#TGK #dark #violent #thriller
This is it, my friends. The moment I’ve been waiting for where things finally begin to get real for me.
And by real I mean from now until the end of the filming of LEAVE at the end of October, it looks like it’s going to be one mad rush of new and exciting experiences.
I would like to introduce you to the cast and crew of LEAVE. For now, you may see them and everything LEAVE is about here >> LEAVE: A Short Film.
After things slow down, I will introduce them to you personally here.
I would also like to thank all the good folks who donated to my website campaign here. Please check out the list and try to support them as awesomely as you support me. That campaign has officially ended and all donations will now be managed through IndieGoGo. I will use the funds raised here to get me across the country. I’m so grateful for the support.
I will introduce my final website donor to you, Author Anna Kopp, on Friday, October 14, 2016. Her work looks amazing. Stay tuned!
Today, I am heading on an anniversary getaway to New England with my lovely and loving wife. Shortly after I return I will get on the road again with my sons and drive cross-country to LA for the filming LEAVE.
I’ve decided to fire up my barely-used Instagram account and, beginning today as I head to the hood of some of my favorite authors, I will be photo-blogging my journey along the way and during the filming. Please follow along if you’d like (icon on the sidebar). I would love to have your company.
I would like to thank Author Vivian Biro for donating to help me make my movie. It really means so much to me that others are willing to support a dream of mine in such tangible ways.
Please help me thank Vivian by visiting with her at her website, by purchasing her debut novel, and, by all means, letting her know what you think of her writing by sharing an Amazon Review.
And I tell you what, this April Fools’ Day Joke of hers is hilarious and completely genius. Check it out…
I’m not the smartest or greatest dad there is. Not even close. I have many faults and made many mistakes over the years that I regret.
However, I do think I’m pretty good at understanding my faults and I work hard to minimize their impact to myself and others, especially to my family, as much as possible.
Even still… just because faults were minimized, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t impact from them from time to time. There was. I regret that.
But… we live and learn and live and relearn and one and on.
My daughter is my first child and when she was born I didn’t have a clue as to how to raise her.
I found out quickly though, that having children, and especially having the first child, is kind of like going to war.
No matter how much you plan for it, once the first shot is fired the best you can hope for is a campaign of organized chaos.
Fortunately, not long after she was born, I happened upon some useful information — probably from articles in a newspaper (remember those things?) — about the results of a couple of different studies.
I don’t remember the newspaper — probably the Stars & Stripes.
And I certainly don’t remember the studies or who conducted them so I cannot attest to the veracity of the reportage.
However, based upon my life experiences, what was reported seemed to speak the truth.
And from these apparent truths that I happened upon long ago, I was changed — or at least I sought to change — from their insights.
And from this change, I hope I became a better father to, not just my daughter, but to my sons as well. For I also hope that when my sons, too, have daughters– and based upon the make up of my lovely and loving wife’s family and mine, they probably will — they understand how their beliefs and, more importantly, their behavior can have such an impact on the outcome of their daughters’ lives.
The first thing I learned that changed my behavior as a father was…
The more education a father has the less the chance will be that his daughter will find herself in an abusive relationship as an adult.
The second was…
Girls with high self-esteem tend to have less sex during their middle and high school years and girls with low self-esteem tend to have more.
The inverse is true for boys.
It’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
With pleasure and gratitude, it is my honor to share with you a Guest Post by Author Sherrie Cronin. As April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Sherrie’s post, and her books, are timely, important, and educational, as, sadly, the exploitation and abuse of women only seems to be worsening. Obviously, we must do more to prevent this; for this is not a problem only found in countries far and distinct from our own, it is a problem that just may be found not too far from our very own doorstep. On the sidebar, you will find her novel c3 and a link to where you can learn more about Sherrie and her books. I strongly encourage you to support Sherrie and her efforts.
INSPIRATION IN THE WORST OF PLACES
by Sherrie Cronin
When I first outlined the stories for 46. Ascending, I knew that c3 would be about a group of young women who would thwart a sex trafficking ring, because I wanted a venue to explore the extreme edges of the way we as a society pretend not to see the many ways in which young women are exploited. I fully expected that my research would take me to some horrifying places, and it did. An internet connection is all one needs to visit ping pong shows in Bangkok and to peruse ads for “sexy and willing” Russian women. I still get the ads — I need to wash out my browser with soap.
What I did not expect, however, were how many inspirational stories and websites I would encounter as well. I stared my research with Somaly Mam’s book The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine and I highly recommend it.
My browsing then took me to the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, a group of Catholic Nun’s who have spent the last couple of centuries reaching out to women in unfortunate circumstances. I liked what I read so much that an imaginary nun worked herself into my story even though she wasn’t even in the outline. I hope that members of the order would not be offended by my spunky Sister Teresa-Marie, as she turned out to be one of my favorite characters in the book. Please read about this fine group and their efforts to help victims of human trafficking at goodshepherdsisters.org/trafficking.htm.
Next I found several non-profit organizations dedicated to stopping human trafficking, each one with an inspiring story. I will likely blog about them all individually here over time. One of the first that I encountered was an organization called Shared Hope International, founded by U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith after she traveled into the heart of the brothel district in Mumbai, India where “she witnessed the brutal exploitation and sexual slavery of women and children.” She has been trying to do something about it ever since. This group also has a Facebook page well worth visiting and liking.
I expected to be disgusted at some of what I found, and I was. I expected to believe that this was a problem with no solution. Instead, I found brave women and men of all nations, ages, and belief systems working for positive change. I did not expect to walk away from my research marveling at those who fight every day to shine a bright light into the darkest of corners. But I did, and I am marveling at them still.
To find out how you, too, can promote your book or project, please visit here.
…and the Sailor ducked.
Ba dum bump!
Okay, just a couple of quick announcements while I’ve got your attention.
I am overwhelmed with happiness and joy now that it is Spring, and because of all the wonderful submissions we’ve received to the Relating to Humans Women’s Issues feature in celebration of Women’s History Month. We still have a week or so to go for #WHM2016 and I am still posting to the blog all submissions received to the feature.
If you’re not sure what all this Relating to Humans stuff is all about. I attempt to explain it all here.
All RTH submissions received prior to 2016 have been moved to the RTH Archives. There is a lot of compelling reading to be found there so check it out if you have a chance.
Aurelius, Zeno, and I are vibing to some Nine Inch Nails Ghost I-IV right now, in case you were wondering.
Anyway… With just about all RTH past submissions now archived, that means there is a lot of white space for you to post your work.
We all know that the early bird gets the best spot where all the book worms like to hang out, if you know what I mean… So submit early and submit often, but only submit one article or piece at a time per feature. If you want to submit something new to a feature that you already have something submitted to, let me know and I’ll archive the old so you can share with us the new.
From now through the summer months, I plan/hope to be heavily involved with the raising of funds and then the production of my short film LEAVE out in Los Angeles. Fingers crossed.
Consequently, I am not going to have as much time to spend writing stuff here for you to read, hence the awkward necessity of this awkwardness. Consequently, I am going to be looking to your submissions to the various RTH features to pull from and post to the blog. Consequently, I am going to need you all to post a lot of compelling and awareness-raising stuff up there for me to pull from. Consequently, I am going to be adding even more features for you to submit your work to.
Can you dig it?
I’m thinking new features such as: “Health Issues,” (notice how I put that comma before the closing quotes? strange how we do it that way here in ‘Merica (prounounced: mur/e/ka) when our good friends across The Pond would put them outside the closing quotes… isn’t life wonderful with all its little peculiarities like that? though, in actuality, since I’ve now added this interesting – at least to me – parenthetical aside, I guess the comma really should go after the closing parenthesis… oh well. my blog my (broken) rules.), “Criminal Justice Issues,” and although I’m a bit hesitant about this one because I’m not totally convinced it fits comfortably with the other features but we’ll see how it goes… “Relationship Issues.”
I am going to ask/require that all human-related creative submissions, such as poetry as the primary example, be submitted only to its designated creative artsy-type feature. In other words, please submit your poems, photography, flash fiction, etc. only to its specific feature. In other words, all poems submitted to the “Women’s Issues” feature will be moved to the “Poetry” feature. To me it will be more interesting to read poetry or any other pieces submitted to the artsy-fartsy type features that cover many diverse, human-related topics in one feature. In other words, I hope I didn’t confuse you as much as I just confused myself.
April is “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” so, unfortunately, there may be opportunities to speak to that very unfortunate and sadly big issue.
Let’s start identifying “Trigger Warnings” where applicable, please. I think for a place like this those are a crucial necessity.
So… that’s about it. Please start submitting away and I will move all the submissions that move me to the blog so they can move all of us into a broader, more compassionate understanding of all that’s going on in and all around this pretty yet petulant planet of ours that we all can and do and must relate to because like it or not we are all humans and we are ultimately all related.
One last thing!
Have you considered donating a buck* or two to help me get my short film off the ground? If you do, I will help you promote your book, your project, or a cause your most passionate about. You can learn how here.
And if you’re a Newsletter Love subscriber, I’ll promote your work to our dedicated, and growing, newsletter group, as well.
Friends don’t let friends drive drunk, vote for Trump… or stumble headfirst into bars.
For pain will surely ensue if they do.
*Paypal accepts just about all major global denominations.
**Yes, you’re right. I did use an awful lot of “alls” in this post for some reason.
THE LIES WE TELL OURSELVES
by Manivillie Kanagasabapathy
** TRIGGER WARNING: Abuse **
Deep Brown eyes stare back at me,
Fleeting whispers floating between us,
Shadows creep silently,
Across broad brown shoulders,
The darkness melding within the chocolate hues,
Lengthening to point accusingly,
At the faded bruise
That still held faint outlines of his hand.
“Are you okay? Should I call someone?”
I hear the teacher’s voice whisper
My eyes jump back up,
Shamed to be caught,
Starting at the dark eyes,
That hid darker shadows.
“I’m fine, I fell”
I watched her rouge tipped lips open in reply,
Tasting the words,
Rolling them around her tongue
Until they fit,
Like words spoken
“Should I call a doctor?”
The persistent voice asked again,
Concern and patronization moving together
To create a melody of the question,
“No really I am fine, I fell.”
Stronger, this time
The eyes lit with the flame of memory,
Recreated to a story to be told over and over,
Each time more real than the last.
Hands lift reaching across
Touch the fading bruise,
Face flinching from where my fingers lay,
Turning to look away.
With a breath, I slowly withdraw my hand
Shaking as it moves from the mirror.
Square the shoulders,
A deep inhalation and whisper…
“I am fine, I fell.”
Please submit your creative expressions that bring awareness to women and gender issues to the Relating to Humans Women’s Issues feature. All submissions will be profiled on the blog throughout Women’s History Month.