Welcome to the blog that mirrors the eponymous book I’m writing: a journey of one year, performing ONE GOOD DEED a day for one year. I’ll post a couple of the deeds per week here, and hope you all will enjoy the reading, or, better yet, join me in trying to do just a little bit better, one day at a time. And if you do, recount them here, would you? I’d enjoy seeing them.

Erin McHugh is a former publishing executive and author of twenty books, including the brand new snarky midterm elections volume COFFEE, TEA OR KOOL-AID: Which Party Politics Are You Swallowing?, and THE L LIFE: Extraordinary Lesbians Making a Difference, a photo essay on lesbian heroines, coming in February 2011. She lives in New York City and South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Follow Erin McHugh on Facebook or on Twitter as @ErinHere.

39 Responses to About

  1. Gabby S. says:

    Hello, Erin! I absolutely adore One Good Deed. I chose to read the book for a book seminar my English teacher has every marking period. We have to write a review of the book we read, and as you probably know, that includes the genre. I am not too sure as to what genre this particular book is. Do you have a specific category in which your book falls? Your reply would be greatly appreciated and admired :). Thanks in advance!

    • Hi, Gabby!
      Very happy to hear about your choosing ONE GOOD DEED for yoru seminar — very cool! I’m honored. In the bookstores, OGD is shelved in Self-Help, and though I never thought I’d be writing a self-help or inspirational book, I think the category is right.

      If you don’t mind my asking, where do you live, and what year of study are you in? High school? College?

      Thank you very much for your support, and love hearing from you.


  2. Hi Erin
    I found OGD when, appropriately enough, I was sorting books for a voluntary organisation! And I love it. We lead such very different lives so that was fascinating in itself. I am now trying to do OGD every day too. Trying also to be more smiley and not glaring at people when they doddle in front of me, beat me to a seat in the bus or a place at the supermarket check-out. Don’t always succeed, but practise makes better if not perfect. The other day I held a public lift for a guy running to catch it and as he thanked me I explained why i didn’t just turn my back and push the ‘close doors’ button – pay it forward. So many thanks to you for an unusual and inspiring book.

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  4. Sally Dean says:

    I too am so enjoying your book. My friend gave it to me .This year I started a new project- I paint a little painting every day about gratitude. Big stuff and little things that I am grateful for. It’s fun and keeps me positive.I truly get inspired from your writing.

    • Sally, that’s a great idea. I hope you’re going to start a Tumblr showing some of your favorites, and plan to have a show at the end of the year. It’s a wonderful idea, and thanks for writing in! You, too, are an inspiration.

    • Sally, somehow I just found this — sorry! Hope you’ve still got the brush out. Great idea, and thanks for your kind words.

  5. Pingback: New Year’s Resolution: Pay It Forward | Allison Sargent Events

  6. amosllassen says:

    Hi Erin–I have in the past reviewed three volumes of the Portable Queer and I see now that there is a one volume edition coming out.Amazon lists it as being a Vantage Point book but there page tells me that it isn’t or is not located. I would love to review it if you can direct me how to get a review copy. I notice that we have several friends in common but for some reason facebook has put me on some kind of foolish probation and I cannot add friends for now. Go figure!! Ask Michele K about me if you are sure who I am and thanks in advance

    • Hi, Amos, and thanks — I recognize your name from seeing past reviews. Sadly, Vantage Point closed its doors some months ago, but neglected to pull that title off the Amazon page — it was a compilation of the 5 Portable Queers in a pb version. Was looking forward to it, but there you are! Thanks for keeping tack of me, though. Maybe you’ll enjoy the One Good Deed blog and book!

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  9. Pam Holmes says:

    Hey Erin! I can’t put OGD down! I truly love it! And I especially love that we share a great friend…Annie Burke Sadow aka Anne. She is such a gift to so many. And speaking of gifts, Annie had you sign your book before sending to me. Being a transplant to Jackson, MS after 40 years in Barrington and Bristol, RI, I just love visualizing your stories of New Beige (Bedford), Padanarum, etc. I’m beginning to think southerners have a head start over “the north” in doing good deeds although no matter where you live, a good deed is a good deed. I guess it has come more naturally to do good deeds for others since moving here 10 years ago. Thank you so much for your writing and good deeds. Pam Holmes, Jackson, MS

  10. Nan says:

    Hey Erin! Just stumbling on this now. Great idea/blog! Haven’t read everything through yet, but I have a thought forming. You’ve got a section here that covers good deeds you/your readers have done for other people, and a section for things we wish other people had not done to us. What’s seems to be missing is a section that recognizes the kind gestures/good deeds, small as they may be, that people have done for us. Nothing more powerful than the connection that comes from appreciation for others. Talk about ripple effect…

    • Nan, you’re absolutely right! I’d love to hear everybody’s stories about good deeds going around, paying it forward, all the stuff everybody does for everyone else. Guess I need a section for that, too. What do you think I should call it?

      And please help the ripple — tell your friends to read and add to the blog! Thanks for chiming in with a great idea. So far, others’ Good Deeds have been lumped in with the rest. You may want to read a favorite — April 7 of last year, when a stranger saved my friend Erika’s day. A great story.

      And don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any action!

  11. Emily Arnold says:

    This is great! I’m happy that so many people love to do good deeds. Mine aren’t huge, but people sometimes think they’re pretty important. Here’s one thing I just can’t stop doing: Whenever I’m in the market and see a short person or someone in a wheel chair, I ask if I can reach for something or “Do you need a third hand?” One time a woman in a wheelchair even gave me her address, and I returned the favor. She was a writer of poetry and sent some to me.

    • Thanks, Emily! I had the same experience recently — maybe you read Day 341 In my July 2011 pot called “Top Shelf.” You don’t sound like you scared your victim as much as I did! Kepp up the good work!

  12. Daily says:

    Just a quick post to say I stumbled across your blog and love your writing!

  13. Lydia says:

    I think my favorite Good Deed entry this year might have been the compliment one – because it’s something that can be done any time, anywhere, and it requires something only we can give, attention. 🙂

    • Great point, Lydia. My job here, of course, is to show the breadth and depth of things we can do every single day, but I think you’re right: the single moment of attention that a compliment gives is priceless. Happy New Year to you!

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  15. Glenn Malone says:

    I have an idea to help market your state books & to help me in the process.
    Email me if you’re interested.
    Glenn Malone
    Principal in Washington State.

    • Happy to report here that elementary school principal Glenn Malone is heading to Washington, DC, this weekend, having been chosen as Washington state’s Most Distinguished Principal. He had written to ask me if there was a way for him to take one of my kids’ book, STATE SHAPES: WASHINGTON, as his “state token” to share with the other principals from around the country. My publisher, Black Dog & Leventhal, happily agreed and shipped off the books. Congratulations, Glenn, and thanks so much for letting us bask in your glory a little! Black Dog and I are extremely proud to have been asked to help.

  16. Trena says:

    Out of curiosity, do you have to make a concerted effort to do good deeds or are you simply becoming more aware of the ones you are doing naturally? I’m curious if this is helping to form a habit of doing good or if this just creates a platform for you to showcase what you already do (thus encouraging others)? No wrong answer – just wondering.

    • Trena, that’s a great question, and I think you’ll have the answer when you read this new deed I just posted from August 24.

      Tell me what you think. I’m wondering if I should write a monthly piece on my journey — your question, I think wold be at the heart of what I’ve learned in Month #1!

      Thanks for the great query!

  17. Bob Desfosses says:

    I admire your small, but very large, effort at showing people that good deeds are much better than their counterpart.

    Unfortunately, our society has now put the emphasis on backstabbing, and stomping on the already downtrodden as good things that should be emulated. I know why we are at this point. I hope your efforts to counter this are successful, however, watch your back. I feel there are many, in power, that will work to silence you, if you become too effective.

  18. Rachel Mack says:

    I like this g-friend!

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