"Please let me write you a check," Leah said. This was the third such plea I received from friends who got my email soliciting funds for my Kickstarter campaign. I'm using that crowdfunding platform to pay for the publishing and marketing of my upcoming memoir, "Green Nails, And Other Acts of Rebellion: Life After Loss."
"No, it doesn't work that way," I said to Leah. "First of all, I can't deposit your check in my bank and then contribute to my own campaign. Second, all donations on Kickstarter must go through Amazon with a credit card."
"I want to help," said Harriet, another of the group of refuseniks, "but I'm not going to put my personal information on the Internet."
"But if you're not part of the campaign," I said, "you won't get my updates. You won't know what's going on day-to-day."
"So, you'll call and tell me. What's the big deal?"
I tried a different tack. "You win prizes on Kickstarter. If you donate a certain amount, you get the new book as a reward. And, at different levels..."
"Who needs a prize?" she interrupted. "I'll send you a check for the Kick thing, and I'll still buy the damn book, in a bookstore, like a normal person. "
I dug in, patient as a parent trying to explain the birds-and-bees: "You see, Kickstarter works sort of like a matching grant. If I don't reach my campaign's funding goal, all of the money already in the pot disappears. I won't get anything."
"Listen, if you're such a smarty to write the book and do this crowd thing, you can figure out how to get my money in the pot."
Still pushing, I said: "How about we go on Skype and I'll walk you through the process? You use that to talk to your grandchildren, right? Or, I'll come over and we'll tackle the donation together."
"I'm sending a check," she said.
"Okay; just send the check." I felt guilty for the tussle, and for acting like a spoiled teen gifted a Ford for graduation rather than a Lexus.
While my younger friends on Facebook had no problem viewing my Kickstarter announcement, clicking the link, and boosting my bottom line, members of my own age group (I'm 75) are balking. This creates a dilemma because my peers are my target audience.
Through honest, humorous, and wry essays, I give readers a view of what everyday life is like when caring for a loved one with an incurable illness. In my case, my husband Tommy's affliction was a little-known dementia called Frontotemporal degeneration that eventually robbed him of speech.
When Tommy died November 2, 2012, my posts switched to the experiences of widowhood and my efforts - still honest and humorous - to forge a new life.
These universal themes - supporting a loved one with dementia, and demonstrating resilience
- should be appealing to those in my cohort. Surely they want to guarantee that my memoir sees life as a paperback and eBook.
But alas, some aspects of technology -- particularly crowdfunding -- appear to have sailed over the grey-haired heads of my contemporaries, and instead find them wedded to pen and checkbook.
I'll stop kvetching and bullying, and just be grateful for their support and generosity, and figure out a way to, um, launder their money into Kickstarter. (Let's keep it between ourselves. Okay?)