I’ve received another email from Candy so I know she’s ok but, ok is relative. She’s alive and she can trek uptown to a friend’s place for a shower and to use the wifi, but that is ALL she can do. I wish I could offer her a warm bed and a hot dinner, but I can’t, so I’m going to try to help her in a different way.
As some of you may know, Candy is a freelance writer as well as a novelist. Quite simply, that means she makes her living from writing. But how can a writer write when her life has suddenly been thrust back into the Dark Ages?
You think that sounds overly melodramatic? Let me paint you a picture. Candy lives in one of the worst affected parts of New York City, somewhere near Greenwich Village I think. She lives in an apartment. I don’t know how high-rise her apartment building is but I’m assuming there are multiple floors. With no power, access to and from her apartment is by the stairs.
Once Candy gets to her apartment she has no light, so she must rely on whatever natural light comes in through her windows. At this time of year, in the northern hemisphere, that’s not a lot. And her apartment is cold, very cold. Back in the Dark Ages, people could at least light a fire to keep themselves warm. City dwellers in the modern era do not have the luxury of fire. Not only can they not keep themselves warm, they can’t cook either. I don’t know what Candy has in her pantry but I don’t imagine that it would be a lot : some tinned goods perhaps, some cereal but no fresh milk because the fridge doesn’t work. So cold tinned food and dry breakfast cereal. And let’s not forget that she doesn’t have drinking water either. As all the shops and restaurants within walking distance of her apartment are in the same boat, no pun intended, this means trekking uptown. On foot, because there is no public transport either.
So after a cold, dark miserable day, Candy has a colder, even more miserable night to look forward to. It will be a dark night with only a few candles to provide light and so she will probably go to bed to try to stay warm. But there will be no electric blanket to warm her bed, not even an old fashioned hotwater bottle… because of course she has no power to heat anything. Add no coffee to the list of miseries.
But these are physical miseries and Candy knows that sooner or later the power will come back on and life will get back to normal, but in the meantime, she is worried on another front as well. She is worried about her livelihood because, on top of everything else, she can’t work either. Every day she can’t work her money is dwindling away, and it won’t be replaced when the lights finally come back on because she is a freelancer, not a wage earner.
I know there must be thousands of other people in New York City who are just as badly affected by the storm as Candy, but I don’t know them and I do know Candy. She is one person I can help, not by sending clothing or food or money, but by helping her as a writer.
I’m appealing to everyone to help Candy by tweeting about her plight and by trying to get others out there to buy her books. I’m still pretty terrible at tweeting but I’m going to give it my best shot as soon as I publish this post. If any of you out there can spare the time for just one tweet then we could actually do some good here.
Thank you my friends. I love you all.