Susan’s Inside Writing: Traditions


Traditions are best when they evolve, when they are organic. When they just happen. When someone wakes up one day and realizes that the event didn’t happen and they now miss it.

Or are they?

Two years ago, I created the Musical Hanukkah Celebration for my fictional band ShapeShifter as a way to be different. My readers thought it was a great idea.

Last year, I introduced a character, Springer, who’s shown up a few times since then. The celebration definitely grew, but I was missing one thing I really wanted: a real-life t-shirt. I wanted to raise some funds that I could donate to the real-life charity my fictional characters are claiming to support. I’ve been known to blur the line between reality and fiction here on my blog and this is one way in which I really wanted to do that.

So I’ve added a t-shirt for 2008. Along with the sales of my first book, The Demo Tapes, I’m hoping to have enough of a profit to make a donation to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, the real-life charity my fictional band is supporting.

This is a tradition that I created because it’s important to me. I may have been a lousy musician, but without the chance to try an instrument or two (or three… or, for that matter, an entire percussion section), I never would have known that. I would have always had the black hole of “I wonder what it would have been like…” or “I wonder if I could…”

Kids all across America deserve the chance to find out. Hopefully we can grow the annual Musical Hanukkah Celebration to include an international focus because it’s not just kids across America who deserve the chance to make music. Every child deserves that, no matter income, no matter location.

So I ask you to join me. Stop back for this year’s posts, which are already shaping up to be a lot of fun. Pick up a t-shirt or a copy of The Demo Tapes. (At this moment, I have copies here if you’d like an autographed one; they make great gifts!) Make a donation on your own. It doesn’t matter.

What matters is that the music we listen to on the radio, over the Internet, or blaring through our TVs via Guitar Hero and Rock Band continue to inspire children … children who find ways to make music, themselves.

I can’t think of many better traditions to be involved with.

This was inspired by this week’s Sunday Scribblings theme: tradition. But it needed to be said, anyway.



  1. Lauren

    December 7, 2008 4:42 pm

    Pretty new template!! I like it.

  2. Bob-kat

    December 7, 2008 4:54 pm

    Hey, nice place 🙂

    It sounds like a great charity. I never got to try musical instruments but I always wanted to play drums. I guess that’s why my parents never encouraged it!

  3. Thomma Lyn

    December 7, 2008 4:59 pm

    I don’t know what I would have done — or what I would continue to do — without music in my life. It’s an outlet and a refuge for me and has been so since childhood. 🙂 What a wonderful cause, to bring that joy to young people’s lives.

  4. Amy Ruttan

    December 7, 2008 6:48 pm

    Love your new look!! I used to play the flute, and I loved it. I wish I had of kept up with it. Maybe one day when I get the time I’ll take some refresher lessons.

  5. Leah Braemel

    December 7, 2008 6:55 pm

    Music was a big part of my hubby’s life when he was a teen (marching band, jazz band and rock band), and now it’s a big part of my youngest’s life – six years violin, four years flute and now he’s self-teaching himself the guitar as well. It’s something I’m jealous of both of them for – I LOVE music but just don’t have the ear for it.

    I think that you’re supporting the arts with more than just your writing – actually getting out there and putting money where your mouth is so to speak, is a fantastic gesture, Susan.

  6. Shelley Munro

    December 8, 2008 1:06 am

    Good for you, Susan. I like the T-shirt design and the new-look blog. I must change my link.

  7. rambler

    December 8, 2008 9:57 am

    hey you are doing a great thing..glad to know you through the blogworld

  8. Marcia

    December 11, 2008 1:29 pm

    Love the new home, Susan! Love the charity you have chosen to support. Music in a person’s life is so underrated by so many.

    I’m doing Cans for Comments the next two days, comments are matched several ways, so multiple cans donated for each comment.

    (I need to get with you on getting my autographed copy of The Demo Tapes – before your hand gets tired of signing.)

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