Plans, Thoughts, Hopes
If you are interested in this topic, please leave a comment. I'd really like to find a few serious writers who understand just how important this is. We need to put our heads together, brainstorm, and work on finding real solutions. I know we're all busy, but please don't offer to take part unless you are really going to make the time to do it. I would like to help improve the choices all writers have as they seek to survive doing what they do best.
Finally, I have toyed with one idea for a while, and I'd like your thoughts. I sent out one enquiry, but I am also interested to see what my readers think. I've been wondering what I could do for America's troops overseas. Whatever your politics, these guys aren't the ones making the decisions. They are leaving their homes, going to harsh and hostile lands, and risking death. They see friends die around them. Most of them are just kids. And they do all that because somebody else orders them to.
They volunteer because they want to protect their country, their families, their friends, to guard all our freedoms. How they are used is not theirs to decide. There are those who would disagree with me. If so, go write about it on your blog, the one you're free to express your opinion on because of men like the ones you despise.
A lot of Americans, even those who don't despise them, don't seem to give them much thought. I do. My son was one of them for a while, when he was in the Marines. He served for eight years; he's home now, safe and sound, but I can't forget that people just like him are still there, still dying. Now, I don't have enough money to contribute anything significant to the care packages sent over there.
What I can do is write. In some ways, it is useless, but perhaps some of the men and women over there would get a bit of encouragement out of the idea that someone was offering to write something to entertain them. So my idea works like this: I'd ask for suggestions for ideas - stories they'd like to read - from the men and women stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Every two weeks, I'd pick an idea I can work with, write a story, and post it (on a separate blog set up for this project, or a special web site). If I found I could manage more frequent stories and posts, I'd pick up the pace. The story would be dedicated to the person who suggested it.
I'd keep the basic Copyright rights, but I would post the stories under a blanket grant of non-exclusive rights to any service member to print it out and to pass on copies if they like. If other writers are interested, they could join the project, and select the ideas they wanted to work with. They would keep the rights to their own stories, but would grant the same blanket non-exclusive rights I've described above.
I would be the overall editor; this is not open to just anyone who thinks they are a writer. Only someone able to write decent stories, ones that at least might end up in a magazine, would be accepted. In addition, I'd look over their stories and suggest any changes they needed to make so the story would be the best it could be. The idea here is, if we're going to do this, the troops deserve soemthing decent.
Actually, they deserve the best, but I'm not the best and I know it. I am at least a halfway decent writer, though. At least, I hope I am. I don't think it would be appropriate to take on any writers who weren't at least good enough to describe as "halfway decent". If you are interested in taking part, leave a comment here. I'll get back to you as soon as I can. If I think you are good enough, or that I can edit what you write so it is good enough, I'll count you in.
Tentatively, I'm calling this Tales for the Troops. I hope I can make it work out, and I hope it will bring a smile to at least some of the faces that badly need it. Maybe it will be a reminder to them that at least a few people do care what happens to them.