Connections

By Liz, wondering if it’s winter, fall or summer! Isn’t this weather nuts?

Earlier this year, I was invited to participate in the Pet Rock Festival in the Worcester, Mass. 11986371_948343691874367_1353652749344182209_n area. The invite came from Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, where I’d done a talk last year. They wanted to feature an author at their booth, and invited me because of the animal component in my books. Of course, I was thrilled to participate – and so were Shaggy and Finny. We had a great time seeing old animal pals and meeting new ones. The booth happened to be next to the lovely folks from The Paw Spa in Shrewsbury, who happened to be selling organic dog cakes. Over the course of the day (after the dogs got sample treats), we got to discussing cakes, books and social media. From that conversation, we’ve developed a partnership of sorts–they’re looking into stocking my books, they’ve employed the services of Brand Fearless, who does fabulous photography and social Paw Spamedia strategy for me, and now we’re talking about teaming up to benefit some local animal rescues.

I’ve been thinking a lot about connections lately. I’m blessed to get to spend time in communities in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. I have friends in animal circles, in wellness circles, in book circles. And even better, these connections are promoting good.

Like the friendship I’ve established with the folks at my local library. After doing a couple of author events there, they now call me for all kinds of fun things – like when Shaggy was asked to be the reading dog over the summer. At my last event, one of the library staff asked me to look at a grant application she was working on. I helped her with some of the content and she wrote to me a couple of weeks later to tell me she got the grant, which is great news for the community.

When my short story about my Maine coon cat Tuffy came out in Rescued, I chose a localRescuedCoverWeb rescue group to benefit from the book proceeds. The ladies of the Friends of Feral Cheshire Cats organized an event where we not only promoted the book, but engaged the community in the plight of feral cats and how they can help.

Some of you may remember me mentioning Dr. Ming Wu, an amazing traditional Chinese doctor I am blessed to know. Seeing him and becoming part of his community allowed me to participate in an event at his practice, Wu Healing, about manifesting your dreams. Connecting with like-minded people and offering them an opportunity to get to know my work felt good. People thanking me for inspiring them to try something new felt even better.

I’ve often said one of the best parts about being a fiction writer is meeting people. I believe that even more strongly now. Because it’s not just about meeting fabulous people and talking books (which are two of my favorite things to do, admittedly!). It’s about giving back, helping others, making a difference.

My other cause is domestic violence. I’m on the board for a group here in Connecticut, Safe Futures, and we’re currently raising funds to pilot a new program, #ProtectOurPets, that will provide temporary placement for animals belonging to people who need to leave a dangerous situation. I’m hoping my books will provide another avenue to help get the word out. There’s something so humbling about being able to do what you love but also see how much it can benefit others.

Because that’s what it’s all about, right?

Readers, tell us about the connections in your life that have made a difference!

10 thoughts on “Connections

  1. You are an amazing woman and friend, Liz! Obviously meeting Julie at Malice and then you, Edith, Barb, Kim and Ramona at Seascape were life changing. And those connections continue to grow to other people.

  2. I love this post, Liz! I daydreamed for years about giving part of my proceeds to missing children’s causes. That dream came true, and I’m expanding on it in various ways. It’s wonderful and motivating to hear about what you’re doing.

  3. The whole writers community (including you all here, of course) has been a blessing. But the most unexpected connections for me have happened in Ireland. I came late to the country, with no particular expectations, but that first visit changed my life. The biggest surprise is that I know people there, mostly as friends, and they know me. It’s really odd when the local fishmonger, who I’d seen maybe twice before, greeted me with, “you’re the writer, aren’t you?”

    As for giving back, the best experience was when I served on the board of my daughter’s daycare group (a while ago now!). It was a wonderful group of caring people, who worked hard for little money, because they thought what they were doing was important–and they loved it.

  4. A wonderful post, Liz. Those connections are what make the journey worthwhile. I am blessed to have met you and Edith three years ago. Without that meeting at WPA, I would never have met all the Wickeds. You gals are sooooo much fun! 🙂

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