With 19 days to go in my campaign to raise the funds to publish my ‘connected short story collection’, I thought I would check in and see how it is going.
So far we have raised 3.9920159% of the total which is interesting, sad, perplexing, understandable,worrying and testing of my faith hope and to a certain extent, charity.
Firstly, let me tell you how terrifying it is to embark on such a campaign……… it’s terrifying.
It is a lot like the reason for the campaign………. publishing.
In both cases you are putting yourself out there and saying “love me”, or at least “love what I do.”
I know how busy people can be and I know that there are always heaps of people asking you to buy this and contribute to that……. I know because it happens to me.
On any given day I receive two phone calls asking me to contribute to a charity that we have contributed to in the past [we had a bit of money a while ago and we spread it around….. just a bit].
There’s a bloke who sits outside the supermarket and plays guitar and harmonica just like Bob Dylan….. he doesn’t ask for money but I know he would like some, so I give him what small change I have, whenever I can afford to do so…….and like Dylan, he doesn’t say much.
A lady I know published her first book just recently and I bought a paper copy; I could not afford it but I went without coffee for a couple of weeks because it occurred to me that she is the first person I have come across who has gone through the process that I have, and she has seen it through and produced a book. I may never come into contact with another person [who I know well] who has done this, and I needed to mark the occasion by buying her book.
We live in a bushfire prone area, and every now and then the local brigade stands at the intersection and collects money for one thing or another. It’s hard to say no because they are mostly volunteers and our lives depend on them and their equipment………… you see what I mean?
There is always a good cause to contribute to and I haven’t even touched on ‘keeping gay whales in the ground’, or ‘helping single mothers buy battleships’, or ‘stopping the logging of our native echidnas’ [we had an echidna in our back yard just the other night….. we felt blessed that the little fella passed our way].
If, sometime over the next 19 days, you feel the need to help me get closer to the 100% mark then please feel free to join in.
If I get close but don’t make it, you will not be out a single cent………. it’s all or nothing………. boom or bust……. if we don’t hit the mark you will not be expected to contribute.
Remember that I am writing two special stories just for this campaign………. a very short one for anyone who contributes $10 or more and an extra special story [just under 4000 words] for anyone who contributes $50 or more.
But, to be perfectly honest, I would be happy with a dollar.
I just need the encouragement.
As of pushing the publish button, I have one WordPress [thanks Mobi] person as a sponsor.
Allegedly, I have 1149 followers, and one supporter so far…………?
If you have had fun over the past year or so, reading my stories, then please consider putting in a dollar, or the price of a coffee………. if all my ‘followers’ did so I would have TWICE the amount I need………… just saying.
Contribute or not, I still appreciate the fact that you take time out of your day to read my stories.
He must have hit the road quite hard.
I heard the car hit him and I heard the crowd gasp but by the time I turned my head he was trying to get to his feet. As befits a surreal moment like this, he was looking on the ground for his sunglasses. It was pouring rain, the sun had set but he still had his sunglasses with him. Despite the darkness it was not a lack of light that had contributed to this scene. It happened outside the Forum Cinema; brightly lit as most cinema entrances tend to be. The rain definitely had something to do with it as did impatience and a possible desire to not get too wet.
To get from the Forum to ACMI* (which you would probably have to do at least once if you are a dedicated MIFF* attendee) you have to walk away from your intended target and navigate two sets of pedestrian lights (both very slow to react) or you could do what many people do and cross the road directly. I’ve done it a couple of times during the festival but in daylight, when it was not raining and not during that vicious time know as ‘peak hour’!
Even in my younger and braver days I would not have attempted this particular crossing under these conditions, but this bloke did and there he was picking himself and his sunglasses off the road.
As he got to his feet I watched his body language to see what condition he was in and I guess the throng of people around me were doing the same.
As he straightened up, sunglasses in hand, he looked a little unsteady. The traffic had stopped but this was ‘peak hour,’ that time of the day when reason and compassion is thrown to the wind.
As the seconds ticked by he seemed to be trying to make up his mind what he should do next. I wanted him to come back onto the footpath and sit down but he decided to continue his original course! His chances of making it across the first time were slim but now they were non existent. As if to prove the point, one of the cars in the waiting line pulled out onto the tram line and narrowly missed him. Fortunately, he got the point and stopped but now he seemed really confused and it occurred to me that I might have to go and get him but it also occurred to me that the situation was getting more dangerous by the second as the waiting cars were likely to take off without warning and I would have to cross three lanes to get to him. For those few moments he was still safe but it was likely to go pear shaped very quickly.
At this point the guy in the little white car (which I’m assuming is the one that hit him) began gesturing to the pedestrian to get into his car. He got the message and slowly came around to the passenger side and very, very slowly got in.
The watching crowd breathed a mental sigh of relief and we all returned to normal time. I say ‘normal time’ as these things tend to play out in what appears to be slow motion but in fact everything moves at normal speed but in what feels like compressed time.
But at least we had a reasonably happy ending and a large number of people, mostly queueing for cinema tickets, got to see it play out.
Every story needs a good ending with a bit of reality thrown in so here we go.
As the stunned, sunglasses toting pedestrian climbed into the car the car behind him started blowing his horn and he kept blowing it. He was obviously in a hurry, there was no need to worry about a slightly crumpled pedestrian, he needed to get home.
Most likely he was afraid he would miss the beginning of Big Brother.
It seems to me that the media likes to focus on incidents that appear to show that the general public does not respond in an emergency. This hasn’t been my experience, and I was reminded when I read this article in ‘The Age’, my city’s newspaper. http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/quiet-care-that-the-news-misses-20130208-2e3vi.html
* ACMI is the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.
* MIFF is the Melbourne International Film Festival, it’s also the second oldest established film festival in the world.