Posts Tagged ‘benefit’

Five days left in the KGB Raffle

Only five days left in the KGB raffle. Five! If you aren’t already familiar with it, the hosts of the Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series in New York City are holding a raffle to support the series.  All proceeds from the raffle will help support the reading series, which has been a bright star in the speculative fiction community for more than a decade.

Raffle tickets cost one dollar US ($1) and can be purchased at  You may purchase as many tickets as you want between now and October 25th, 2010.  Sales will close at midnight (Eastern Daylight Time) on October 25th, and shortly afterward, winners will be drawn randomly from a digital “hat” and announced on the web.  Prizes will be mailed to the lucky winners by the donors. (See a more detailed explanation in Raffle Rules).

What sort of prizes?

I donated a signed carbon copy of a typewritten short story draft. Yes, a story on actual carbon paper typed on a burgundy and black duotone Royal with a sans serif typeface. “The Golden Child’s Glamour” is set in the Shades of Milk and Honey universe.

I also donated a short story critique.

Plus, there’s Neil Gaiman’s keyboard and things like…

And more! Go buy raffle tickets for the Fantastic Fiction at KGB Raffle.

Fundraising auction for Deb Mensinger’s liver transplant.

One of the things that is wonderful about fandom is the way people reach out to help total strangers.  Today and tomorrow, you have a chance to help, too.

debsliverlovers is a fandom auction to benefit Deb Mensinger and her wife, Laurie J. Marks (author of the Elemental Logic series, the Children of the Triad series, The Watcher’s Mask, and Dancing Jack, and guest of honor at WisCon 31). Bidding begins on Saturday, May 1, 2010, at 12:01 am Eastern Daylight Savings Time, and closes on Sunday, May 23, 2010, 11:59 pm Eastern DST. Bidding is currently OPEN!

What’s the cause?

This auction is to raise money for the medical and incidental expenses related to Deb Mensinger’s liver transplant. Deb and Laurie will have a number of expenses that are not covered by insurance, including the costs related to getting the potential live donor to Massachusetts for testing and, if all goes well, the surgery.

Deb has been disabled for several years by a genetic form of porphyria. Over time, porphyria destroys the liver, and Deb has now reached a point where she requires a liver transplant to survive.

We all know how difficult it is to get an organ transplant, and how long the lists are. However, there is a spot of hope in this: Deb's brother is willing to be a live donor. If he passes all the tests, genetic and otherwise, the hope is that the two of them would go into surgery simultaneously, and surgeons would remove a lobe of his liver and transplant it to Deb. In 6-8 weeks, both livers would regenerate into full, functioning livers, and Deb will never have porphyria again.

If you’d like to know more about the auction visit debsliverlovers – Community Profile.

You may also donate directly.

Bid on me! Raise money for TAFF

Well, not actually on me, but on a tuckerization by me in a short story or novel as part of a fundraiser for the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund this year.

For those of you who don’t know, TAFF sends – in alternating years – a delegate(s) from North America to Europe or from Europe to N. America, to attend a science fiction convention. The point of the auction is to raise funds to make this possible. The folks running for TAFF this year are the team of (1) Anne KG Murphy and her fiance Brian Gray and (2), Frank Wu.

Frank says:

I have posted to eBay several Tuckerization auctions (in which you get to bid on the naming rights of a minor character in a novel or story by a famous author!). The auctions for Tuckerizations from Cory Doctorow, Charlie Stross, Nalo Hopkinson, David Brin, Elizabeth Bear, Julie Czerneda and Mary Robinette Kowal are up!

We also have auctions for first editions of Orwell’s “1984” and John Hersey’s “Hiroshima”.

In addition, Chris Garcia’s fanzine The Drink Tank, issue 231, has been posted with articles by Anne KG Murphy + Brian Gray, and by Frank about our TAFF campaigns. Anne and Brian’s article serves as a good introduction about them to everyone!

And, of course, don’t forget to actually vote for TAFF!

So go on, bid on me.

Catherynne M. Valente: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland

If you are looking for a YA novel, or something rich and plummy to read on your own, may I recommend, Catherynne M. Valente’s new online novel, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland.

Chapter 1: Exeunt, on a Leopard

Once upon a time, a girl named September grew very tired indeed of her father’s house, where she washed the same pink and yellow teacups and matching gravy boats every day, slept on the same embroidered pillow, and played with the same small and amiable dog. Because she had been born in May, and because she had a mole on her left cheek, and because her feet were very large and ungainly, the Green Wind took pity on her, and flew to her window one evening just after her eleventh birthday. He was dressed in a green smoking jacket, and a green carriage-driver’s cloak, and green jodhpurs, and green snowshoes. It is very cold above the clouds, in the shanty-towns where the Six Winds live.

One of the things that I love about the sf community is the way it rallies around a member in need.  When Cat posted about financial troubles last week she said, “I didn’t want charity, or something for nothing. I wanted to work, and support my family. I decided that in the world of new media and online literature, I could try to do what I do best: write a novel. I could offer up a book to the world, and try to feed us with it. I wanted it to be free, so that everyone could read it, not locked behind a password. But we needed money—so I posted to my blog and asked my readers to pay whatever they thought it was worth.”

Even without the warm glow you get from helping someone out, this novel looks to be well worth making a contribution.  I’d made a contribution last week and opened chapter one today, just to see. I immediately got sucked in. It’s like Rudyard Kipling decided to write Raggedy Ann in Oz, with Amelia Earhardt thrown in for fun.

Forget Citigroup, Puppet Show Needs a Bailout

As happy as I am to see a puppet related item make national news, I wish it wasn’t this.

There are many ways to measure California’s tanking economy: an 8.2 percent unemployment rate; a multibillion-dollar state budget gap; threatened endowments of the city’s museums, causing some cultural institutions to nearly default on mortgages; and the continued weakening of the Hollywood studio system. But the meltdown of the marionettes may say it all.

The article talks about Bob Baker Marionette Theater, which is one of the institutions of puppetry. It’s been in continuous operation since 1961 and I know so many puppeteers who got their start there. The theater is not just meaningful for puppeteers. John Scalzi says, “I remember going to that theater when I was in 4th and 5th grade.”

The puppet community has been talking about the financial trouble the theater is in for some time now. So I’m going to include some information that’s not in the article. That’s how you can make a donation to help keep this theater open for another five decades.

Tax deductible donations can be made to “The Academy of Puppetry and Allied Arts.” Send your check to 1345 West First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 or call 213-250-9995 to make a donation by credit card.

If you haven’t already started your holiday shopping….

My wunder-agent, Jennifer Jackson just posted the following.

My client Alison Kent has organized a fundraiser event: For Jo Leigh, who lost her husband to cancer earlier this year. Like many writers, Jo Leigh and her husband had no health coverage, and so Alison (and others) put a call out to the writing community for contributions to auction so they could help. There are many books, goodies, and author/agent/editor critiques.

I am offering a critique of three chapters (not to exceed 50 pages) and a synopsis (up to 10 pages).

Go on. Bid for it. I guarantee that it will be worth every cent. fundraiser

SF writer, Rick Novy, pointed out that Ralan is having a fundraiser and has only raised 14% of his goal, half-way through the drive. Come on folks, we can do better than that.

We all use because he has pretty much every market listed.

Rick suggests:

1) Make a 10 euro donation (the paypal site takes care of the details).
2) Help me to spread the word on the blogosphere. Let’s show Ralan the thanks he deserves for all he does for us.

Will you help out?

Help with sock donations

A friend of mine and fellow writer, D. T. Friedman volunteers at a non-profit organization and needs your help. Specifically, your socks.


Hi there!

I’m the Resource Coordinator for a non-profit organization that works with homeless and indigent teenagers, as well as teens who are in bad home situations. OxenFree is a really fantastic program that engages at-risk teens through punk rock music, and provides support in a drug-free and alcohol-free environment.

The reason I’m invading blogs today? My job with OxenFree is to receive requests from the phenomenal people who run the program, and to figure out a way to fill them. My current assignment is…SOCKS. And I have to admit, I’m a bit at a loss. Socks are not a large-volume item at clothing centers (people usually just wear them out instead of donating them), and they’re surprisingly expensive. Homeless teenagers, especially hitchhikers, go through socks like you wouldn’t believe. My friend Margie can no longer afford to keep stocking her “free socks” drawer by herself, and asked me if I could try working my magic.

So, would you be willing to help me sock my punks?

If so, thank you in advance! Thank you so much! Any donation is welcome (supplies only, please) at the following address:

OxenFree Donations
4922 E. New York St.
Indianapolis, IN 46201

Toothbrushes, toothpaste, and tampons are also very useful and hard-to-come-by items.

If shipping to Indiana is too expensive, it would totally rock MY socks off if you considered donating to a similar program in your own city. At-risk teens are everywhere. They’re really neat people, and doing tiny things to help them out has an incredible effect.

Thank you so much, again, for your time, attention and consideration!

D. T. Friedman

Because D.T. doesn’t have a website, I’ve offered to let her use the comment thread of this post to answer questions. Meanwhile, pass the word and send socks.

The KGB raffle ends tonight

The KGB Raffle ends tonight. Don’t forget to purchase your tickets before it’s too late!

Monday evening at midnight, Eastern Daylight Time, we will be closing the store to all new ticket purchases and announcing the winners shortly after. Now is your last chance to purchase raffle tickets.

To everyone who has purchased tickets so far, thank you and good luck! Your support will help keep KGB Fantastic Fiction viable for many years to come. You may also want to visit the store one last time. We have added several new and amazing raffle items this past week.

A Complete List of Raffle Items:

A week of Peter and the Wolf in one post

We did the benefit performance of Peter and the Wolf yesterday. I’d spent the week in rehearsals and intended to blog about them, but I kept dropping into bed instead. I know, I know. Picking sleep instead of you guys. Clearly, my priorities need work.

So, we’ll catch up today.

The puppeteer who played the narrator/Grandfather role could not be with us this time, so we substituted Jodi Eichelberger instead. Jodi and I have worked together for years, but haven’t performed opposite each other in ages. While I was looking forward to that, the thing that I loved was that we took the time to really work the scenes between Peter and the Grandfather, something that we’d not had time to do with the other puppeteer.

As a result, those scenes were clearly tied to the music and had a specificity that was lacking before. Funny what a little rehearsal will do, eh? It also helped that Jodi and I have performed so much together (years touring) that we can anticipate the other one.

I also got to see the video of the show for the first time. In the last performance, we had no mirror in the rehearsal room and so I had to rely on other people and what little I could see of the puppet myself. I mean, I could only really see the top of Peter’s head. Parts of the video made me happy, but great swathes of it made me go, “Gah! People were letting me get away with that?”

I think the first rehearsal that Jodi and I did largely focused on getting the puppets to walk without looking like they were being prodded with sharp sticks in the rear at every step.

The stage we were on was significantly smaller this time. So there were places where I simply didn’t have enough action and no amount of scenery chewing was going to fill it out. So I asked if they could speed that passage up. Lo! I still had to chew the scenery, but not as much.

Other than that, it was easy to pick the show back up again. I wish we did more than one performance though. As frustrating as the puppet is, I like the show a lot. Or maybe it’s just that I like the music and the live musicians. What a joy!

Downtown Artists Unite for China’s Earthquake Victims and UNICEF

Benefit Poster

New York – The Players Theatre will host Hands together: New York Artists Gather for China Earthquake Relief to Benefit UNICEF presented by Matrix Music Collaborators on June 14, 2008, 3pm, 115 MacDougal Street (between W3rd and Minetta Lane) in Greenwich Village, New York. Admission is $45 / Package of Four for $125. All proceeds will go to U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Tickets can be obtained through TheaterMania ( at (212) 352-3101. For individual donations, please visit for U.S Fund for UNICEF.

On May 12, 2008 the largest natural disaster in a generation struck Sichuan province in China.

According to date recently collected by UNICEF, more than 10,000 school buildings in Sichuan were badly damaged by the earthquake. Almost 7,000 schools were completely destroyed and many others suffered partial damage. UNICEF estimates that the number of school children affected is in the millions. Most of these children are now trying to continue their schooling in temporary shelters and tents. Precise figures are still very difficult to obtain. As the death toll from the earthquake exceeds 68,000, according to official estimates, the needs of survivors are growing daily. At least 300,000 people were injured and 5 million displaced. Now in the aftermath we can see that the scale of the humanitarian crises before us is truly staggering. Supplies are being rushed to the five million are literally without shelter. Like so many Americans we stand together with the people so deeply affected by this massive earthquake to find ways to help.

This special performance will feature an international line up of artists to include Min Xiao-Fen; Wu Na; Huang Ruo; members of the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre; Asian American Writers’ Workshop; the cast of puppeteers from Peter and the Wolf and Matrix Music Collaborators. It is geared for all ages.


Drunken Man by Jiu Kuang, based on a famous poet of the western Jin dynasty (265 -420)

Blue Pipa (inspired by Miles Davis) by Min Xiao-Fen

The North of Sunset
by Thelonius Monk, arr. by Min Xiao-Fen

Mo (dedicated to the victims of the Sichuan earthquake) by Min Xiao Fen and Wu Na

Performed by Min Xiao-Fen, pipa / Wu Na, qin

Four Fragments for solo violin
by Huang Ruo

Performed by Yoon Kwon, violin

Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla

Performed by Matrix Music Collaborators

Excerpts from The Joy Luck Club

a play by Susan Kim, adapted from the novel by Amy Tan with direction & musical staging by Tisa Chang

Performed by Pan Asian Repertory Theatre

“Super Cop World” video installation featuring mighty Mario and Jackie Chan

Designed by Eric Siu

Peter and the Wolf, Op. 57 by Sergei Prokofiev

Performed by puppeteers: Deborah Hertzberg; Serra Hirsch; Daniel Irizarry; Mary Robinette Kowal; Chris McLaughlin; Jessica Scott; Meghan Williams, and Jodi Eichelberger, directed by Jane Catherine Shaw and Terry O’Reilly with Matrix Music Collaborators under the direction of Sheryl Lee

Readings by published authors from Asian American Writers’ Workshop

Continue reading ›

Peter and the Wolf, returns

Details will follow, but I want to give as much warning as possible. Saturday, June 14th we’re doing Peter and the Wolf as part of a festival called: Hands Together: New York Artists Gather for China Earthquake Relief. We are working with UNICEF and have some great guests coming in such as Pan Asian Rep.