Full disclosure: I’m a follower. We’ve exchanged comments back and forth on each other’s sites and shared geek thoughts and sensibilities. Many, many other folks in the WordPress community could say the same and have better, more inspirational stories to tell. She’s respected and cheerily infectious that way.
And then one dreadful day she saw coming, The MAN sent Rara to jail.
What we know of the full story is better told through a links collection, assuming you’re not among her regular readers and well aware of all that’s happened. Starting at square one, then:
It all began with Rarasaur, the blog that’s pretty much herself personified. The column on the right side of her site will give you a beginning idea of how her mind works, but the best way to leap in is her “Random Post” button at the bottom of that column. Pound on that a dozen or so times and watch amazing free samples whir past you. Whatever pops up will give you glimmers into her pizzazz and her peaceful ways.
Life in RaraLand took a sharp turn for the worse earlier this month with “I Didn’t Go to Jail Yesterday, and Other Notes“, in which she revealed to her readers that she might not be writing so much for a while. The short version: a former employer upgraded their issues with her from simple, detestable harassment to scurrilous implications in some kind of unconscionable embezzlement scheme. The full story is not yet ours to know, but her diplomatic sketching of the deplorable situation was nonetheless quite the cause for an unhealthy mixture of sorrow and rage.
The next day brought her farewell address to her readers, posted in absentia by her husband at the point when her physical freedom ended for the time being. Grayson now has the keys to her site (in addition to his own online space, not to mention their joint art projects) and has kept friends and fans updated ever since, beginning with his telling of the events of that day. Most important piece of that particular entry: he provides the address where you can send correspondence to her. Wish her well, brighten her day, and return the favor of any and every smile she ever brought to your face.
(Bear in mind we’re talking classic postal service, requiring paper and tools that leave marks on paper, not a Gmail box. If you need help, please consult the instruction manual I once wrote for how envelopes work. Long story.)
The situation may be grim and the odds are against her, but not all is darkness and doom. Several friends have launched a Rarasaur tribute site to share the #RawrLove and keep the RaraDream alive. The “About” page is a tidy précis of where things stand, but the key piece here is the donation button. At the forefront of the long list of financial concerns — beyond imminent costs of courtroom skirmishes, bills mounting for other real-life duties, and all manner of tolls this is doubtlessly taking on her husband — is their quest to fund Rara’s everyday well-being inside the Big House. For just the cost of anything you’re willing to skip for a day, any donations will help Rara in affording her dietary needs, the beautiful gift of basic toiletries, and whatever else she’s allowed to buy that might bring quality-of-life up a fraction of a notch, using whatever we’ve all scrimped together.
In spite of all that’s happened and the tribulations yet to come, she hasn’t stopped writing.
In her latest entry-by-proxy, “A Letter from Jail“, her husband has scanned and posted a six-page, handwritten missive chronicling the early days of her stint inside — the unpleasant, the slightly less unpleasant, and the little things that keep her going. Every page is curiously, uniquely her — her kindnesses to her bunkmate; her pencil illustrations of various objects in her space; her careful recording of today’s behind-bars lingo; and her anecdote that closes the letter with a note of wacky jailhouse slapstick.
All this while awaiting her fate at the hands of an all-too-malleable system. But as Rara’s just effectively shown them all, not even stone walls, iron bars, killer prison food, or the machinations of The MAN can hold her back from her calling.
Here’s hoping the scales of justice tilt in her favor someday soon. Prayers, thoughts, donations, well wishes, or just wildly creative tribute acts in her name would make a difference, whether to her case or to her loved ones, in the days and weeks ahead.
Thanks for your consideration.