taking care of our own.

Friends, I want to tell you about the McCall family.

Bud and Dawn were a St. Louis couple with four children, struggling as many of us do - Bud had been laid off from his job, a very common occurrence here in the sunny Midwest. Unfortunately, their load became much heavier last weekend.

Today they bury their 10-year-old daughter.

A housefire struck last Saturday, burning their home to the ground and killing little Tegan. Bud sustained serious injuries, both smoke inhalation and burns, from trying three times to get back into the house and rescue her. Several members of the family were hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

Meet them.

My heart breaks for them as they endure the worst pain that can strike a family. As a mother, I cannot imagine anything worse - something I cannot imagine surviving myself. They're close friends of my dear friend Geoffrey, and he has been there holding their hands through this tragedy. And like so many of us, I wish there was something I could do.

Actually, there is. And you're part of it. Yes, you.

A website has been set up to help coordinate donations, which are being handled by the St. Louis Public School Foundation. The McCalls had no insurance, and they lost absolutely everything in the fire.

According to Geoffrey, they're getting along pretty well for clothing donations - something our circle of friends has in abundance is Schtuff. That which is needed is listed on the website, along with multiple ways to help and news links, so you know it isn't one of those email forwards.

Here's what I can do, and I need your help.

I am raffling off autographed copies of all my books, including a couple of rarities. Every $5 you donate to the McCalls gets you an entry in the raffle. Email me a copy of your donation receipt at elizabethdonald at yahoo dot com and I'll put your name in the hat.

Already have my books? Fine, if you win you can choose an equivalent gift certificate to the Literary Underworld.

You have through next weekend. There will be a fundraiser at the close of Conflation next weekend, and I will draw the names then.

In addition, 100 percent of sales of the Aardvarks on Literary Underworld.com for the month of February will be donated to the McCall Family. Aardvarks, as you'll recall, are ebook short stories downloadable for $2.50.

For my Literary Underworld authors: if you are willing to donate your share of any sales we make at Conflation to the McCalls, please email me immediately. Anything you want to add to the raffle? Email me.

EDIT: Added to the prize pile: autographed books from M.B Weston, Shane Moore and Angelia Sparrow, with others checking in regularly.

We could box up piles of clothes that may or may not help, we can commiserate and grieve with them at a distance, but let's be blunt, folks: what they need is cash. They will need a hundred things we'll never think of for donations. They'll need to pay medical and funeral bills. They'll need to find a place to live and set it up as a new home for their family. The world - and the bills - don't stop turning for tragedy, more's the pity.

None of us can fix what happened to the McCalls that horrible night. But if there's something I know about my community - my friends, my readers, my fandom - it's that we take care of our own.

I hope you'll help us. And if you simply cannot spare any money, I hope you'll repost this in your own corner of the internet, in the hopes that we can boost the signal and spread the word. If ever a family needed our support, this one does.

Thank you.


  1. Put a copy of Into Dark Waters into the raffle. Also, anything of mine (including Nikolai & Niko-Chan, put them out) at ConFlation, 20% goes to the family.


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