Which of course, means that I'll truck right along and say it anyway.
There's a new trend out there. It's not a telethon--do they still have those?--but something that started recently is the very charitable kindness of authors raising money for other authors in need by offering many different things for auction or donation. Am I nuts? Is this something that's been going on for a while and I missed it? Because I'm thinking I may be the only cynical nut who is wondering this very bad thing to question.
Is it bad to take part in these events?
Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's a bad practice. It's wonderful, eye catching and helpful all the way around. I'm wondering why it hasn't been done sooner. I mean, even on eHQ, members are going on about how helpful these author critiques are. How great it was to get some one on one time with someone who knows. This is invaluable for them and most likely to the authors that are being helped.
I suppose--and this is the part I regret--that my fear lies only in that people see these kinds of terrible things as an "opportunity". Not the authors--although, I wouldn't be shocked if that didn't occur to them, either--but the people who benefit. I'm one of those souls who tends to overthink and if there's a way to feel bad about a good thing, I'm sure I can come up with it. But, morally, are these events a good thing?
It's extremely expensive to go to a crit service and let's face it, getting feedback from an author you admire is about as meteorically phenomenal as getting a good rejection/revision letter from your most adored editor. But after a while, do the fans that take part even care about the person that so deeply needs the help the authors are raising money to provide? Does this make us a step-above ambulance chasing? Am I dumb to think that should matter in the slightest? Is it any different than the bake sales and car washes my family put together to pay for my brother's funeral?
How do we go about helping first and benefitting later? Or benfitting at all? Is it still charity if we benefit?
Would love to know what others think. Am I crazy? Does that make me less wrong?
But, on that note, be you ambulance chaser or not, would like to let anyone who perhaps missed it know that author Marianne Mancusi lost her home to an unfortunate lightning strike during Nationals and has to start all over. Sending best wishes out to Marianne and also letting everyone know that there IS a way to help: Fundraisers are being organized, including both direct contributions and auctions--in case you want to help for help's sake. The site with the info is: http://www.literarychicks.com . Take a look. :)
Many hugs to all,