As of late, I’ve received a lot of praise from everyone stating they are really proud of the stance I’ve taken concerning the UW situation, how brave I am, how it takes a lot of guts to do what I did. Maybe that’s all true, but please understand that’s not why I did it. I just wanted to do the right thing.
I am very sorry for anyone who is offended that I made a GoFundMe page. And yes, people were offended. One writer in particular personally attacked me and sent me several messages of which I ignored until they stopped.
I don’t want anyone’s pity for being a single mother. And I’m certainly not attempting to use it in any way to get money from you.
If you know me, you know I do what I can when I can to help others. I HATE talking about the good deeds I do. I hate feeling like I’m bragging about being a good person. But my morals have been called into question and now I must use these things to set the record straight in a manner of speaking.
If you follow me, you know I frequently do giveaways. I spend time and money to send my books and poetry out into the world for free. I pay for shipping and I spend the time to drive it to the post office. Fellow writers frown upon this sort of behavior. They say it “cheapens your work” and no one will buy your stuff if there are so many opportunities to obtain it for free. Maybe that’s true. But I’m still going to keep doing giveaways because it makes me happy inside to be giving a book to someone who may not otherwise have the money to obtain it.
If you follow me, you know not long ago I orchestrated receiving materials from about 15 other writers and artists to send to people as a “Thank You” if they made a donation to a fellow writer’s GoFundMe to help save their dog’s life. I contacted many artists and writers, received all the packages, kept track of every donation along with their contact information, bought shipping materials, packaged 30+ “Thank You” packages and shipped them out on my own dime. It wasn’t even my dog, guys.
If you know me, you know I tip $20 on a $12 restaurant bill just about every time I go out to eat. Which isn’t often because quite frankly, my tipping habits make it expensive. But I do it because the place I go to most often is a little diner next to work. And the servers are so nice. And they remember my drink order as soon as I step foot in there. This is the same restaurant I’ve sat in a people watched and noticed elderly people eating alone and paid for their meals anonymously.
If you know me, you know I’ve donated portions of my preorders to charities. If you know me, you would know that last week I was in the grocery store and an elderly woman was in a motorized cart behind me and couldn’t reach all the way into her basket and put things on the conveyor without a great deal of struggle and so I stood there having already been checked out and I took every single item out of her cart for her and organized it on the belt for her.
If you know me at all, you know that every single dime of the money that was given to me is going toward exactly what I said it was going to. And the book signing I have in Nashville, TN next month was paid for months ago when I actually had the extra money to do it. No, I am not taking donations and using them to travel the country. Yes, someone did actually comment that on my page earlier this morning. I have one trip scheduled. One trip to Nashville. One trip to Nashville that’s already paid for. One trip that is actually meant to further my efforts in writing where I will sign and sell books while I am there.
This same comment said I “bitched about being a single mother” last week. Let me make one thing clear to all of you. I never bitch about it. Do I struggle? Do I break down and cry in the solitude of my bedroom? Yes and yes. Do I carry on day after day bitching about being a single mother? No. I do not. I try everyday to be a person I would want them to be. So when I take them out to lunch and my daughter asks me why I’m leaving so much money for the server, I tell her because it’s good to be nice. It’s important to be nice.
When my daughter asks me why I have so many packages for the mailman, I tell her that as people we have to try every day to be generous. She asks me what generous means. I tell her sometimes generosity is going without something you want so that you can give someone else what they want or need.
I’m not a person who wants for many material things. I don’t get my hair and nails done. I’m not saying you’re a bad person if you are, please don’t misunderstand. It is very important to pamper yourself and treat yourself. I’m just saying these are not things I do. I don’t eat out a lot. I don’t buy myself new stuff a lot, aside from books. And those books are often either books by authors I really love or books by friends and other writers I know who are doing the same thing I’m doing. They’re independent. They’re trying hard every day to make a living from their art. And I support them in that cause.
Oh and one more thing. if you visited my donation page after the fact, you will see a “donation” from Eli himself. You know who he is. I don’t have to remind you that he is one of the owners of UW Publishing. He made a “donation” of $1675 which brought me to the goal I had set on there. Now let’s not mix words. Is getting money from someone who owes it to me a donation? No. It’s getting the money that is rightfully and contractually owed to me. Does Eli consider it a donation? No. No he doesn’t. He considers it part of the money he owes me and stated so in an email to me. There is also a comment on a fellow artist’s page where UW’s Instagram account states they given me $1600 of what they owe me. So no, Eli didn’t donate anything to me. He paid me part of what I am contractually owed. Nothing more and nothing less. And those who did donate to me are getting items in return. I will be sending out signed poems and signed books to everyone who donated the corresponding amounts.
This effort was not to get anything for free. In fact, I never thought for a moment I would reach the goal on there. The blog post I made and the reason for the fund was to do one thing. State the truth and let the rest play out however it may have. It was to prove a point to UW and to everyone else. My integrity can’t be bought. And when you stand up and do the right thing, sometimes karma has a way of repaying you all of those small good deeds you’ve put out in the world.
So, as for me, as far as I’m concerned the UW situation is all but wrapped up. I will not be making any more posts about UW unless I absolutely have to. I will continue doing giveways as I always have because I love you guys and giving you free stuff makes me happy as pie. I will be signing in Nashville, TN next week to further my writing career and it is not on the dime of anyone who contributed money to my fund. And I will continue to do as many small and random acts of kindness as I possibly can. Because it’s the right things to do. And you know what’s funny? Last week in the grocery store, the cute little old lady thanked me. She said “It will come back to you, dear. It will.” And I shrugged it off and didn’t think anything of it. But guess what? It has. It really has. So if for no other reason than to pay your karma fund, do good deeds. It will come back to you.