I mentioned a few posts ago that I had what I’ve come to call “my orphan book” ready for immediate publication before the publisher went belly up, leaving me in the lurch.
I’m hoping to salvage the manuscript and get it “self published” by WestBow, a Christian book company that requires fees paid up front to publish and market books.
See WestBow link here.
I’ve set up a GoFundMe account in hopes of salvaging the book in a somewhat timely fashion, since it cites some facts and figures that do have a certain amount of timeliness.
Self publishing allows me the chance to get the manuscript printed and ready for publishing in a relatively short time while it’s fresh.
The book–The View from Poordom: Reflections on Scriptures Addressing Poverty–could possibly be printed up and ready for sale before the end of the year.
With the GoFund account, I’m now more than halfway to my goal of $1,600 thanks to a little help from my friends.
I’m appealing to you who follow the blog here to consider a donation as I live a very simple life on a very tight budget and, frankly, can’t afford the whole cost for self publishing.
(Somehow a line from that Temptations song from the sixties, “Ain’t to Proud to Beg and You Know It” comes to mind here.)
However . . . I will be contributing no less than $400 out of my pocket, maybe more, depending on the final amount of donations. So I am putting up some of my own skin.
All I have to offer donors is an acknowledgment by name on the Acknowledgements Page (except those who wish to remain anonymous as one donor has) and my eternal gratitude.
My GoFundMe account is set up in my name at this link:
Many thanks for your consideration to this appeal. As I’ve said before, the book has been a labor of love for me, and I think could be a good read for spiritual growth or for group discussion and study.
Here’s a sample from the Introduction:
“And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’”
Matthew 25:40 (NRSV)
I’ve never been poor, hungry, or adrift in a sense of hopelessness in my much-blessed life. Yet poverty has always felt personal to me.
My mother, born a mere fourteen years into the twentieth century, was abandoned as a child—along with her sister, brother, and mother—by her father. This traumatic event occurred in a dusty, rough-and-tumble Texas town, when times were hard and life was especially punishing for a barely educated single mother like my grandmother. To escape the hardship of life on her father’s farm, she got married and had a baby when she was sixteen years old. As was common at that time, her father wanted as many children as he could get for farm labor.
My mother knew first-hand what it was like to be sleep-deprived and exhausted from hunger and malnutrition. She always said that just as bad as the constant hunger and weariness was the indignity of begging for leftovers at back doors of townspeople at mealtimes. After all, other kids from her school were at those dinner tables, and kids can be hard on each other. The town’s well-to-do kids, at least in her experience growing up, were especially hard on the poor kids who had ragged clothes and pinching-tight shoes with holes in the soles.
It was my mother who told me when I asked about her upbringing: “We were pretty far down in Poordom for a while.”
“Poordom”–I always thought there was a book to be writ from that word and I finally wrote it.
Here’s another sample, the opening of Chapter 1.
1. Poverty: A Synonym for Suffering
SCRIPTURE: John 5:1–18 (NRSV)
KEY VERSES: (2–9) “Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well?’ The sick man answered him, ‘Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Stand up, take your mat and walk.’ At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.”
An American friend of mine asked me the other day to pray for a couple who lost their beloved dog to cancer. She mentioned that this very poor couple never had the money to take the pet to a vet. It had to be heartbreaking for them to watch the dog suffer, and of course it’s a tragic thing that the dog himself suffered. Anybody who has ever had a pet knows that animals can be family, too. But so it goes when one lives in Poordom.
The poor face struggles and losses that we who are well-to-do never think about. The lack of money for vet care, for example, is something that never crossed my mind until my friend back home mentioned that poor couple’s loss of their pet to cancer.
* * *
Years ago, the makers of a best-selling beer premiered a long-running TV commercial during the Super Bowl. The ad opened with an overweight (wouldn’t you know it) character sitting alone in the bleachers of a football stadium, crying into his large cup of beer. This set the scene for the announcer to explain that the poor football fan was “suffering” because his beer lacked flavor. The ad ended, of course, with the poor “victim” of bland beer relishing the taste of the advertised brand and being relieved—praise God, America!—of his “suffering.”