Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jayden's Auction Starts Soon

Just wanted to remind everyone about the auction starting Saturday, June 2.

You'll find the usual must-haves like agent and author critiques, signed books, and jewelry, and also some fun new things like original art, customized portraits, and even a special little something from the new HOBBIT movie.  Yeah, it's going to be super cool.

Make sure to follow the Help Baby Jayden blog (where the auction will take place), Facebook, or Twitter so you can get all the updates.

And if you'd like to help us out by tweeting or posting about the auction (you can let me know in the comments), I'll add you to the drawing to win a 2012 debut of your choice! I'll pick 3 winners Friday.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Is Blogging Dead?

Most of you know I'd been away from the blogosphere for a while before I started up again a few weeks ago.  It's been at least a year since I've done a decent job of it.

Over the past three weeks as I've read blogs and tried to do a bit of blogging myself I've noticed some interesting things.

1. 75% of my old blogging friends are no longer blogging.

2. When I visit the blog pages that I used to frequent, I notice that blogs that got 10-20 comments per post a year ago now get only a handful, and blogs that used to see 50-100 comments per post now receive only 10-20.

3. Even BIG POSTS, like agent and book deal announcements, seem to be getting way less attention than they did a year ago.

4. Last Thursday, I posted a little book giveaway.  I promised to send three commenters ANY DEBUT NOVEL THEY WANT if they spread the word about a charity auction that will start in 2 weeks.  I got almost no response--even when my rock star agent, Sara Megibow, retweeted the post.  A year ago I'm pretty sure a post like that would have had at least a little interest.  I've noticed that giveaway posts on other blogs seem to be light on readers and commenters too.

I'm not going to lie.  I kind of get it.  Blogging takes an incredible amount of time if you're going to do it right (thus the year long blogging vacation).  There are many easier ways to keep in touch with other writers. But at the same time it's sad to see blogs I used to love close up shop.  I felt like I actually got to know people through their blogs in a way that really isn't possible through other social networks.  If blogging writers really are becoming a thing of the past, I'm going to be sad.

Am I missing something here, or did blogging become a dying art during my year away?  What has replaced it?  Twitter?  Tumblr?  Facebook?  Pinterest?  I do a decent job on Twitter, but I don't have clue about how to use any of the others.  I guess I'd better figure them out.

And feel free to comment on my book giveaway post if you'd like a free book!  Right now you have a 100% chance of getting one, as there are only 2 comments and I've promised to send books to 3 winners! :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Win a 2012 Debut OF YOUR CHOICE!

Hey everyone!

Since Jayden's auction is just 2 weeks away and we're still hoping for a few more donations, I thought I'd try something fun.

We need to make sure everyone hears about all the awesome things that will be offered at the auction.  You can stay informed by:

-Liking Jayden's Facebook Page
-Following him on Twitter
-Following his Blog (this is where the auction will take place)

We also need to spread the word.  You can do this by:

-Tweeting or retweeting about the auction
-Blogging about Jayden
-Posting something about Jayden and the auction on Facebook

And we could use a few more donations.  You can help by:

-Donating a book, critique or art item (you can email me donations at nataliebahm (at) yahoo (dot) com)
-Passing this along to a friend, agent, or colleague who might be willing to donate

Anyone who does two of these things (you can pick ANY two) and tells me about what they did in a comment below is eligible to win a 2012 debut of his/her choice.  I'll even pre-order one for you if the book of your choice doesn't come out until later this year.  There are so many awesome debuts this year. I know there's something for everyone.  I will pick THREE winners on Thursday, June 1, the day before the auction begins.  And yes, I am happy to ship internationally.

Thank you SO MUCH for helping.  I'm hoping the auction will be a great success and take a little bit of the financial pressure off Jayden's family, so they can focus on helping him get well.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A HUGE Thank You!

I just wanted to say thanks to all of you who have donated items, critiques, money, artwork, jewelry, etc for Jayden's auction.  It's been a very sweet experience to get emails from people I've never met before who are willing and anxious to help.

We'll be accepting donations right up until the auction on June 2, so feel free to email me--nataliebahm (at) yahoo (dot) com-- if you have something you'd like to give.

Also, a huge thanks to all those who've been spreading the word! We couldn't do this without you.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Something Big (or part of it, anyway)

I promised you all some big news this week, so here it is! 

First I'll need to give you a little background.

Many of you will remeber that when my youngest child was born he had some health problems and spent several weeks in the NICU and then several months overcoming the issues he had at birth. That experience was SO DIFFICULT for me, even though it was just for a short time. I believe there is nothing in this world harder than watching your child suffer. It changed me, refocused my priorities, and gave me a deeper empathy for parents of sick kids.
Two months after my little guy was born, my good friend had a baby grandson. This is his story:

Jayden Huynh is a seventeen-month-old little boy who has already survived four surgeries--two bowel, one heart, one gastric-- due to a combination of congenital problems, including Hirschsprung's disease and other issues that are still in the process of being diagnosed. Despite the best efforts of his doctors and family, Jayden has failed to gain enough weight to make it to even the 1st percentile. He only weighs 6.6 kilograms (14.5 pounds) and his low weight is affecting his organ's ability to function. His doctors are considering put him on TPN treatment (IV feeding) which carries its own dangers. The greatest risk to survival is sepsis at the site of his IV port, so Jayden's family need to convert a room in their home into a treatment room that can be kept separate and as sterile as possible in order to give him the best possible chance. This will include buying a small refrigerator/freezer to store the TPN, cabinets for storing medical supplies, a changing table for Jayden, a steam cleaning unit to keep the surfaces as clean as possible, and other supplies.

Jayden's family have started a fund to try and raise money to set up this room, and are hoping to hold an auction to make it possible. Because Jayden's grandmother is a writer and an artist, they are hoping to gain donations from people in these industries to auction. Anything useful would be gratefully accepted, whether it be critiques, books, swag, etc. Because of the international nature of the auction, donors would need to be willing to ship items directly to their auction's winner, if it involves goods. We will provide information and links to the donor's websites, etc. along with each auction.
The auction is set to begin on June 2 and will probably run for about a week.  We've already had some awesome stuff donated, including agent critiques and phone calls, author critiques, signed books, jewelry and art.  It's going to be amazing. Mark your calendars.
If you feel you can donate anything for the auction or pass this along to friends who might want to help, it would be so appreciated. You can email me if you have an item or critique that you'd like to donate at nataliebahm (at) yahoo.com.
 If you'd like to help and you have nothing to donate you can always say a prayer, send good wishes to the family, or spread the word!  We have a facebook account, a twitter account, and a blog you can follow, like, retweet, or repost.
Jayden is such a brave little boy and his family has been through so much already. I know they're already overwhelmed by thie kindness the writing community has shown. We hope this auction will take a tiny bit of the financial pressure off of them, so they can focus on caring for Jayden.
Thank you so much, for taking the time to read this.