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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Quiet Americans Q3 Donation to The Blue Card

the-blue-card-logoA few days ago I caught this news online: “The Obama administration has awarded $12 million for assistance to Holocaust survivors.” Per the article: “The allocation from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Jewish Federations of North America, to be disbursed over five years, is part of an initiative launched in late 2013 by Vice President Joe Biden to address the needs of survivors in the United States, a quarter of whom live below the poverty line.”

Well, it isn’t exactly $12 million, but I did, just this past weekend, send in my Q3 donation to The Blue Card. As many of you know, since the release of Quiet Americans in January 2011, I’ve been sending quarterly payments to this organization, which also works to support U.S.-based survivors who are in need. (Basically, one dollar from each sale–whether it’s a print copy or an e-book–goes to The Blue Card.) Thanks to all of you who have purchased the book over these years–you are all contributing.

“Best Tweeps for Writers to Follow”

It was such a nice surprise to see @ErikaDreifus on this list of “Best Tweeps for Writers to Follow 2015.” My thanks to Robert Lee Brewer for including me–and for giving me so many wonderful additional accounts to check out (although, of course, I’m already following quite a few of them).

I guess I have something to show for my 18.4k tweets on Twitter, after all!

The Red Book

In other news: As difficult as it may be to believe, next spring I’ll be attending my 25th college reunion. Which means that right now, I’m dealing with a writing assignment: I have until October 30 to submit my entry—including a first-person, narrative essay—for the Class Report (which I’ve never called “the Class Report”; like everyone else, I call it “the Red Book”).

The Class Report Office publishes thirteen Reports annually for each Harvard and Radcliffe quinquennial reunion class. Informally known as the “Red Books,” Class Reports are a longstanding Harvard tradition, dating back at least to the mid-1800s. They serve as historical chronicles of classes and encourage alumni to maintain connections with each other and the College through the sharing of current contact information, family and professional news, and in-depth life stories. Content is gathered for the Reports by means of a questionnaire provided to all class members and is ushered into print in advance of Reunion by a team of five professional editors.

I managed to produce a draft of the narrative piece last weekend, and I hope to finish it over the next one. There’s always something a little anxiety-inducing about these submissions (although as a writer, I know there’s always something anxiety-inducing about most submissions!)

In the end, I know I shouldn’t worry overmuch.

After all, at least my submission won’t look anything like this one.

P.S. ICYMI, a couple of years ago, I shared something about the many ways in which being a Harvard undergraduate helped me become the writer I am. If you haven’t yet read it, you may find it a tad surprising.

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5 Responses »

  1. What is a “tweep”?

  2. Among the alumni of my college is the female writer (whose name I am omitting to avoid giving her additional publicity) who became “engaged” to a serial killer who murdered five college students in my town and probably three other people elsewhere. Her writings about him were published in a tabloid magazine but payment was denied under the Son of Sam law. She actually showed up at our 50th college reunion last year. Most people attending were unaware of her connection to this now executed killer until I informed them. Even though these crimes occurred 25 years ago, people living here then and now still hold her in great disdain. At least Harvard alumni don’t have to worry about encountering Ted at a reunion.

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