Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness Update

I'm so psyched that Publishers Weekly is spreading the news about my Random Acts of Kindness contest. I hope you all will email me with the fun things you are doing.

To inspire you, here are a few things that have already been done:

Ellen helped a young girl who couldn't find her parents after school. Pretty scary for the child and the parents. Hooray for Ellen, who acted on instinct and saved the day.

Twelve-year-old Tova stuck up for a classmate who was being bullied. Then she created a t-shirt design that says, "I like who I am/ That's good enough." Go Tova!!

Bonnie used to work as an activities coordinator at a nursing home. The other day she stopped in to visit some of the residents there and spread some cheer.
Here's Bonnie visiting some old friends. He's 102! She's 100!

Teenagers Sammy and Emily wrote an anonymous letter reminding the recipient that she is loved, and they slipped it under her door.

As for me... I stuck $2 bills in five random library books the other day. I anonymously paid a library late fine for a random family. And I baked cookies and delivered them to our local fire department. Fun fun fun!

What random acts of kindness have you done lately? I'd love to know!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Yucky, Stinky Valentine Event

I had so much fun at the Deerfield Library on Friday. I read my book to a crowd of mostly strangers, and then we made yucky, stinky valentines. True, I had stocked the audience with a few nieces and nephews, but they weren't the only ones in attendance.

It never ceases to surprise me when strangers read my books. Like, I get that's the whole point of publishing your book, but still. There are people in this world who don't know me and who, with no obligation to me, choose my book off the library or book store shelf. There are even people who will come out on a cold winter's day to hear me read to them and to make valentines and to even purchase my book and ask for my autograph. That is just plain amazing.

So huge thanks to all you strangers out there who are reading my books and coming to my events and making me smile from ear to ear. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Random Act of Kindness Fail

Let's hope your random acts of kindness don't go like this:

In other news, I'll be at the Deerfield Library today at 4:30 reading Yuckiest Stinkiest to kids and making valentines with them. This is the first of several library and bookseller events I have planned for the V-Day season. I must admit I'm a little nervous because I'm used to talking to older kids about my middle grade novels, and I'm not much of a craft-type person. My sweet husband reminded me they're just kids, and I'm a mom, and I know what I'm doing. 
Truth is, he's right. 
I'm going to have myself some fun!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness Update

I am loving the response people are having to my idea to celebrate the publication of The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever with random acts of kindness. I hope it keeps growing!

Here are just a few things that people have already done:

Faith spent time at a no-kill shelter, giving love to the dogs and cats there.

Sabrina and Kenny gave a ride to an elderly co-worker who was required to take a 5-hour class 90 minutes away. They drove her there, spent the day walking the beach, having lunch, and seeing a movie, then drove her home. If not for doing that favor, they wouldn't have had such a lovely day together with no distractions. 

Christine took a chunk of cash from her most recent paycheck, stuck it in an envelope, and anonymously gave it to a friend who she knew could really use the money. 

Michele cleaned out her closets and gave clothes away to Goodwill. She also distributed food at Yad Ezra with her temple. 

I've heard from lots of other people, too, who practice random acts of kindness as a regular part of their life. I've often donated money to charity, given away things I no longer need, and given my time and energy to those less fortunate, but I'm approaching this month in a different way, hoping to surprise people who wouldn't normally expect charity or help. Like the other day in the drive-thru at Starbucks, I paid for the order for the car behind me and told the cashier to tell them it was a random act of kindness, and they should feel free to pass it on. And at the library, I paid the late fine for a family who had racked up a pretty big one. In both cases, I slipped away before the recipients could see me. I love the idea of them being surprised by this random generosity. The world needs more of that, don't you think? 

If you're looking for a way to participate, check out this site for random acts of kindness ideas. And please share with me what you're doing. Thanks for spreading the joy and love!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

You're Invited to do a Random Act of Kindness for The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever

The fact that this book has come to be is a testament to insane optimism, determination, love, and luck. I've decided there's no better way to celebrate my good fortune than to pass it on. However, since I'm not a publisher and can't make another author's dream come true, I've come up with the next best thing.

From now until Valentine's Day, I'll be doing random, kind, and loving things for strangers. It would mean so much to me if you would join me in the fun and multiply the impact I can have. Whether you shovel someone's driveway, pay for their coffee, hand out flowers or hugs on the corner, donate clothes or food or books to those in need, or whatever creative idea you come up with, please shoot me an e-mail (with a picture if possible) telling me about what you've done.

Doing these random acts of kindness should fill you and the recipient with joy, but in case that's not enough, each week right here on my blog, I'll post roundups of all the good things people are doing in honor of The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever. And on Valentine's Day, I'll send free autographed books to five of the people who participate. Book recipients will be determined by my three teens, who were three little kids when they first inspired the story of Yuckiest, Stinkiest.

It's that simple!
Thanks for helping me celebrate!

 My kids when I wrote the first draft of Yuckiest, Stinkiest

My kids today. That's how long it takes to get a book published!