It has been an unbelievable three days. And I'm not using that word in the sports sense (anything that's not the usual is "unbelievable"); I mean it literally. It's impossible for me to trust what's been going on.
Sometimes just when you think you can count on people, they go and do nice things for you, and you have to re-evaluate your whole life view.
My son, about whom I have bragged fairly frequently here, is now a senior in the film and video department of the Antionette Westphal (points for those who find that clue in one of my books!) College at Drexel University. One of the things a film major must do to graduate is make a film. Seems fair.
What they don't tell you freshman year (or maybe they do, but parents are left out of the conversation) is that you have to raise the budget for your senior project as well, and once Josh and his producer had figured out his needs for the script he wrote (which I think is very good, and I'm a pretty tough critic, he'll tell you), he needed about $6000 to make the 15-or-so-minute film. That's the price of filmmaking in the modern world.
So he's fundraising. And I sent around an email to as many friends and relatives as I could possibly list, pointing out the disparity between what Josh had (not much) and what he needed (see previous, re: $6000).
Meanwhile Josh set up a blog where he describes his film, SCAVENGERS, and where there is a button marked "DONATE" where one (or hopefully more) can do exactly that.
We hoped a few friends would kick in $25 or so ($35 buys you a DVD of SCAVENGERS when it's finished, and $100 gets "Executive Producer" credit). Maybe we'd run a few bake sales, and probably Josh would have to cut the budget some (although that would hurt the film, he thought) in these austere times.
I had underestimated the generosity of the crime fiction community by an embarrassing amount. Within 18 hours of my mentioning SCAVENGERS on Twitter and Facebook, and within four hours of my sending out the email, Josh had raised more than half his ideal budget. The amazing propensity of my fellow authors, some of who are close friends and some of whom are friendly acquaintences, to help out has been overwhelming.
People I DON"T KNOW have contributed through a Twitter link. People I know a little have sent in staggering sums. People I know well have asked why it's taken me so long to ask them. No one--NO ONE--has told me I'm annoying and should go away.
As Groucho Marx once pointed out, "I'm not much for flowery sentiment," but this has really touched me. Yes, we still have a decent amount to raise, but the amazing speed and complete lack of hesitation shown by some of my favorite authors and friends has been astonishing and lovely. I can't express it completely, but everyone who threw in even a few dollars should know that I'm deeply moved by your thoughts and good wishes. Thanks to all.
And if you're at all interested, you can click here to get to Josh's blog page. He'll tell you about the story he wants to tell and how he wants to tell it. And if you'd like to help, believe me, anything you can do will be greatly appreciated.
I had intended a really sort of snarky post for this week, and the terrific people in the crime fiction world just wouldn't allow it (don't worry, it'll be here next week--never waste something already written).
You just can't figure people. Isn't that great?