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April 2013

The Bully Effect(s)

(s) ... because there are so many.

Those who know me personally know that nothing gets me crazier than hearing about bullied kids. The topic has affected my life in many ways. I've gone to many lectures, read ridiculous amounts of information on the topic, and served on school safety committees. Throughout the years, I've known kids who were bullied and I've watched bullies feed off their victim's fear in order to feel better about themselves. I've seen victims who withdraw into shells, I've seen victims who chose to fight back only to find school staff support dwindle when they did. I've heard parents defend their bullying child's action with words such as, "All he did was laugh," and demonstrate their lack of control with, "Well, let's hope my son can be nicer in the future." Hope? Really? 

I'm in the process of compiling a huge resource of links and references to do with bullying. When it's finished, I'll add it to my site. Between dealing with the topic in real life and in my writing, I can clock countless hours of research. It would be nice to offer those looking for help an easier task than I had! 

Anyway, for now, I wanted to share a link to a program I think is really important for parents to see with their kids. CNN did a half hour special about the story behind the movie, Bully (trailer below). The details of the special and the film are harsh, so you might want to check it out and determine if you feel it's age appropriate for your child. For those with Netflix, the movie is currently free.


Art Imitating Life

So I was searching for something completely unrelated to trees and this image caught my eye:

I couldn't believe it. These things look similar to a variety of tree I invented for a world in Book Two of my series. In Risktaker, there are trees with curved trunks that I imagined so much like these. The foliage on them is different, but the trunks? Amazing! I guess what they say about there being nothing new under the sun might be true. But I won't give up trying!

Anyway, these trees are located in Poland. If you want to find out more about this odd variety of tree, here's an article from The Daily Mail. 




Podcast Interview: Based on a Dream -- What's it All About?

You know how some people hate the way they sound recorded? Yeah, I'm one of those. Still, I'm loving the conversation between me and GeekFest Rants contributer Brenda Laux on my first podcast interview. We cover Treehugger, a few hints about Risktaker, and discuss bullying. I hope you'll check it out! I'd love to hear what you think. Just ... if you think my voice sounds like a cartoon character or something ... well, maybe keep that tidbit to yourself! Thanks!

Listen to the podcast at the link on GeekFest Rants' page here.   

YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic: April is National Poetry Month! Share your favorite poem(s) or poet.

Here's my response:

It's been a long time since I changed favorite poets. In fact, I pretty much jumped from Shel Silverstein in my grammar school years to e.e. cummings and never looked back. (Although, Shel and his poem "Sick" will always have a special place in my heart!) My favorite cummings poem is this one:

Pity this Busy Monster,Manunkind 
pity this busy monster, manunkind,

not.  Progress is a comfortable disease: 
your victim (death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness 
--electrons deify one razorblade 
into a mountainrange;lenses extend

unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish 
returns on its unself. 
                                A world of made 
is not a world of born--pity poor flesh

and trees, poor stars and stones,but never this 
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence.  We doctors know

a hopeless case if--listen:there's a hell 
of a good universe next door;let's go 

My favorite line is that last one; it reminds me of my novel where the main character can never leave Earth fast enough. Then there is cumming's poem that begins, "i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart." That one had a special place at my wedding. There was another one that begins, "a clown's smirk in the skull of a baboon," which I helped put into a performance art sort of video to play at a poetry reading with a friend back in college. Wish I could my hands on was priceless!


What's your favorite poet/poem?

The Fine Art (yeah, right) of Patience

You know that old genie out of the bottle with the three wishes deal? I suppose we've all imagined what we would wish for at some point in our lives, and I'm sure our choices have changed through the years. Currently, I would wish for 1) patience, 2) more patience, and 3) a complete set of my Based on a Dream series...out there, super successful, and sitting on a designated shelf in my living room. All that patience stuff is simply for dealing with the fact that dodging curve balls can get pretty exhausting. And as much as I might wake on any given morning with lofty goals, I'm sure to get hit with a few curve balls before my day is through. The past year has been tough. Hubby losing his job, amazing friends moving across the globe, tending to a relative in a nursing home .... to name a few. A while back, I wrote about embracing chaos and debris, and I re-read that post from time to time to remind myself of patience ... that sometimes it takes a while to come out on the other side of all the muck.

So today I'm posting about rays of light seeping through the muck! I have made some changes to the cover of Treehugger ...

  BOAD TH cover that it will match nicely with Risktaker--which is now in proof! After a proper proofing, it will go up for sale shortly. 

  Photo (13)

And remember how I said Risktaker is a bit longer? You can see it here....

  BOAD 2 spines

So we're no closer to a new job, we still miss our friends, coping with loved ones in nursing homes will never be easy for anyone ... but I AM a step closer to putting up that shelf in my living room.

What do you need patience for?