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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

help_haiti Multi-Fandom Community

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

help_haiti Multi-Fandom Community

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I know that this is probably old news for many of you, but for those who have not heard ...

help_haiti is a multi-fandom community that is working to collect donations to organizations working on disaster relief efforts in Haiti. In a nutshell, it works by having fandom participants auction items (like stories or icons) and services (like beta-reading) in exchange for a donation made to one of the relief organizations working in Haiti. There are quite literally hundreds of auctions currently running for everything imaginable in fandoms great and small.

Several members of the Tolkien community have auctions going. I am keeping a list of these auctions when I find out about them on both the Silmarillion Writers' Guild (in the sidebar below the links menu on every page) and Many Paths to Tread. If you have an auction running or know of another Tolkien fandom member who does, please let me know, and I will update the list.

I have my own auction going. I am offering printed or e-book copies of three of my Silmarillion novels and novellas--Another Man's Cage, By the Light of Roses, and The Work of Small Hands--for a donation of 5 USD per book. Please note that AMC is so bloody long that it will be offered as three books. For printed versions, printing costs will also be included in the final total. Based on my estimates so far, printing costs should not exceed 7 USD per book but, as noted, this is an estimate, and I cannot be sure at this point. I prioritized posting the auction rather than getting the books into finished, printable form where I could get a final printing cost.

My auction thread is here. Anyone interested can, of course, post to the auction thread, or I am willing to work privately with anyone interested. Please email me at DawnFelagund@gmail.com or leave a comment on this post.

Finally, please get the word around. Even if you cannot participate, there may be others in groups and communities who can, and every little bit of help really does make a difference.
  • I made a post here with the links that I know of so far.

    If folks will comment there with more when they know of them, it would be great!
    • Thank you! I'm in the process of updating the master lists on SWG and MPTT from what came in while I was offline yesterday, so in a few minutes or so, should have more links for your listing as well. :)
  • (no subject) -
    • I'm neither Dawn nor Dreamflower, but yes, that kind of thing seems perfectly possible (in the "Something Interesting" category), and people are setting minimum bids all the time.

      Edit: Of course, the money goes to charity, not to you, so you may want to organise some kind of costs-split deal - unless you're fine with not getting anything for the pretty gowns.

      Edited at 2010-01-16 11:51 pm (UTC)
  • Here's mine, but I'm offering it here with the caveat that I don't yet have the Silm listed (I'm waiting to hear back from a mod about editing my post or creating a new one): http://community.livejournal.com/help_haiti/3155.html?thread=1028179#t1028179

    ETA: Silm now listed.

    Edited at 2010-01-17 04:02 am (UTC)
  • (no subject) -
    • Roisin, this is incredible! If you have not posted on any of the Help Haiti threads on mailing lists, you might want to consider it since I'm sure this would be an item of interest to a lot of people. (Sorry if you have ... I was out all day yesterday with my own gown-related woes, i.e. helping my sis-in-law choose her wedding gown! :)
      • OMG! Is your sister getting married?!? That's so awesome. :D Congratulations.
        • Yep, my littlest sibling is getting married. :) You met her and Terrell when you were over, I think? (I can't imagine we had steamed crabs and they didn't come!) They're getting married at the end of May, 2011. I'm her maid of honor; I spent a good bit of yesterday quietly crying with her best friend and pretending that we weren't! :D
          • Oh no, I didn't get to meet them, unfortunately. But that is so great - did you find a dress for her? And will you be getting a beautiful dress too?!?! :D
            • We did find a dress. Sort of. Heh.

              We went to a store called "David's Bridal" that is sort of the Walmart of wedding stores. Their prices are really good, but there are about a bajillion of them around the country. Still, I certainly understand why one doesn't want to spend thousands of dollars on a dress one wears once. So we went.

              Erin found a gorgeous dress that looked perfect on her. We all loved it, she loved it, we were all crying like a bunch of little girls over her in it ... it was perfect. So we planned everything else around this dress. She picked out jewelry, a tiara, a veil, and bridesmaid's gowns to match. It took over three hours.

              My s-i-l is very tall, so the dress needed extra length added, which her consultant told her would not be a problem; she went and checked, and the gown was available with extra length added. Perfect! But when we went to check out, alas, the style had been discontinued, and they were unwilling to make a dress for her with extra length. After all those hours ... and Erin was heartbroken! We even went back to the alterations department, but the dress wasn't even all the way out of the bag yet before they decided that they couldn't help us. This pissed me off; as a craftsperson myself, you don't say you can't do something; you solve the problem or go mad trying. They didn't even want to hear the consultant's suggestions for how the dress might be lengthened. Their mind was made up not to help us.

              Luckily, my mom is herself a seamstress. She and Erin's consultant spent the next half-hour crawling around Erin's feet after she put the dress back on, trying to figure out how to add extra length. Erin's consultant agreed to hold the dress until my mom could figure out if she could fix it. They were going to the fabric store today, so hopefully, they found what they needed.

              And, yes, I did get to pick a beautiful dress too! (One of the perks of being the MoH being that I don't just get someone else's choice foisted upon me! :) Though whether that ends up being my dress or not will depend on whether my mom can fix Erin's gown; if she can't, Erin has understandably had enough of David's Bridal and is not interested in giving them any of her business.

              So it was an exciting, exhausting day, to say the least. And it makes me glad that I got married at the courthouse without all the fuss! :D
    • OMG what an emotional rollercoaster ride! I hope your mother can help Erin with lengthening the dress. If not, I completely understand her not wanting to spend any money in that shop - that was very unhelpful!

      Oh so the MoH doesn't have to wear the same as the other bridesmaids? (We don't have that tradition here, so I'm curious!). If I get married, it's going to be at the courthouse as well, and probably only I and my SO. ;) The things I hear people panicking about - it makes me tired on their behalf!
      • Though tbh nobody has to panic - I had a perfectly relaxed courthouse + church + restaurant wedding that we organised within the time of a few weeks and that (at least to my subjective view ;)) went as perfect as possible. So after that experience I firmly believe that anybody who does all sorts of fussing and panicking is the sort of person who needs to fuss and panic, and who would also fuss and panic over packing their bags before going on vacation.

        Edited at 2010-01-17 11:58 pm (UTC)
        • My wedding was similar, though I think yours was slightly larger. We had twelve guests and went to a restaurant afterward. I applied for our marriage license about a month before we actually got married. I didn't wear white (red!) but we had a cake, though it was decorated with autumn leaves rather than a plastic and slightly-creepy-looking bride and groom. :)

          Some of the affairs I've been too ... I can see how they'd be stressful just for the cost alone. My sis-in-law's dress will probably cost more than my whole wedding. When I hear of people dropping $30K on a one-night party ... that alone would give me an ulcer! (Erin's wedding will be nowhere near that expensive, thank goodness!)
          • Yeah, we had rather more people (a lot of family on my side, a lot of friends on Jörg's side)... and we did pay rather more than we really could afford (though within reason), with the idea that we were just going to do this once and thus wanted to have a day to remember!
            Although to be fair that seems to have very little to do with the money invested. I attended two weddings this summer: One no-budget potluck student wedding, and one €€€ professionally organised wedding for which they'd rented the church and adjacent restaurant in a heritage park for 200 people, with a huge buffet and a band and everything styled to the nines - now guess which one I enjoyed more? OK, to be fair I knew more people at the student wedding, and the couple are friends of mine, whereas in the other affair the bride was a former colleague of my hubby and that was about the extent of our relations. And of course it's easier to be comfortable among 20 than among 200. But either way I'd definitely rather go to the student party again than to the professional wedding. The student affair felt far more genuine and personal (and the potluck buffet was actually better than the professional budget, but then we're all brilliant cooks ;)). The expensive designer wedding was... well, certainly representative, a "proper" affair, no doubt. The student wedding, on the other hand, had heart.

            We were extravagant with the restaurant, simply because it was the only feasible option between "not so expensive, but a pain to find the way", "not so expensive, but not the best reputation either", "too small", and "insanely expensive". Well, and with the rings ("We'll never be happy if we choose a cheaper compromise now, we're going to wear these for the rest of our lives so they better be exactly what we want"). My dress, on the other hand, turned out to be reduced in price because it was "last year's collection" (AWESOME though) - and I had planned to be expensive there, because that was the only thing my parents were paying... >:D

            Incidentally, at the small Bridal in my hometown, they were absolutely forthcoming about adding a neckholder, shortening the dress (despite embroidery making it difficult) and adjusting the waist. Even for an "on sale" dress. ;)

            And wow, $30K on a single party is insane.
      • I suppose it depends on the wedding; I've seen it done both ways. :) I am wearing the same style of dress as the other bridesmaids but a different color. However, Erin is having enough bridesmaids that I've lost count and only her best friend and I were allowed to weigh in on the dress choices. The rest will be told what they need to buy and if they don't like it--tough! :D

        Besides Bobby and me, there were only twelve people at our wedding: parents, sisters, grandmothers, and our two best friends. It's funny because it's assumed that we (being female) will have all of these sentimental feelings toward the experience, but I certainly never did. When I look at all the hoopla and expense of extravagant weddings, I'm grateful that we had a small and really fun wedding!
    • Wow, awesome news! Major fail on the Bridal's side, though - even as a franchise of a giant store chain, they should be interested in every single customer, right? (And to think that the States are always heralded as the beacon of service perfection over here! *g*)

      Must admit I'm surprised at how early you do the shopping, though! While I know that my just-six-weeks-in-advance shopping was a bit... unusual, more than a year ahead seems very odd. Unless everybody decides to keep precisely the weight they have now for the next 15 months, I guess. ;)

      But weeee, congratulations! How awesome, and how exciting!
      • Wow, we are a beacon of good service?? I can see from the food-service side, since most of our servers and bartenders are tipped employees and so tend to go out of their way to give good service as a result. As far as national chain retail "big box stores" ... no way. There is the occasional bright spot (like Erin's consultant at David's Bridal was wonderful), but on the whole, employees in these stores are paid low wages and viewed as expendable, and they behave like it, not that I can blame them. Bobby and I were remarking on this just this afternoon because we buy all of our animal products (milk, eggs, meat) from a local farm rather than the supermarket. We went today and they were out of gallons of milk because one person bought them all (!), and the owner told us to start calling at the start of the weekend with our grocery list so that she could put a box aside with our name on it. That would never happen in a regular supermarket. At most, you never even have contact with a human being since the invention of "self checkout." Also, since a few big companies dominate most everything now, if you call and complain, they could care less. There's another sucker right behind you in line, even if you take away your business.

        My sis-in-law is admittedly getting a much earlier start than most people. :) She reserved the hall and caterer months ago! She is the opposite of the rest of us, who are expert procrastinators. ;)

        We will go back to have the gowns altered just before the wedding, so anyone who gets a bit skinnier or chubbier won't be walking about in a flour sack or sausage casing.

        Thank you for the congrats! I'm super-excited because my sister got married in England, so this is the first of my siblings I get to see married. I don't know why I will even bother writing a speech; I suspect it will come out as "Glub sob glub!" :)
        • Oh yes, whenever people complain about "Germany the service desert", the USA are named as a shining example. But I suppose it comes down to the usual: Depends on the place, depends on the circumstances ;)

          Ah, now that makes sense!

          Heh, I'm terrified already that my brother might get married at some point, and I might have to give a speech then - the horror, I hate speaking in public! Though he didn't give a speech at my wedding - perhaps I can use that as leverage to 'scape the duty. ;)
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