Phew. Say that five times fast.
In case you missed them, the winners of the six prize packs can be found HERE.
I found a bunch of new favorite blogs in your comments and ditto-ed several of your favorite books of the past year (esp. The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner). I often feel very warm and fuzzy when thinking of the past year blogging for Operation Awesome - how much I've learned from you all, the great books and authors we've met together, the success stories we've witnessed, and how nice it is to be noticed. :) Now that I have your attention, I'd like to channel it elsewhere...
You may have noticed a new sticker in our sidebar for Read for Relief.
The ladies of Operation Awesome are donating a thirty-page critique from all seven of us as an auction item. If you'd like to donate an item or service, just click on that sticker and follow their links. The organizers are a group of east-coast writers who want to make a difference for those hardest hit by the hurricane.
Like anyone else, I was following #hurricane and #Irene on twitter while the storm first started lashing the Carolinas after it swept through, devastating parts of Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
The incoming tweets ranged from the funny...
to the lighthearted...
to the informative...
I really didn't mind the pre-hurricane jokes since I'm the type of person who joked during most of her 28-hour labor just to stay sane. I understand the need for comic relief. But after the hurricane passed, I think the jokes took on a different tone. A mocking one. It's easy to forget that while it wasn't as epic as promised, it still hurt a lot of people.
At least 40 people across 11 states died as a result of the hurricane (source here).
The hurricane left between 7 and 13 BILLION dollars in damage along the east coast (source here).
Some of that damage was to businesses, but many people's homes were affected, too. According to the Read for Relief troop, "Many remain without power, or roads, or homes. Flooding has been disastrous."
The actual auctions begin on Monday, three days from now. I hope you'll join us in supporting this relief effort with our fellow writers. I know a lot of you will. That's just the nature of the writing community. It warms my heart to see you all paying it forward time and time again.
Thank you for inspiring me.
Have a great weekend, everybody!