Thursday, September 11, 2008

Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck

So today I'm over at Writer Unboxed talking about why I decided not to hire an outside publicist for Time of My Life, but did decide to shell out some cash in other areas.

Check it out here.

And in the meantime, I got a few advance copies of TOML yesterday and snapped a moment for posterity!

On a more sober note, I'm also posting about the plight of a fellow freelance writer, Lori Hall Steele. One of the scariest things about venturing out into the freelance world, as many of you know, is that you often go out there without a net. If you're single, you might not have health insurance; if you haven't had the chance to stow away enough savings, you might risk financial uncertainty. There are a lot of wonderful things about being a freelance writer, but this lack of safety net isn't one of them.

Lori is a member of the group, Freelance Success, which I've raved about here, and to which I owe the success of much of my early freelance career. It's a community where, even when folks barely recognize a name on the forum or know that another writer might snag one of their assignments, they are still supportive, encouraging and will likely become among your closest friends. So now, all of us at from FLX are rallying to Lori's support. Here's why:

First, start by reading Lori's Washington Post essay
here. It's heartbreaking. A year ago, Lori's feet stop working. Next, the paralysis spread to her arms and legs, and she was confined to a wheelchair. From there, her arms abandoned her, and thus, there went her freelance career, the means she used to support both herself and her 7-year old son. Now, within the span of 1-year, the doctors, who initially believed this to be Lyme's Disease, have diagnosed her with ALS, and Lori is paralyzed and on a ventilator. (Yes, I told you this was sobering.) Her insurance company is denying her requests to pay her medical bills, and these bills are expected to soar to well over $100,000. More pressingly, she is going to lose her home imminently because she can't afford to pay her mortgage.

So, because we are part of her community, and because her plight is also our plight, we FLXers are raising a rallying cry. Every one of us with a blog is posting about her situation and hoping that if you have any spare change to donate, that you'll consider offering a small sum to Lori. Because so many freelance writers could be in her position, and because, just because I'm sitting here on my laptop with my mortgage comfortably paid, doesn't mean that I can't feel my friend's pain. Everyone at FLX who can afford to do so is donating $25 (or more), and while I know that these are taxing times for a lot of people, if her story in any way resonated with you, I hope you'll consider helping her out as well. (Other fundraising efforts, such as maxing out at the ASJA fund, are also underway.) So if you find that you can skip some small indulgence and instead offer it to Lori, please click on this
link and donate what you can via paypal.

Here's some words from her essay:

“I tell him I’ll always be here for him, one way or another. Always always always. Just like my mother is here for me. Just like I was there when he was 3. It is an impossible promise, a gamble with his trust. I secretly pray I don’t let him down, not on this.”

Thanks all! And thanks for allowing me to post this.


Unknown said...

You look like the proud mama there, A. Congrats! I can't wait to read it!!!

Anonymous said...

Allison, you look great! This is exciting. Thanks for spreading the word about Lori. Every little bit helps!


Eileen said...

I just went and left my donation for Lori. Thanks for passing on the information and giving us the chance to help someone else out. When it is all too easy to whine about how lattes have gone up- we can be reminded what real need looks like.

Your books look great!

Allison Winn Scotch said...

Thanks, guys!

Trisha - it was a weird trifecta of fate: that I'd actually showered that AM b/c I had a mtg, that Adam stopped by in the afternoon just as the books arrived (and could snap a pic), and that I had my camera in my bag b/c I'd taken it to my son's first day of school earlier.

Eileen - you rock. (For reasons more than just this, but for this too!) I feel the same way. And on today, of all days, it's really nice to help out someone who needs a hand.

Allison Winn Scotch said...

Oh crap, sorry Tricia, for spelling your name wrong! I was totally not paying attention to my post.

Trish Ryan said...

The book looks GORGEOUS...and so do you. Congrats!!!

And thanks for the information about Lori. Life works better as a group's good to know what part we can play.

Jess Riley said...

Lovely photo!!! (Cute photo backstory in your comment response.) Again, I LOVED TOML, and can not wait to help spread the word when it's out in a few weeks!!

Allison, you're good people to alert us to Lori's situation.

Sandra said...

Congrats on the book, and the shower! You are gorgeous, thin, and tan. Hating you a little, but loving you for the post about Lori. Donating was quick and easy. If only the same could be said about treating her condition. I passed this post along to my friend, Callie, whose husband has ALS. She may know of some resources that can help Lori.

Basic Me said...

Hello Allison.. Sandra Joseph turned me onto you page. I am a urban minister and we work all over the globe to help people with major illnesses reboot thier lives and help them with the needs they have as much as possible. When Sandra read about Lori she sent me the link and I think we may be able to help somehow... How can we get in touch with you. I can certainly help her get meds for free.. help with money for elec, power bills and maybe the house situation. and we may have a lawyer that may be able to help the house situation. I cannot say until we talk. My email address is and I am Callie Broussard-Wheeler the president of Basic Missions Global Advocacy Foundation.. Please call.. if you can text.. first please do so I can clear the phone and call you back. My phone number is 251-648-6510 so give me a text tell me it is you and we can help your friend Lori if it is possible. We will work it to death.. My husband has ALS so we certainly have a unique prospective ... I am sending you tons of love. I pray your book is a raving sucess. And I will certainly be back to the blog. Many Blessings. Callie

Sandra said...

I knew my Callie girl would come through! I tell you that girl can move mountains! She is a fierce cancer survivor and the fairy godmother guardian angel to countless people. And don't be afraid of the word "minister". Callie is as open minded as they come. She has made a career out of helping people in situations like Lori's. Check out her website at and please do put her in touch with Lori. She will wave her wand and make miracles happen. Thanks, Allison. I love you, Callie!

Allison Winn Scotch said...

Thank you, Callie and Sandra!!!! Callie, I've emailed you and also passed your info on to the parties who are coordinating this effort. I'm sure they'll be in touch. Thanks so much once again!

Ruby said...


First, thanks again for blogging about Lori and bringing attention to her situation.

Second, I wanted to post here in case Sandra or Callie come back here. I tried to email Callie, but the email bounced to me. So, if they happen to come back here, they can email me at



PS...I cannot wait to see your book on the shelves!

Allison Winn Scotch said...

Kris, Sandra and Callie - yes, I tried to email Callie too, but it got bounced back. FYI.

Sandra said...

Oh, crappage! I noticed that little typo in Callie's email address but I thought I'd better not say anything in case she had changed it! She is one busy lady and always typing in a hurry. She left out a "c". Email her at Or, feel free to call her. She's hilarious and that little southern drawl of hers will make your day. Kris, I will also make sure that she gets YOUR email address. Thanks so much Allison and Kris. Queen Callie will come through for Lori.
Hope you're having a great weekend-