Moving Forward Despite the Danger

I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I’ve bought a big bat.  I’m all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
~Dr. Seuss

I travel a lot, and as such am accustomed to meeting people. Sometimes they are even good people, and that’s nice. Occasionally I’m lucky enough to meet great people, and it is those instants I realize just how fortunate I am to live in a time and place where it is possible to be an author/editor. Meeting incredible people, however, is something I don’t know how to deal with. It doesn’t happen. We live in a culture saturated by mythologies–the incredible event, the incredible friendship, the incredible romance–all playing out thousands of times a day for us in film, television, and literature. Thus far 2012 has afforded me the opportunity to actually meet not just one, but multiple incredible people, and have incredible experiences, and develop incredible friendships. I’m fairly certain they’ll have to make a movie, book, and television show about it all some day.

In June I found myself in the auspicious position of being an editor guest of Seton Hill University’s In Your Write Mind Workshop. On the first evening of the workshop a large group of us went out to dinner at Primanti Brothers, a western Pennsylvania tradition. Among the ten of us I found myself positioned next to an unfamiliar face. The woman’s name was Donna, and despite my poor small talk skills it was clear Donna was friendly and intelligent. We talked again at a room party much later that night, but I didn’t realize until the next day she was one of the handful of organizers for the entire workshop.

It’s called a workshop, but it’s really a writing conference in terms of size and scope, only it’s more valuable than most conferences you’ll find yourself attending. Donna had a huge role in making that happen, especially the Gatsby Costume Ball. Looking back on it I cannot believe the whole thing only took four days; it has all the memories and significance of entire months of my life.

It came out a couple weeks later that Donna had been diagnosed with breast cancer. When considering the interval of time it takes to receive medical test results it seems entirely likely that she was operating at the workshop with the prospect of having breast cancer weighing on her. To function gracefully during the 24/7 workload and sensory assault that was the In Your Write Mind Workshop merely being a participant would be difficult for a lot of us, not to mention being an organizer and participant…but then to heap that extra level of stress on with health concerns. You would have never known it from how she conducted herself publicly.

Not surprisingly those involved with Seton Hill’s Popular Fiction Writing MFA program banded together to create a charity anthology unlike any other. At well over 700 pages, with works ranging from romance to horror, from fantasy to mystery to science fiction, Hazard Yet Forward anthology gives you your money’s worth while knowing ALL the proceeds go to assisting with Donna’s medical costs. This is one of those rare times when you can actually give back to somebody who regularly gives all they have to the writing community, and it has been made a matter of convenience. For more information, or to purchase, simply visit: http://www.amazon.com/Hazard-Yet-Forward-ebook/dp/B008TXBN8I/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1DQ9KRJNCCGUF&coliid=I1GDJ5L18ZCHC2

And yes, I have a story in the table of contents. There are almost 80 authors in all, ranging from veterans to new voices, all of whom are quite accomplished. Please allow us to entertain you in exchange for your support of Donna’s continued cancer treatment.

2 thoughts on “Moving Forward Despite the Danger”

  1. Thank you John. It was so wonderful to meet you and Jennifer! Glad to have you in the IYWM and SHU Family. Thanks so much for your help.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s