50 for 50 Day 50: Thanks! and a quiz
Where I want to sit and work on my novel. Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Ok, so here we are. Day 50 of this crazy journey, and my 50th birthday. Who knew I’d get to be a half-century old and still feel like myself? Weird, it is.
Who knew I’d be able to write 50 posts in a row on a schedule? Not me! I mean, it isn’t exactly climbing Everest, but it just isn’t something I have attempted or wanted to attempt before.
People kept asking me about what I was going to do for my 50th post. Ok, maybe 3 people asked. It may come as a surprise to you (especially if you don’t know me well) that I didn’t really have a Plan For That. Foresight is not my strongest point (but on the other hand, I’m generally excellent at living in the moment!)
The other day, my friend Laurie from Laurie Writes asked me which charity I would choose for her “friend” to donate to. Being as dense as a 1970s vegetarian nutloaf, I asked what issues her friend was into, at which point she admitted she was planning a donation for my birthday. D’oh!
I had to go back and look at the list of 49 charities. It was daunting. The list looked longer than I had imagined it would. So many needs – how to pick just one? What is most important?
I finally took a deep breath and picked WriteGirl, a writing mentorship program for young women.
It doesn’t address the most pressing needs (I’d argue water and food come first) or the people in the world who are worst off. It doesn’t solve a tangible problem.
But I have been in the room with the mentors and girls as we all worked on our writing together, and I can say this: it brings magic into the world. It provides the writers involved – both the girls AND the mentors – with a bright clear path to better, braver writing, more joy and a world where possibilities sparkle and shine.
Hyperbole? No, I don’t think so. Something amazing happens when 140 women and girls get together and work hard on writing and cheer for one another. It is a banquet for the soul, and I wish every writer could have the experience. (I wrote a post about it a while back, when I could go to workshops, before I moved too far away).
The girls who go through WriteGirl are all bright, but they aren’t necessarily the girls who are headed to college before they become mentees. They attend some of the largest, toughest, most overcrowded urban Los Angeles high schools. So far, every girl who has gone through the program has gone to college.
WriteGirl introduces them to the idea that their words can influence people, make them a living, and bring them joy. And in return, the girls remind the mentors of what it was like to be young women writers whose talent hadn’t been smooshed down by editors and deadlines and paychecks – writers for whom the page is a playground of possibility. This is a priceless exchange.
Oh, and another thing? Every year, the program produces a book with writing in it by all of the girls and most of the mentors, so each girl leaves the program a published writer. Cool!
So…if you want to help the world, donate to any of the charities on my list, or any other charity you know is doing good work. But if you want me to pick one for you to honor my 50th birthday, I vote for WriteGirl.
A big thanks for playing along for the past weeks. I’m amazed that anyone would keep reading, and I appreciate those who did. My blog readers are the cherry on the sundae of my life. I’m grateful for each of you.
OK – now for a quiz. The winner gets to designate which of the 49 charities they’d like $50 donated to. AND $30 in iTunes gift cards. In the event of a tie, the winner will be drawn at random. And since these are random questions, extra points are given for creativity. Hey, it’s my contest.
Random Crap About Suebob: 10 Questions. I don’t think you can look these up anywhere, so wild guesses will suffice.
1. What floral scent do I hate? (not Patchouli. I don’t think Patchouli is even a flower. I think it is the smell of Satan’s toejam).
2. What vegetable would be served at Suebob’s last meal?
3. If I could have tickets to any event, what would it be?
4. My favorite color?
5. How much does it say I weigh on my driver’s license?
6. What breed of dog do I call Goldie most often? (her nickname)
7. Favorite san serif font that will out me as hopelessly stuck in the 1980s?
8. Favorite cellist?
9. Where am I going on my next train trip?
10. How old is Goldie?