The sun shone.
My daughter smiled at me before she got on the bus. I got the release party date I wanted from my publicist over at Author Island...but it also had a whole lot of sadness.
Because I was thinking about September 21st. My daughter came home from school talking about bullying, and how some kid had just killed himself in Buffalo. I went online and found Jamey Rodemeyer's story. I listened to the whole thing.
And I cried.
Then I got mad, and started asking myself some hard questions.
Why are kids killing themselves?
Because they don't fit in. And they feel shitty about themselves.
Sadly, it's fairly common for any kid that is perceived as different to be bullied, and while part of that has to do with a developmental stage kids go through, where they all want to fit into their peer group, the bullying has gotten ridiculous.
And GLBTQ kids are especially at risk. So, that being said, I'm putting a spot in my calendar each month for the next twelve months to write a short story for those kids. Either one they can read, or one whose proceeds can go towards helping there be places they can turn to. Cause for sure this shit needs to stop. I'm going to call the series Twelve Tales of Rue.
Anyone who wants to join me is welcome.
Why are we as adults allowing an environment to flourish that this can happen in?
Are we really that freaking lazy? That...indifferent?
The answer seems to be, in far too many cases, a resounding yes.
Which--cliched as it sounds--just breaks my heart.
And I'm going to do something about it.
Starting next month I'll be posting one free read on my YA site, Tales of Rue and Woe.
The stories I post there will be for the kids who get bullied. And they will be free.
I'll also be writing a twelve installment serial to sell, that will tell the tale of Rue and Woe from an adult's perspective.
And 50% of the author royalties from that project will go to help fund crisis intervention for kids like Jamey, and preventative training for the adults who work with them.
It's a little drop in the bucket.
But if you'll join me, and spread the word, we might just get something amazing started. Something that could mean a lot less kids would end their lives simply because they feel they don't fit.
Is just shitty.
And if I don't do something, I'll feel like it's my fault.
I'm gonna stand right here (well, over at Tales of Rue and Woe anyway)
and do my part. You can help in so many ways.
Donate stories for the kids.
Send me links to sites they can contact.
Volunteer to mentor at risk kids.
I'm betting there's a way for everyone to help.
A little bit.
One drop at a time, until this ocean of tears is no more.
Cause being a kid?
Is tough enough without anybody telling you that you suck.