For the Kids!

Hi All,

As most of you know, I am very much so a big child care and protection advocate. I’ve spent a lot of time working with children and though I don’t lay that aspect on in my novels (I don’t like preaching at people), I still like to try to raise awareness for different issues where possible.

As the Holiday season comes to a close, I wanted to let everyone know about a few great charities if you’re looking for a good new years resolution or a charity for next Christmas…

#1. St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital:

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This Hospital is an absolutely wonderful organization. Founded in 1962, St. Jude’s is a research Hospital tackling childhood illnesses and diseases in the hopes of finding a cure. One of their big focuses has always been Leukemia, and since the hospital’s inception, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia has gone from just 4% in ’62 to over 94% today. That is absolutely amazing.

81% of every dollar donated to the hospital goes directly help people. Roughly half goes to patient care and half goes to research. This is a hospital that is a 503c charity and is one of a few pediatric research organizations in the United States where families never pay for treatments that are not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay.

So if you’ve got a little money to spare and want to give to a cause that continuously helps countless people on a daily basis, this is truly one of the best.

Check out their website above if you’d like to get involved, and click here to donate.


 

#2 Toys for Tots

That commercial always warmed my heart around the Holiday season. Yes it’s more of a Christmas organization, but it’s still worth mentioning. This is a charity organization that is run by U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and delivers toys to less fortunate children whose parents otherwise couldn’t afford presents. Over 97% of your donations goes to our mission of providing toys, books, and other gifts to less fortunate children. Less than 3% go to operating costs.

Where to donate? Click here to give money or buy a couple of toys and keep an eye open for places with this logo around the holidays where you can go to drop them off:
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#3 The Ronald McDonald House Charities:

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I don’t even know where to start with this one… Globally, there are currently 322 locations in 63 various countries. Ronald McDonald Houses act as a place to stay for families with hospitalized children who are receiving treatment and is only accessible to families who reside within a prescribed distance from the treating hospital as determined by the board. Ronald McDonald’s Houses provide over 7,200 bedrooms to families around the world each night, with an estimated value of $700 million in lieu of hotel costs. That doesn’t include the number of family rooms and mobile homes that they also have available!

If that weren’t enough, in 1997, The Ronald McDonald’s Learning Program was formed in Australia to help children who had suffered serious illness and returned to school. The stated mission of the program is to provide educational support to these children who have fallen behind in their education. It’s the only one of its kind in that country.

Where to donate?

Visit pretty much any McDonald’s restaurant around the country. There are drop boxes and donation bins or click here.


#4 The Home for Little Wanderers:

C0xJFp_XUAQN_OZ.jpgThis is one that I’ve spoken of before. I worked here for 3+ years right out of college as both a direct care worker and a teacher. It is a wonderful program, especially around New England that offers a safe haven for children that have no home, are no longer capable of living at home, or are taken from broken homes due to abusive or neglectful parents. These kids deserve all the love and care in the world and have barely been given a chance at life.

It is also one of the oldest programs of… well any kind. Originally founded as an orphanage in 1799, The Home today plays a huge role in delivering services to thousands of children and families each year through a system of residential, community-based and prevention programs, direct care services, and advocacy.

Um Jim… Harrington house???

Yes, in case anyone is wondering, the Boston location was dedicated to my grandparents after my family helped secure and renovate the property for the The Home For Little Wanderers. So I guess you could say that child advocacy runs in the family.

Where to donate:
Click Here or if you live in the New England Area, keep an eye open for fundraiser events!


Last but CERTAINLY not least:

#5. Children’s Hospital Boston. 

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Ugh… Excuse me… I need a moment…

That is a hard image for me to look at without tearing up… I fail each time and yes, I’ll admit to a little bit of emotional blackmail on the part of the charity with that picture, but it is damn effective… especially if you have had a child that was in a position like that (which I have).

This is one of the most famous and most venerable children’s hospitals in the world. They’ve had issues over the years politically, but that is far overshadowed by the immense work that they’ve done. With more than 680,000 square feet of state-of-the-art laboratory space, Children’s is home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center. Its discoveries have benefited children and adults since 1869.

Two scientists working at Children’s have won the Nobel Prize and 5 have won the Lasker Award which is given for major contributions to medical science.

It is truly an amazing organization with connections to Dana Farber and Brigham and Women’s hospitals.

I remember when my son was here, never once were we asked to leave the room during his care, we had doctors, nurses, and even a priest come by to ask if we need anything. We were kept in the loop constantly whether on site or not, and still feel we owe a lot to the wonderful care our boy received. Today he is a healthy five-year-old whom, excepting a scar on his stomach, you would never know had been through such a traumatic ordeal.

Where to donate:
Click here.



I usually put a little shameless self-promotion down here. Not today, go back up!

 

 

 

 

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From My Writing Playlist

Not my typical style, but still a really good song!

When to Listen:   Character creation, usually either the love interest or the main supporting character.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TUTJ0klnKk

Not the biggest fan of the anime itself… however as a metal head with Jpop as a guilty pleasure… yeah you can understand why I like this!

When to Listen:   This is an omni-song. It’s got ups and downs, positive and negative energy. It’s completely charged and really could work in almost any setting. Good guys, bad guys, vicious battles, or general playlist. Use it as best it works for you!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist

Full disclosure… I’m not a fan of Disturbed. The Sickness always irked me and I always felt like the kids listening to these guys in middle school and high school were the perpetually depressed kids. So for me to recommend one of their songs… That should tell you something.

When to Listen:   This is actually quite different from a lot of the stuff I’ve heard from them. It’s charged with energy and aggression. This is something to listen to when writing a battle scene or any conflict for that matter.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist

I have to admit… I’m kicking myself for not posting this one sooner. I know people have mixed feelings about this movie, I completely get that. It is a muddled mess and maybe I’m looking at it through nostalgia goggles… but I would argue not. My nostalgia goggles didn’t protect the Dark Crystal. I can’t even watch that movie anymore. This one… at the very least, is a beautiful-looking movie and of course, Tim Curry is a lot of fun. I guess you can call it a guilty pleasure, even if the story makes no sense.

When to Listen:  So this particular theme is the Unicorn track and… honestly, you can use it when writing a few different scenes. I think originally, particularly at about 30 seconds in, it was meant to convey innocence, majesty, and beauty. So technically, if you’re writing about a young royal, like a princess, and you want to describe her… have at it.
For me… this song tune took on a different meaning. I saw it as a comforting sound. So I use it when my main character is reacquainted with someone they care deeply for.
SPOILER ALERT: 
This song was used in the scene in Gravestalker when Toby found out that he had successfully resurrected his love, despite her not having any memory of him. It was a touching scene where she had to take everything on trust because as far as she was concerned, Toby was a stranger.

So either way, it really does work.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

One Writing Album

Hi Jim,

This may seem kind of stupid, but you talk about music inspiring and motivating you to write. Can you recommend one album, that if you listened to nothing else, that one album would suffice?

Thanks,
Lonnie


Hi Lonnie,

For the record, I don’t like being pinned to one album, genre, or anything I listen to what works for me from one minute to the next. However, since you asked… in my personal opinion, the best album out of my entire repertoire is one that came out about 7 years ago.

Within Temptation – The Unforgiving.

This album… I was worried when it came out. Within Temptation always had a very gothic style to it. This changed to a more speed-based, action style for the band when I heard the first few songs…

However, the style works for them. It’s a change that was actually very well received and may have prolonged the life of the band while others like Nightwish have really struggled to find their identity after such a long run. From being hesitantly optimistic, I can now say that this is easily the best album in my entire collection. Almost the entire CD is a hit and the story in the background is actually pretty awesome. This CD has helped me write several books and really picked me up when I was suffering fatigue or writer’s block. It’s definitely worth a listen.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist

Dying for these guys to put out another album.

When to Listen:  This is another coffee song for me. In fact, their whole album is a massive caffeine kick. I listen to them on the way into work and it’s the same thing as drinking a cup of black coffee.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim