Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Paychecks and Great Battles

When I spoke to a high school creative writing class last year, they were fascinated by my paycheck for Letters From Rapunzel. But that's only because they thought the amount on the check (in the thousands) was for two weeks' work, not for the whole job, which took---who's counting?----TEN YEARS from start to finish. Okay, some goof-off breaks during that ten years, but still.

Yesterday was payday again, because my check for signing Operation Yes with Arthur Levine Books (Scholastic) arrived via FedEx. Whoop! I like getting paid. I try not to think of it in terms of hours worked. I think of it more like a large allowance.

But I was particularly excited to get this check because earlier this month, I saw a post over at The Sandbox about the Marine Corp Marathon. No, I'm not running the marathon. I'll stick with my three miles, thanks. But a sixty-year-old veteran is. Paul McCollom is a former Vietnam War Army medic, and now, his daughter is deployed to Iraq, and for her, he's running and raising money for the Fisher House Foundation. In his words,

"for those that don't know, a Fisher House is like a Ronald McDonald house for the families of wounded and injured service men and women. The Fisher House Foundation recognizes the sacrifices of our wounded service members and their families and provides a sanctuary where they can be together during treatment for serious injury or physical therapy. They build, furnish and equip multi-bedroom houses where military families in similar circumstances can stay, free of charge, and provide support and encouragement to each other."

In Operation Yes, parents and children and teachers fight great battles every day, some with the stress of deployment and some with fear and some with knowing what the right choices are. Yes, they live normal, wonderful lives, too, but it takes a lot of relying on courage and love to have a parent in the military. Or a brother or sister in the military. Or a child in the military. As the veteran father, Paul McCollom, says in his post, he felt a need to DO something.

So do I. I'm sponsoring him with part of my paycheck. If you want to read about his efforts, go here. And while I welcome you to join me, I understand if there are other great battles you wish to support.

Now, off to run my slow three miles...

"Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a great battle." ----Philo of Alexandria


  1. Congratulations!! And thanks for the great story.

  2. happy running! i'm so impressed as i absolutely hate running--my jr high teacher said i ran like frankenstein! =O

    and congrats on another paycheck allowance! i have yet to receive mine. it'll be exciting when i do!

  3. Congratulation on the paycheck!

    What a wonderful cause to be donating to . . . and you, a wonderful woman for doing it!

  4. Congratulations! Very cool you're giving back in this way.

  5. CONGRATS!!!
    You are an amazing writer, and an amazing soul:)

  6. Can't wait to read your new book. Congrats!

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  8. So many wonderful things in this post! A 60-year old still running marathons, the spirit of generosity and sacrifice, and you getting your check for novel NUMBER TWO!!!

    Sara, I'll look into the Fisher House Foundation. Thanks for mentioning it. I'm also a big fan of sending care packages to our troops via AnySoldier. Some of the letters I have received from those soldiers are treasured mementos and notes of inspiration.

  9. This is Paul McCollom, the "60 year old marathoner". I am as impressed as the rest of you at Sara's incredibly generous gift to Fisher House Foundation. It won't make me any faster but I will be drawing strength from her sacrifice and generosity during the painful last few miles of the marathon. She made my "Bestseller List" and I am buying her book for my granddaughter!


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