Monday, March 13, 2017

Why I'm Starting an Online Auction for Famine Victims

Yesterday while reading the Daily Skimm, I learned about the famine victims in Yemen, Somalia, and Nigeria. There are always famine victims somewhere in the world, but this particular one affected me deeply.

While doing research for my novel, Voodoo Queen, I read about a Haitian woman who would give her children salt water before bed so their hunger pains wouldn't keep them awake at night. That just hit me in the gut. I have two toddlers, and it physically hurts when their needs aren't being met. What it would be like to hear them crying for food and to have nothing to give them?

So as I read about millions of people dying of hunger in other countries, I imagined that all over again. That hurt to think about, but one line at the end of the article changed me:

"Some communities have lost all their toddlers."

I thought of my girls and started crying...not the good kind of crying where you let out your emotions and feel better afterwards. The kind of crying that aches so much, you just want to forget about it.

I wanted to help. Doesn't everyone? Usually I would have just donated money and let that be it, but the thing is, I had already planned a fundraiser to raise money for grad school. This left me with a choice; I could either go forward with my plans to do an online auction for my education, or I could use the same amount of planning and energy for famine victims. 

I really want that money for grad school. But I also couldn't live with myself if I had a chance to raise money for dying toddlers and I chose not to.

How You Can Help

On June 1st, the auction is going to go live on In the meantime, I'm going to collect crafts, treats, and new and barely-used items that can be easily shipped. If you have any talents to share (and don't be modest; I know you do) or items you want to give, send an email to teralynpilgrim (at) gmail (dot) com with:
  • a picture of the item
  • a one sentence description
  • an estimated value
  • and a shipping cost. 

When the auction closes, I will message you with the address to send the item to and money to ship it.

Some of the items I already have for the auction are:

  • painted wood block letters
  • a 3D-printed dinosaur skull
  • a family cookbook
  • glass goblets
  • a wooden plaque

I can't do this on my own, so thank you for your help!

My Writing Workshops to Raise Money for Grad School

Last Wednesday, I decided to get an Master's in Fine Arts. I just feel like my writing is as good as I can make it on my own, and it's still not as good as I want it to be, so school seems like the logical next step. The timing is perfect, I found a great program (Western New England University), and I feel really good about it.

To help raise money for tuition, I've started selling online writing workshops. Those of you who enjoy my posts (and who wish they could see more since I haven't posted much lately) can sign up to get personalized lessons from me with the option of getting your work reviewed. The lessons are:

Hone Your Technique - Learn important technical tricks like using stronger words, varying sentences, incorporating the senses, enlivening your language, and balancing all the building blocks of a scene.

How to Write a Lot Really Fast - Benefit from my experience as a four-time winner of National Novel Writing Month (a challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days). Learn how to tackle big projects quickly without sacrificing quality.

Journal Writing to Fit Your Life - If you want to learn how to keep a journal but you aren't sure how, this workshop will teach you different methods and mediums to keeping a journal you might have never considered.

Each workshop has six classes: five that will be emailed to you biweekly, and one that will take place through a chat room with three other students. The workshops are $60 each. I also do critiques for $5 a page, which is a very good deal.

Click on this link to learn more!
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