Thursday, November 24, 2011

Toys For Tots - Horror Style: Give a Gift to a Child, Win a Library of Signed Tomes

Artwork (c) by David Anderson
Today is Thanksgiving, one of those distinctly American holidays with a past shrouded in blood and pain, but showing a pleasing face to the world that stands for something better - a dreamy ideal easily embraced that makes a holiday worth celebrating.

What I love about this day is that it forces us to stop looking at what might still be out of reach, and assess how lucky were are for what we do have.  It's a time to give thanks.  And so I shall.

I'm thankful for so many things.  My dynamically talented, supportive, and unfathomably beautiful wife, who is my right hand in this journey through the dreamy days of my waking life, and that which only happens when I close my inner eye and my fingers start to dance.  I'm thankful for my startlingly creative and perfectly formed child (she takes after her mother, that one), who surprises me on the daily with the magick she whips up inside that smallish head of hers.  I'm thankful for my friends and family and friends who are family to me. 

And I'm thankful for you - all of you, who take the time to read my hastily typed and poorly proofed blathering on various scattershot topics here at The Cosmicomicon, as well as spend hard earned lucre on my published work as it slowly spins into printed existence.  I've been around the block a time or two - and halfway around the world - and in all of my travels, I've never encountered a warmer, more inclusive, and SUPPORTIVE group of people than those devoted to the creation, celebration, distribution, and/or consumption of what could be commonly referred to as "horror," but is increasingly known simply as The Weird.  I'm honored and moved almost daily by the wonderful acts of kindness and approbation that I see taking place amongst this often mostly virtual community.  It truly is inspiring, and for that, I thank you again.

As Thanksgiving marks the season of both thanks and giving, veteran horror master and bEast of Hell-singed poetics Joseph S. Pulver struck on a wonderful idea to inspire others to give a little to those less fortunate (and no matter how dire our straights, there is ALWAYS someone struggling more and in need of aid), while also offering a priceless prize to all involved that really is without precedent.
Ware the Stare of the bEast from the East
Joe aligned with Toys For Tots - one of the best charities going, overseen by the steely warriors of the United States Marine Corps - and called on all of his countless friends and peers deeply ensconced in the respective yet ultimately intertwined familial realms of horror/dark fantasy/Weird/Bizarro fiction and artwork to create a contest built on giving toys to needy innocents, with a promise of an entire mini-library of hand-signed novels, anthologies, CDs, and other media to those generous souls who make the time and effort to perform an act of absolute goodness.  From this, Toys For Tots - Horror Style was born, and just in time for Black Friday, to balance the yin of consumerism with the yang of beneficence.
By donating a toy to your locale Toys For Tots outlet, you'll be entered to win one of the most valued and impressive collections of signed books I've ever seen.

Regarding the rules and how's and whereby's, I'll let Brother Joe explain, as only he can:
What is Toys For Tots ~ HORROR style?

This is a group of writers/editors/publishers of Horror/Weird/Dark fantasy/etc. who want to do something nice for needy children this year. Each contributor will donate a signed book(s) of theirs [any book, chap, collection, HC, trade, mass market, novel, mag, edited by, etc.][sorry, no “eBooks” as we cannot be certain the winner will have a reading device] and *ONE WINNER* will win them all.

Folks post the pics [2 pics] of them donating to THIS page. One pic showing them holding the toy, one pic of the toy in the box. Sadly, there are a few who might try to cheat and not put the toy in the box, so we need to see the toy really was donated. Take a pic of you holding the toy, then take a 2nd pic of the toy in the box. The donated toy will need to have a price point of at least 5 dollars. I thought a lot of folks have cell phone cams so pics would be easy to take.

How do you enter?

Entrants will need to post a pic of them dropping a toy into a “Toys For Tots” donation box and when all is said and done, say the day after X-Mas, we’ll pick ONE WINNER. Kids get a bunch of toys and we do a little good for those in need in hard times. And someone out there gets a very happy new year! !!

Can a family enter?

YES! You donate a toy, you’re in. Your SO donates one, they’re in! But only one entry per person!

I picked TFT as it’s fairly common and most everywhere in the States. Sadly, due to postage, entrants must live in the States. I also picked this charity as I couldn’t think of another charity where we could be certain we’d be putting something “hard” under trees this year.

We’ll have a predetermined number to pick the winner, between 100 -200 it will be #?, 200-300 will be #?, 300-400, 400-500, 1,000+, etc., etc. [Yes, I hoping for a lot of entries! !!] Then I’ll post the winner’s name here (after X-Mas) and they can message me w/ their address. Then the books will start coming. Each contributor will be mailing the book(s) they’re donating to the winner, so they will not all come at the same time. Books will begin to be shipped after JAN 1st.

We are not a part of *any* group or affiliated w/ any organization. This is just a group of writers/editors/publishers who want to do something nice for children! !! We picked TFT as it will put REAL toys under trees this year!!

Please share this and help spread the word. If you have a blog please consider doing a blog post about this, Tweeting as well. Sharing means word gets out and that puts more toys under trees! !! I know there are no bigger hearts than those of the horror community, so let it bleed!! !

No dealers or booksellers please. This is not for profit in any way, shape, or form. If we find out an entrant is a seller that entry will be not be considered for the drawing.
I’ll be posting what books the winner will receive and adding to the list as I get word of new additions.
Note to any writers and editors and publishers I have not contacted, if you would like to be part of this, please message me here on FB. We would love to have you be part of this! !!

To all the current contributors, my deepest thanks! You make me very proud to be one of you! !!

All my bEastly BEST! !!

Joe Pulver
Artwork (c) by David Anderson
As for the ever growing stash (keep in mind, this movement is only a few days old - more and more books will be forthcoming through contributions as Joe dislodges every rock, manhole cover, and hidden door within his neverending reach), here is the line-up of contributing authors/publishers/publications/artists and their offerings as of November 22, 2011 - a  monstrous roster of notables that will only grow as the holiday season waltzes on:

* Paul Tremblay
* Jeff VanderMeer [a copy of FINCH and a copy of THE WEIRD]
* Simon Strantzas
* Jordan Krall 
* A copy of the 1st issue of “Phantasmagorium”, edited by Laird Barron
* STRANGE AEONS magazine
* Gary McMahon
* Both DEAD BUT DREAMING and DEAD BUT DREAMING 2 anthologies from Miskatonic River Press
* Lois Gresh
* Nick Mamatas
* Daniel Mills
* Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
* C.W. LaSart
* Trent Zelazny
* Roger Zelazny
* John Claude Smith
* Innsmouth Free Press
* G. Edwin Taylor (artist)
* William Meikle
* Richard Gavin
* Ray Garton
* Kaaron Warren
* Jesse Bullington
* David Conyers
* Bruce Memblatt

I'll be updating this list in the days and weeks to come, so be sure to check back every so often to see how it evolves, ever sweetening the already extremely tasty pot.
This is what it's ALWAYS all about

Give thanks today, gentle readers, and hug those who are near and dear, for we've all been blessed with so very much.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

(Special thanks to the talented writer/artist David Anderson for the TfT - HS artwork)

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