Heroes, mentors, and would anyone mind if I threw in angels? I actually think of the word “angel” as a verb – an action that anyone can perform. That means we can all angel someone else and be angeled by someone else at any given time. I can think of dozens of times when I’ve been angeled by others – really helped in a way that moved me along my path. I think of my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Ron Frank – the first one to tell me I was a good writer and that if I wanted to, I could write a book someday! There were other teachers, along with my mom, (thanks mom!) who concurred and encouraged me to write, and all of that helped to move me along to where I am today.
My heroes are those people who act in ways that help make the world a better place. The good news is that more and more people are doing that these days, and the even better news is that it’s something any of us can do. I’ve thought a lot lately about how I can use FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA to do some good in the world. And I am inspired by fellow returned Peace Corps Volunteer and author, Kris Holloway-Bidwell. Her beautiful book, Monique and the Mango Rains, is about her time living in Africa when she was a volunteer in Mali. Even more beautiful is the fact that she is using her book to educate Americans about childbirth for women without access to adequate healthcare and to fund a health clinic in her former Peace Corps village so that fewer women will die in childbirth. In this way, Kris and her book have become a force for good in the world. And have inspired me to try to do the same.
As I get ever-closer to the launch of FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA, it gets easier to get tied up in the “success” of the book and overwhelmed by all the things I could be, should be doing to help my book succeed. A few months back, I began to wonder how I could do all this without losing sight of what’s really important to me. And when I started asking – the answer came to me (and I thank our loyal reader, and wish granter, Larramie, for encouraging me to ask for my wish and receive my answer).
I have little control of what happens to my book once it goes out into the world. But I can control how I measure its success. So I choose – as Kris and so many of my heroes have done – to measure my own success by how much good I can do in this world. Thus my promotional motto has now become, “How much good can a do-gooder do with one good book?” I am thrilled about the prospect of helping others as I work to promote my book. And I thank Kris, my teachers and all the angels that are already out there doing so much – often in their own quiet ways – to make the world a little bit better. Those are my heroes, my mentors and my angels.
And the best news is, it’s something we can all be doing.
7 Replies to “Calling All Angels, by Deb Eve”
Such great sentiments for these difficult days we’re in, Eve. I don’t think people reading your book can help but get inspired. I heard there’s been a renewed interest in the Peace Corps and Teach for America (as opposed to working on Wall Street), so out of this horrible economy will hopefully come a renewed sense of purpose–and your book will lead the way.
You’re wise, Eve. Someone’s book will always be doing much better than yours, and someone’s will always do much worse. Success is totally meaningless unless it’s linked to a larger message, I think. So good for you! I can’t wait for your launch! Oh, and have you ever checked out Phillippa Gregory’s Gardens for the Gambia project? It’s really cool!
To be honest, Eve, I’ve always thought that sparking a “do-good” campaign was a major reason for writing FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA. And I think that your muse/angel felt the same. How exciting it will be to watch this evolve!
Love your idea of success! Helping others, doing what we can through our words. That’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it? 🙂
It is what it’s all about, Rebbie. And I suspect that more and more of us are coming around to that. Meredith, I do think that’s the upside of the economic crisis in some ways. Tiffany, I am going to Phillippa Gregory’s Garden right now. See, I am certainly not alone in using my writer’s platform (limited as it is at the moment) to do some good. Larramie, you might have been onto me before I even figured it out for myself. But yes, I knew deep down, there was another reason (besides the sheer joy of just telling my story) that I just HAD TO write FIRST COMES LOVE.
OOHH, Phillppa Gregory, one of my all time favorite writers…so she is a do gooder too…goodie.
During the days of Obama’s inaugration festivities it was reported… a 100% rise in Peace Corps Volunteer applications…ONE HUNDRED PERCENT!!! That is amazing.
Today I explained to my new office mates about how you and John “tithe” and where some of your money from the book is going. So when I told her about your Malaria, etc…she said…”She has Malaria???” “Yes”, I said…as in…”FIRST COMES LOVE……….THEN COMES MALARIA”
Beautiful post, Eve! Brava!
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