First, I’d like to announce that Jean Patton is the winner of last week’s Haunted House Blog Hop that appeared on my blog page. She will receive a copy of HAUNTED along with a $5 gift certificate from Amazon.com. And Shelly Hammond is the winner of the drawing held on Thursday (in the Living Room of Nancy Gideon’s Haunted House). Shelly will receive a copy of THE CROWS.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is writers are generous people. They give of their time, their knowledge, and their money. This trait is evident no matter what organization the writer belongs to or what type of writing is being pursued. If another writer asks for help—or even if it’s not a writer asking—help is given, one way or another.
I’ll never forget Carol Fenner (winner of the Christopher Award, honors from the Coretta Scott King Award, and twice runner-up for the Newbery Award). Way before I was published, I called Carol out of the blue. (Another writer told me a published writer lived in a nearby town and gave me her number.) Carol not only willingly answered my neophyte-questions, she also encouraged me and told me to feel free to call again.
I didn’t call Carol again, or meet her, not for another twenty years. As fate would have it, she and I ended up in the same critique group. For two years I had the pleasure of her friendship and her encouragement. Up until her death in 2002, she was always the same—a wonderful, generous person.
Over the years, not only in regard to writing, I’ve learned that when I give, I also benefit. I don’t do things or offered to judge contests and mentor other writers with that in mind, but it happens.
For decades writers have been volunteering their time to organize and run writers groups, from the national level to local. This takes away from writing time, but thank goodness they have put forth this effort. Through their continuing efforts writers have gained a stronger voice with publishers, better contracts, and more respect.
Writers are always giving of their time and money to support charities. My local romance writers chapter has been supporting an abuse shelter for over two decades. Every year the Mid-Michigan RWA chapter has held an auction to raise money for the shelter. In addition to the auction, individual members have donated items that the shelter has indicated it needs. Prior to the annual auction, not only do the members of the chapter donate copies of their books, critiques (usual of fifty pages or more of a writer’s unpublished manuscript), and other goodies to entice bidders to bid on baskets, so do writers from all across the nation, as well as Canada, Australia, and the UK.
For years Brenda Novak has held her annual auction to benefit diabetes research. (http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/ ). What writers, publishers, agents, and editors donate is amazing, as well as the bids.
Last week my husband benefitted from the generosity of another writer. I met Sharon Wood Hopkins (http://www.sharonwoodshopkins.com/) several years ago through the Mid-West Chapter of Mystery Writers of America’s mentoring program. Since that time I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with Sharon and her husband (fellow writer, Judge Bill Hopkins) at several conferences, the most recent being the Writers’ Police Academy.
When Sharon heard my husband was sailing solo and would soon be on the Mississippi and not far from where she lived, she contacted me and said, if I let her know when my husband would be there, she’d take a picture of him sailing by.
Well, she did far more than that. As soon as Sharon heard my husband’s boat was trapped on a gravel mound, about 40 miles north of her, she started calling local agencies to find help for him.
As it turned out, the boating insurance we pay for (BoatUS) came to the rescue, albeit 30+ hours later, but Sharon wasn’t through. She was there at Cape Giradeau’s fueling dock (which only handles diesel) waiting for my Bill. She drove him into town for gas, supplies, and a decent meal.
As I said, writers are generous people. Thank you, Sharon.
By the way, Sharon writes a fun mystery series featuring a mortgage banker, Rhetta McCarter, and her ’79 Camaro. Her books are available at Amazon.com. (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_12?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=sharon%20woods%20hopkins&sprefix=Sharon+Woods%2Caps%2C241 ) Stop by and give them a look.