I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Introducing Write Dreams, a writers' charity auction coming soon, and Luna!

Today I'm interviewing Luna, one of my CPs and friends. She's going to tell you all about Write Dreams, a writers' charity auction that's following on in the footsteps of Write Hope. The auction begins on January 16, so make sure you check it out and follow along - there's heaps of cool stuff to bid on.

Take it away Luna.

We’ve been talking a lot lately about Write Dreams, would you care to tell us what it is and what it aims to do?

Write Dreams is a kidlit auction we (Marieke, Amanda & me) have set up to raise money for Donna’s Dream House in order to help them with restoration costs following an arson attack on the 23rd December 2011.

In the middle of the night, arsonists broke into the office building and adjacent health centre. They stole essential computer equipment and damaged the suite, before setting fire to the furniture. When the fire was discovered, it was almost too late. The building was so badly damaged that it may have to be rebuilt completely, with total damages estimated in excess of £80,000/$125,000. More importantly, the fire destroyed photographs and mementoes of Donna - and hope.

What is the cause behind Write Dreams?

Donna Curtis died New Year’s Day in 1996, she was only 20. Having spent her last four years fighting cancer Donna saw the suffering of many terminally ill children and vowed her legacy would help them live a little more happily in the time they had left.

Donna’s Dream House is a holiday home for children and teenagers with life-threatening or terminal illnesses. The Dream House is run completely by volunteers and encourages the imagination. It’s how any child would imagine the perfect holiday to be. It’s full of light and laughter, fun and - most importantly - life. Since its start, Donna's Dream House has hosted and helped almost 380 families. 300 of those children have now sadly passed away, but the families who are left behind will always cherish the memories from Donna’s Dream House.

Why is this so important to you and Amanda and Marieke?

I’ve been sitting here for 20mins trying to decide how best to answer this… my mum died of lung-cancer when I was 11. She was ill for months and spent her last Christmas in a hospice. My father tried to explain this to me but I just thought she’d get better. The last time I saw her I was too occupied with playing with my nephew that I barely said hello. She died on the 2nd January and I didn’t tell her I loved her when I went home the day before.

Just over a year and a half later my father was in hospital to have his foot amputated. And I hadn’t learned, too excited about going into town I was only there for a short while. (To be fair to my younger self, it was supposed to be routine surgery.) When I came home from school the next day the doctor was on the phone to explain he had died during the night.

If I tried, I could maybe scrape together 10 memories of my mother, sadly even less of my father. I can’t even fill a photo album with what I have… while it’s not the same as watching your own child suffer from a life-threatening illness, making memories, having something to hold on, is why this is SO important.

My Mum & me.
I don’t remember this but it’s worth more to me
than my entire book collection. 
(And that’s saying something!) 
Donna’s Dream House offers that dream holiday to children who may very well never get the chance to have one otherwise. It understands and supports the families of these children – it gives them a chance to build memories. Memories that will be vital to those left behind, because no matter what they say, time doesn’t heal that kind of loss. You learn to deal with it and remembering the people you love happy helps more than you can imagine.

Marieke spent a large part of her childhood in hospitals with doctors not always convinced she’d come out again. Making memories then and continuing to do so is the same lesson I learned.

Memories can be little things. One of my favourite memories is playing hide-and-seek with Marieke and two other friends in Covent Garden. If was cold, very confusing to the people around us (this was two years ago) BUT so much fun.

Amanda has the mom’s view in this, the fear of your child having a terminal illness, the feeling of helplessness. Donna’s Dream House can’t cure the illness but it can help support children and parents.

So what’s the plan with the auction? When will it start and what can people who want to help do?

We have a (still) growing list of awesome donations from writers, publishers, etc.

Starting on Monday the 16th January we will be opening the auction, posting several items per day. Among other things, we have a full signed set of Tabitha Suzuma's books, all of Alyson Noël's Immortals series with some awesome swag, Waterstone's Children's Book Award-winning Artichoke Hearts, ARCs, critiques, and many more.

The event will last two weeks.

Where can we find Write Dreams and follow along?

The auction will be held here: Write Dreams and is starting on Monday the 16th January. You can also find us on Twitter where we will be posting info about specific auctions as well as general updates, etc…

Any other comments you want to make about Write Dreams or Donna’s Dream House?

Just that it’s a really worthy cause and the donations are awesome, so you need to check it out!


Thanks so much to Luna for taking the time to appear on Rach Writes... Make sure you all head on over to Write Dreams and follow along, then turn up on January 16 to bid on their awesome items.


JO said...

What a thoughtful interview - and inspiring answers. Thanks for this.

T.D. McFrost said...

This is an amazing initiative! I'm so sorry this had to happen to good people, but we, the blogging community, will do everything to help. ^_^

patientdreamer said...

What an amazing interview. This was so heartbreaking to read. Will slide on over and check out the link. Thanks for sharing Rach!

Angela Brown said...

I've been coming across so many writers engaging in acts to help others. May it never be said that "all writers are out for themselves". Write Dreams, Heather McCorkle, Roland Yeomans and so many others help to prove that wrong.

Unknown said...

It has been some time since I visited website with such high quality information. Thank you so much for providing such helpful information. This is really informative and I will for sure refer my friends the same. Thanks
Penny Auction

Li said...

It's always great to see writer - and the social networking community - coming together for a good cause:-)

Clarbojahn said...

Here again you stretch us to help another in need. Thanks so much for that, Rachael. It is so appreciated.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

What a great cause.

Hope Roberson said...

Thank you for the thoughtful and insightful comments over on the ebysswriter contest! I've added you edits :)

Deniz Bevan said...

Wow, thanks so much for drawing our attention to this!

Amanda Milner said...

Thanks, Rach! Great interview! :D

Unknown said...

I just about started crying reading this interview. How heartbreaking to lose your mother and father when you're so young (though it's hard at any age, of course), and when she said that she didn't tell her mother she loved her for the last time... *tears* It's such a reminder never to take for granted the people we love.
Such a worthy cause. I'll be there, trying to figure out how to bid!

Leslie S. Rose said...

It is inspiring the way a loss in turned into a hope for others. Thank you for sharing this.

Write Dreams said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words.

The auction is live and we’ve got some really good stuff up for grabs. There is a helpful section which should help you with the bidding but if you have any questions just email us writedreams2012@gmail.com

Thank you Rach for hosting the interview.

aisyahputrisetiawan said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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