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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Kidlit Auctions for Sandy Victims

In my Boston suburb, we weathered Hurricane Sandy well. The massive old tree in front of our house did not capsize, though trees were downed on neighboring streets. Our back fence panels crashed into the neighbors' yard, but that was almost to be expected; the fence was old and rotting. Our power flickered but remained on -- to the disappointment of my son, who was standing by with every flashlight in the house. And as a happy circumstance, the hurricane blew my sister into town; she escaped Baltimore just in time, where she was attending a conference, and got to delay her flight home to San Francisco by a day.

My son missed only a day of school. We read endless books, played games, built with Legos, and watched Lady and the Tramp several times.

The evening after the storm, I thought it had all blown over. I set off for my taiko drumming class, and encountered a freak thunderstorm. Despite no driving visibility and waves of water on the road, I managed to make it to a Hess station, where I waited it out. I browsed tabloid magazines and contemplated buying a blue Slurpee, something I haven't tasted in years. When I set off for home, having given up on the class, things took a darker turn, and I realized this was no longer a funny story about evening plans gone awry. I encountered a puddle that had grown to the size of a lake. There was no way around it. Cars ahead of me -- SUVs -- were plowing through it. I pulled over, unsure if I'd make it. A kind police officer coached me through it, and promised he'd ride right behind me. I made it through, grateful for his boost of confidence and my trusty Subaru Outback; it was truly scary. And it still took me an hour to get home (instead of the fifteen minutes it would normally have taken) because the town I had to get through had many roads closed from Sandy's destruction, more standing water, and downed trees.

I arrived home, somewhat shaken, and found my sister and husband watching CNN footage of lower Manhattan and New Jersey. The damage I'd seen in my neighborhood, and the flood I'd just experienced, was NOTHING compared to this. I immediately send money to the Red Cross.

My heart goes out to those who are still without power, or unable to access their homes or get to work, or who have experienced colossal damage as a result of this storm.

I'm grateful for my good fortune but also for the chance to do something, however small, to help. The amazing kidlit community is rallying, and there are several online auctions going on right now to raise money to help victims of Sandy. Writers, agents, and editors are donating books and services (manuscript/query critiques, phone consults, Skype visits, and more).

I've donated a signed copy of Tokyo Heist and a manuscript critique to Jennifer Malone's auction. Here's a link to my item if you want to bid!

Here's a link to Jennifer's auction if you want general information. Scroll through November and October posts to see all the items. Check back -- new items are being added all the time!

Here's a link to another great kidlit community auction going on right now -- KidLit Cares, organized by Kate Messner. All proceeds go to Red Cross relief efforts.

If you know of other auctions or opportunities for writers to help, let me know and I'll add them here!

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