The more that I think about it, the more I am realising that I really, really want to start a charity to give books to orphanages/foster kids/kids otherwise in undesirable situations.
Because I think, when you get right down to it, that this is what I write for.
It isn’t why I write — I write because, well, I do. Because even as a baby I was clinging to books while in my carriage and the moment it first clicked in my tiny little brain that those stories came from people, that people could tell them for a living, there was absolutely no question at all that that is what I would do. I write because I emancipated myself from the womb to do so, and was only ever waiting for my fingers to catch up to my brain. (Even at two, I was dictating poetry to my mother, because I myself couldn’t physically write the words down. I was a very strange sort of girl.)
I want to write for the underpriviledged kids, the kids whose ‘home life’ has no actual ‘home’ to speak of, the kids who don’t have a better companion than the characters brought to life for them on the page. I want to write to give those kids a corner.
I believe, more firmly than maybe anything else in this world, that books and stories are the closest thing to magic that we know. They can take you away, hide you when you can’t bear to be found, give you a multitude of homes inside them when outside there are none. (I myself grew up in River Heights, in Yavin IV and Coruscant, in Middle Earth, in Hogwarts, in Luster.)
And I want to offer those children that corner myself, with my own wishes for them and words and worlds. I figure that it’s only fair; if books gave me so much, then it’s only right and proper that I start giving something back in turn.
And it stands to reason, therefore, that the next logical step would be to start such a charity, on top of the writing itself. Not everyone is an author, but I know I’m not the only one who found their true home between the pages and who now wants to offer that to someone else. And I’m certainly not arrogant enough to believe that my own worlds would be enough to suitably shelter every kid who needs them, no matter how good my intentions or how hard I try.
Therefore, a charity to gather up more books for them it is.
I don’t know the logistics of all this, not yet, not beyond the obvious of writing some childrens’ books myself and putting the proceeds from them towards this — and seeing if I can talk any other authors into doing the same! But I’m a stubborn sort of girl. I’ll make this work. (Tim Gunn is one of my heros, after all.)
No one can take all of these kids home. But goddamnit, we can still help to at least give them a home that’s theirs.