What a bad, bad blogger I've been. Between post-hurricane trauma and pre-election angst, I've been feeling like the world is spinning too fast for me and I can't catch my breath long enough to think. But I'm better now, and there are a few things I'd like to share.
First of all: If you're a member of the kidlit community, and if you want to contribute to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts but haven't yet gotten around to it, then proceed immediately to author Joanne Levy's website. Author Kate Messner originated the idea of an online "talent auction" of wonderful prizes for kidlit authors, with all proceeds to benefit the Red Cross and its Hurricane Sandy efforts. Kate officiated over Round One, and has (as of today) handed the reins over to Joanne Levy for Round Two. If you don't see anything on the list that piques your interest, keep checking back. New items are being added on a rolling basis.
Second of all: I won the most awesome prize in Round One! I am now in the position of donating to my daughter's 11th-grade Honors English class a 30-minute Skype session with none other than YA Goddess LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON!!! I emailed the teacher about it today and she sounds almost as excited as I am. Please at least look over the Round Two offerings and seriously consider bidding on one or more. Donating to a good cause and getting a manuscript critique, phone chat with an editor, or one of the other fabulous offers to boost to your writing career - hmm. Sounds to me like a win-win.
Third of all: about this presidential election. To me, Obama's reelection ranks as far more significant than his election four years ago. Four years ago, he ran on a message of hope and change. And even though the degree of change he's been able to accomplish so far has been disappointing, we as a people haven't lost hope. That takes my breath away. Americans are constantly trying to replace the old with the new, like kids tiring of their new toys after 15 minutes and wanting to move on to bigger, shinier, trendier toys. Barack Obama is no longer new. We know what his goals are and how he'll seek to accomplish them. We know that he's, above all, a pragmatist, a negotiator, a strategist. We know that none of those qualities made it possible for him to alleviate partisan gridlock in our government, or to bring the country back to where it was economically before the whole world's economy went into freefall. But we, the majority of us, are willing to stick it out with him, to give him another chance. We are willing to forego the illusion of immediate gratification in favor of the hope for a better reality. The American people are acting like adults. And I have never been prouder to count myself as one of them.