Monday, April 14, 2014

What A Week! Granddad, Fundraiser....

My 2-Day Diet Progress Week 23, April 13, 2014 
Beginning weight 11/3/13: 209 lbs.
Height 5'8" Age: 61
Goal weight: 165 lbs.
Total loss goal: 44 lbs.
Beginning waist size: 43 in.
Current waist size: 38 in.
Weight end of this week:  180 lbs.
Gain/Loss this week:  +1 lb.
Total Gain/Loss:  -29 lbs.

Gain a pound, lose a pound. Life goes on and I feel great. I've got a lot going on in this busy life of my so-called retirement! A grandchild, my only, therefore my first, was born this week. Jack Mullen Martorella is the healthy child of Rita's older son, Drew and his wife, Caitlin Green. Drew and Patrick, Rita's sons, were both adults when Rita and I started dating twenty years ago, so neither ever called me Dad, and I never really thought of them as my children, though I've certainly helped Rita with the kind of parenting issues that you never seem to outgrow. But there is no such thing as a step-Grandchild. Jack is MY GRANDCHILD as much as he is anyone's, and I have the same feeling of love and pride that any grandparent would. I'm sure it will get even stronger once I have the opportunity to hold the little guy--we had a FaceTime video chat using the big screen TV: it was almost like being there!

Those of you who know me well know I've worked with the Central West Virginia Writing Project (and National Writing Project) for many years. This is an organization whose mission is to improve the teaching of writing and learning, and as a teacher, I earned a little extra money presenting professional development workshops, co-directing summer writing institutes, and eventually co-directing the program, becoming director when the previous director became ill just before I retired. 

I have been in a transitional phase this year handing off the director role to a full time faculty member of Marshall University South Charleston campus (where the project is based), and directing the WV Young Writers Contest (possibly for the last time). That part of the work becomes very busy this time of year as we prepare for WV Young Writers Day, a big celebratory event held at University of Charleston, when we honor 300 or so winners and their teachers and families from 55 WV counties in grades 1-12. 

I'm getting ready to launch a small fundraising campaign to raise $1,200 to pay for cash awards for the 18 state winners. University of Charleston used to write the checks, but they've decided not to this year, and its much too complicated to try to get Marshall University or WV Department of Education to write checks to students--a bureaucratic nightmare. Luckily, Cat Pleska, my dear friend and now a bona-fide publisher at the helm of the non-profit Mountain State Press, has agreed to write the checks, but I need to raise the money because she works on too tight a margin to donate the money herself. Hope you'll help out if you can. I just launched an online fundraiser so you can contribute to the effort by clicking here:

And, I'm getting ready to launch a website, funding campaign, and the whole "kit and caboodle" as my mother used to say, for AWARE: Artists Working in Alliance to Restore the Environment, and our first event, a concert and arts/crafts show at the Civic Center on July 5th! Stay tuned for more on that.

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