Sunday, September 28, 2008

Last Night We Were All ONE Village

I love authors. I've said that for a long time. From the time I was a little girl, I loved the writers who filled my world. E.B. White. Judy Blume. Then Harper Lee. Later, John Steinbeck and William Faulkner. I thought they lived a level or two above the rest of us. Their words were magic.

And then, I became an author. (Quick disclaimer: I know I'm not, nor will I ever be, at their level.) And, I started meeting other authors. Each one of them reaffirmed my belief that authors are generous and kind and smart. Caring and supportive.

Late this past July, I e-mailed my author friends (some of whom I only know through the blogosphere), asking if they'd be willing to donate a signed book for a silent auction held as a community fundraiser for the victims of the Kirkwood City Hall shooting. (The fundraiser was last night and early reports suggest at least one-quarter of a million dollars raised. ALL money will be divided among the families of the 6 victims.)

And thanks to these generous writers, I was able to put together 8 huge baskets:

~Kristy Kiernan donated copies of Catching Genius for a bookclub; I added her wonderful new Matters of Faith and snacks for the club.

~Carleen Brice donated copies of Orange Mint and Honey (including the audio book!) for a bookclub. I added mints, honey sticks and orange tea.

~Laurie Viera Rigler sent copies of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict for a club, to which I tossed in a copy of Pride and Prejudice, English shortbread, and toffee.

~Bev Marshall sent signed copies of Walking Through Shadows, Right as Rain, and Hot Fudge Sundae Blues. I tossed in pralines, caramel fudge sauce, and godiva chocolates.

~Amy Wallen sent copies of Moon Pies and Movie Stars, including the audio version, for a bookclub. I added moon pies (of course) goobers and raisinets.

I also put together three mixed baskets, "Mystery and Memoirs", "When You Want to Get Away . . . Lighter Women's Fiction and Memoirs", and "Stories to Make You Cry and Smile . . . Serious Women's Fiction and Memoirs." I had at least one signed copy of each of the following books:

Murder Unleashed (A Dead-End Job Mystery) by Elaine Viets.

Isabella Moon by Laura Benedict.

Fairway to Heaven (A Golf Lover's Mystery) and Deadly Advice (An Advice Column Mystery) by Roberta Isleib.

No Place Safe (a memoir) by Kim Reid.

The Smart One by Ellen Meister.

Earthly Pleasures by Karen Neches.

Sleeping With Ward Cleaver by Jenny Gardiner.

Cancer is a Bitch (a memoir) by Gail Konop-Baker.

Souvenir by Therese Fowler.

Keeping the House by Ellen Baker.

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton.

Each of these women took the time to sign, package, and mail books to me to help people they will likely never meet. When I delivered my eight baskets to the auction organizers, they couldn't get over that writers from coast to coast would do that. "Authors are wonderful," one of them said.

Yes they are.

(And if you haven't already read these books, run out and buy a couple copies and start reading them.)


Carleen Brice said...

Glad I could help. But look at all the work YOU did! The baskets sound even better once you worked your magic. Good on you!

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Oh, Carleen, it was so much fun to put the baskets together--to figure out treats for each basket (hmm, almost everything included chocolate) and think about everyone who'd helped it all happen.

Thanks again!

Angel said...

Judy, this is marvelous.

And yes, you are a shining example of the kindness and generosity of writers. Congratulations on the success of your fund-raiser!

Janet said...

Kudos to all of you.

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Thank you, Angel and Janet, we're really all in this together.

Kristy Kiernan said...

I'm so glad it went well and was honored to participate. Thank you for the opportunity to feel as though we could do some small thing, Judy...

Bev Marshall said...

Judy, you are the angel who worked so hard and gave so much. I honor our friendship and the opportunity to be a small part of your generosity. xoxo

Larramie said...

What lovely baskets for a great cause.

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Oh, you guys, you're too sweet. Kristy and Bev, you make me all weepy. And Larramie, you're such a pal.

Laura said...

Anytime I can help, sweetie! I'm thrilled to hear it was a big success! xo

Daisy said...

I'm feeling a bit teary eyed just thinking about it.

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