I Was Supposed To Die Back There. But I Didn't!

October 10, 2018
$8,345 Raised
87.84% Funded
83 Contributors

This is a “crowdfunded” creative project, with levels of rewards available if you Go and Fund. Hover over the thermometer for more information on funding plateaus. Alternately, you can find a full detailed budget breakdown on the About The Project page.

As a means of explaining the beginnings of the United Monarchy of Israel and Judah, I Samuel 17 is quite apocryphal. Over the ensuing 100 generations, it was highly edited for maximum dramatic effect... for one thing, Goliath is described as being almost 10 feet tall. In the story, both sides voluntarily agree to reduce their conflict to a life-or-death, one-on-one, winner-take-all UFC B.C. title fight instead of the more traditional group warfare of the times. And, we are led to believe, the armies waited over a month in separate camps to arrive at a suitable championship matchup.

David and Goliath were mortal men. Two entered the arena, and one left alive. This is not the momentous measure present in any modern David and Goliath stories. Except in real dogfighting (which is illegal in nearly every modern advanced society), defeated underdogs don't die. The loser gets to absorb lessons from the loss, retool and reboot, and will live to fight another day; the winner will be judged favorably on their potential to succeed in future tests of their abilities, and Elo ratings will be adjusted accordingly.

David and Goliath isn't a tale about winning and losing, it's a question of continued existence -- similar in weight to the query about slings and arrows asked by the dude holding the skull. Virginia will come back meaner in 2018-19 (they return most of their scoring), and a rematch with UMBC probably isn't a good idea for the next 20 years or so. As a weird mismatched Biblical sports metaphor, Dee N' Gee is a worn-out and watered-down one, so here's a brand new weird mismatched sports metaphor for you: if the Red Sea hadn't have parted five books earlier, Israel wouldn't have even made the playoffs.


After six long months of countless dead ends, false starts, tiny moments of progress, helpful input and enthusiasm-level monitoring in the PDH Slackspace -- as well as key realizations like the three preceding paragraphs -- our little book project has a final outline. It will be four sections with three parts each, 12 detachable and excerpt-able chapters in total, not unlike a season of your favorite Netflix show. If you look closely, each section represents a direct consequence of the David-Goliath battle.

I. I Was Supposed To Die Back There. But I Didn't! - Through luck, chance or sheer will, something has defied the vacuum of non-existence. Now what, revenant?

II. Death Of A Central Figure - What happens when the great leader dies? Can their kingdom or creation survive without them?

III. Our Work Here Is Done Now - When all of the stated goals have been accomplished, what happens next? Is the entity necessary anymore?

IV. E.L.E. (Extinction-Level Event) - Due to external or internal circumstances, fair or not, it's really all over. Where does everyone go from here?

Each section will proceed from a macro Mid-Majority style essay, to a specific example story, to an illustrative micro-personal sketch or interview featuring a person whose experience fits the section's description. (And I think just about everyone reading this has direct experience with at least one of these four existential conundrums.)

Along the way, the book will feature the stories PDH patrons voted on this summer: a basketball team that came back from the dead to win a title; a former colony that became one of the world's richest thanks to a visionary's playbook; a grassroots political movement that overthrew an authoritarian government and then struggled with relevancy; and the cycles of an American boomtown.

Finally, the Project Darkhorse GoFundMe will be closed as of October 15. Whether the initial goal is reached or not, the budget for the project will be finalized at that point. All funds raised will go directly towards production in advance of publication in May 2019: editing, designing, printing, audiobook (not me, my voice is awful), translation (!)... and as much international travel (Singapore! Serbia! The... United States!) as the final budget allows. You can pre-pre-pre-order the book, there are perks at higher levels of support, and there are better perks at higher levels than that. Here's that link again.

I am as grateful now to you as I was a decade ago. Thank you for allowing me to make things without going into debt or raiding my savings account. I hope you'll consider actively supporting your favorite independent bootstrap writers -- it's more important than ever now that you do! -- even if I'm not one of them anymore.

Yer pal,

cr: Illustration of David Killing Goliath, by Anton Robert Leinweber

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