It’s that time again. The Muskoka Novel Marathon. Writers raising money for literacy.
You’ve read me waxing on about it, and about its cause. You’ve seen my Facebook Author Page posts. It is a worthy cause. But the reality of the matter is that we are in a time when we are being bombarded with requests for donations to various causes, school trips etc.
They are all worthy of our money but we only have so much of it, don’t we?
Between you and me, I don’t like asking people for money. As such, you will rarely see me bombarding social media. I try to spread it out to lessen the impact.
It’s not that I don’t believe in the cause, trust me I do. I have seen the people who have benefited from the YMCA Muskoka/Simcoe literary programs. I have heard the gratitude in their voices, seen it glistening on their cheeks. To them, it is a life changing moment. The courage they had to muster, the pride they had to swallow, just to make that first step, walk through those doors, is not something to take lightly. And it’s people of all ages that fall through the cracks in our education programs. All walks of life.
So I get that the Cancer Society came knocking last week. I get that your children’s school needs you to fund the school trip to Vimy Ridge, or the Band Trip to New Orleans. I do. I have been there. The cancer one is close to my heart as my wife went through that program.
All I can ask is that you give what you can. The price of a cup of coffee, a word of mouth, it all holds value.
Which brings me to my friend Betty.
Betty Bierema Laxson is a quilter in the Huntsville area. She epitomizes the notion of charity and she is a high school friend of mine.
“I like to donate to worthy charities and while I may not have the funds available at the time, I often have something made to donate instead.But also because I like to read and because I like a quilting design challenge. The design work is like writing a book, it can take a while to get it to work together but when it’s done, it’s a work of art!”
She then relayed a story of a young girl she knows that wants to write even though literacy is a problem for her. That girl was so inspired by a chance meeting of one of her favourite authors while shopping at Chapters it prompted her to post some of her writing online.
To be able to help someone like that realize her dreams through a program like YMCA or even just as encouragement to continue knowing authors are supporting her and rooting for her, is reward in of itself.
The Muskoka Novel Marathon 2016 Commemorative Quilt has 40 book spines, one for each participating author to write their name on and maybe the title of the book they are working on. The writers ranged from seasoned published pros to those just starting out. It is a great commemorative piece and maybe a future collectors item.
The Novel Marathon runs from 8 p.m. Friday July 8, to Monday July 11. If you are in the Huntsville area, stop by to see 40 writers in the throes of creating and donate for a chance to win the Commemorative Quilt.
Thanks for reading, thanks for donating, and thanks for caring.
Remember, keep your pen on the page and your head in the clouds.
Dale R. Long.