Friday, December 14, 2012

The Simple Things

This is one of my elementary school class pictures. Those who know me can probably pick pick me out of the group within seconds, especially if they were also in this photo. However this is not about me or my friends. Because we are blessed to look at these photos as adults and tag each other on social media sites, have a good laugh and threaten those who post pictures of our childhood. As kids, our worries were what lessons did we have to do. What was for lunch? When does the recess bell ring? When we had drills, we only had to know two important drills; for a fire drill,at the sound of the alarm, we formed a single file, hands to our sides and walked quickly and quietly down the halls and to the nearest exits to the school yard and wait for the intercom to crackle and a voice tell teachers to escort us back to class. When there was a tornado drill, we single filed to the hallways, line against the wall, face the walls, get in a kneeling position with our arms folded on top our heads with our heads lowered. We did not know how the latter would help, but we followed instructions and went on our way after the drill was over. While guns and mental illnesses existed even back then, we were in a way, shielded from those dangers, being in what was the comfort of adults who made sure we did our school work, got our snacks, naps and anything else on our schedules. We dealt with bullying, pledged allegiance to the American flag, said prayers and went on with life as kids. In my recollection the biggest thing that happened in the elementary school was a peer taken to the principal's office because she had a butcher knife in her book bag. Why? Because she was being bullied so much that she was told to bring the knife to school and deal with it. Otherwise, we were protected, so to speak from the dangers that lurked around us. 'Officer Friendly' reminded us of stranger danger with every visit. Our neighbors watched over us to make sure we did not do stupid stuff or get in a dangerous situation. We,as kids, had nothing to worry about. How the decades after our childhoods changed. In the last 30 years we as a nation have gone through many tragedies from natural disasters to terrorism. Not just terrorism from international sources...terrorism on these United States. When massive shootings began with 'going postal' we wondered what could be wrong with a person who would just snap and shoot people down in the workplace? What was going on in their heads? Workplace shootings, campus shootings high school massacres involving adults and youths at the hands of the arsenal; what are you going through that would drive you to do such evil? Now there's been movie theater massacres and most recently a massacre against children. Babies in Newtown, Conn. 20 children ages 5-10 years old...dead at the hands of a twenty-something male. Children who had nothing to do with what you were going through. Your anger. Your disgust. Your demons. They've done nothing but get dressed, eat their breakfast, get in their parents' car or get on the school bus to take them to a class where all they need to do, is learn their ABC's, 1,2,3. Get their work books or in some cases for the older kids, turn on the computers. Academic curriculum may have changed since we've sat inside an elementary classroom but the standard should remain the same and that is to go to school, learn something, have fun, eat a snack, eat lunch, then go home. But the world does not like the standard. We live in a world where guns are an attachment to our physical being and our mental instability remains ignored. Mental illness has been a fabric stitched within the American flag, but to this day we continue to patch it up, over and over again. We know there's a thread unraveling but we wind that thread around our index finger and do a quick snap, making it a quick fix instead of taking the material apart, finding the problem and do something to make it better. We have bullet holes within the patches but ignore them too. If the government does not admit that there is an old, battered and beaten down problem in guns and mental illness, the material of our nation will continue to be ugly. Until GOD is truly fed up and wipes a clean slate. We should be tired of the lumps under the rugs, the consistent patching and the blind leading the blind. What happened in Newton should be a signal to increase funding on mental health issues of all levels. What happened today should be a signal to tell those who are pro-gun that this shit has got to stop, period. The children killed in Newton...children who are killed by gun violence on a daily basis, should piss you off to call your government officials and demand for gun control at the highest action taken. That funding goes toward educating people about mental health issues and help those who cannot help themselves. The children from today's tragedy lost the opportunities to realize the simple pleasures of life...the chance to create memories. The chance to look at their school pictures in later years and laugh freely. No one should miss out on such fun.

Monday, December 10, 2012

We'll See How This Goes

Betcha didn't know I had a Blog, huh? Yeah well neither did I. What I mean is...I have this blog but hardly, rarely submit any thoughts. OK, so it slips my mind. But I hope to make writing blogs a consistent event. After being reminded for the gazillionth time to create a blog...a certain fellow journalist did a verbal kick under the table...I figure I give it another try. Will it focus on TV and Entertainment? Maybe. Books and Writing? Possibly. Life in General? Hmmm... I named this blog page Freelancer's Funk with the subtitle "Lines, Lines & More Lines." And that is just what you may get out of me. In the meantime, I have two books; "Unflappable" and "The Panthers Club." "Unflappable" can be found at www.unflappable-book.com. The Panthers Club is on amazon.com. With Christmas coming in two weeks, this can be a great stocking stuffer. Many have their own copies and recently after doing a writing presentation for a class of adult students, thanks to Ivy Tech College, eight students won one of eight books purchased. So you all need to get on the bandwagon, because as a freelancer we hustle and hustle hard. And as writers, we have great published stories available to you and you can meet us in person. Don't wait until a TV or a movie deal happens and you're thinking 'I should have purchased "Unflappable" and "The Panthers Club" when I had the chance!' Don't get left out in the fun.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Carolyn Mosby, Unflappable Home

Carolyn Mosby, Unflappable Home
My first published work as an author. Co-author of "Unflappable" purchase copies here...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Carolyn Mosby, Unflappable Home

Carolyn Mosby, Unflappable Home
This is the connection  to my first published book; a memoir about Carolyn E. Mosby. She hired me to co-write her coming-of-age story and it was published in 2008. We still have copies available  for $20. Just click the link. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What Was I Doing...

I woke up this morning around 7 a.m., stretched then made a dash to the bathroom for the ritual before jumping into a pair of sweatpants,one of many free t-shirts accumulated over the years from various community events that once upon a time gave them away to promote the sponsors blazed across the back. After checking the minutes on my phone, stepping into a pair of well worn gym shoes, grabbing the keys and heading outside, I jumped in the car and headed to my walking destination. The only phone call was one from a friend who greeted me with a 'good morning' and a request. My walk was 40 minutes long under clear blue skies and a fall like temperature with a background noise from a couple of passing cars and the voices of fellow walkers scattered around the circle. As I walked I surpassed two moments of silence - the early moments of silence held for lives lost 9-11-2001 to terrorist attacks. The third moment of silence would take place by the time I return home to start my breakfast after handing dad the newspaper. Eleven years ago I was in the middle of putting on clothes for the day of errands. The morning was perfect with clear skies, the sun and the temperature was a little bit warmer as my father sat on the porch reading the paper. My 13-inch TV had the Today Show blaring and every now and then I caught glimpses of conversation. My mind was on the usual activities of the day, including what the hell to cook for dinner later. When a special report broke and live streaming of the first plane hitting tower #1 occurred, I paused before yanking down my shirt. I thought Damn that's mess up as I resume to putting on clothes. Moments later my mouth dropped as the second plane circled and headed for the second tower. Anything that I had to do that day vanished from my mind as I froze in horror. The ring of our land line jolted me out of shock and upon answering the phone, my oldest sister asked where was 'her daddy' and then have him come inside and look at the television because we were being attacked. I told daddy, who was a bit miffed at having to come in the house but he did otherwise. While watching he was as calm as he always been, shaking his head. See dad's from an era when as a child in school in the south, they practiced drills that involved hiding under their desks in case of an air raid. He and others witnessed Tuskegee Airmen practice dips and maneuvers under a nearby bridge. You were preparing for the worst. Like Pearl Harbor, we did not imagine this day of attacks. It's weird to say Social media networking was non-existent 9-11-2001. Can you imagine the Facebook, Twitter and other networks blacking out from hysteria? Cell phones were around but jammed to no end until hours, even days later as people tried to contact loved ones. Many lost were able to leave final messages via e-mails and cell messages while the majority made what they did not know would be their final call. I even found myself going for a drive two hours after the attacks;I could not sit still even though there was a possibility that additional attacks could take place closer to home. I drove for an hour, making a couple of stops at businesses that only had staff inside. I drove past two foreigners on a bicycle...cheering about what happened earlier. I wondered how far did they go before someone threatened them. I returned home after remembering some of the errands I had to do and later cooked dinner. Over the years we've been through a world of local and national changes. Personally i went through various changes. The oldest sister who called the house 11 years ago today, now has Alzheimer's disease. I am a great-aunt. I've co-authored two published books. I have to find something to cook for dinner later. We all are doing our routines. We keep on living despite the ups and downs of personal life, local and national strife and disasters...miracles and happiness. We keep fighting for our rights. We have to keep on living...to live for those who perished before us. To live for those who sacrificed with results of death or mending. We have to keep on fighting and living. Because we can.