Harrowed Insight

I was inspired to write my first novel Inside the Skin (formerly The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor) by life experiences I earned back in the late ’90s, early ’00s while working as a navy Equal Opportunity specialist, experiences the focus of which centered around the harassment, abuse, injury, and sometimes sadly even death as a result of the hatred for and confusion of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy which had recently been implemented throughout the military.

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Transgender Community* Trumped by the Arc and Bent of Autocratic Politics

My fury throughout the whole last campaign to and through the election until now has never been much about politics.

Politics in this country, while they have been expanding outward toward the wacky fringes leaving the mostly moderate radicals (the rarity of moderates these days makes us rather radical) like myself quite lonely, have always, and hopefully will continue to, arc this way and that.

Because if our politics are not forever fluid and free to flow this way and that depending upon the tides of our national temperament, then it must mean that someone must have dammed up our river of democracy.

Metaphors… sigh.

Anyway, I don’t know if you’ve read my about page but there you will see in one sentence how I feel about politics and politicians…

To me, politics is simply acting for ugly people. Pretty actors go to Hollywood; ugly actors go to Washington DC.

Consequently, as our politics arc to and fro in this country, our politicians arc right along with them…only always just slightly behind the arc as they forever fail in their efforts to try to predict its toing and froing.

No, my fury for the most part has been directed solely at Trump and his bent towards authoritarianism; which means then that the more he contorts himself into a true to life autocrat, the more he is strengthening his power at the expense of my freedoms…

Continue reading “Transgender Community* Trumped by the Arc and Bent of Autocratic Politics”

RISE OF THE CHOSEN by Guest Author Anna Kopp

In Sam’s world there are two rules. Rule #1: Nobody dies. Protect the living at all costs. Rule #2: Everybody dies. At least once.

The Waking was a global event in which a force called the Lifeblood invaded all humans who died. The few strong enough to control it came back as powerful immortals. The rest let the bloodlust take over and awoke with one goal – to kill.

Newly appointed Watch Guard Samantha Shields has a legacy to uphold. Her father died a hero defending their city and now she wants to follow in his footsteps. Except for the dying part, of course. Unfortunately, fate has other plans as she discovers deep dark secrets that make her choose between her loyalties and the lives of everyone in her city. Both rules are in play as Sam is forced to make hard decisions that could cost her everything – including the person she cares about most.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RISE OF THE CHOSEN


  • This is not another zombie book
  • Action-packed
  • LGBT MC (#ownvoices)
  • Unpredictable page-turner

Advanced reviewers are calling it ‘intense’, ‘gripping’, and a ‘fresh take on the zombie theme’. Fans of The Walking Dead and Divergent will love this book. But don’t just take their word for it – order on Amazon today and see for yourself!

EXCERPT

“Do you eat? I mean, I know you don’t need to, but do you?” Sam
asked curiously. David gave her a blank stare.
“Eating is inconvenient,” he finally answered, eliciting a confused
look.
“Because it takes time? Or effort?”
“Because it produces unneeded side effects from the body that
could cause an interruption in our duties.”
She mulled over the answer for a moment. Finally understanding
what he was talking about, she turned red as a beet and continued to
eat in silence.
Julian laughed at her reaction.
“That’s our Sarge, always worrying someone’s gonna have to take a
piss in the middle of a call.”
David turned to him. “With you and Mexican food, that’s not the
one I’m worried about.”
Sam almost choked on her burrito.
“Holy shit, did Sarge just make a joke? Well, well, maybe there’s
hope for you after all!”
The death glare from David was interrupted by a loud warning ring
from the computer, followed by the distant wail of a siren. He whirled
around to get the location and was immediately out the door, yelling
back at his scrambling teammates.
“Two at the gate.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Kopp was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States when she was 11. She joined the US Army and lived in Georgia during her military career before settling down in the Cleveland, Ohio area. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in business but her true passion is writing. She is a wife and business partner to a software developer, and a mom to two rambunctious boys obsessed with Minecraft. Anna’s hobbies include reading, writing, and playing World of Warcraft. She is a true geek at heart and would love nothing more than to see her imagination become a part of something greater.

Contact Information

WEBSITE: www.annakoppauthor.com
BLOG: annakoppwrites.wordpress.com
GOODREADS: Author Profile
AMAZON: Author Page
FACEBOOK: facebook.com/annakoppwrites
TWITTER: @AnnaKoppAuthor



I would like to thank Anna for her donation to my Website Campaign to raise funds for my movie. I ask that you please take the time to visit Anna’s site, check out her work, and follow along with her on her literary journey. It definitely looks like it is going to be an adventurous and rewarding one.

Now that the IndieGoGo Campaign to raise funds to produce my movie has kicked off, my Website Campaign has ended. I ask that you please check out our stellar cast and crew, see what the flick is about, and, if you feel so compelled, donate to show your support of Independent Filmmakers. And whether you are or are not able to donate, please share the news about the campaign to your network of family and friends.

Thank you!

 
 

Write What You Know, You Know…

They say, Write what you know…

And in response I say, Okay…

So when I began in earnest to write stuff for people to read way back in the early Nineties – what a great decade that was – about all I knew about life outside of my personal life which I didn’t and still don’t have the guts yet to truly explore, was all pretty much navy-related.

Hence, the stories I wrote at the time were all pretty much, well… navy-related.

And therein lies the primary challenge I have when it comes to convincing and conniving folks who look a lot like you to read my writing… and now, to support a film based upon my writing: that even though the stories may be navy-related, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are stories just about the navy.

Some of you, many of you, are probably new to this site so understandably there may be a few things about me that you just aren’t aware of:

Like, even though my undergraduate degree is in English – which probably explains my nerd obsession with arranging and amalgamating morphemes into new and creative and interesting ways for you to read stuff, my graduate degree is in a completely unrelated field (well, maybe it’s a little related) of Human Relations – which probably explains my obsession with trying to understand why it is you think and behave the crazy and unpredictable way you do.

To satisfy my morpheme amalgamating obsession, I began to write; to satisfy my relating-to-humans obsession, I took a few years off from my primary career field in the Intelligence Community (oxymoron, I know…) while in the navy, to become a certified Equal Opportunity Advisor, where I spent much of my time providing counseling and training in diversity management.

And it is this relating to humans-related stuff that I would like to think is what my stories, while even though they may be set in a navy-related world, are all really about…

Like, as explored in my novel The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor, how do our perceptions and stereotypes influence our decisions when confronted with situations like homophobia and harassment and abuse?

 

Or, as explored in the short story and soon to be short film LEAVE, what was the environment really like for that courageous female sailor who took that first assignment to a warship with an all-male crew?

 

While these stories are set on navy ships during the Nineties, it is my belief their underlying themes and messages are relevant even, and especially, today.

Just recently Congress has authorized women to serve in all combat-related duties, not just some of them like back in the Nineties.

Right now there are courageous, pioneering females all throughout the US military – and throughout society in general – who are opening doors that have previously always been closed to them, and setting off on a course that clears the way for many more courageous females to forever follow.

So, yeah, we writers have always been told to Write what you know…

Just as you readers have always been told to Never judge a book by its cover…

Especially mine.
 

Open Books Open Minds…

www.facebook.com/leavethemovie

 
 

Finally! A Relating to Humans Archive System

Like I am currently in the process of doing for my taxes, I had until recently also been procrastinating heavily on setting up an archive system for the Relating to Humans feature.

However, yesterday, I finally got my proverbial butt in gear (I would really really like to know who came up with that saying…think about it…butts…gears…yeah, weird) and set up all the required archive pages and moved all the submissions to the feature that were out of cycle (You may recall from the Submission Guidelines that submitted work will stay posted on the feature for three-month cycles, after which time they will be archived. This allows the feature to stay fresh, so to speak, with new content.) and now we finally have a proper archive system.

So, if you submitted your work to the feature more than three months ago you will now be able to view it on its appropriate archive page.

This is a one-man operation here so I cannot guarantee that posts will be archived exactly at three months; but they’ll get moved somewhere there abouts.

Now that I finally got my you know what in gear, you’ll find that we are in need of some new work. Consequently, I encourage all of you to consider submitting your talents to one of the Feature’s features, if you know what I mean.

There’s a lot going on in our pretty but oh so petulant world for us to discuss and I would love to know what your thoughts are on all the major issues.

And please let me know if you have any suggestions for how we can improve the feature. I would truly appreciate that.

That’s all for now; however, there will be some new and interesting (at least to me) things going on soon so please stay tuned for future updates and announcements.

Now, if someone could please tell me what gear my you know what needs to be in for me to get the motivation up enough to complete my taxes…???

Three Men Walk into a Bar… [Satire Saturday Prompt]

First off, you may have noticed that today’s prompt is not of the #SonnetSaturday sort as originally advertised.

Yeah, about that…

See, I did me some literary math and took the total number of participants to date and subtracted that number by the presumed difficulty level, which I presume is pretty high, in sonnet composing and concluded that we just don’t have the mathematical heft to support a #SonnetSaturday. And to be honest with you, I’m a little worried about the long-term survival of this Daily Prompt thingie in general. But we’ll make that decision at a later date.

So, instead we now have #SatireSatuday, which may be a bit more mathematically attainable…

So, three men, the President of the United States, the “President” of Russia, and the Pope, as well as each of their cadre of bodyguards, walk into a bar, an underground transgender bar, hidden off a back, unassuming alley in an highly flamboyant basement of an unassuming building in the highly assuming city of Moscow…

You can take it, and by it I mean the satire, from there, utilizing any literary or art form you wish; however it must contain the words or spirit of the words: “the president’s secret fantasy.”

Roger that?
Roger that.

Submissions close at 7PMish and my selection will be posted at 8PMish.

The purpose of these exercises, in my mind, is to practice our skills and network a little bit. So, if you have the time and desire, please submit something; however, if you’re just a dedicated reader, please take the time to “Like” the submissions you like and, as we cannot allow any comments other than the submissions, please visit the sites of those daring to submit and find something to enjoy and comment on there.

To help get us in the proper frame of the prompt I share with you Antony Hegarty of “Antony and the Johnsons,” one of my favorite singers, as a reminder just how talented and worthy of our respect our transgender brothers and sisters are. And they are worthy of our respect not because of their gender choices or wardrobe choices or smooth skin, but for the same reason anyone else is worthy of our respect, which is, of course…just because.


 

For more on Antony, there’s this.

Peace and have fun…

Roger that?
Roger that.

 
 

A Story For the Misaligned, Sailor Or Otherwise

[UPDATE: The title of this novel has been changed to INSIDE THE SKIN]

The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor
A story for us all

 
From the Dedication Page:

This book is dedicated to anyone — regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender and all its breathless facets, sexual orientation, non-sexual orientation, sexual non-orientation, spirituality or lack thereof, religion or lack thereof, nationality or lack thereof, political affiliation or lack thereof, occupation or lack thereof, education or lack thereof, good looks or lack thereof, height, weight, shoe size, or any other ways we have identified and implemented as means to compare and contrast and separate and segregate and relegate and rank ourselves as humans — who has ever once regretted his or her or their identity.

This book, then, is for us, all of us.

You can learn more here.