We've been glued to broadcasts of the Queensland floods, as I know you have. It's scary, not only because of the sheer extent of the devastation and the tragic losses of life, property, and community, but because we almost instantly fell into a form of list-making-- tallying up those friends and acquaintances from the region and realising just how many people who have touched our lives are being affected by this. To all of you: Geoff and Diane; Kate and Rob; Nikki and Damon; Kim; Rowena; Trent; Marianne; Peter; Ben; Chris; Bob; Heather; Julie; Angela; Kathleen; the Clarion South guys; everyone at QWC; all the Visioners; the mob at Pulp Fiction; and everyone else in the ridiculously long list we came up with over lunch yesterday until we stopped for fear of the sheer scale of it that I've forgotten to mention here; and all your families; our hopes and prayers for your safety and welfare.
One way you can help, and get some fresh reading material by way of thank you, is to purchase a copy of the somewhat-ironically-titled-given-the-circumstances After The Rain ebook download: Fablecroft Publishing publisher/editor Tehani Wessely is in Queensland right now, being with her family, but has managed to create an electronic version of the book: 13 stories that will appear in the (larger) print book in April, including contributions from myself and Luscious, some of them in a slightly different form to the way they will appear in the print book, plus 3 essays on the floods and their impact on local communities by Queensland writers specifically commissioned for this special edition.
Tehani says of the ebook: After the Rain was commissioned in 2010 and is due for release in April 2011. However, in the face of the ongoing flood disaster in Queensland, the authors and I have pulled together this limited ebook version as a fundraiser. The authors have freely given their stories for this use. All payments will go to the Flood Appeal, and we are leaving it up to you to decide how much you want to pay for the book. We recommend at least AUD$10.00, but all donations are gratefully received.
Go here to buy it, or to query. The ebook is available until 15th February.