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Impact Initiative: starring Cynthea Liu

Okay, since she's not talking about it, I will. Last year, Cynthea put together an amazing launch event called Take the Dare: Show you Care. I blogged about it back then, but basically she got a whole bunch of authors together and gave a whole bunch of her time and raised over 15,000 dollars for Title 1 schools in Oklahoma just because she saw a need. It was amazing, and a great example of Cynthea's go-get-'em nature. I also benefitted from a free critique from her a couple years ago, and I bet there are quite a few authors who can chime in with something Cynthea has done for their writing and career. I don't know if she sleeps. I suspect she does not.

Broken Record Part: Comment to win one of many copies of PRINCESS FOR HIRE or, this week, HUSH, HUSH.

I am so excited to be blogging as part of The Impact Initiative.  Lindsey asked me to think about ways in which someone has impacted me or how I've impacted others.  The former I rarely talk about publicly - mainly because I often view my parents as a big source of embarrassment and humor. But today, I'll cut Mom and Dad a break.  

Throughout my childhood, money was difficult to come by. I often felt like I was the one missing out on everything. From Cabbage Patch Dolls to trips to Disneyland, I hardly got to experience what I thought was a childhood that "everyone else" was experiencing.  Don't get me wrong. We didn't live on the streets. But I was always aware that hand-me-downs was my destined fashion ensemble and getting an allowance was a serious pipe dream.

Despite feeling like a financial have-not, I was conscious of the fact that my parents were still generous to others. I may have been wearing my sister's old clothes, but Mom and Dad still managed to find a way to give. With their time. Their attention. And yes, even their money.  Whether it was a relative in trouble. A friend in need. Or a stranger looking for a good day's work, the Lius could make it happen.

Now as an adult, I feel like I'm following in my parents' footsteps in a way. I can make a difference, too, despite having to balance my own pressing demands with career and family. I find a way to work it in just like my parents did. 

I don't think I'd have it any other way.

There is something about giving to others that gives back in ways I can hardly describe. There is something about helping just ONE person. There is something about touching as many lives as you can.  

I can't really tell you what that something is. You simply must try it for yourself. 

I hope everyone reading this stops to think about what Lindsey is posting about this month.  What can YOU do to make an impact? 

(By the way, here's an idea. Help Lexie donate 4,000 books to children's homes. I met this young lady at a Young Author's Conference and I was so touched by her generosity and caring.  Details at http://www.webdesigngivingback.com/lexie. This is one girl who is making an IMPACT.)
* * *

Cynthea Liu is author of PARIS PAN TAKES THE DARE (Putnam), a humorous mystery novel for grades 4-7. THE GREAT CALL OF CHINA (grades 7-12) is part of Speak’s bestselling S.A.S.S. series. Her forthcoming YA novel WHAT I DIDN’T TELL YOU (Putnam) will be released in 2011. Based in Chicago, Cynthea has spoken to a number of schools in Illinois and across the country. She has also been a guest speaker for national and regional conferences organized by the American Library Association, American Association of School Librarians, Association for Library Services to Children, and the Young Adult Library Services Association, among others. In addition, Cynthea has been a guest author and writing coach for organizations like the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Chicago Young Authors, MuseWrite, and local universities and colleges. She has also been featured on ABC’s Chicago 7 and the Chicago Sun Times.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 11th, 2010 12:11 pm (UTC)
I really love these posts. They're so inspiring.
Jun. 11th, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks for such a great series of posts
Jun. 12th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC)
I love this Impact series, Lindsey.

Cynthea is one of those people who has made a huge impact and continues to impact readers and writers everywhere. Like you, I've benefited from her critiques and I'm so thankful for her generosity!
Jun. 13th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
My dad was also the one who's made the biggest impact in my life. He used to tell people that I was seven going on thirty-two, and he always treated me that way. Even when I was a little squirt, he would ask my opinion on family matters. When we moved from Maryland to Ohio, my parents listened to me about one house that both of my parents loved gave me a bad vibe (my eleven-year-old mind truly believed it was haunted, and I thought I saw someone upstairs watching us drive away even though it had been empty moments ago). We didn't buy it.

As I got older, we started becoming better friends, although he was still always my dad. Less than a week after I got my license, I scratched a woman's two-month-old car in the school parking lot with my 1967 Dodge Dart. NOTHING happened to my car, but I had to buy the woman a new car door. My dad convinced the woman not to file it with insurance and we would pay for it so that my insurance rates didn't sky-rocket. Later that year, I was washing my car and was very confused as I got to the front bumper and noticed a band-aid stuck to the front left corner of it. My dad had put it there, as "boo boo #1".

My dad and I had very different views about the world, from politics to money to time management to jobs. I changed my major from creative writing to international politics partially at his prodding to find a more practical job. He frequently gave me solicited—-and unsolicited—-advice, but always respected me if I didn't take it, and never said "I told you so" if his advice would have been better.

I am the vocal, independent woman
Jun. 13th, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)

I am a vocal, independent woman because of the way my dad always treatment me with respect. Even though he died two years ago from lung cancer, he still impacts my life every day when I think about going fishing with him in the Potomac or just hanging out in the backyard with a beer. I'm a better person because of him. And I miss him dearly.
Jun. 14th, 2010 06:08 am (UTC)
This is really wonderful. Thanks so much for posting it. I love, love, love the band-aid story.
Jun. 13th, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
Awesome. Love the giveaway.

Jun. 15th, 2010 01:21 am (UTC)
great :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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