For any who take the time to get to know us, they will find that Community Service work is extremely important to Drake (my muse) and me. My middle grade book, “The Griffin of Greed”, is based on this one idea that doing acts of community service, regularly, far outweighs the collection of material “stuff” or wealth. Wealth is simply a tool to help others, and stuff, well, it just means you’ve got more to dust. I’m not advocating taking a vow of poverty, or retooling to a minimalistic lifestyle. What I am advocating is the concept of emotional “tithing” in one way or another, as you walk through your daily life.
I admit freely that I’m not a wizard at volunteering. I know I could do much more. I’m a highly sensitive and empathetic person, and because of that, sometimes, volunteering in person can be emotionally and physically draining for me. My heart breaks easily, and it takes me longer than most to recover. I’ve donated time to animal shelters, children’s groups, senior centers, and even to cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Afterward, I found it difficult to re-center myself and give to those who depended on me. So, I had to find another way to serve my community yet protect myself from the pull on my personal resources, which threatened my energy reserves that are devoted to my family and close friends. This is when I came up with the idea to serve from a distance. To use what I do well, and what I know others do well, to make a difference without depleting my emotional and energetic resources.
Enter the community service anthology. Collections of poems, stories, and essays donated by writers from everywhere imaginable, focused on serving others. Yes, BOOKS. This is one of the main focuses that drives the work of my company, Pages Promotions.
We believe a more harmonious and supportive society begins with literacy. We believe that a successful life begins with, and is enhanced by, the written word. We believe that not everyone is able or inclined to pick up trash by the side of the road or give blood or donate financially in order to contribute to the well-being of their community. We know there must be a positive alternative. We believe one alternative is the Power of The Pen!
To support the needs of various charities, and to give writers a place to share their talent and creativity, we have created a Community Service Anthology Project Program. Two or three times per year, we offer enticing prompts that, when multiple authors contribute, results in a stunning book, created from our combined creative energies. Writers of every age, stage, and (nearly) every genre are welcome to submit! We offer novice and experienced writers alike, the opportunity to join together to create a force to be reckoned with... shared experience through the written word. Student contributors are offered community service certificates to help them achieve their graduation requirements while investigating the potential of their imagination.
One of the things that gives the pursuit of writing meaning is the impact our words have on the lives of others. What we write, whether real or imagined, can, and often does, spark tremendous connectivity with readers. Words give others permission to feel, learn, and understand points of view or concepts that perhaps they would not have encountered, had they not picked up a book.
Works of charity, we believe, are essential to the empathetic, evolutionary path humanity must travel if it is going to sustain and prevail throughout the next seven generations, and beyond. Without the goal of improving literacy standards the world over, our society is doomed to fail. An illiterate population hinders every aspect of a country's development... it's economy, agriculture, industry and manufacturing, arts, sciences, technology, and most importantly, governing. A society that lacks basic literacy skills is threatened by terrorists, despots, and, most tragically, apathy.
To meet this goal, we have two projects currently open for submissions. The first is a “By The Seat Of Our Pants” novel titled, “Chaos”. This is a collaborative writing project that allows authors to work together to complete one full novel. Imagine a gaggle of authors, selected in random order, each writing a single chapter of a continuing story. No one knows all the characters involved, how the story will tangle, or how it will end. We are currently in the middle of writing the first edition of this series, “Madness”, and we’re having a lot of fun with it! The proceeds from sales of this book will benefit The World Literacy Foundation and their mission to grow individuals and communities through the written word. For writers who are interested in joining the project, they can visit our website to sign up to participate. The sign up deadline is January 30, 2022, and we’ll hold an organizational meeting via Zoom on February 4, 2022 to discuss the project in detail, take questions, and select the writing order.
The second of our community service projects currently open for submissions is a book called “Rainy Day Love”. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and anecdotal essays written inside the theme of “Love”, and based on the following prompt: "A gift is received from an anonymous someone. The note enclosed reads, ‘For A Rainy Day.’" Proceeds from sales of this book will support The Hailey Sue Foundation. This fabulous organization works to uplift the community with the vision of a young woman who believed in kindness above all else. They offer special events, volunteer programs, scholarship programs, and community outreach with service as their passion, following the legacy of a young woman who loved without limits. The submission deadline for this project is February 28, 2022. All the details are available for interested writers on our website.
We have also published two other books, “Simple Things”, a collection of poems and essays of isolated gratitude, written in the time of COVID; and “Monster Hunter Intern”, a collection of flash fiction short stories. Both of these books are available on Amazon, and the proceeds serve The World Literacy Foundation. We also have a third collection of flash fiction titled, “The Portrait of Herbert Losh” which is in production for an expected release date of February 15, 2022. Proceeds from this book will also serve The World Literacy Foundation.
If, like Drake and me, you believe that community service and literacy are equally important in their power to move life forward, then I hope you will consider taking a few minutes to become involved in one of these projects. The words you share could have tremendous impact on another’s soul… and your own.
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