Book Editing Kickstarter Request- Yes, I’m Asking For Money

I hate asking for money. It is not that I’m extremely prideful, but it is that I know so many other people are worse off than me so how could I ask for assistance in a goal that is strictly mine? Anyway, strap in, because I’m about to ask for money.

I have received a quote from the editor that the agent wishes for me to use for my book, ‘Breaking “Innocence”’. The quote is a sizable amount, $15,000, but it is well-deserved from an editor who specializes in females in the military, PTSD, and interpersonal relationships. After speaking with the editor and discussing her approach to character development and a rounding out of my story, I wish to proceed with working with her. So I started a Kickstarter campaign to help me reach this goal. I am asking for $13,000 to be raised strictly for editing costs for this book, that has already been pretty much written and read by quite a few of you.

I can’t express how much appreciation I have towards those of you who have told me again and again that this story needs to be told. Your moral support really keeps me going when I think about how uncomfortable this story makes me. I have tried my best to write honestly and without bias about my experiences in Afghanistan as a young and dumb female Marine, because some stories need to be told. This Kickstarter will help support the editing and publishing of this true story, and not be used for my personal enjoyment. Any money that exceeds the cost of editing the book will be donated to a veteran’s foundation (I have yet to decide which one). If you wish to support this endeavor, please pledge some dough, and if you wish to receive an autographed copy of the final product, select the “reward” and make sure to put your name so I know who it is going to. I will be reaching out for addresses to ship the books when publishing becomes more concrete.

Again, thank you so much for your support. Artists may make the art, but benefactors make the artists.

The First Date

She got to the coffee shop early so she could orientate herself. She vaguely knew this area of town, but she didn’t know this cafe when he suggested it, and she didn’t want to look incomposed on this first date, especially with him. She parked and paid ($2 an hour!) for her spot before walking into the sleek shop and looking around.

It was hip, as was expected for this part of downtown, in the type of way that could only be shown in a dozen perfect Instagram posts. Tiny succulents hung from the ceiling in glass bulbs over cases of colorful gelato in varying forms of sugar-free/dairy-free/taste-free. The tiny tables discretely placed throughout the room were topped with glossed wood planks, and a tiny flower was perfectly placed in the center in an equally tiny vase.

Should she order before he got here? She wasn’t sure how these things worked on the first date. How could she differ to him if he didn’t know what she liked? Should she risk waiting for him to come and have to drink something disgusting because he would order for her? Would he order for her? Or would there be an awkward pause as he waited to see if she would differ to him? She guessed that perhaps she could just follow his lead but the thought of following someone’s lead who she didn’t really know or trust made her anxiety shoot through the roof.

So she ordered the latte and took the giant cup of perfectly designed brown and white foam to a table topped with a perfect daisy. She picked a small bit of lint from the lap of her dress, and nervously checked her phone for the time. The moment her phone clock displayed 2:00, he walked through the door of the cafe. She stood quickly and straightened her dress as he made his way to her. He was tall and slender, dressed in dark slacks with hard creases and a white button down shirt with the sleeves deftly rolled to the middle of his forearms. His belt was centered and shiny, and the buckle’s shine matched his watch. His hair was dark and well-kept. Everything about him screamed order and sharpness.

He reached the table and gave her a quick hug.

“Good afternoon, Rebecca. Did you find the place okay?”

“Yes, it was pretty easy to find.”

“I see you ordered already.”

“I hope that’s okay.”

He walked to the counter and ordered a cup of black coffee. Rebecca watched the cute barista blush and smile at him while she poured his coffee. Not knowing whether to sit back down again yet, Rebecca awkwardly stood a little behind him and waited. When he walked back to the table, she followed him. They sat and the date began.

He spoke first.

“Before this goes any further, I need to make sure you understand and accept my rules.”

Rebecca swallowed her sip of coffee and placed the cup down with a loud *clink*.

“Okay, what are your rules?”

He held up his finger.

“1. I am always in charge. I expect you to do what I say, immediately.”

Another finger went up.

“2. You are mine. I do not share.”

Another finger.

“3. You will dress well, and remain presentable.”

Another.

“4. You will tell me if something is too much.”

And the thumb.

“5. There will be anal. That is non-negotiable.”

He placed his hand flat on the table and took a sip of his coffee as Rebecca digested what he said.

“Okay, those are acceptable.”

“Good.”

He smiled and relaxed a little, sitting back in his seat.

Rebecca laughed, “Do you always lead with those rules?”

“Why would I waste my time with someone who won’t accept one of them?”

“I mean, it’s efficient, of course. It’s just a little shocking to hear anal get brought up within minutes of meeting someone.”

“It’s non-negotiable. Now, do you have any questions?”

Rebecca thought for a second.

“What do I call you?”

“Sir.”

“Even in front of others?”

“Yes.”

“Okay.”

“Okay?”

His tone darkened. Rebecca realized that it had already started and her heart rate picked up. She didn’t mean to disappoint him so soon.

“I mean, yes, Sir.”

“And do you have any limits?”

“Not any hard ones that I’ve found, Sir. I’ll try anything twice.”

He finished his coffee and placed the cup down.

“Do you like candy?”

“Oh, do I!”

“Finish your drink. I have someplace I want to show you.”

Rebecca quickly finished. He stood, grabbing her keys that were on the table and placed them in his pocket. She followed him out of the cafe. He ignored the simpering looks of the barista and held the door open for Rebecca to pass in front of him. When he asked where she parked, she pointed out her car, and he took out his wallet and swiped a card through her meter before gesturing her down the sidewalk.

They walked a few blocks, with him always ensuring that he was closest to the street. He pointed out points of interest along the walk, and talk drifted to various vague and innocent topics of a normal first date. Rebecca felt on display when he would look at her as they walked. She felt his gaze down to her toes. When they entered the candy shop and she began looking into the display cases, she could feel him standing behind her. It was like his breath traveled between the fabric of her dress and down the skin of her back, giving her chills that seemed to light her on fire.

“What an oxymoron,” Rebecca thought as two conflicting sensations pricked through her body in a delightfully painful way. He placed his hand on the small of her back and she peered into a case of gourmet chocolate dipped strawberries.

“She’ll have three of the strawberries,” he addressed the man hovering near them. The man placed three perfectly formed domes of chocolate into a paper bag and handed it to Rebecca. Her date paid for the treats and then gestured her outside to a patio.

“Thank you, Sir. May I ask about your others?”

“You may. The longest one was with me for five years. She was a doctor and still managed to cook and clean for me. She made me very happy.”

Rebecca’s mind exploded with more questions.

“What happened?”

“She transferred to Philadelphia.”

“And that was it?”

“That was it.”

“Do you still speak to her?”

He took at Rebecca sharply when she asked this question.

“We parted as friends. There will always be a portion of me that appreciates her and what role she played for me.”

Rebecca knew to not push the subject so she switched directions.

“Why didn’t the others work out?”

“Some did. Some didn’t. It takes a certain type of submissive to handle what I require of them.”

“Will I be expected to cook and clean?”

“I would prefer it, yes. Is that something you would draw a line at?”

“No, Sir.”

“Good. Are you done?”

“Yes, Sir.”

He stood and took Rebecca’s hand, pulling her to her feet and drawing her close to his chest. He gazed down at her and studied her closely.

“It will be work, but it will be worth it. I promise.”

“Yes, Sir.”

Rebecca thought for a moment that he was going to bend down just a little bit more to close the gap and kiss her. His mouth was inches from hers, and she tilted her head back slightly. Suddenly, he stepped back and put her left arm in the crook of his right and led her down the street. Rebecca tossed the paper bag into a recycling bin along the way and they walked in comfortable silence, both lost in their respective thoughts.

“Do you have plans tomorrow?”

“No, Sir.”

“Come back here tomorrow at 3.”

He turned slightly, still holding her arm, and faced her to him, looking Rebecca up and down.

“And while I appreciate the dress, immensely, wear pants tomorrow.”

“Yes, Sir.”

They had reached Rebecca’s car. He released her arm, reached into his pocket, pulled out her keys, and opened the driver’s door for her. Rebecca stepped off the curb and moved to the open door. He stopped her, and pulled her back onto the sidewalk, and suddenly bent down slightly and quickly picked her up, wrapping her legs around him. His hands gripped her thighs, and her dress was pulled up in a way that meant his fingers and hands were under and over her dress all in the same touch while he kissed her deeply. With a growl at the response of her kiss, he pushed Rebecca back into the side of her car, her legs still wrapped around him. There was a flurry of moans and whimpers from Rebecca as his hands traveled up around her waist and as his tongue explored her mouth. There was a whistle from the cafe, and he gently slid her back down to the sidewalk.

Thoroughly flustered and hot, Rebecca straightened her dress and looked at him; he was already calm and composed, but his face was brightened with a rough heat that exposed what lay just under the surface. He gestured towards her door, and Rebecca climbed in. He kissed her gently on the forehead.

“I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Yes, Sir.”

He shut the door and watched Rebecca drive off.