I'm participating in an auction to help raise money for the British Red Cross Tsunami Appeal -- Authors for Japan. A variety of items are on offer including a critique of a partial from me and a signed ARC of To Marry A Matchmaker (this is the one which comes out as a paperback in July 11). Hopefully some money can be raised and go to help the devasted region.
For many years until his death, my maternal grandfather lived in Japan and my step-grandmother still lives there. (She lives in Yokohama and apparently didn't feel a thing or realise what was going on until she watched the news!) So I have a great affection for the country. One of the big things when I was growing up was getting the Christmas presents from Japan. We used to have hide them from my grandmother but that is another story...But my goodness they were exciting! My sister knew all about Hello Kitty long before it ever appeared in the US and I had a big thing on the Japanese fairy tale books we were sent.
My cousin's wife is Japanese and does have relations in the affected area. Hopefully there will be a happy ending there. Prayers are always good.
And I know the Japanese people will come back strongly from this, but sometimes practical aid is needed.