Vulture Culture 101 Update

Okay, folks! A quick update for you.

So I know I had projected this book being out Summer 2018. Unfortunately, what I didn’t anticipate was getting some contract work with a local conservation organization. It’s really fun work; I get to do everything from habitat restoration to environmental education, but it has also eaten up a lot of my time. And I’m still having to keep my artwork up as it’s still a big part of my income.

What this means is that (as I had to do with the Tarot of Bones) I’m going to have to push the release date back. At this point, I want to have Vulture Culture 101 in your hands by the end of the year; my autumn should be quieter (fingers, toes and eyes crossed) which should allow me to finish up the last details. It’ll also allow my guest essayists to polish up their tutorials. Yes, the book will be a reality; it’s just going to be a little later than I had optimistically anticipated.

I appreciate your patience and your ongoing support!

Photos and Essays!

So one of the sections of Vulture Culture 101 will include some photos of commonly encountered hides and bones (particularly from North America). This is to help readers with identification of items they may have on hand, but aren’t quite sure what they are. Obviously it’ll be impossible to take photos of every single species out there, but I’d at least like to help readers know the difference between a raccoon skull and an opossum skull!

We’re making good progress on the guest essay tutorials; I’m currently in another round of edits, and I’m really pleased with the writers’ work. We still have a bit of polishing to do, but overall things are looking great 🙂

Essays Update!

So I just got through the first round of edits for the guest essays! I am really impressed with the skills and ideas these writers have brought to topics ranging from bone cleaning to hide tanning, and I think you’ll all find their tutorials very useful.

Because I’ll be taking my first proper vacation in three years this June, I moved their final due date back a couple of weeks to give everyone some breathing room. I’m still intending a Summer 2018 book release, so keep your peepers peeled here for updates on that 🙂

Quick Update

Hi, all! Just a quick update to let you know where we are with things! Right now my guest essayists are working busily on tutorials for Vulture Culture 101, on topics ranging from bone cleaning to tanning to wet specimen prep. I’ve already gotten to see a couple of rough drafts, and I am super excited for the first round of formal edits later this month! These are some super Vultures, and I’m pleased to include them in my book.

Will post more news as it happens 🙂

THANK YOU!

Hi, folks!

HUGE thanks to everyone who backed the Vulture Culture 101 IndieGoGo Campaign! We ended up raising $4,602, which is 153% of the original goal. We managed to reach the first stretch goal of skull stickers, and though we didn’t make the second goal of animal skull flash cards, I’m still planning to release those independently later this year.

What’s next? I have a few finishing touches to put on the manuscript, and I’ve already selected essayists for the tutorials on tanning, bone cleaning and the like. Provided everyone can get their essay in on time, I should be on track for my Summer 2018 release of the book. In the meantime, I’ll be working on the extra perks for my IGG backers, book cover design, and other details.

And again, thanks to everyone who backed, shared and otherwise supported this campaign!

IndieGoGo Ends Saturday!

Hey, folks! The Vulture Culture 101 IndieGoGo ends for real at 11:59pm PST on Saturday night (April 7)! We are currently at $4,305, which is almost 150% of the original amount I asked for, and if the campaign hits $6,000 it’ll unlock the next stretch goal, the animal skull identification cards. If you haven’t yet backed the campaign, you can do so at http://igg.me/at/vultureculture101 – thank you 🙂

First Stretch Goal Met!

…aaaand we just hit the first stretch goal, so I’ll be getting those stickers made! THANK YOU! Everyone who has already made a pledge that includes physical items, like the book itself, will get a sticker added to their package at no extra cost. If you know someone who hasn’t pledged yet, or you got the ebook or other non-physical perk, you can make a second pledge to either get just the sticker, or the sticker and paperback book 🙂

Now let’s shoot for the $6,000 mark, where I release the animal skull identification flashcards!

IndieGoGo Campaign EXTENDED!

Hiya, folks!

So as it turns out, I am able to extend the Vulture Culture 101 IndieGoGo campaign once, up to an additional 15 days, so I chose to do just that! We are SO CLOSE to the first stretch goal at $4,000, the Vulture Culture skull sticker, and I want to see if we can unlock that second one at $6,000, the skull identification flashcards. Plus I had several people contact me and say “I wish this was going to last just a little longer, since I’m waiting for my paycheck/tax return/etc.!”

So now the campaign will end at 11:59pm on Saturday, April 7, 2018! If you haven’t had a chance to back the campaign at http://igg.me/at/vultureculture101, or you know someone who was worried they’d miss out, now’s the time to get that second chance. And many, many thanks to everyone who’s carried it this far <3

Call For Writers for Vulture Culture 101!

Hey, everyone! So in case you haven’t heard, I am writing a book about Vulture Culture, the “fandom” that’s sprung up around the appreciation of hides, bones and other dead things in recent years. The working title is Vulture Culture 101: A Book For People Who Like Dead Things, and I will be self-publishing it via CreateSpace; the projected date of publication is Summer 2018. Currently, the first draft of the book is done, and I am working on edits and revisions. There’s also an IndieGoGo campaign through March 23 at http://igg.me/at/vultureculture101 which has already met its initial goal and is working toward stretch goals.

While I have spent over twenty years making hide and bone art, I do not have extensive experience with tanning hides or cleaning bones or otherwise prepared raw specimens. However, no book on Vulture Culture would be complete without tutorials on some basic processes, which is why I’m seeking writers to contribute essays!

Each essayist will be compensated with $100 and 10 paperback copies of Vulture Culture 101 once it has been published. Thank you again to my IndieGoGo contributors for helping to make this happen!

I am seeking one essay each on the following topics:

  • Skinning a freshly dead or frozen and thawed animal and preparing the hide for tanning
  • Tanning a hair-on hide, starting with a raw hide (rabbit would be best as it’s a nice small hide that’s easy and inexpensive to acquire); while you may choose one method of tanning, such as alum, please briefly mention other tanning methods like egg tanning
  • Brain-tanning leather, starting with a hair-on hide (deer is most popular but I’m open to other easy to acquire suggestions like goat)
  • Cleaning bones through maceration, starting with a whole skinned carcass, though with a brief mention of dermestid beetles and nature cleaning as alternatives, and proceeding through degreasing and whitening
  • Wet specimens in jars, to include long-term care, how to change out old fluids, etc.
  • Very basic mouse or rat taxidermy, including how to prepare the hide, positioning, etc.
  • The basics of skeleton articulation; there’s not space to go through an entire skeletal articulation, but at least give people an idea of the tools and methods involved, and basic steps from skeleton acquisition to final display
  • Invertebrate specimen preparation (not just as wet specimens)

Essays should have the following qualities:

  • Between 1500 and 2000 words (you may be able to go over that a bit if you need the space)
  • Written in easy to read English and suitable for a general audience
  • Thoroughly explain the topic in a step-by-step manner; steps should be numbered
  • Be accompanied by at least 4-6 print-quality photos showing different steps of the process (if you have to show different animals at different stages of the process, such as for longer processes like maceration, that’s fine, so long as all pertinent stages are covered clearly)
  • Should not be previously published, either in print or online. If you’ve written similar essays that’s fine, just write a unique one for this project

I will have already covered topics like where to get hides and bones, and legalities concerning them, so you don’t need to go over them again. Stick to the how-tos of your topic. I will be doing some basic editing and proofreading, but you should be sending me final drafts by the due date.

Please apply by contacting me at lupa.greenwolf(at)gmail(dot)com; you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Your name, general location, email address and phone number
  • A brief description of your experience in working with hides and/or bones and/or other dead things
  • Which topic you would like to write about and what makes you qualified to write about it (you can apply for more than one topic; however, only one topic will be assigned to one writer unless there is a serious lack of suitable writers)
  • At least three samples of your writing, published or not; Vulture Culture topics and how-to articles are extra-awesome, but send the best of whatever you have. Please also send a few sample photos showing your photography skills. You can send them as links and/or attachments.
  • If you are under the age of 18, proof of permission by a parent or legal guardian

The deadline to apply is March 28, 2018. Selections will be made by April 7, 2018 at which point acceptance letters and contracts will be sent out. Completed final essays have a FIRM due date of June 7, 2018, so please make sure before you apply that you can dedicate the time to finishing your essay on time. You can also send me drafts in progress before that point if you’d like feedback.

Thank you!

Why Vulture Culture 101 Isn’t Only For Beginners!

Despite the “101″ part of Vulture Culture 101: A Book For People Who Like Dead Things, there’s material in here that’s good for both beginner Vultures and those who have been around a while. Some of the things that may appeal to those who already have the basics down:

–A look at the various historical groups and movements that have fed into modern-day Vulture Culture

–A chance to consider your own ethical stance about dead things and why you’ve adopted it (and whether you need to adjust it!)

–Advice on the perennial problem of dealing with people who have negative reactions to Vulture Culture

–Ideas on how to make Vulture Culture more integrated with natural history, acceptance of death, rewilding, and other related concepts and movements

And even those of us who have been around for decades still get people asking us “So why do you have all these dead animals around?” Wouldn’t it be nice to have a good book you can point them to–and if you trust them with your library, perhaps loan them a copy?

By the way, we’re just shy of $1000 of the $3000 I’m asking for–and we’re only on Day 2! Head on over to http://igg.me/at/vultureculture101 to back this book today 🙂