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Susan Ito trying to do it all: reading writing mothering spousing daughtering working living

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Neglectful Blogger

Well, there's nothing like being linked to someone else's blog to wake me up and admit I haven't been writing here, or anywhere else for that matter, for too many days(weeks!). I'm telling myself I'm saving it all up for my upcoming writing residency, but if I don't start practicing a little bit, I'm going to be doing nothing up there except staring at the gorgeous autumn leaves (I cannot WAIT to be in the Northeast for fall!) and canoeing aimlessly around Blue Mountain Lake.

I've been busy. I spent the month of August and early part of September organizing a family camp for adoptive families of color. It was great work. The perfect antidote to the weird solitude of being a writer. I am so lucky to have this job, which ebbs and flows at different times of year. Now it's at an ebb season, and so I get to go away and remember that I'm a writer.

I'm lucky. Really, really lucky to have an amazing, supportive spouse who encourages this type of regular, sustained getaway. Lucky to have flexible, supportive kids who have gotten used to me disappearing for a few weeks every couple of years. Lucky to have a good mom who will help to keep things running smoothly while I'm gone. Reflecting on all of this good fortune inevitably makes me believe that my plane is going to explode on the way to New York, or that some awful thing will happen when I'm gone, but I'm doing my best to push those thoughts out of the way and to just focus on the productive time I've got waiting ahead.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Literary Help

Hurricane Katrina-- How Writers Can Help

Dear Friends,

In addition to the important work being done by the American Red Cross and other relief agencies, there are a number of special efforts we thought writers might be particularly interested in:

The Katrina Literary Collective has been created to collect and distribute books to victims of the hurricane. For more information, contact the Amber Communications Group at amberbk@aol.com.
A Louisiana Disaster Relief Fund has been established to receive monetary donations to assist libraries in Southeastern Louisiana. For more info, visit the American Library Association at www.ala.org.
The American Booksellers Association has created a Bookseller Relief Fund to assist independent booksellers affected by Hurricane Katrina. For info, visit http://www.bookweb.org/
The Southern Arts Federation has set up an Emergency Relief Fund to assist arts organizations and artists in those Gulf Communities most devastated by Katrina. For more info, go to http://www.southarts.org/
Thank you for whatever help you're able to provide.

Tangible Help

I was very relieved to get this email today: a concrete way to help. I DO believe in supporting the Red Cross, etc but sometimes it can feel like that money disappears into a void and then who knows where it goes? For people who are aching (like me) to do something tangible, I found this very helpful.


An amazing woman named Susan White has spent the
weekend on the phone and has identified 4 places, all
of which have:

-taken in evacuees
-have NOT been contacted by major organizations yet
-are desperate for supplies
-and been spoken to directly by Susan, checking
exactly what they need as of *today*

They are:

The Baton Rouge River Center
275 South River Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
tel: 225-389-3030

The Women's Center
222 Veteran's Blvd.
Suite C
Denham Springs, LA 70726
tel: 225. 665-0214

Marksville City Hall
Attn: Hurricane Relief Coordinator
Myron Gagnard
427 North Washington St.
Marksville, LA 71351
tel: 318. 253. 9500
(this place is distributing to other places, too)

The St. Vincent de Paul Society for Katrina Evacuees
Ozanam Outlet
610 Memory Lane
Houston, TX 77037

If you would like to send donations (see below, for
what to send where) directly, yourself, please do.
I'd encourage you to check with the store daily,
though, to make sure you're sending what they need
most. I've put their phone numbers, so you *could*
call, but if 900 of us start calling daily, we'll
probably drive them nuts.

3. DONATIONS (What They Need):

If you want to bring donations to the store, we're
happy to sort, package, and send them out.

Here's what each place needs:

Baton Rouge River Center
-currently has over 6500 evacuees living there so we
might want to focus on them first.--

They need:

Baby Bottles
Non-perishable food
Sleeping Bags

The Women's Center needs:

Baby Food
Toddler Food
Maternity Clothes
Small boxes of Goldfish crackers
New Underwear
New Socks
New Pillows
Paper Towels
Toilet Paper
Hygiene Products
!No Grown up clothes!
!No Toys!

Marksville needs:

Baby Items of all Kinds
Hand Sensitizer
Pillows and Blankets
Baby and Children's Tee-shirts
Over the counter pain relievers
Coloring books/crayons/board games/children's books

(from Catherine, and the Community Bookstore in Park Slope, Brooklyn)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

New Orleans

Where have I been this past week? Glued to my computer (somehow easier to READ the news than watch it on TV) but unable to write. I'm just stunned, stricken, bewildered, angry, shocked. Many people have written so powerfully about their reactions to the terrible human disaster that has unfolded, and I find myself without words. I'm downhearted and feeling so helpless.

So I have to focus on whatever small thing I can do. And for now it will mean reaching out to some brand-new-found relatives who live(d) in New Orleans. My daughter was scheduled to fly there to represent our family at a 200+ member family reunion this Labor Day weekend. Instead, I will send her plane fare and hotel room money to the relatives she didn't get to meet.

There's so much more I could say, but I just feel out of words.

Donate Housing :: Find Shelter