Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I’m not ready to make new resolutions. I fell a bit short on some of my goals for last year and have decided to just grant myself a re-do on a few of those. I’m calling in a mulligan and I don’t even golf, never have.

Last year, I pledged to read more broadly and while I did better than in previous years, I’ve still got some room to grow. I always find myself drawn back to memoirs or a good mystery and hesitate at the word “fantasy.”

While I didn’t blog about it last year, I also tried to commit to entering at least one contest or submitting one work every month. Now this, this was a lofty goal. I didn’t totally wash out but I’m not going to lie, I didn’t make every month. Let’s go with the rule of 80 and round up. The good news is that for the entering I did, a few pieces actually received some recognition.

Last week I picked up my contributor copy of this year’s Cuivre River Volume VII. I have four pieces in this anthology, two prose and two poetry. The very next day, I picked up my contributor copy of the Coffee & Critique Anthology and have one piece in this work. Not a bad 48 hours!
So for 2014, I will continue in my resolve to read in a wider variety and write more consistently. As for the diet (meaning food choices, not a diet) and exercise plans, these are once again being scrapped. A girl has to be realistic after all. Here's to a guilt-free 2014!

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Counter Narrative to Black Friday

See a need, fill a need. I love that approach to life. It just makes sense. With that idea in mind, I joined the ranks of the St. Charles City-County Library Foundation in August 2013. It's beautiful work - seeing unique gifts of time, talents, and treasure in action right here in our community. Now the St. Charles City-County Library Foundation has joined #GivingTuesday in an effort to inspire personal philanthropy and encourage bigger, better and smarter charitable giving during the holiday season, showing that the world truly gives as good as it gets.
#Giving Tuesday, a new national day of giving added to the calendar in 2012, will harness the collective power of a unique blend of partners – charities, families, businesses and individuals – to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. Coinciding with the holiday shopping season,  #GivingTuesday will inspire people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give to the charities and causes they support and help create a better world. Taking place December 3, 2013 – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving – #GivingTuesday will utilize the power of social media to create a national moment around the holidays dedicated to giving, similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become days that are, today, synonymous with holiday shopping.
The Library Foundation joined #GivingTuesday to highlight the opportunity to give a vital gift – the gift of literacy. Focused on preparing young children to read and furthering lifelong learning for the whole family, the organization’s Take 20 and Read campaign encourages people to read for 20 minutes each day. The Library Foundation works to ensure that every child is equipped with the early literacy skills necessary to learn to read by the time he or she begins kindergarten and encourages adults to read as well. Through their Give 20 for Take 20 initiative, the Library Foundation will assist fragile families by providing books and parent resources to help make certain children from birth to age five are equipped with the tools necessary to read successfully.
“Much of what we see during the holiday season focuses on shopping and the search for the best deal. On #GivingTuesday we hope people will take part in the philanthropic spirit of the season and support an organization they feel a connection to and help improve our local community. A gift of $20 to the Library Foundation allows us to provide Early Literacy Kits to three families. And of course, we feel the gift of literacy is the best holiday deal of all,” said Kristin Williams, Executive Director of the Library Foundation.
The Library Foundation is one of more than 8,300 organizations who have joined the #GivingTuesday movement this year. #GivingTuesday is endorsed by Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, Dorothy A. Johnson Center on Philanthropy, Giving Institute, Giving USA Foundation and InterAction. Charity Navigator, Givewell and GuideStar are serving as Charity Advisors. 
Those who are interested in joining the St. Charles City-County Library Foundation’s #GivingTuesday
initiative can visit http://stchlibraryfoundation.org/ to make a gift to the Library Foundation. Follow the Library Foundation's social media activities on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SCCCLibraryFoundation and Twitter @SCLibFoundation
For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the #GivingTuesday website (www.givingtuesday.org), Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday) or follow #GivingTuesday (https://twitter.com/GivingTues) and the #GivingTuesday hashtag on Twitter.

Tomorrow I hope you kick off this season of holiday giving by choosing an organization near and dear to you and making a gift. Your support makes a difference. Love always wins. - Karen