all our anonymous donors.