Totally blown away! Wow, just looking at the amazing
responses is so awesome. I can't imagine how excited
she's going to be!! I'm trembling with excitement head to toe to finally be able to make public
something I (and many of you) have been working on for
months! To kick off the festivities, I thought I'd offer a little history of this
project. (You could also
skip this verbose intro and start browsing
the wondrous works from around the world!)
In early 2009, I decided that I wanted to do something
special for Wendi's upcoming birthday. You see, Wendi's
raw journey had come across a remarkable plateau of
sorts in late 2008. After years of being raw, she
finally felt that her youth had been restored. She told
me not that she "felt" that she was 24 again, but that
she actually was 24 years old once again. And that's
exactly what raw does for people; if you're a bit past
your youth, it returns you right there. As far as I
know, this miracle is available to damn near anyone.
The thing is, I mused, if she's 24 now, then her next
birthday is her 25th -- and I couldn't let an auspicious
milestone like that pass without doing something
extraordinary. But what? ...
Was there any way to
incorporate everyone Wendi knows and loves into one
"event"? A surprise party seemed like a decent idea, but
proved too impractical. Besides, all of the people
Wendi knows and loves are spread around the Earth. If I
couldn't bring them all together physically, I wondered
if there was a way to bring all of their energy, at
least in some small way, into one place at the same
time. Thus, the idea was born.
At first, I thought, "Hey, I'll buy a sketchbook and
send it to her friends. Each friend could take a page
and do something cool with it! Then they could send it along to the next
friend, and we'd just keep the love circulating for a
few months." I liked that idea and acted upon it
Sporadically, over the following few weeks, I tracked
the package from one person to another, and had much fun
doing it, often exchanging emails with people and
getting to know them a bit better than I did previously.
However, I noticed that the process was actually taking
quite a while longer than I'd anticipated. While I loved
the idea of a single book traveling from one place to
another, I realized that getting the 50-odd people on my
list (all of whom, let's face it, are busy individuals
themselves) would probably take ages.
My first reaction was to purchase one more book and
start it on its own journey to a separate group, and
then re-bind it all together at the end. I did that, in
fact. At the same time, I had the idea of purchasing a
third identical book in case anyone from overseas might
want to take a loose page. (After all, now that I was
binding together two books, I may as well bind in loose
pages as well, right?) So, in no time, I had an East
coast book circulating, a West coast book circulating,
and a whole bunch of loose pages sent all over the
globe. I set up an elaborate web page for myself to
I'm so glad I bought that third book! As the first two
were on their journey, I noticed that time was running
out to complete the mailing lists for each of those two
books. So, I sent individual loose pages to many people
who were supposed to receive one of the bound books.
That solved the timing problem.
Of course, what would a project be without a few misadventures?
Setting no limits for myself initially, I thought of
inviting a few of Wendi's favorite famous people to
participate -- rock stars, Hollywood / Bollywood actors,
famous authors, etc. Why not, right?
In the beginning, back when I was only
circulating one bound book from one person to another,
I'd approached a famous astrologer Wendi admires. He
actually wrote me back and very politely declined. I
think he almost did it, based on his personalized response and, if I
didn't later think it would have been semi-rude, I'd
have re-asked him to do a single page (and I daresay
he'd have agreed to that much). But, you know... you
shouldn't pester famous people who are nice enough to
write back, so I let it go.
I really wanted to ask the singer Kate Bush to
participate. I found an address to which you can send
fan mail for her, typed up a top-notch, heartfelt letter, but
then hit a snag with the postal system. The address
listing for her specifically requested
that you send a self-addressed stamped envelope. That's
not an easy trick for international mail. The American
post office offers something called an "International
Reply Coupon" (IRC), but my local branches looked at me
as though I were from Mars when I asked for one. So, I
skipped out on Kate.
Another favorite band of Wendi's turns out to, quite
likely, be disbanded at the moment. If you've ever seen
Wendi's raw transformation video, that's one of that
band's tunes playing in the background. I tracked the
lead singer down, though... Turns out he no longer
fronts a cutting-edge rock band. He's now -- get this --
an investment banker. (I don't think I ever
want to know what the story
behind that one is.) I did try writing to the bank and
asking them to forward a message to said rocker, but
never heard back.
Finally, I just also wanted to note some things about
the list of people you'll see represented in here.
First, if you're a friend, foodie, family member, or follower of Wendi's and not
in here for some reason, it's for any number of reasons,
Finally, HUGE thanks are due to my sister, Jeanne, for
collecting all of the pages as they filtered in
from around the globe! It was fun to get near-daily
status reports from her as they trickled in.
- I simply do not know all of Wendi's friends
- I couldn't track some of them down (for
- I tracked some of them down, but couldn't
seem to get an email
or message through (found old email addresses, etc.)
I tracked them down and sent them a page, but they
didn't return it in time (which is perfectly
understandable, as many people are crazy busy these
- I made some kind of glaring
error and inadvertently omitted someone. I hope that's
not the case too often but, in a project of this size,
wanted to acknowledge the possibility of those things.
In fact, I'm sure I probably did this -- my
And, with that, on behalf of more than 40 individuals
from around the world, I can now officially present
Wendi with a most sincere wish for a HAPPY, JOYOUS, LOVE-FILLED 25th
>>> Now Please Go View the
Much love to all,
ps To make a comment, stop over at our blog at
(where I announced this project).