Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Bad and the Good

I know I owe y'all a post about what the Writing Life actually looks like in reality (following up on an earlier post) but I'm going to bump that post to next week because there's something else that's been occupying my mind.

Yesterday I received some very sad news.  A friend of mine, YA author L.K. Madigan, passed away.  She'd written a very eloquent blog post about her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and still, I wasn't prepared for her to actually die.  I guess in my mind I'm not ready for my friends to die.  I'm too young.  She was too young.  She had so many exciting things in her life and then... it just seemed too fast.  So unfair.

And then, on the same day that I learned this news on Twitter (of all places) there was also something else going on.  Maureen Johnson woke up and decided to do something good for the world.  She tweeted about an organization a friend of hers works for called Shelterbox that essentially sends boxes of necessary supplies to people in need after disasters.  Each Shelterbox costs about $950 and she wanted to raise enough money to buy one Wednesday.  As an incentive, she pledged her last ARC of her forthcoming release, The Last Little Blue Envelope and pledged to make up the difference in donations to fund the one box.

Here's a link to her blog post about it.  Here's a link to her Twitter feed.

I knew that Twitter could be a force for good, but watching this expand over the course of a day was pretty extraordinary.  Other authors offered giveaways and donated money.  People spread the word.  And at the end of the day Maureen raised enough money to fund SIX ShelterBoxes.  Plus enough donations of schwag to hold another fundraising day today.

It was heartening, last evening, to watch my twitter feed: friends and colleagues expressing sorrow over Lisa's passing and joy in her life.  Others donating money so that those in need could find some relief.  It really made me understand that life can be so hard and so sad, and yet there's such a community of loving people always there.

I'm so grateful to feel a part of this community -- this group of people who, through large and small acts, accomplish great things.  Thanks for reminding me of all the awesome in the world on a day when I was reminded of the sad.


YA Bibliophile said...

Beautifully stated. I agree wholeheartedly.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

LK will be missed. :( Im sorry. It;s not fair.

lexirylie said...

Maureen did an excellent job at raising money. She is a great person to get everyone involved. I donated for the cause but also to try to win your book! I didn't win =[ but I can't wait to read it soon!!!!

Miss Midwesterly said...

Thank you so much for this post. Often, I think people overlook the small bits of communication that can make so much of a difference. My take? Twitter is a part of that. Condolences, for the loss of your friend--and many, many thanks for getting behind Maureen's Last Little ShelterBox with your own ARC. We're working hard in New Zealand right now--four of our team members live in that country, although not in Christchurch, so we had a good presence there already--and we're also working in Brazil. We were stretched to our limit with 22 disasters last year, so every Box counts.
Yi Shun Lai

Carolyn Abiad said...

Some people are truly inspiring.

Unknown said...


I <3 our community.