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.
I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat. ― Rebecca West
From her official website:
Debbie Evans, veteran of hundreds of motion-picture, television, and commercial stunts has been featured in numerous publications such as the LA Times, Reader’s Digest, Glamour Magazine, Cycle World, Dirtbike, and on television shows like Montel, ESPN, Winning Women, and Entertainment Tonight.
Debbie was inducted October 2003 into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. She has been awarded for her work on Taxi in 2005, The Matrix Reloaded in 2004 Taurus World Stunt Awards in the category “Best Overall Stunt by a Stuntwoman,” previously winning two Taurus awards in 2002 for driving a Honda Civic under a moving semi-truck in The Fast and the Furious…. [MORE]
With the help of Michelle Rodriguez, one of the stars of the Fast & Furious franchise, stunt driver Debbie Evans was challenged to take on the wild, icy landscape of the Yukon in Canada. VIA CARSCOOPS.COM
HAIKU ON GEN-X VISION
FEBRUARY 15, 2017 LEAVE A COMMENT EDIT
By: E. R. Smith
Haiku on Gen-X Vision
Gained Gen-X vision
eye strain on optic axon
mutant lens fade hue
This is an immensely powerful post celebrating determined women of determined personal and collective courage.
Please visit the clubPAW website and show them your support.
Our friends in Jakarta, Indonesia organized a women’s march this Saturday (4 March 2017) morning in front of the Presidential Palace. One of clubPAW authors participated in the march to witness LOVE in what was really the start of something historic in Jakarta. Not just that, now clubPAW has stories from some people we got the chance to talk to.
We at clubPAW believe that the women’s march movement that has shined like sunlight to many major and small cities globally signifies something larger; a hope. A hope that there many who are still persevering in the fight for equality and love. Nay-sayers will always be there and the only way to turn them to our side is by engaging in healthy dialogues and exchanging ideas. There will always be people who look down on our efforts but remember that good will does not expect anything in return. At least…
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Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016. Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library, was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama on February 24, 2016, and her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 13… [MORE]
I may occasionally write the junk, but rarely do I read it.
And it is not because I don’t like it that I rarely read it…
It’s because it, the really good stuff anyway, is so durn hard to read.
I’m talking Poetry here…
Poetry with a big, bold capital P.
And it is so hard for me to read (And by read I mean read. I mean really digging into the poem and fighting through the initial confusion and the complicated and often archaic words. I mean, not just reading the poem, but studying it and trying to close the gap in time from when the poem was written to when the poem is being read by learning about the poet and where and when and why and how he or she is from and where and when and why and how he or she lived and then coming to my own understanding of what I think the poem means and then trying to apply that meaning to my own life and where and when and why and how I live it. That’s what I mean by read.) because it takes more than a little bit of effort to read it.
I certainly don’t have time for all that junk.
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.
YOUR DREAMS ARE DEAD
These four words flew into the forefront of my brain along with what felt like gallons of blood as I was bent over the floor around my son’s desk retrieving his crumpled up artistic attempts. He is nearly 7 years old and a truly gifted artist. I do not say this because he is my son. A sharp pencil or pen and paper is his chosen medium and from the depths of his soul he creates beautiful and intricate abstracts and hilariously haunting caricatures. We are a homeschooling family therefore he is privileged to practice and delve deeper into his art every day for hours on end. I encourage it, I love it. This is what I want for my children, why I homeschool, so passion can arise organically and be nurtured.
As I am in his room tidying up and thinking “your dreams are dead,” I shout out to my husband “is this it for me, is my life over?” “Yes,” he says. He always answers my nihilistic questions nihilistically. To a large extent, he is right. In a permanent way that you cannot change your mind about like you can the dream of wanting to be a successful blogger or to own a Louis Vuitton bag, bringing children into the world is a dream all to itself. The dream of children trumps all other dreams. I remind myself of that anytime I despair about not having an aspiration to call my own or even an uninterrupted shower to call my own. I wanted this. These children were and are my dream realized. It is exciting to watch the unfolding of these beautiful human beings. And I am their mother. I am honored to be their safe-space, the place-holder as they venture in and out of their artistic worlds through play and meaningful work.
However. As I near my mid-30’s, I find myself being less and less content with this idea. I still have something to offer, I have ideas that flood my head nightly once everyone else is asleep and the silence settles in. There have been times when I felt disgruntled about life and have thought about this character that I have seen portrayed in television and movies of the overbearing mother who regrets that she never did anything with her life so she nags, meddles, cuts-down and eventually alienates her children. It could have been different if only she had made a life for herself outside of her role as wife and mother. This persona would top the list as the worst version of myself. I don’t want to envy my children and begrudge them of their dreams.
There is another way. And I already know where to start. I have been cultivating hopes and desires for people in my family for years. For a passion to bloom, a person needs tools, space and opportunity to create. My children deserve that. I deserve that. You deserve that. As adults, we have to make that happen for ourselves. There is no mother or father around to do it for us now, or maybe, ever. We are creative-space incarnate. No. More. Excuses.
Our vision for our short film LEAVE is to create a cinematic work of art that both entertains and inspires positive change. If you are a #WomeninFilm Los Angeles-based Director interested in captaining our production, please contact me.
…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.
HEROES FOR A MODERN GIRL
by Pamela Schloesser Canepa
The poet Maya Angelou
shared wise words that moved me so.
Songbird Nina Simone
Did not fear walking alone.
Laid the truth on me.
Mom bravely raised me alone,
in the warmest, loving home.
Simone deBouvaire taught me
women are not property.
Toni Morrison’s Pilate
was free like a wild lilac.
And I thank them all
for helping me stand tall.
Men’s rules, commandments, and laws
once confined us, we felt lost.
But there was no stopping
rebels like Janis Joplin.
I benefit from their stand,
and I’m fed by my own hand.
I thank them all
For helping me stand tall.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?
DESPITE IT ALL, BECAUSE OF IT ALL
I grew up in a large family, the youngest girl and second youngest of six children, with two sisters and three brothers. Despite that, or perhaps because of that, I have always wanted to have a large family myself. My husband on the other hand, grew up with just one sister, so he was more skeptical of the prospect of a large family. Of course a large family today is probably only equivalent to half the size of a large family back then.
My ultimate goal was to have my children before the age of 30, so I could be a young mother and grandmother. After three-and-a-half years of marriage, I stopped using birth control so we could start a family. It didn’t take long for me to get pregnant, but it took determination and perseverance throughout nine pregnancies within the next ten years to successfully create our family.
I decided to write a book about my efforts to have children for many reasons; the most important one being that it was very therapeutic for me to jot down details of each of my pregnancies, successful or not, to keep them all sorted in my mind. Reading about them now, each one borne complete through words becoming sentences, and sentences becoming paragraphs and pages, is the most therapeutic of all. Of course it is easier to move on when things have ended on a positive note, and my family is complete.
My advice to others is simple:
Talk about your fears, disappointments and struggles to anyone who will listen. This can be a professional councilor or a friend or family member. On the flip side, listen to anyone that is trying to lean on you for support throughout their struggles. I remember a co-worker thanking me for “breaking the ice” as she called it, upon my return to work after a stillbirth. My co-workers were all very concerning and caring, but no one knew what to say or how to act, so when I started the conversation they were very grateful. It is always better to acknowledge someone’s pain rather than ignore or avoid it.
Do not wait too long to start your family. As my story shows you, things do not always go as planned. If you are in a healthy, financially stable relationship, and both of you want to have children, don’t procrastinate. That’s why humans have a nine-month gestation; it gives you time to get used to the idea of a baby in the family.
Work hard for what you believe in and want out of life. Do not let others tell you that you cannot do something that you believe you can. Do not believe that you cannot do something until you have tried your best to do it.
Do not take anything you have for granted, especially your health, but also your intelligence, athletic abilities, and anything else that makes you different from others.
Last, but not least, when you are feeling down, take a moment to realize that there is always someone worse off than you in any given situation. Think of the good and positive things in your life, (I do not mean materialistic things) and be sure to surround yourself with positive people that really care about you. Delete the negative things and people from your life. Make a written list of these things, referring to it often and adding to the list as you work through your struggles.
I can write this story now with humor, candor, wisdom and hindsight, all things I did not have much of when I was first starting out on my path to motherhood. Hopefully, this will provide inspiration and comfort to others that have or are going through the frustration and heartbreak of losing a child during pregnancy.
Submit your awareness-raising human related-work to the Relating to Humans feature.
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.
I CAN’T PICTURE YOU WITH A KID
“I can’t picture you with a kid.”
“Neither can I.”
I’m too spontaneous. My passion for writing and journalism was constantly competing with my passion for buffalo wings, rum and Steve Madden; there is no room for a kid in the newsroom or at the bar during happy hour and being six months pregnant squeezing those ridiculous swollen dogs into new candy apple reds is just negligent- everyone knows five inch heels can’t handle that kind of stress. Yet, there we were in the bathroom waiting for a pee stick who decided to use the entire two minutes to make up its mind. I can’t do this. I’m too young. There are so many places I want to travel to. If I get a great deal on Groupon I want to be able to just book it! To call in to work sick and live my life! You can’t do that with a baby there’s planning. Clearly not enough in this situation but that’s beyond the point. The point is… Do babies even get passports? I mean how often would you have to update that photo? I don’t have time for that. Who hikes Yosemite with a papoose? Seriously. I want to wake up in the morning and see a sting ray under my hut in Bora Bora not a diaper genie. And now I’m positive that’s not going to happen.
“Have you thought of your options.”
Sure, I had. But what were they? Have a baby. Kick out Jimmy Choo to make room for Osh Kosh. Drop out of school to PlaySkool. Put down the pen to set up one to play in.
Or don’t. Adoption is an option. Earn my tiger stripes just to give my cub to someone with less of a pride.
Or don’t. To just pretend it never happened. I mean, Forever21 doesn’t do maternity.
“…and that sound is your little girl’s heartbeat.”
They said it was okay to cry but I couldn’t. You don’t pre-order MAC’s new midnight sensation just to make it run. And I would make sure my daughter would know that, or would I? Maybe some happy couple somewhere far away like Arkansas wouldn’t let her wear make-up until 16 or she would be given to some psycho pageant people in Pasadena who would have her glitzed out at six months. I couldn’t let that happen to my baby. My baby. But was I her momma? Constantly teetering on this tottering life was no place for a kid. So I had to stop being one.
“I’m having a girl.”
The last 18 weeks of my life had now planned at least the next 18 years of it. She would be mine. She would stalk shoe sales with me. She would be my editor. At the end of the day, it only matters what she has to say. She would be just like me.
“I don’t hear anything.”
She was just like me. Spontaneous as all hell. It’s okay to cry they said but I couldn’t. I don’t remember it happening like this on the tv shows or in the movies. The chapter in the health books didn’t elaborate on this. The doctor didn’t break it down like my body did. There was no what to expect when you stop expecting. there’s nothing on un-nesting. one minute im sitting there answering phones and making appointments at my desk. the second minute im up and bolting down the hall passing the click-clacking Manolo Blahniks, my hush puppies stay silent towards the little girls room, the rest room. where this little girl is not resting but not awake. a little girl controlling her own fate. while i was kicking around parenthood, she decided to never kick. i close my mouth and scream. and the tears who have been planning this for so long finally make their escape and i don’t even try to stop them. they grab hold of the covergirl clump crusher and run.
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.
This is a propaganda video direct from the US Navy’s official website.
More specifically, it is a two-minute or so inspiring profile piece of a female Hull Technician, a rating traditionally reserved for and assigned to male sailors, found on a page from the Navy’s official website dedicated solely to the recruitment of women.
Now, the word “propaganda” typically comes with negative connotations… at least to me it does.
However, in this case, I regard it as very positive development, for it was not that long ago that you would have been hard-pressed to find a female “HT” in the US Navy.
And, happily (seeing how I am a recruiter for my film and not for the navy (though I strongly encourage every American to consider serving their country militarily)), it just so happens that the protagonist and his small division of men of the Nineties-era short film I am seeking your support for are also Hull Technicians.
Pretty coincidentally cool, huh…
And it is they, these male HT characters of mine, who, through their dialogue and actions — as harassing and as hazing as they may be — show us how I
suspect know many real-life male sailors would have felt and reacted at the time about the recent arrival of the first-ever female sailors to their warship.
I only hope that the first-ever female sailors and other female service members who are right now getting ready to report to combat-related duty assignments, assignments on the front lines and maybe even hidden behind the lines, assignments that until very recently were solidly and stolidly forbidden to females, receive a less harassing and more welcoming environment than the females in the film.
Please consider supporting me in the making of my short film LEAVE; for I truly believe, with your support the film can provide much needed awareness to present-day realities in an artistic, entertaining, and meaningful way.
For a list of Donation Reward Packages, please click here.
It’s Easier To Ask Forgiveness Than It Is To Get Permission
and other interesting wit and wisdom attributed to the Admiral