A Fundraiser Changes More Than Just One Family’s Life


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This is the original picture we used when the fundraiser first started.

For about two weeks now, a group of us have been working on a fundraiser for a dear friend of ours on Facebook. I say it’s a Facebook Fundraiser because that’s where I’ve been taking about it the most. I’ve promoted the link to the GoFundMe page there the most, but I’ve also posted it on Twitter as well. We also started a secret Facebook group where over 100 of us donated to the fund and created a Secret Santa care package project.

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This is one of the care packages I sent to the family.

This whole thing grew to be so much more than we ever imagined. When we initially started out on December 5th, there was ten of us and we set the fundraising goal for $500. Then, I thought it might be a good idea for us to create a secret group so each of us could gather up others that might be interested in participating in the fundriaser. This whole thing was thought up by another friend of mine, Dawn Allcot, and then I sort of just ran with it . . . I didn’t mean to . . . it sort of just happened. She created the group and I created the GoFundMe account.

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I created this collage to post to the header of the Facebook group and the GoFundMe fundraiser page.

She and I each started inviting people and making updates . . . then . . . one of us, I can’t remember who, came up with the idea of the care packages. That quickly perpetuated into many, many others wanting to participate and send. The fund quickly grew and pushed beyond the $500 goal!

Now, we’re twelve days into the fundraiser and the group has raised $1,400 and dozens of care packages have been sent out to the family. This whole thing has grown into something so amazing and none of us had any idea something so beautiful and so gratifying (*for SO MANY people*) would occur. I’ve receieved so many notes about how lives have changed. Two, in particular, really touched my heart:

“Hey you. Take a moment in the whirlwind of your day, please and consider something. For a not small group of people, you are Christmas, what it really means. Thank you, for that.”

And . . . .

“You can throw me in that group. I have no money to help, but it’s been wonderful to watch.”

The fundraiser is still going on today and, honestly, I’m so blown away with how generous everyone has been and how people are still donating to the fundraiser and sending care packages through the group. Would you like to donate to this GoFundMe fundraiser? Here’s the link: Fletcher Family Fundraiser.

Review: Burn Baby Burn by Kevin Craig


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Burn Baby Burn Baby, by Kevin Craig
Genre: contemporary, young-adult
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release­­: December 11, 2014
Cover Artist: Eugene Teplitsky
Goodreads

Description:

Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago. Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley—the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby.

The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars. If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions. Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted. Francis is in turmoil as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end.

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About The Author:

Kevin Craig is the author of three previous novels; Summer on Fire, Sebastian’s Poet, and The Reasons. He is a 4-time winner of the Muskoka Novel Marathon’s Best Novel Award. Kevin is also a playwright and has had eight 10-minute plays produced. His poetry, short stories, memoir and articles have been published internationally. Kevin was a founding member of the Ontario Writers’ Conference and a long-time member of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR). He is represented by literary agent Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group.

Find Kevin Craig Online:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

My Review: ☆☆☆☆☆

Burn Baby Burn by Kevin Craig is a quick read and I thoroughly enjoyed this book! In addition to knowing how to write likable characters, Craig does so in a realistic way that draws you into the plot. For me, that’s a WIN because I’m incredibly picky when it comes to what I read. When a writer has the ability to write a book so you can visualize what is happening in your mind in a picturesque manner, this is another WIN for me. I love walking through the plot alongside the characters I’m reading about and, in Burn Baby Burn, Craig has written the plot in such a way that you are able to fully immerse yourself in the story and forget about reality for a little while. As you can see, I highly recommend this book for those who love YA books – I’ve been a YA reader for years and, if I don’t like a book, I’m not afraid to say so. This book ranks five stars on my list.

We’re One Week Into the New Month….


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….and three weeks until the end of the year….

ALREADY!?!

How did that happen? This year FLEW by. Boom. GONE. In a flash – what the heck happened here? Is this true for everyone, or just me? If feels like it’s true for everyone. My husband has mentioned that this year has blown by for him, too, so I know I’m not crazy.

Okay, maybe I’m a little bit crazy.

That’s a story for another day. Maybe.

The holidays – AND – my son’s 15th birthday are JUST around the corner. I’m ready for both in terms of shopping, but the house is not at all ready. I haven’t done any decorating, which is completely out of the norm for me.

Under normal circumstances, I decorate with the family (It’s tradition.) the day after Thanksgiving. It’s a long weekend anyway, so we like to drag everything out, chow down on leftovers, chug down egg nog, and deck out the house.

Not this year.

Why? I have no idea. It’s weird – this year sort of got away from us. I could say I was deep in a writing project or that “The Ghost Writer: Fear of the Pen” was consuming all of my attention. However, I would be an absolute liar. While I was working on SOME freelance writing assignments, they weren’t enough to keep me away from decorating.

We did Black Friday shop, but we were back by 3:30pm. Yes, we’re weak.

So, we’re going to decorate tonight (or at least get out the decorations and start) because we’re running out of time!! This is our second Christmas in this most lovely little home of ours and it’s so cute when Christmas decorations fill it up – love how it looks!

Are YOU ready for the holidays?

Jenn’s Career Turns FIFTEEN This Month!


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The birth of my career took place one month (nearly to do the day) before the birth of my first child, as crazy as that sounds. Yes, I decided to become a professional freelance writer while I was pregnant and my first clip was earned on November 26, 1999. On that date is when I decided to mark the day my career officially began. Sure, I had many unpaid pieces here and there and I had thousands of pieces either completed or uncompleted … some were read and some were unread.

My first “paying gig” was on the now defunct, Suite101.com – you can read more about it on this wiki: HERE. I wrote four articles per month for a whopping $25.00 and then I switched over to two articles for $15.00 per month. I wasn’t doing it to get rich, but it helped lead to other things. Immediately following, I also started writing for the (also defunct) Themestream.com and (recently defunct) Epinions.com. Why did I choose to write for places like these, you ask? I wanted to be in a community environment where I could get a LOT of practice, be hit with a LOT of eyes daily, and have a LOT of feedback….and I did (to all three…FAST.)

Fast-forward fifteen years later and I have much better websites with my byline, I have a few print publications (example), I have a tiny bit of newspaper editing experience, I have a tiny bit of magazine copy editing experience, I’ve edited some books, I’ve written some books, I’ve done some professional blogging, and I’ve done a LOT of ghostwriting (mostly articles and blogs). My career has taken me to Daytona, Florida and Topeka, Kansas to help authors with their books, and I’ve talked about my books on the radio.

Having a career growing alongside my children (my two sons and my stepdaughter – they were two, three, and four when my husband and I merged our families together) was a challenge and a blessing at the same time. Not only did I get to see and have a hand in my children growing up, but they inspired quite a bit of my work. They continue to do so to this very day which, in itself, is an amazing thing. Even after all this time, I tend to wonder if they still have any idea what it is I “exactly” do . . . but they’re still young (almost 13, just turned 14, and almost 15).

Many of you have helped me along the way in many ways. I want to send out a heartfelt thank you. I hope you know that I mean it when I say I couldn’t have done it without you – your support, encouragement, thoughts, well-wishes, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to vent to, and so much more. Having the kind of support system I’ve had over the years has kept me going and for that I’m so grateful. I love you guys!

{Yes, this is where we break out into song – Kumbaya sounds about right!}

 

#WW: Wordless Wednesday (25% off in my shop!)


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