Saturday, October 25, 2014

Finding Good

For my last post, I felt a bit down about the constant ugliness in the world. I didn't want to link to the specific issues that bugged me because I didn't want to give them any more coverage. So I challenged myself to find good things happening. People helping people, instead of tearing each other down. Today I want to share two of those Good Things.

One day this week, the person in front of me paid for my latte at Starbucks. It took me by surprise, even though it's happened to me before, and even though I've done the same thing on occasion. Confession: I did not offer to pay for the person behind me. It struck me in that moment that those of us in line at Starbucks, myself included, could afford to pay for our own overpriced coffees. But what about the people who are truly hungry, sleeping on the sidewalks downtown?

My first thought was to take a donation to our local food bank. I came home, researched, and found a partner of our local organization, called Farm Share. Farm Share focuses on distributing fresh fruits and vegetables in bulk to agencies like food banks and soup kitchens with no fees. Farm Share is an exciting organization, and just the kind of thing I want to support. So, no, I didn't pay for the next latte in line at Starbucks. But it did spur me to make a donation to Farm Share when I got home. For every $10 donated, Farm Share distributes 110 pounds of food. That sure sounds like a Good Thing to me. Please click on the link for more information.

In the world of reading and writing, where this blog usually lives, I found my second Good Thing. The We Need Diverse Books Campaign continues to grow. The leap from awareness to action is now providing grants, support, educational kits, and more. Now we can lend our support through the IndieGoGo Fundraising effort here. From swag packs to agent-offered prizes for writers, you can't go wrong.

I hope you all are out there finding your Good Things, too.

Music for today: Shiny Happy People by R.E.M.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Public Eye

We all live in glass houses in this digital age.

I write about this loss of privacy in my YA fiction, and the idea just won't stop cropping up in the real world. Athletes and celebrities seem to take the brunt of the public eye, but they're not the only ones anymore. It spans such a huge range of situations, from the embarrassing to the criminal.

I can't help wondering what it will mean for our society in the long run. Will it make us better, eventually, knowing that someone's always watching us? Or will it just expose more of the darkness we already fear exists?

The ugliness weighs on me, as a woman, a mother, and a Christian. We have access to multitudes of information and countless people in the palm of our hands, and what do we do with it? Threaten and intimidate? I'm not sure what's worse, the hatred or the indifference.

I don't have any real answers. But over the next few weeks, I'm challenging myself to use this technology that's supposed to make our lives better and easier for something good. I hope you'll take on that challenge, too.

Music for today: Lightening Bolt by Jake Bugg