Last night I did something of which my father would thoroughly disapprove. It was so much fun, I intend to keep right on doing it, too. Sorry, Daddy...but not that sorry.
I am, you may have noticed, somewhat fond of writing (primarily fiction, but also poetry and prose when the mood strikes)(and my blog, of course, which is as honest as can be because why would I lie about this stuff??). I have even fancied myself a Writer (of sorts), and offered my services as a freelance writer to assorted folks. I often write for friends who need resumes tweaked (if you think those aren't fiction, you're doing them wrong) or website content, or blurbs, outlines, and whatnot written about their various businesses, hobbies, whatever. In those cases, emphasize the "free" in freelance.
I don't mind, though - it helps keep me sharp, and I love my friends and family, even when they are cranky with me because I give my time away (unless I'm giving it to them).
So last night, I hung out at Borders near the Mall of Georgia (Dear Borders Corporate Offices, please don't ever close my Borders near the mall, because then I wouldn't have anywhere to contain the crazy...er...write my stories and drink tea, I mean. Thank you.) with BeBop. You'd have to meet BeBop to understand the scope of the woman. She's a whirlwind with a huge laugh. She's relentless, with a grin. She's...she's a force of nature she is!
Bebop created a charity - Troop BeBop, USA - which she runs full tilt, non-stop, with what I've come to believe is her characteristic drive and enthusiasm. She's supposed to be retired, but I figure she'll retire when we don't have any more troops to support...so, like, never. Her charity, you see, is designed to provide phone cards and personal care items to our overseas troops - men and women who can't just pop out to the Evil Empire to fetch soap, tampons, socks, and Slim Jims whenever they feel the need. She primarily raises these funds through coffee drives (Thank you, Mall of Georgia Borders - one more reason I adore you), rallies, and benefit concerts.
I may have also mentioned here and there that I am usually a hair past broke on a regular basis. Much as I would dearly love to donate a thousand phone cards to the troops, and socks, and bubbles, and tickets home, and world peace...I don't have those things, nor have I the dosh to buy the ones that are for sale. Heck, I don't even really have the funds to fix T's poor Jimmy so he can drive it again (and I'd really like him to be able to drive it again, because he keeps changing my radio stations in the van, and that's grounds for homicide, isn't it??). Dang.
What I have got are words. So many words. Hundreds, thousands, million of words, building upon each other into edifices of thought, feeling, communication. Dictionopolis has nothing on me. Taken individually, words don't mean much to the world, anymore. Just look at text-speech and you'll know what I mean. Used properly, though, they build bridges, bludgeons, and blessings, they bemuse, bewilder, and bedazzle.
Last week, we were discussing...something. She mentioned that her website's a mess (it isn't, really - it's a beautiful reflection of the vital, vibrant woman who built it with love, compassion, verve, and no idea how to design a website) and I mentioned that I've been dipping my toes in the freelance waters. She mourned the fact that she doesn't have funds to pay a writer or site designer (because every donation goes to the troops, all of her administrative costs come out of her pocket).
So I did the thing my father hates (but, really, I don't care) and gave away my time and such skills I possess to help BeBop out with a little bit of writing. It's a start. She's looking for donors and working on some sponsorships and things I don't feel comfortable revealing because they are hers - I'm just the writer, she's the doer - and she needed some begging letters written.
Initially, I offered to help write content for her site - notices about upcoming events, schedules, things of that nature. I could, if pressed, learn how to write a proper press release, too. Last night, she offered me the opportunity to help her craft some special letters asking for sponsorship. I wrote, we tweaked, and she was a happy woman. I believe we have begun what could become a fine working relationship, two people content with what they're doing to help service men and women remember why they're over there - wherever "over there" is - picking sand out of their...toes...sweating, freezing, aching, missing their families, and generally questioning their sanity on a regular basis while doing jobs most of us cannot fathom.
I haven't gotten to her site content, yet, but I will. Meanwhile, yesterday went from blue (I was having a rough day) to red, white, and blue, and I felt (for the first time in a very long time) that my words made a positive difference to someone. I believe that this is going to be a delightful (and, I hope, continuing) collaboration, and I'm happy to have something to contribute, a way to thank the people putting it all on the line so I can sit at Borders and write whatever I wish without fear of censure or worse from the folks I may be writing about.
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.