Tag Archives: heifer international

Sunday Pimpfest VI

First up on the pimping block (I imagine it’s like a chopping block, but with less meat cleavers), Patrick Rothfuss is gearing up for his annual Worldbuilders fundraising extravaganza. At the moment he’s looking for donations of books, geeky crafts, and other fun things that might entice people to donate to Worldbuilders. Not that you should need enticing to support a good cause, but it’s even better when there’s cool shit to be won, too. Worldbuilders supports Heifer International, an incredible organization whose mission is to end world hunger and poverty by promoting sustainable practices that give struggling families and communities the means to feed and support themselves. Even if you’re not into the whole Worldbuilders thing, Heifer is worth your time.

Second, Halloween is only a few days away, which means there’s still time to participate in All Hallows Read. I could explain it, but you should really click on the link and let Neil Gaiman explain it instead. He has a British accent, so it’ll sound much nicer. I tried to organize my own little All Hallows Read book exchange a few years back. I think it was a success. I’ve been far too disorganized to put another one together since, but I still think it’s a fantastic idea. In fact, if you’re lazy like me, may I suggest a virtual book exchange in the comments? Recommend a scary or unsettling book, and I’ll seek it out my own damn self. No legwork on your part required! For my part, I shall suggest The Drowning Girl: A Memoir by Caitlin R. Kiernan. If you haven’t read it, you owe it to yourself to do so, post haste!

Last, but not least, I point you toward a call for submissions for The Flesh Made Word. This anthology of erotica about writing will be published by Circlet Press, and it being edited by my esteemed Journal of Unlikely Entomology co-editor, Bernie Mojzes. It’s going to be a wonderful anthology, so send a story his way. You know you wanna.

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Stuff. Also, Things.

Home from ten days or so in the south, Louisiana and Georgia, to be specific. Leesville and Savannah, to be really specific. Most of my coherent thought appears to have been left somewhere on the road home. There may possibly be a proper trip re-cap post later, with pictures even. In the meantime, here are some things.

Future Lovecraft, which contains my story Venice Burning, is now available. It also contains suitably squamous and eldritch fiction by Nick Mamatas, E. Catherine Tobler, Orrin Grey, Mari Ness, Ada Hoffmann, Paul Jessup, and many others. I’m eagerly awaiting my contributor’s copy.

Speaking of Ada Hoffmann, over on the Journal of Unlikely Entomology blog, Ada tells the story behind Centipede Girl, which appears in our current issue, which can be found here. The story, and the behind-the-scenes making-of are both worth a read.

Finally, Worldbuilders 2011 is up and running. If you haven’t heard of Worldbuilders and you enjoy books and supporting good causes, you really need to check it out. Every year, Patrick Rothfuss helps raise funds for Heifer International through a match challenge, while giving folks the opportunity to buy, win, or bid on awesome stuff. The first round of donated items, lust-worthy books from Subterranean Press, have been posted on Pat’s blog. Oh dear god do I want every single one of those books. But that’s not why I’ll be making a donation. I’ll be making a donation because Heifer International does good things, and that’s why you should consider supporting them, too.

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Give More Bees

Non-profit organizations need our support year round in order to keep doing the incredible things they do to help make the world a better place. The holiday season always brings the need for support into particularly sharp focus, so, like last year, I’m going to mention a few of my favorite charities in order to help spread the word.

Heifer International helps families around the world break the cycle of poverty by providing animals and training to allow them to become self-reliant. Twenty dollars buys a flock of geese for eggs, thirty dollars buys a hive of bees for honey, one hundred and fifty dollars buys a llama for wool. You can check out their gift catalog here, or just make straight out donation. As a bonus, for the literary-minded among you, if you make your donation to Heifer International through Patrick Rothfuss’ Worldbuilder’s you’ll have the opportunity to win some incredible prizes – signed books, arcs, artwork, etc. Plus, Pat is matching all donations, so your gift works twice as hard.

PAWS, the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society is the city’s largest no-kill shelter. They recently opened a new facility to provide low-cost veterinary care, with a focus on spaying and neutering pets, cutting down on the number of unwanted and abandoned animals that end up in the city’s already over-flowing shelters. In addition to monetary support, they also have many beautiful and loving animals in need of temporary and permanent homes.

Child’s Play – a charity by geeks, for geeks. It was started by the good folks at Penny Arcade, and it gives donors the opportunity to purchase toys, games, and books for children’s hospitals across the country (and a few international ones as well) through various wishlists set up on amazon.

DonorsChoose.org, similar to Child’s Play, Donors Choose lets you browse wishlists assembled by teachers at schools across the country. You can fund a science experiment, an art project, or provide books to help kids learn how to read. You can also set up a recurring, monthly donation, to keep your gift going all year long.

These are just a few of the worthy charities out there. Go find a cause you care about, and support the hell out of it, this year, next year, and every year.

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All Hallow’s Read Book Exchange

Neil Gaiman has established a new Halloween tradition. He’s Neil Gaiman, he can do that sort of thing. Essentially, he has decreed that Halloween should be a book-giving holiday, because there really aren’t enough of those. I agree. You can read about the basic idea here.

So I was thinking…I like books. I like giving people books. I like receiving books. I like the idea of a holiday where people do just that. So here is my own modest proposal based on the All Hallow’s Read idea: oh people of the, interwebs, would you like to exchange books with me? I see this working one of two ways. If only a few people are interested, I propose a one-on-one exchange: I give you a book, you give me a book, everyone is happy. If a whole bunch of people are interested, we make a chain: person X gives person Y a book, person Y gives person Z a book, and so on, until we’ve closed the circle.

Based on the original concept of All Hallow’s Read as proposed by Mr. Gaiman, the book would be horror, or horror-esque, including dark fantasy, crime, mystery, etc. Ideally, the book you chose to give would be one that means something to you – your favorite scary story from when you were a kid, the most recent horror title you read that you just can’t wait to share with the world, the book that really freaked you out and made you sleep with the light on for months – that kind of thing. When you exchange said book, I propose you also include a brief explanation of why it is import to you, because, why not? Ideally, the book would also not be terribly expensive – either purchased used, something from your own library you want to unload, or something purchased new but reasonably cheap – we don’t want to bankrupt ourselves here. Although if someone really wanted to buy me a signed, first edition copy of Ray Bradbury’s A Graveyard for Lunatics, who am I to object? (Of course, looking at it now, the book is incredibly reasonably priced, and far cheaper than it was the last time I looked at it. Excuse me, I have to go to the bookstore now.)

Since I’m just proposing this idea two days before Halloween, the books obviously wouldn’t have to be exchanged on Halloween itself. Also, keep in mind you’d have to be comfortable with the possibility of sharing your contact information with a stranger.

So…anyone interested? If so, leave a comment, or send me an email. Feel free to share this with friends, family, etc. or anyone who you think might be interested. Re-post it, spread the word; the more books the merrier! I’m willing to be the point-person/coordinator for linking people up if there’s an overwhelming interest. Think of it as a large, loosely-connected book club. You might make a new friend, or discover an awesome new author, and you’ll certainly get a free book out of it. Any takers?

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This Year, Give the Gift of Bees

Patrick Rothfuss is not only a wonderful author, he’s a wonderful human being. For (at least) the second year in a row, he has set up a challenge page at Heifer International, a charity that helps families raise themselves out of poverty through sustainable agriculture. Check out Patrick’s blog for more information on how to support this wonderful organization. If you donate through his page, you’ll have the opportunity to win fabulous prizes. Plus, how can you resist an organization that allows you to give the gift of cows, goats, water buffalo and honeybees during this holiday season?

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