I love this project

I came across this project today on Facebook, thanks to a writer friend and I had to share it here.

It combines several of my favourite things: helping kids at risk, using business for social justice, helping people to help themselves and gorgeous handbags!  I have been thinking lately that I need a new bag (I’m kind of hard on them) and for the last few years I have made a point of only buying fair-trade or otherwise helpful handbags.  (Which, by the way, is so going to be my band name: Imelda and the helpful handbags.)  So this project came along at just the right time.  I have signed myself up for a ‘loop’ bag and am looking forward to it being in my Christmas stocking!  So if you are in the market for a handbag, or a little social justice action with your Christmas, hop over and pledge.  The project is here: http://www.pozible.com/project/186203.

FYI – In case you haven’t seen a Pozible project before, it is another version of crowdfunding, a la Kickstarter.  In other words, it’s an opportunity for people to raise start-up funds for a business or project by offering rewards to people who pledge certain amounts.  As the amounts go up, so do the rewards.  There are some wacky crowd-funding ideas out there, but this looks like one of the good ones to me.  Because the project will produce products, the rewards are simple and easy to understand.  The woman running the project (apart from being a cousin of a woman whose integrity I respect) has done this kind of thing before, so you can be reasonably confident that it will go ahead as planned.  And, as with all such projects, the payment is only processed if they reach their target.  I wouldn’t recommend all crowd-funded projects, but for all those reasons (as well as its intentions) this looks like one of the good ones to me.  See for yourself!

Cheers, Imelda


PS – just dropped back in to say something else about Kickstarter and Pozible and other such crowdfunding options.  One of the best reasons to crowdfund something is to maintain independence.  That doesn’t so much apply to the project above, but it does to two others I have contributed to, namely, The Illusionists documentary and the Wonky Health blog about medical policy.  The latter also supports my commitment to paying people for quality content.  I’m a writer.  Writers need to be paid, especially if we want informed, qualified content, which Wonky Health is.  I think I have supported a couple of other kickstarters as well, but those are book-related and I buy so many books, I have forgotten the details.  But I just wanted to make the point that the reason for the crowdfund is one of the things to take into account when assessing whether supporting the project is for you.

Last Friday Links: Book Bloggers are awesome

A little while ago, two very nice readers of this blog bestowed blogging awards on me.

I know that not everybody accepts these awards and I can see why.  I’m sure the popular bloggers get them several times a week and it would be impractical to accept them all.  But I am not yet there* and I like accepting them because it gives me an excuse to share links to blogs I love.  And I love blogs way more than I should or have hours in the day.

The two awards are these:

The Reader Appreciation Award was given to me by Tom Lucas.  He’s a lovely bloke who writes all manner of things. You can find his blog here (or by clicking on the picture).

The other came from Resa McConaghy, who is one of the sweetest people I have met in the blogsphere and also, to my low-maintenance, jama-clad self**, almost impossibly glamorous.  She’s a costume designer.  For real. She blogs about that, and her corner of Toronto at Queen’s End.

To accept them, I need to link to several other blogs and today, inspired by the titles of the awards, I am going with a theme.

All of the blogs listed below are devoted to books.  To reviewing them, to sharing them, to celebrating them.

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Bless the Mums

Mothers want their children to be happy and healthy. Mrs. Kham, 27 and Anoy, 8 months old. Her smile says it all. She has three young healthy children. World Vision has been working in the village of Phonthong in Pakkading District of Bolikhamxay Province in Lao PDR to provide health and education through the Pakkading Mother and Child Health Project (PMCH).

It’s Mothers’ Day.  That’s why my post is late up, because I have been being feted with breakfast in bed and coffee and macarons in honour of the day.

Regular visitors to this blog will know that Sundays here are for showcasing interesting people and projects.  Mums certainly qualify, so today, this is for the Mums.  This is my prayer and wish for you.

For the Mums

For the new Mums, who are overwhelmed with love and the responsibility of nurturing this tiny miracle that has invaded and taken over your life:
May you get the sleep you need, may help come when you need it and may you have faith in yourself and your mothering, even when the house has gone to pot and you feel that you have no idea what you are doing.

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Spread a little Kindness: it’s good for all of us!

Last Friday, I said I had stopped talking about what makes men sexy.  Due to popular demand (two people, but that’s a quorum where I live!), I have changed my mind and will be continuing the series, but I am breaking in to do two quick updates and something new.

First, updates:

For everyone who expressed concern over the technical issues, chez Imelda, thank you and I am now the proud owner of a gorgeous, thin, light, long-battery-lifed laptop, which is making me very happy.  No doubt there will be a rhapsodising post at some point.

For those who liked the post on Pigtail Pals, Melissa has a post up on her blog today about just how hard it was to bring her business baby to life and keep it afloat which is touching reading and an encouragement to anyone struggling to keep up a good fight.

And now, onto the new thing: The Kindness Project

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Redefining Girly – One T-Shirt at a Time

Several months ago, while tooling around and making a pest of myself on Facebook, I came across Pigtail Pals – Redefine Girly.

Pigtail Pals is a business. It sells clothes for girls (and boys) among other things.

But it is also much more than a business.  As it says on the ‘about’ page,

Pigtail Pals – Redefine Girly wants to change the way people think about girls.

Not a little goal, then!  But such an important one.  For me, as an adult, ‘girly’ is an innocent word to describe fun and frivolous, enjoyable women’s stuff.  So, if I’m going out with a girlfriend to have a facial, or buy makeup or clothes, we might say we’re having ‘girly’ afternoon.  It’s harmless, for me.

But what effect does it have on a little girl, if ‘girly’  is all she is perceived to be – all she is ‘allowed’ to be? What if she absorbs the message that what, for me, is a frivolous and fun, but small, part of womanhood is ALL a girl is supposed to be or will be valued for?

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Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Imagine, if you will, a young girl, growing up poor.

Imagine that she has a chronic, undiagnosed anxiety disorder, a taxidermist father with a yen for roadkill and some very curious ideas about what makes a good puppet (and the time of night at which is appropriate to share said puppet).

Imagine she has a series of pets which… well, let’s just say that the pet experience is not entirely usual.

And all she wants is to fit in.

In the hands of Steven King, it would be a towering, terrifying horror story.  (At least, I imagine it would.  Growing up has not made me any more able to read Steven King’s novels than I was when I first encountered them as a squealy 11-year-old.  Loved ‘On Writing‘ though.)

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Sunday Salon Honours its Origins

This is a reblog from the Storytelling Australia (Victoria) blog, because

1. Stories are awesome
2. Storytellers are even more awesome
3. It is advertising a SALON about FAIRY TALES and that is so awesome that I think my head might explode.

Apparently, the whole concept of a Salon started with 17th Century women in France who gathered in their ‘salons’ to write, read, perform and discuss, Fairy Tales.  We never hear about these women, but we apparently owe them the term ‘Fairy Tale’ and they played a hugely important role in the spread and popularisation of folk tales among the upper classes.  They also wrote new tales. (For a fascinating article about the period, see this site – and if you are in Melbourne, go to the Salon!)

I can’t believe I didn’t know this already, but now that I do, it seems like fate.  This blog is all about fabulous, active, subversive women, writers, stories and storytellers and the sharing of all of those things (not least in Sunday Salon).  When I found out about this, so soon after starting this blog, well, let me tell you, it felt like a SIGN.

The repost from the Storytelling Australia (Victoria) site is after the cut.  Please have a look!

ALSO, please note that the Salon itself is in June, in Melbourne, but they are calling for papers and they want the submissions by 26 APRIL 2012.

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Sunday Salon is Serious Women’s Business

I haven’t been out here in the blogsphere long, but I have already ‘met’ many lovely fellow bloggers.  Recently, I came across Stella Marr (pictured, left), who has a blog called My Body the City: The Secret Life of a Call Girl.

I’m sure anyone who has read my blog will guess that this isn’t a salacious tell-all.  It’s a story about survival.  It’s a story that moved me and I wanted to share it.  With her permission, I am reprinting here the letter she posted on her blog that she wishes she could have sent to her younger self.

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Wednesday Review is Dead, Actually

Dead, Actually, the new young adult novel by the lovely Kaz Delaney, is the subject of today’s review, and since Kaz is a mate of mine, I thought I should invite someone else to do the review.

So today’s review is courtesy of my Sekrit Squirrels Helper (or SSH, for short) guest YA reviewer, who is not only impartial, but also in the novel’s target demographic.  If you like her review, please say so in the comments, so I can inveigle her into doing more!

Dead, Actually
Willow Cartwright: D-Lister by choice.
She’s about to find out what lies beneath the
tans and tinsel of the A-list, in a wickedly funny story
of blackmail, scams – and swoonworthy crushes.

In  Dead Actually, Kaz Delaney follows Willow Cartwright, a teen from the Gold Coast whose life has recently fallen into a shambles. Her family is completely dysfunctional, her adopted brother is a creepy liar out to steal her parents’ money, she has a huge crush on her best friend’s (Macey Pentecost) older brother, (Seth) and to top it all off, the dead Queen Bee of Ruth Throsby High, who happened to see Willow last before dying, is haunting her bedroom.

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Monday on Writing: Catch of the Day, or Cool Links for Writers

Since I have been doing this blogging thing, I have realised how many other good blogs there are out there, with great content for writers.  So today I am starting what will probably be a regular feature on Monday on Writing, a list of some of the best things I’ve found in my recent travels.  So, without further ado, here is today’s catch:

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