Getting rid of stuff

As you might expect, figuring out exactly what to do with stuff when you’re ready to get rid of it has been causing me a bit of a problem. I live in an urban area, and many of the charities that make scheduled pick-ups do not operate in New York City. But then I learned to employ a technique that has worked out so well for me in other aspects of me life: I lie.

I’ve been using my in-laws’ address and scheduling pick-ups with places that will take donations of almost anything you have to get rid of. It has worked out really well, and they give me a tax form every time they come pick up. About every other month, I have about two to three bags and boxes to give them. Now that I’m pretty much done with the majority of the decluttering, it’s only this amount, and not like 20 bags at a time.

However, there are some things I look at and wonder if I could get some money for them. So after being hesitant about it for months, I finally started selling some of my stuff on eBay. The first day, I listed four items, and three of them sold immediately (with the “Buy it now” option). When I saw eBay had given me 20 free listings to use in a month, I decided to go for it, and listed anything I thought people would possibly want. Maybe it was beginner’s luck, but most of it sold.

I also tried Freecycle, more than once, and Craigslist, also more than once, to try to get rid of the heavier stuff. But sadly, even though people always expressed interest in whatever I was giving away for free, they never came to pick it up. Which is particularly annoying for me, as I’ve heard of people traveling between boroughs to get things like 3/5 a bottle of Pine-Sol. But luckily, the charity isn’t as picky, and they will take my functional but extraneous mouse with no complaints.

What lengths would you go to in order to get a bottle of this?

How do you get rid of unwanted but usable items?

And here is the actual call for submissions!

I am pleased to announce a call for submissions. Urban Harvest: Tales of the Paranormal in NYC will be a short story e-book anthology showcasing urban fantasy stories that take place in New York City. This will be a charity anthology; all proceeds will be donated to NYC-based City Harvest (

This is an open call and may be reposted anywhere and everywhere. This anthology is expected to be published in September 2013. The requirements: 1. All stories must be between 1500-5000 words.

2. Stories may take place in the past, present, or future. NYC should be directly mentioned or implied in the story.

3. Stories should lean more towards urban fantasy than the science fiction side. 4. Submissions must be in DOC or RTF format.

5. We will not be publishing the stories individually. Only the anthology will be available on-line from Amazon KDP.

6. Authors will not receive a royalty. All royalties will go to City Harvest.

7. Previously published works are fine, providing that electronic rights have reverted to the author.

8. Stories currently published through a self-publishing venue (Smashwords, Amazon KDP, etc) will not be accepted.

9. Deadline for submission is June 30, 2013. This is a firm date; no submissions after this date will be considered. 10. All submissions should be sent to Donna Ansari at with the words “Urban Fantasy Anthology” in the subject line.

Writing for a Charitable Cause

Between a vacation in Costa Rica and coming down with pneumonia, I haven’t had too much writing taking place recently, but still my goal is for Cold Blood to be out by this summer.

However, being that I cannot work on only one project at a time, I am also planning for my next book, which is where you come in. I have always wanted to work on an anthology, so I thought it high time I do just that. My specific idea is to release a collection of urban fantasy short stories and have the profits go to City Harvest.

For those interested in reading about this charity, which feeds so many hungry New Yorkers, click here:

I would like the anthology to be released this fall, which means the actual call for entries will have to go out soon. So if you’re reading this and you’d like a chance to have a work of short fiction published and help out a good cause, get those ideas rolling.

Another thing we’ll need obviously is artwork for the cover. I’m hoping to get this done for free, so that all of the money raised can go to City Harvest. So if you or someone you know is a budding artist willing to give your time and creative energy to a good cause, please consider this project!

More information, including the what, where, and how to submit, coming soon!