I had originally queued up this post with the thought of
talking railing on about the seeming lack of compassion, sensitivity, concern – for their fellow human beings and the world at large – I’ve been witnessing for some time now from people everywhere (and not just politicians but also those close to home) who should definitely know better.
I decided instead to give you some examples of the ways average people, no matter what their income or expertise, can help others – even if it’s just a matter of including those others in our lives and making them feel welcome and wanted. I also added a video among these examples about helping the animals of the world, because we do share this planet, you know.
Personally, here are ways I have helped others …
For some years, I have promoted other authors free on my blogs. I’ve given them exposure on social media and encouraged sales of their books, all for no charge. I’ve beta-read, done some pro bono editing, and offered free advice and contact information to those authors who I consider to be good enough to deserve that help. I have also volunteered teaching literacy.
I have donated print books to libraries and those groups that supply reading materials for people who can’t afford to buy books or do not have library access.
I pledge to do more, however, and am considering other ways I can Do the Right Thing that will make a difference in the lives of others around me and elsewhere.
Here are a few examples I’ve gleaned from social media recently (and, yes, two of these videos are commercials for large corporations) that offer ideas of ways in which anyone can help the world become a better place.
From The New York Times, Home Is Where the Resistance Is
Or maybe it’s just a small matter of Paying It Forward …
And this story is about a friend who is an avid gardener as well as someone who constantly looks for ways to help others and contribute to her community, just because that’s the kind of person she is … Last summer, when her own garden was in full bloom, she began cutting the flowers to create bouquets then knocked on doors of houses on her street and gave those neighbours the gift of her flowers. Such a simple act, but one which I’m sure the neighbours, many of whom she’d never actually met prior to doing this, very much appreciated.
I know there are hundreds more examples of people Doing the Right Thing, and some other examples I have are friends of mine. I want to “up” my own personal game though and, as I said above, will pledge to do more. As I think of other ways I can personally make a difference I will add them to my blog.
So, what about you? Do you know of other examples in which people Do the Right Thing? If you are already helping the world in whatever way you can – for free, without an agenda or opportunity for personal financial gain, and not just by donating cash to causes in need, but by actually offering personal help, a hand up, or even simply showing compassion and understanding to your neighbours, colleagues, animals … Please post those examples and ideas below. I would love to hear from you!
And, like me, please consider pledging to do more – even if it’s just a small act of kindness a day. If enough people do the same, we can make a difference in this world. That’s the kind of world in which I, and I’m sure you, as well, would prefer to live.
Thanks to Sally Cronin for inviting me to Blogsit by publishing this story I wrote about my older sister, Betty!
A very special family photograph and story now of two sisters. Author Susan Toy has many reasons to be thankful for her supportive older sister, not least for home-baked oatmeal cookies.
About Susan M. Toy
Susan M. Toy has been a bookseller, an award-winning publishing sales representative, a literacy teacher, and is a tireless promoter of fellow authors and their books. She’s also an author and publisher, under the imprints, IslandCatEditions and IslandShorts, and has published eBooks written by other authors, as well as two novels and a novella of her own. Susan shares her time between a verandah on the island of Bequia in the Caribbean and the deck of a trailer near the eastern shore of Lake Huron in Canada.
Two sisters at Barry’s Farm near South Lake at Minden, ON by Susan M. Toy
This is a photo of me with my older sister, Betty, taken in…
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Thought it was time to reblog this post full of “expert” advice, for all of you out there who may be wondering about my …
OR … How I Nearly Became an Overnight Success After My Forty-Year Apprenticeship in the Book Business!
If you read my bio you’ll realize I have worked with books and authors in one way or another for most of my life. I have experience as a bookseller, a publishers’ sales rep, a promoter (a self-styled Author Impresario!), a speaker, a student of writing, editing and publishing, a published author, and a publisher of my own and other authors’ work. I’ve been writing this blog on-and-off for almost ten years, and have discussed the book business here, made friends with like-minded authors and readers, networked and reached many other people in the business, made many friends and connected with even more colleagues, have shared a great deal of information I discovered over the years on the topics of Publishing, Reading, and Writing (hence the name of this blog …), followed and…
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A year later and this is still very much the case! There must be a new batch of writing students out there, because the hits for “Writing about meeting my best friend” have recently increased 10-fold. Also popular in searches have been the lines “pain from Chikungunya” that lead readers to my series of blog posts concerning the virus. So much so, again just lately, have people been searching for information that I’ll be writing a separate post about the virus and Zika.
For the longest time now, since about 5 or 6 years ago, the two most popular phrases used on search engines that have brought people to my blog are “baking bread in a pizza oven” followed closely by “meeting my best friend for the first time”. Here are the two posts that those searchers click on: Baking Bread in the Pizza Oven and I met my best friend for the first time.
The first search always made sense to me, because home pizza ovens are becoming popular among foodies, Dennis had built one here on Bequia, and I had written a number of blog posts featuring our experiments in using it, both for making pizza and baking bread.
The second search I always took as being very flattering. There seemed to be a lot of people out there on the internet who were nostalgic for that first meeting with…
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Thanks to Reading Recommendations-promoted author, Paul Butler, for asking me the questions in this interview on his blog!
Setting is often one of the most fascinating aspects of a crime novel. Sherlock Holmes would not have been the same without London, its hansom cabs, its street gangs, and its sharp division between the capital’s east and west ends. More recently, Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels shoulder the history of Edinburgh, with its pubs, its narrow streets, and its seedy antiquity living on into the 21st century.
Anne Cleeves’s Jimmy Perez novels exemplify another kind of place-based crime fiction. Most of us in the English-speaking world have heard of Shetland, but very few people have set foot on the northern Scottish Isle. Placing a story in a location that is real yet quite remote has both advantages and challenges for the author.
This issue is the natural starting point for a Q & A with Canadian-born author Susan M. Toy, whose racy and compelling novel, Island in the Clouds…
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I’m reblogging this post I wrote in April 2016 to update with the information and inclusion of One Woman’s Island, the 2nd Bequia Perspectives novel that has since been published as a eBook. So I’d like to again make this small request of all readers …
Yes, I know this news is going to be hard to believe, but after 4 years in publication (both as an eBook and in print) Island in the Clouds will finally have a sister-novel to share your shelf or space on your eReader! I finished writing an umpteenth draft of One Woman’s Island a week-and-a-half ago and now it’s in the hands of my editor, Rachel Small. I think at this point in time, after writing and rewriting the story of Mariana on Bequia these past 12 years, I’m more relieved than excited. Now comes the ultra hard work of preparing the final edited manuscript for ePublication, sometime later this year.
That publication date has been moved back further, however, because yesterday I discovered this link to a competition for which the new novel qualifies. But the novel needs to be unpublished. Might as well give that a shot…
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Some are still biting the hand that feeds all of our promotion and publicity needs … This ongoing problem of bullying reviewers has to stop RIGHT NOW!! (See as well my blog post of a few days ago, Authors continuing to behave badly …)
*Ok, I’m honestly a little scared of posting this as I don’t want any more harassment from the wrong people…
The above picture pretty much sums up how I feel today. I’m exhausted and drained from all the horrible things that have happened recently. I’ve faced cold distant treatment, attacks on facebook and now I’ve been bullied privately, all because I wanted to be honest and help out an author.
Back in October I wrote this post A Tough Decision – Don’t blame the Book Blogger Blame Your Fellow Indies 😦 after facing a load of abuse from some indie authors. In the post I talked about my tough decision to stop reviewing indie books, but several weeks later, after having only good communications, I took back my ‘no-indie’ policy and started receiving indie requests again. BEFORE I go on I must point out that this post isn’t talking about all the…
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(This is primarily meant for authors, but could possibly work for any creatives.)
At what time during the life of your book will you declare yourself to have been successful? Not successful according to others, but according to you – yourself. When will that moment come that you declare yourself to be a success as a writer?
– When your book has sold thousands of copies and is listed everywhere as a big bestseller?
– When you’ve made enough money on sales to have covered any out-of-pocket expenses for publication and compensate for the inordinate time you spent writing the book?
– When your book receives the 50 reviews or 100 reviews required by online sales sites to push it into the next level and generate more sales?
– When many bloggers and online reviewers want to promote you and your book on their sites?
– When you hear privately from friends and family, or even complete strangers, that they have purchased and enjoyed reading your book?
– When you receive reviews and promotional blurbs from advance readers who have enjoyed your book and praise it?
– When you type “Final File Ready For Formatting” and send that off to be professionally formatted, published and made available for public consumption?
– When you push back from the computer after finishing up those final edits of your book and know that you have done everything you could to make this the best book possible … you’ve written the story the way only you can tell it, you’ve had the book professionally edited, the cover has been professionally designed, and your editor and any beta readers who have helped you are in agreement that this is a great book. Is this the moment you consider yourself to be successful?
Now flip my list over and read in reverse order.
If, like me, you can say – honestly – that “when you push back from the computer” is the moment you consider yourself to be successful then you’ll be able to look at the rest of these achievements with great satisfaction, if and when you achieve them. Because while they will show to others that you have reached some level of success, none will ever match that initial success you feel in actually writing and finishing the book! There are so many, many people in the world who, every day, say, “I’m going to write a book. How hard can it be?” You know, after having completed writing a book, exactly how hard it is! But … you were successful in having finished writing and that, to me, is something to celebrate – even if you only celebrate with yourself and in your own mind. No one can ever take away that sense of accomplishment and, once you have completed your great book, there is a terrific amount of satisfaction in having done the very best work that you are capable of doing.
All the rest of the “goals” on this list are icing on the cake, or coloured streamers on the bicycle handles, as JP McLean declares! If you are self-satisfied that you’ve written the best book you can then you will find readers for that book. And the other levels of “success” will follow on. Eventually.
In the meantime, give yourself a satisfied pat on the back!