Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Update w/ Fundraisers, Tornadoes, and Wicked Pickles

This blog has two parts. ROW80 is clearly marked and cordoned off from the tornado section, because I can totally understand if it's too depressing. If you want, skip on down to the ROW80 section for updates. A little tornado may creep in but that's really more a fabric of life thing, as opposed to overt news and updates about the fundraiser, etc.

Fundraisers, Tornadoes, and Wicked Pickles

Thanks to everyone who made the fundraiser such a success. I feel blessed and grateful; thanks to my readers, the last three days of April were really successful. I have to sit down with figures from the different vendors, but I know off the top of my head that's royalties from a few hundred books going to help tornado victims. And that's just the beginning. This is a long-haul event, and I'll be looking for more ways to help. I will keep everyone posted about figures and exact charities as things develop. 

Honestly, the most amazing charity work I've seen has come from extremely motivated individuals on the ground. Duquette Johnston, singer/guitarist for The Gum Creek Killers, commandeered a bunch of gas cans, filled them up, drove to Cullman, AL, and hand-delivered gas to people on oxygen. They couldn't get their tanks to work because they couldn't get gas for their generators. Duquette lives in Birmingham; both cities suffered extensive damage. That's the kind of charity I want to help. While I can't be a first responder, I can write. Some people seem to think so, anyway :). I'm already thinking of a longer-term project where all the royalties will go to relief efforts. Also, thanks to Alabama resident Amanda Chapman for her amazing photography. She was in Phil Campbell when they were pulling bodies out of the wreckage. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, and is hands down the best coverage of the disaster I've yet to see. Thanks for letting me post it to my site.

We're busy planning more fundraisers of the concert variety. That'll be fun. One as early as next week, and one in June? July? Oh, and the weekend I first broke through the Amazon 1K I wrote this blog about angry kittens... well anyway, I wrote about "putting on a nice shirt and going to a fundraising dinner in a snazzy pickle factory." Many of you thought I was kidding. It really exists: the snazzy pickle factory was Wickles Pickles, maker of gourmet relishes, spreads, and exotic pickles.  

It really was swank. They had a full bar, a sign advising "Chinchilla Crossing," a pool table, crystal chandeliers, bear skin rugs. And the food? Bananas Foster Pudding, folks. Sadly, Wickles Pickles was flattened by the killer tornado. This will no doubt drive the prices of Wickles Pickles through the roof, but if you want a way to help that's sort of like charity but more delicious, then consider buying some Wickles products. With names like Wicked Pepper Strips, how can you not? And the things they do with okra. Those boys are cray-zee. 

ROW80ers here:

Goals: 4 writing intensive days of 1500 wc each OR may substitute editing as needed.  Most days, I took the editing. There's no wc or time limit assigned to the editing, so that went over well with my addled brain. I did do some writing: I think it breaks down into a 3 editing, 1 writing day this week.

Reading and reviewing: Read Kay Redfield Jamison's An Unquiet Mind thinking it would help me with a project I have in the works: a YA novel exploring the lines between psychic abilities and mental illness. Except it probably wasn't a very smart thing to read the week of the killer tornadoes. Mostly it made me sad and wondering if I didn't need meds, which I guess is actually a normal response when everyone you know is glued to Facebook and the Red Cross's web page checking to see who's checked in. Checking in meaning, "Oh, look, so-and-so made it."
So that's it for non-fiction for me. After that I switched to escapist, middle grade fiction. Simple and away. The night of the Big One I actually read four books in one night: finished Jenna Black's Shadowspell, read Carrie Vaughn's Steel, and read both of Janni Lee Simner's Faerie books. It's how I cope. Reviews up on Goodreads.
Also, I'm starting a list of e-reads I like that cost between .99 and 2.99. I read so much, and so many of my friends ask me for recs anyway, I thought I might as well make it official. I have that big long list over there but it doesn't make any distinction based on price or quality. This is not a book review component, just a little list of "Oh, I found this and liked it and it's only a buck!" kind of thing. It's surprising how many people ask me about this kind of thing. Please feel free to add in your two cents if you find a good one.

Marketing: sorted out my Facebook fan page, which I have sorely neglected because I didn't really know how or what to do with it. I was on it a lot because of... well, never mind. Anyway, I figured some things out and it's a much more interesting page now. Check it out. Like me! Like me! 'Cause right now I look like a great big 'ol Facebook loser.

There's a fourth thing. I'm always forgetting the fourth thing. Must not be that important. That, or I'll catch up next week. Everyone have a good week, good luck with your goals, and stay safe!!!!!!


  1. Well done on getting your goals done. I wish I had something to edit :(

    Also, I've joined your Facebook fan page. You're definitely not a loser!

  2. It's definitely been a hard week on many fronts, so I'm impressed that you were able to get so much done. Congratulations!

  3. I admire your efforts to help the community. So much devastation - a tragic situation. As for ROW80, I'm amazed that you've had time for it. See ya on Facebook.

  4. Lots of great goals here, and your support for the community was amazing.

  5. You're on goodreads? Me too. You should friend me: Kate Copeseeley. I love reading other people's reviews. I just read a 99 cent book called Marked by Kim Richardson. Good YA fantasy. (Check out my review on goodreads)

  6. Thanks, everybody. The encouragement is much appreciated. @Komal, thanks for the follow. And @Kate, thanks for the tip. I'm always looking for new reads!

  7. wow. Talk about a Busy Girl!! Kudo's to you on putting your $ where your fingertips are and getting the word out, and raising the cash. God bless you and your efforts for the storm victims, and God bless them all around.

    Heck of a week - you totally raised the bar!! ;-)

  8. Hey Shari! Thanks for stopping by! It's different when it's all around you, I guess- charity drives and such. It's harder *not* to do something. It gives me a lot of apreciation for the relief workers in Japan. But I've really got to get my focus back on my writing; that's the hard part.

  9. I like the listing 99-2.99 books idea. Recs are how I find books these days.

  10. If you've got any recs, Andrew, let me know! I'm always looking for a good read. Thanks for stopping by.