the Unending Journey of the Wandering Author

A chronicle of the unending journey of the Wandering Author through life, with notes and observations made along the way. My readers should be aware I will not censor comments that disagree with me, but I do refuse to display comment spam or pointless, obscene rants. Humans may contact me at thewanderingauthor at yahoo dot com - I'll reply as I am able.

Location: New England, United States

I have always known I was meant to write, even when I was too young to know the word 'author'. When I learned that books were printed, I developed an interest in that as well. And I have always been a wanderer, at least in my mind. It's not the worst trait in an author. For more, read my writing; every author illuminates their heart and soul on the pages they write upon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Child Without A Voice - Update - What's Needed

I posted recently about a project to help a four year old boy who cannot talk, due to apraxia. Many of my readers volunteered to help, and I'm grateful for that. I wanted to let you know how things are going so far, and what more you could do to help if you're willing.

First of all, I understand it takes time to write a story, and you need to do a good job, so this book will sell. But I also wanted you to understand how urgent this is: if you read Anna's most recent post, her county has decided they "don't have the money" to give her son even the minimal services he was getting. This is a boy who tries to say something, then hits himself in the head because he hears it come out wrong! But I'm not going to waste time discussing the cruelty of that decision - it's much more important to do something as quickly as we can.

First of all, those who have offered to write stories, there is no specific deadline. Write them as you can, then send them to me. As soon as I'm able, I publish the book, and, if enough additional stories come in, I'll publish a second volume. If by some miracle, we bring in enough money to give Alexander (Red) everything he needs and money is still coming in, well, there must be other kids out there like him.

I understand this is a difficult subject, but I'm simply asking that you send in your stories as soon as you finish them. In addition, I'd really appreciate it if all of my readers would let as many writers as possible know about this. That will cost you no money and little effort. The more people we have trying, the sooner we can start raising money. Susan Abraham, in the comments to the original post, kindly offered to put a button like the one I have up on her own blog. If any of you are willing to do this, I can send you the link and code (for Blogger at least).

If someone knows how to adapt the code for other blogs, that would be helpful. And the image isn't displaying as clearly as I'd hoped. I tried creating an actual size image instead of having it resized, but that turned out worse. So, if someone knows more about web graphics than I do (I'm more used to print), a better button, or at least some advice, would really help as well.

If any of you know a good artist, I want to create the best book cover I possibly can, and I could use a lot of help there. Finally, I still need legal help. Jason was kind enough to make a suggestion, in the comments to the original post. His idea was to simply have every writer sign over all rights to Anna, so she could just sell the book and get the money.

If we can't do anything else, and Anna agrees, this is a possibility. I didn't consider it originally for several reasons. First, I suspect Anna would then have to pay taxes on the income from the book, and keep all the paperwork. I was hoping to spare her that. I'm not a lawyer, but I was hoping there was some option similar to the funds banks set up after a family has a bad fire.

Another reason I didn't consider this is because I felt it might be harder to sell the book, if the proceeds aren't going to a "real" charity. Personally, I don't care if Anna and her family get every cent; I'm sure she'll use the money to help Red. If there's a little left over, so what. But some people might not be as likely to buy the book - I felt if it was set up so any surplus went to, say, an organisation that helps kids with apraxia, they'd be more likely to buy it.

For that matter, if you sell a book saying you're raising funds for something or other, and don't have a "real" charity set up, I don't know if you can be charged with fraud. So one way or another, I've got to make sure this works from a legal standpoint. If any of you know someone with a blawg, please point them here, or consider writing a post about this.

The Copyright issue is another problem. I didn't consider having everyone assign all rights because I know many writers would balk at that. At this point, I don't even care, which will tell anyone who knows me just how determined I am to get this done. But, that isn't the problem anyhow. There are standard agreements that assign rights for a single project while allowing the author to keep other rights.

The problem is, we have volunteer writers from several countries already, and I don't know if those standard agreements cover this situation. This is the Internet! These situations are going to keep coming up; I should think some enterprising lawyer would like to blaze a trail here! It was also suggested that I contact a law school, to see if I can persuade them to help me pro bono (lawyerspeak for no charge); I'm going to start that process, but I suspect there might be looong formalities involved.

Thanks to all of you who have helped, and are helping, I really appreciate it. I just really want to do everything possible to make this work, and work with as few delays as possible. If you have ideas, suggestions, comments, please share them. The only thing that is important right now is getting Alexander the help he needs as quickly as we can. If you think I'm being an idiot, point it out! I'd rather find a way to do this right away than have anyone spare my feelings.

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Blogger Susan Abraham said...

Hi Ray,
Don't worry about the code.
If you don't mind, I can stick the button on my sidebar to attract attention and just place the link to this newest post underneath it where readers are updated.
I wondered if you would like some quotes as well to choose from or I wouldn't mind writing lyrics (I have won a song-writing competition before) and you could find a musician friend who may help put a tune to it- what you suggested - and use them in any way of promotion that you feel will help this cause. These things may be able to push the anthology for sales. Promotion I've learnt is everything. :-)

April 10, 2007 10:37 PM  
Blogger Bhaswati said...

WA, I just posted an entry about this project on my blog. I think this is a very a worthwhile idea you've come up with. Susan is so right about promotion; that's crucial for book sales these days. That and the legal issues need to get streamlined, and we should be all set. Thanks again, and good luck. :)

April 11, 2007 12:15 AM  
Blogger The Wandering Author said...

Hi, Susan, thank you.

So that you don't need to keep updating the link to the most recent post, perhaps the best thing would be to click on the button, then link to the post that takes you to. It is just a spot to hold links to any important posts about the project.

As for the rest, I'd appreciate any help you can give; I'm sure it will be an asset. I don't know many musicians, but perhaps I could put out a call for someone. And, yes, I appreciate your help in promotion very much.

April 11, 2007 1:13 AM  
Blogger RomanceWriter said...

I admire you for taking this on. Send me the code for the button and I will put it on my blog.

Bye for now,

April 11, 2007 11:21 AM  
Anonymous wolfbaby said...

I will try and get a post up about this soon!! I meant to do it like right after I read the first post some time ago but I went a little brain dead sorry bout that... By this weekend I will try and have something up for you ok. This is an awesome idea.

April 12, 2007 12:01 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I don't think I have the knowledge to write a story ... but I really admire what you're doing.

April 13, 2007 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Neo-the rsemi-retired myspace blogger said...

What goodly work you have been up to, it's funny how our two worlds often mirror each other. We recently worked on blogs for Autism awareness week. Big kudos for you big heart<3

April 13, 2007 9:31 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I have nominated you for the Thinking Blogger Award for your work on this book. Maybe it will with the publicity, if you would like to read more about it, go to my post:

April 14, 2007 8:25 PM  
Blogger me said...

i just want to say--great idea, good job! I admire you for taking on such a huge project.

I sorta have an idea about what i would write--Do you think i could write a story?

April 15, 2007 3:43 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

Linked - and supporting!

April 15, 2007 6:37 AM  
Blogger Susan Abraham said...

Ray, will send you a list of quotes tomorrow that you could have a look at and its fun thinking up some lyrics. Maybe for a folk ballad. I have no idea but you can have a look and decide what you want to do with it or if anything at all. get some rest. :-)

April 15, 2007 7:16 AM  
Blogger Roberta said...

I would love to contribute to your book. I cannot find your email address on your blog.

Please send.

April 15, 2007 10:12 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I would love to put the 'button' on my blog. I have already posted this information on my special needs forum. Hopefully someone there will be interested to help?? Please send me the code, thanks

April 15, 2007 11:57 AM  
Blogger The Wandering Author said...

Bhaswati, Sara, wolfbaby, Neo, Jennifer, thank you all.

Me, anyone can write a story; I'll publish all the best ones. I'm sorry if anyone's feelings get hurt if I have to cut a story and its yours - but making this work is most important.

Debi, thank you.

Susan, thank you very much; that will help immensely if I can find someone to write music for it so we can post it where it will increase publicity.

Roberta, thanks, gave it to you in a comment.

Jennifer, I'd love to, but you posted a website URL, not an e-mail, so I have no idea how to send it. (Does anyone know if there is a way? I'm not super-tech...)

April 15, 2007 7:19 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I'm sorry, I don't want my email published on the comments page. i would like to keep that private. could you send me yours? I won't publish it, i monitor my comments and I'll reply to it. is that alright?

April 15, 2007 7:29 PM  
Blogger Minx said...


April 16, 2007 1:36 PM  
Anonymous A Marques said...

It's good to see people getting together for something that can really make a difference for someone.
Congrats on the idea and efforts.
Probably the best way for me to help is just to advertise the book on my site when it comes out. So, I'll keep coming back to check on the progresses. Meanwhile, a link to your site has been added to my site's links.
If, by any change you want to use any of my photography work on this project, which you can check on , just contact me through there...
Again, my best wishes of success to you, all involved in the project, and of course little Red.

April 28, 2007 2:17 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Anna's url didn't work. I was coming to check in and see how its goin' on her blog. Just wanted to let ya know!

August 08, 2007 10:46 PM  

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