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Posts Tagged ‘good causes’

It’s raining auctions!

In addition to the ongoing SFWA auction (where you’ve got three days left to bid on the Rook and Rose book + tea sample package and the first, second, third, and fourth kaffeeklatsch seats), there is now also the Sunflower Auction for Ukrainian charity! There are tons of things on offer there, browsable via the tags, but my own contribution is a bespoke short story based on the folkloric source of the winner’s choosing. Bidding for that one runs almost to the end of May!

SFWA Silent Auction is underway!

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association is running a silent auction, and I’m in it! Prizes on offer are a package deal of a signed copy of The Mask of Mirrors and five Rook and Rose-themed tea samples, and a virtual kaffeeklatsch for which the seats are being auctioned separately: one, two, three, four. Bid on one of those + the first package, and you could potentially sip delicious book-themed tea while we chat! Or if those aren’t your cuppa (sorry not sorry), there are oodles of other great things on offer at the auction site. But you only have a few days, so bid fast!

If you’re wondering what the money will be used for, SFWA does a great deal to assist people in the field, from the Emergency Medical Fund to the Legal Fund to scholarships for marginalized creators to attend events like the Nebulas Conference. Over the course of my career, SFWA has managed to reinvent itself as a much stronger advocate within SF/F publishing — the closest thing we have to a union, and very much needed, as things like #DisneyMustPay continue to show.

Bag of Giving: epic Greek adventures for a good cause!

Last week I joined forces with Mike Underwood, Cass Morris, Marshall Ryan Maresca, and Dave Robison for an epic session of Agon as GM’d by Sharang Biswas. This turned out not to be the game I thought it was, not quite; I’d bought Agon many years ago at GenCon, but apparently it’s been significantly redesigned, I think for the better — the original edition looked very “grim ‘n gritty,” while the new version has a stronger aura of fun. We had a blast, and you can watch the results on Youtube.

The impetus behind this was Bag of Giving, a charity fundraising effort that’s pulling people together for interesting one-shots. Each month they pick a charity to support; for March it’s the The Hero Initiative, which helps comic book creators facing things like medical emergencies. But you don’t have to donate to that group specifically; you can choose any charity you like. (I’ll note, given the current situation, that we chose our charity well before the invasion of Ukraine. Donations to help refugees would not go amiss.) Then just send a screenshot of your donation, minus personal information, to contact at bagofgiving dot com.

To provide some incentive, every $5 you donate gets you an entry in a giveaway for a book bundle! The titles on offer for March are:

  • An Unintended Voyage by Marshall Ryan Maresca
  • Driftwood by Marie Brennan
  • Give Way to Night by Cass Morris (hardcover)
  • Liar’s Knot by M.A. Carrick
  • Shield and Crocus by Michael R. Underwood
  • We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen (hardcover)

We thank you in advance for whatever donations you make!

We’re not done yet

So Biden has won both the popular vote and the electoral college. Yay! This is, of course, an enormous relief to me.

. . . but if you think that means we can all now cruise along and not worry, think again.

We still have a pandemic to deal with, and it’s not magically going to go away because of an election. Neither is climate change. We need to fix our broken system of immigration, and demilitarize our police. There are countless problems that still need to be addressed, and the momentum for addressing them is going to come from us.

Especially since . . . y’all, this election should not have been remotely close. By any objective metric, Trump has been a disastrously bad president — the sort who should have been catapulted out of office without thinking twice. In previous decades, he would have been. Instead, the election was close enough that it took days to count the votes to the point where news outlets could cautiously say that Biden appears to have won. Because in addition to the problems I listed above, we’ve got a problem right here in our own body politic.

And that problem is quite simply white supremacy. Not just in the active, obvious, neo-Nazi sense, but in the creeping sense where fifty-seven percent of white people voted for the most incompetent president most of them have seen in their lifetimes. You can’t just blame it on QAnon conspiracy theories — and the reason those conspiracy theories are meeting with such an eager audience is, at its root, still white supremacy. Fred Clark at Slacktivist (himself a white evangelical) has for years now been charting out how much of American white evangelicalism is driven by white supremacy: built on a base of justifying slavery, continued in the opposition to the Civil Rights movement, and now desperately seeking grounds to say that no really, they’re still the good guys by embracing overheated lies which tell them at least they’re better than those Satanic baby-killers underneath the local Pizza Hut. Imprisoning immigrants at the border? White supremacy. Our inhumane carceral system? A replacement for Jim Crow laws. Housing policy? Time and again, looking for ways to keep people of color out, to keep them down. And it’s no accident that the voter suppression efforts disproportionately hit those communities. I’m not going to say there are no other factors playing into this mess, but white supremacy is the poison at the root of this tree.

If you are glad that Trump is on his way out of office, thank the black voters, the Latine voters, the Asian voters, the Native American voters. Because if it had been left up to white people, he would have won with ease. Sure, 42% of my own demographic looked at the corrupt, incompetent, pathologically dishonest bigot and said, “please, let’s not.” But that’s not enough. It isn’t remotely enough. We’ve got to leach this poison out, and that means getting more white people to take positive action.

As soon as I’m done posting this, I’m going to go donate to the campaigns for Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, who are headed into runoffs in Georgia. I’m also planning on writing more letters through Vote Forward, which specifically seeks to encourage underrepresented demographics (such as voters of color) to step up to the ballot box. You can donate to Black Lives Matter, the Native American Rights Fund, LUPE, and more. Give your support to the people white supremacy wants to keep down. The more power they have, the stronger we all will be.

Support me in the Clarion West Write-a-thon!

I’ve been doing a lot of teaching with the Clarion West writers’ workshop this year — first an in-person workshop on writing fight scenes; then four one-hour online workshops on different small worldbuilding topics during their free offerings in April; then a six-hour online workshop on worldbuilding more broadly in May — and now I’m partnering with them in a different way, by participating in their write-a-thon. This raises funds to cover their costs, including scholarships for marginalized students, so if you can spare a little for them, please do! You can either sponsor me at that link, or browse the list of participants and choose someone from there. I’ve pledged to do a whole pile of stuff: forty thousand words on the second Rook and Rose book with Alyc (uhhhh, 40K together; not 40K for my half), revision on The Night Parade of a Hundred Demons, and two short stories completed. Wish me luck . . .

The RAICES fundraiser returns/continues

UPDATE: I just received copies of the UK trade paperback of Turning Darkness Into Light. I’m offering five of those for $25 each — higher than the usual trade paperback price, but it’s a month before the book’s release, and I figure this is good incentive for people to donate.

Last year I ran a fundraiser for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services in Texas. Since then, things have only gotten worse, with the United States government operating concentration camps to imprison immigrants.

The fundraiser technically never ended, because it’s always a good time to donate to RAICES. But after a year, it has naturally slipped off people’s radars, so I’m officially renewing it. The plan is the same as before: I’m “selling” books, i.e. you donate the money to RAICES and get books in return.

It goes like this:

1) Peruse the book list below and find one or more books you want.

2) Contact me to verify those books are still available (I’ll update the list, but stock sometimes changes quickly).

3) Once I’ve confirmed, donate to RAICES and send me a copy of the receipt (with your personal information blacked out).

4) I mail you books, signed and personalized if you wish.

I’m willing to ship internationally, but because of the cost involved there, I’ll ask you to PayPal me money to cover shipping expenses. (I’ll cover shipping with in the U.S. myself.)

I’ll note that at this stage my stock is very skewed toward the end of the Memoirs of Lady Trent, and toward foreign-language editions. Sadly I haven’t sold any of my novels to a Spanish-language publisher, but if you have any interest in practicing your German, Romanian, Polish, or Russian, I think any and all embracing of foreign languages is an appropriate response to this kind of xenophobia and bigotry.

Current total (including 2018): $1005

As of it tailing off last year, the fundraiser had netted $790 for RAICES. I’d love to see that clear a round $1000 if possible — can you help us get there?

Help found the Dream Foundry!

Some of you may have heard about the Dream Foundry, an organization that aims to provide support and encouragement for new professionals in science fiction and fantasy writing and art. I’m a part of the group, and our project just got rolling in the last year or so (you may have heard some of us talking about it at Worldcon in San Jose); now it’s running its very first Kickstarter! There’s a five-year-plan for getting the entire enterprise up and running, and the purpose of the Kickstarter is to fund the first year of weekly articles and a discussion series. If it meets that goal — which is only $2000, and since we’ve already got $1766, the odds look good — then further funds will be used to extend that funding, recoup startup costs, expand our web presence, pay staff (all of whom are currently unpaid volunteers), and even provide the money to start up a contest for new writers and artists, with a substantial cash award and free workshop for finalists.

There’s an added twist here, which is that the Dream Foundry’s financial people have plans to apply for various grants and such — but in the perverse way of such things, it’s easier to get a grant if you can show a track record of other funding and results. So the more the Kickstarter can raise to get the Dream Foundry going, the better our odds become of keeping it going in the long run.

I got involved because my own career got started with an award and the monetary prize from that, and I’d love to see another such project aimed at people who are new to the field. The people behind the Dream Foundry are astonishingly well-organized, so I have every faith that with support, this can become not just a real thing but an amazing one. Back the Kickstarter now to help make that happen!

The Pixel Project to End Violence Against Women

promotional image for The Pixel Project to End Violence Against Women

This Friday at 9 p.m. Pacific Time (9 p.m. Eastern), I’ll be doing a Google Hangout reading and Q&A session in support of The Pixel Project to End Violence Against Women. Here’s the link for the YouTube Live stream; obviously there’s nothing happening there yet, but you can bookmark that and come back to it in a few days.

While you wait for that to roll around, though, there’s a fundraiser as well, which has already made it more than a third of the way to its $5000 goal. This will be ongoing for the next month and change — it ends October 15th — and they’ll be rolling out additional perks throughout; my own donations are currently scheduled to go up for grabs later this week. But there are already several awesome things available, and I’d love to see the project blow through its initial goal well before the fundraiser ends.