Headed to Galax

On Monday night I was 100% funded for my trip to Galax to research my novel.

Today I bought my plane ticket and made my hotel reservation for Galax.

All thanks to you nice people, the ones with the big hearts and wallets. The ones who believe in my ability to write and publish The Girl from Galax.

That means a lot. A LOT.

So thank you very very much. I am moved and honored by your generosity and words of encouragement.

A few people have said, “Wait! I missed this! Can I still donate?”

The answer is yes. Everything has gone up in price since I started the crowdfunding campaign, so your donations will help cover all the incidentals.

**Click this button to be taken directly to PayPal to donate.**

And here are the links to find out all the details of what I was doing and why I was doing it.

The Galax Crowdfunding Project: Final Days & Updates

The generosity of friends, family, blogger buddies, and others has been overwhelming. Like tears in my eyes kind of overwhelming.

As of 1:55 pm Pacific Time today, I am $575 away from my goal.

If you’ve been intending to donate, but have been waylaid by work commitments, financial crunches, or were trapped under something heavy (though I sincerely hope that wasn’t the case), there’s still time. I’ll continue taking PayPal donations through the weekend.

Rather than rehash everything, here are some links where you can get the details:

**Click this button to be taken directly to PayPal to donate.**

Here’s the current rewards table:

Level Donation Amount Reward Number Available Awards Remaining
1 $5 Postcard from Galax (June – July 2012) 21 19
2 $10 Level 1 reward + access to a private slide show of images from my trip to Galax (July 2012) 15 12
3 $25 Level 1-2 rewards + listing on Acknowledgements page in novel (August 2012) 16 10
4 $30 Level 1-3 rewards + signed copy of finished novel (August 2012; novel release TBD) 10 4
5 $60 Level 1-4 rewards + a character named after you in the novel (August 2012; novel release TBD) 2 0
6 $100 Level 1-5 rewards + a private reading of an excerpt with you and your friends at your home (December 2012; novel release TBD) 2 0

A few things to note:

  • For those who donate $25, I have 3 more CDs to give away. These CDs are an unofficial soundtrack to The Girl from Galax as they are tunes that motivate and inspire my writing.
  • PayPal accepts MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, and Discover, so you don’t have to set up a special account with them in order to donate.
  • If you prefer to send a check, please email meĀ for my mailing address.

Again, my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported this project. Your donations, Facebook posts, tweets and retweets, and other promotional efforts mean so much to me.

Saturday’s Shout-Out: Operation Paperback

Any other avid readers out there with a plethora of books just laying around, gathering dust? If you know you’re not going to read that James Patterson thriller again there’s not much point in keeping the book on your shelf. And while it’s easy to donate your books to the local library or Goodwill, have you considered sending your books to military folks who are desperate for something good to read?

Earlier this week I found out about Operation Paperback, a Pennsylvania-based non-profit organization devoted to getting reading material to U.S. troops deployed overseas. They accept monetary donations, of course, but the cool thing about them is that you can sign up to be a volunteer shipper and send your gently used books to the troops. These folks make it easy to get your books to the right people, too:

“Once you have registered with us, you can log in and request addresses of troops overseas using our automated system. Input the genres you have on hand (mysteries, Westerns, etc.) and our system will generate a customized list of names for your use. Label your books and insert our standard shipping letter (or your own personal note). Pack and address your box using the names we provide. Then head to the Post Office to mail your box. It’s that simple!”

I’m a voracious reader, but I’m not much of a book-buyer – I’m a library kid, which is a topic for another Saturday’s Shout-Out. That being said, I love the idea behind Operation Paperback: anything that supports reading as a hobby AND supports the troops sounds fabulous to me.

So if you’re avoiding tackling that overstuffed Ikea bookcase because you don’t know what to do with all those Sidney Sheldon and Clive Cussler novels, go check out Operation Paperback.

Vonnegut on Writing

I spend a lot of time writing. When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing, I’m reading good writing, or I’m taking notes about something I want to write later. Sound exhausting? It can be. But I’m a storyteller. I can’t be anything else – and believe me, I’ve tried.

While I don’t read too many books anymore about the art of writing – I find them to be distracting from the actual act of writing – I do appreciate writing tips from authors I respect. Today I found this list from Kurt Vonnegut on Lifehacker and thought I’d share it here.

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  4. Every sentence must do one of two things-reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
  7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
  8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

What tips, quotes or comments from famous authors have encouraged or helped you become a better writer?