Send Monica to Egypt

Hello, my name is Monica, and I need your help funding a two-week trip to Egypt. The costs cover the tour, flight, lodging, meals, and personal expenses, including trip insurance. Donations over and above $10,000 will be allocated for new electronic equipment, including a new camera, to help me with my photography.

That, dear reader, is the tiny summary of what this fundraiser is about, but it's not the story about why I want to go.

During the pandemic, I made a long list of what I wanted to learn. This list generated a lot of productivity, but the tasks also brought reminders that I'd forgotten someone important. Me. As the months in quarantine passed, I realized the recent storms of my life had quashed my childhood sense of wonder and enthusiasm for mysteries and the unknown. I’ve completely forgotten why I love telling stories and either engineering or writing in other creators' sandboxes. I'm happy to say I've been working on finding inspiration and reviving my authorial voice, but some things can't be restored on a computer. I realized that new experiences--taking action on my dreams--are vital for me, my work, and my personal growth.

As I acted on this list, crossing off manageable tasks, I dared to add a dream: a trip to Egypt. Ever since I was a little girl, Egypt has always been a source of mystery and wonder. Some kids wanted to be a doctor or lawyer when they grew up, but me? Oh no. Indiana Jones.

The more I thought about this trip, the more I realized it isn’t something I want to take “some day”. That’s a day that may never come. This trip is something I want to do “if possible". I hope to find that sense of wonder on this trip and discover why I’ve been drawn to Egypt for so many years. I also hope this experience will be enriching for my work, to provide me with experiences I can't find in reference materials.

I am not an archaeologist nor an actor pretending to be one. I became a genre writer, instead, rounded out by many hobbies ranging from terribly awful knitting to bead weaving, watercolors, and photography. An original bracelet design is pictured below.

In addition to my creator-owned works, some settings I've contributed to include: Shadowrun, Cyberpunk RED, the World of Darkness, Scarred Lands, Robert E Howard's Conan, Firefly, Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Prince Valiant, and others. Over the years, Egyptian mysticism has been a common source of inspiration and theme. This trip would help improve my understanding as a professional, so I can better approach the subject and know which questions to ask during game development.

Travel also costs money.

Most trips I've taken in the past ten or twenty years have been as a guest at conventions. These experiences have been unique and memorable, taking me to England, Finland, and several US states. They've also been work-related. While this trip would help me understand how to include Egyptian myth and magic in my work, I am not attending the trip as a professional speaker or guest. Attending as a curious traveler allows me to better experience the trip without feeling like I need to be “on”. That, by itself, is a gift of its own.

I'm uncomfortable setting up this GoFundMe, but I am sucking it up and leaving the rest to chance. Why am I launching this now? A dear friend politely suggested I do this for the third time... And, the pandemic reminded me there's no better time than right now.

I also am using GoFundMe, because the platform allows me to say: “Thank you.”

You'll notice pictures of my published books and games throughout this story. You'll also spot recent photos I snapped of ambassadors at the zoo. I've provided these to give you a sense of my creative efforts because I’d like to offer you a thank you gift for your time and donation.

I'd like to send you digital Thank You Gifts at every $1,000 milestone to express my deep gratitude.

Every donor will receive an e-book, digital game, or my photos in appreciation of reaching a milestone. These thank you gifts are my way of showing you how you’ve positively impacted me and my work. The gifts will be sent through this app regardless of your donation amount and are available for all donors.

If you want to help but can't afford to, kindly share this campaign. Messages of support are also greatly appreciated.

If you want to help but are uncomfortable with donating, please know I will always entertain offers for work at professional rates. And, it's okay.

Thank you again for reading and listening.

Cover photo is in the public domain and was downloaded via The pyramids of Giza were captured by walkerssk.

Fundraising team (2)

Monica Valentinelli
Raised $150 from 3 donations
Madison, WI
K T Bradford
Team member
Raised $70 from 2 donations

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