Tag Archives: mywritings

Resisting Unjust Laws Then and Now, Stayed on the Call of Freedom and Cooperation

(Image: ValuableGangOfYoungNegroes1840.jpeg from wikimedia commons…)

Many laws in our history have been resisted as unjust, from the Enclosure of the Commons, to the Cherokee Removal which was litigated successfully by the Cherokee nation, to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, to the recent Muslim ban.

In the 17th century, from whence this popular folk song comes, litigation was not an option for most people, so they resisted in rhyme:

They hang the man and flog the woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
Yet let the greater villain loose
That steals the common from the goose

And then as now, community cooperation on a very wide scale was key to winning the freedoms promised in our foundational documents like the Magna Carta, the Constitution, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  So we continue to walk, rhyme, and support court and non-violent community-based actions to cooperate in making this a safer and kinder world for all of us, and to non-cooperate with injustice.

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !
ShiraDest

October 22nd, 12017 HE

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The Bright side of PTSD: become a Body Guard?

Smells, noises or lights can suddenly awaken some of us, and refuse to let us sleep until identified. Long-lasting childhood traumas can leave your Inner Child reluctant to come out from under the coffee table. Some ideas, illustrated by examples from historical and fictional sages, may help your Inner Parent to teach safety and trust to that Frightened Inner Child so that your Inner Adult, your competent and ambitious self who’d rather ignore both Child and Parent, can get on with succeeding in life.

First, one possible intrepretation of Hillel’s famous pair of questions:
A. אם אין אני לי, מי לי (Im ein ani li, mi li: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me,”) is that each of us must parent and protect his or her own inner child, and

B. ? וכשאני לעצמי, מה אני ; (Vekesh’ani le’atzmi, mah ani ? “And if I am only for myself, what am I?”), also stand with others who have been wounded.

Second, if, like Harry Potter, you’ve sustained significant losses in your life, even very early on, is there someone you can recall, or as Harry uses to conjure his first #Patronus, even some imaginary memory, showing love or kindness, even if from or to a stranger just for a moment? Your Inner Parent can use that image to show your Inner Child that there is hope for this world, and that is worth holding on to and fighting for, to motivate your ambitious Inner Adult to keep going. This is being for yourself in the most crucial way: parenting yourself through the panic and soothing those constantly jangled nerves until you learn to trust life. Then your ambitious and centered Inner Adult can take it from there to build the life you want to live.

Third, if, like Amelia, you see that it would be safer to give up than to fight, perhaps your Inner Adult can take the lead, having learned by watching your Inner Parent defend your own Inner Child, that sometimes an adult must sacrifice to create a better world for all Human Children. And like Feruze Hatun, healing all those around you may come at a high personal cost, but honesty and love, even shown to our enemies, as Gandhi and Dr. King proved, can indeed defeat hate, and bring you greater self-confidence and feelings of security.

So, warrior like Amelia or Intergenerational Community Parent to all, like Feruze Hatun, or just competent, capable, and knitting lots of hats for House Elves like Hermione, parenting yourself can lead to parenting others , for the good of All Humankind. Or you could still become a Body Guard.

Some more of my thoughts on how local government Policy such as accepting part of local taxes in local currencies/Time Dollars can help stimulate local community employment and inclusion for PTSD survivors are found in my related paper on Building Community and the crucial role of Intergenerational Participation in Community : Shavuot (Pentacost) as one of four Biblical pillars of building community.

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !
ShiraDest
My books on Economic and Social Policy: Shared Monetary Governance, and Stayed on Freedom’s Call…

September 10th, 12017 HE
Community4BiblicalPillarsShavuot

Predatory Landlords, Debt, and Repairing the World

Dr. King said that,

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. ”

The question is how does such “restructuring” happen?

Following up on my earlier post regarding debt as a problem of financial self-defense, particularly in the case of apartment renters who are forced to live in a lemon or face Breach of Lease, Biblical Law may have something to say about the long term consequences of artificially pushing people into debt (talking about otherwise frugal folks who do not spend profligately).

I respectfully submit that we have had one possible tool in our hands for several thousand years, and it may need to be examined in the context of our present debt crisis -the release of debts, both short term and long term, at different times.  Below is a handout from one of several talks I gave on the relationship between debt and community building, this one from the book of Deuteronomy: DCBM20August_Reeh_Class.

AfterNote: while debts do “expire” at different times in each state and DC according to the type of debt, only two states actually “extinguish” expired debts, and only Maryland prohibits lawsuits being brought against debtors for already expired debts!              Lawmakers in every country need to act to prevent this sort of financial and emotional bullying (in the case of landlords, offering apartments which do not suit, and then reneging on promises to fix issues, while in other cases, offering credit knowing that those who accept are at a relative disadvantage).
In the USA, each state regulates how long one can be sued for a debt, but even then, if the debtor does not know to defend, or is unable for some reason to go to court even if h/she knows, oftentimes creditors sue illegally and win. Now this cannot happen in MD, but of course debtors are still free to harrass up to and beyond the Statute of Limitation (‘expiration’) of the debt.

May we look to our collective good, as one Human Race, and to the potential of each and every Human Being.

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !
ShiraDest

my resume: JonesPolicyResumePublic
June 26th, 12017 HE

Black and Jewish Americans fight together for human dignity… in Spain…

As we discussed my all time favorite show, El Ministerio del Tiempo (sorry B5!!), a friend recently told me that one of her relatives had fought in the Spanish Civil War as part of the Lincoln Brigade which turned out to have been known officially as the Lincoln Batallion.

Looking into the history of the Lincoln Batallion, I found, among others, Oliver Law, a Black man who had to leave the USA to become the first African-American in US history to command a military unit (not counting NCOs during the US Civil War like Robert A. Pinn, who picked up the standard and command after the deaths of all of his officers), during the Spanish Civil War.

In total, one Black woman and 54 Black men volunteered from the United States, where they were treated with disdain, to fight racism and oppression on the other side of the Atlantic. They hoped to change things back home in the US, and they were following the calling of their consciences, to fight racism and oppression where they could: in Europe.  For Tom Page, it was the first time he was treated with human dignity, and for Salaria Kea, the only Black woman to volunteer, it was a dashing of hopes upon returning home.  But for all, it was honorable service to humanity.

Like Delmer Berg, the last surviving American to travel to Spain, 1/3 of the volunteers were Jewish. This was in keeping with a long but little-known tradition of cooperation between the Black and Jewish communities well before the 1960s.  In that sacred tradition, led by Dr. King, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Gandhi and many others, we must continue the cooperation between individuals, families, communities and states that so desperately needs to continue, to move us all forward as a united human race.

May all of their memories be a blessing to us all, and a reminder of Human Cooperation
Zichronam LiVrachah,
Shira Destinie Jones Landrac

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !
ShiraDest
March 16th, 12017 HE

 

Groups to join as Coping and Family-building measure

Personally, I have a high need for connection with others.  In order to avoid burning out my nearest and dearest, I’ve decided that finding groups that share my values may help diffuse some of that pressure on my supporters.  So, I personally want to find:

  1. A progressive chavurah, shul, temple or synagogue to join, and a Women’s Mosque as well, if there are any lady Imam or leaders around (there was one in Ankara back in 2005…)
  2.  A Quaker (Friends) Monthly Meeting to join and stand silent Peace Vigil with,
  3.   Greek or Balkan or other international folk dance,
  4.  a walk-run marathon group
  5.  a public library-based book or reading club
  6. A public library based writer’s critique group
  7. an NVC and also maybe Literacy Volunteering group (and give blood).

 Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
24 March, 12016 HE

Writing about running breakthroughs?

Now that I am an older runner (ok, at 46, I don’t feel old, but apparently most runners do…), I am having to push through injuries that never bothered me when I was younger, so I am learning to celebrate pain-free long runs, rather than Personal Records as most other runners seem to do.

I am wondering how to work my running into my next novel.

Why, I wonder, do we not see more blog entries about having beaten a torn tendon, rather than a personal best?  Is it me, getting older, or is our society rather competitive?  How do we help ourselves become more cooperative?

 

Read, Write, Run, Teach !

ShiraDest
24 jan, 12016 èH
12016 HE

(updated with MyWriting tag and link to H and H…)Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
20 March, 12016 HE

AbuelaVida: project GrandmothersLives

 

por haber compartido mi idea de poner en cada biblioteca la historia de cada familia, sobre todo de cada BisAbuela y TatarAbuela, del lugar.
Many thanks to BI Cuadrado Alvarez for sharing my idea to put the history of every local family, especially of every Great Grandmother and GrGreat Grandmother, in every public library.

ShiraDest
7 enero, 12016 EH

short story of December: encouragement pls?

I was amazed by Stephen King’s memoir on writing, but am having trouble taking his advice. It’s not easy, getting into my short story for December while I let my NaNoWriMo2015 practice novel Rough Draft rest for 6 weeks (ala Stephen King: On Writing).

So I hope you all, dear readers, will help hold me to account:  This Week I want to finish planning the 10k words in large: Setting, Conflict(s?), Master Scenes and Protagonist character-building.

1st question:  is a short story long enough to have both external and internal conflict??

2nd q:  do people bother classifying the genre for a short story?

 

Public Service Announcement (mostly for American citizens of voting age living in the USA at the moment)  from my GoodReads book in (reading) progress:

“Call, write, and visit your government officials and educators and share your insights. Let them know there are better answers. Stand up and tell them it is time to invest in the lives of poor and abandoned children.
Work in your community to reach out and help Invisible Children live among us as productive and healthy citizens.
Visit our website:
http://www.invisiblechildren.org
Use our ongoing web dialogue to post
your interests and findings:
http://www.invisiblechildren.org/weblog
Share …   Most importantly, be active and concerned for the abused and neglected children in your community.”

 

In Solidarity with All Kind People and PhD ( PhDresearch journal )students who share notes,

(like author Trice, JrROTC friend Tammy, loyal friend Elaine, loyal activist friend Felice, and an allied Librarian)
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,
ShiraDest
3rd of December, 12015 HE

(later addition: )
(this one was published in Concrete Wolf but the magazine is now defunct…)

“Lost in a Rose”

smooth hand touches silk
on the curved red petal
hibiscus scented nectar
within conical perdition


this one got good comments in the poetry workshop, but needs polishing…
…originally written wed. 21 june 2000

A scream shatters the still night
shrill peal, reverberating off the hills
look at me it cries
react
remove this agony
the sword under which I labor
to see and not be heard
warn and watch chaos befall
strike in defense yet named a traitor
ever teh thorn in your side
I am the gadfly of Athens,
reborn…
(edited 29 march 2001, but where???)


a favorite horse riding poem I wrote in 2002 has been lost, originally entitled ‘Steed’
later retitled ‘Motorcycle Mare’
sent to two magazines and posted on LJ but all seem lost now… oh well…
-hair flowing in the whipping wind
pressing forward together
flowing ever faster
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
8 March, 12016 HE

Your fundamental problem is that you do not really believe that you deserve to have good things happen to you.

Publication: “Lost in a Rose”, Concrete Wolf Poetry Quarterly
Issue Number 2

Psychological Suspense, or Women’s Fiction??

How does one tell the difference between these two genres?

Is a novel with two female main characters, in  which the plot revolves around the relationships in the book, particularly friendship but with a key disaster to avoid,  a (psy) suspense, or Women’s?  Why (or why not)?

Pysch. suspense is a mind against itself with fear of the consequences, which fits, and yet this definition also fits: “The Romance Writers of America defines women’s fiction as, “a commercial novel about a woman on the brink of life change and personal growth. Her journey details emotional reflection and action that transforms her and her relationships with others, and includes a hopeful/upbeat ending with regard to her romantic relationship.” (src Wikipedia)”.

A Women’s Psychological Suspense novel?

 

(If it helps to know at all, my Ideal Reader for this story is between 15 and 36 years old, female, and has been depressed or suffered symptoms of PTSD, most likely being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.  She is well-read and introspective, politically independent.  She enjoys history, travel, learning languages and solving problems.
She prefers a thorough debate that settles important questions and improves lives.  She dislikes wasting time.
She probably prefers adoption to birthing, and has a tremendous sense of responsibility, preparing herself to make a difference in the world.  She is motivated, seeks allies, and adds tools to her arsenal for molding a better world.)

Thanks for any help, Fellow Readers and Writers,

ShiraDest
30 November 12015 HE

What I learned from NaNoWriMo about Writing and Depression

My second practice novel actually started on Wattpad , but much easier to track the deadline on the NaNoWriMo2015 website, has taught me several things about managing Depression (or PTSD -> anger->depression, sort of…).

First: Making a deadline feels good, even if it is Just/Only YOUR deadline. You DID it.
Second: Physical activity every day, like running  or dance, etc, is, at least for me, imperative (and also read, and have a sun lamp).
Third: Making a deadline a second time, better than you did the first time, proves you can repeat the feat, thus showing discipline and perseverance. This makes me feel like less of a waste of oxygen, provided I can find a way to use that to help other folks.
Fourth:
Writing 1.) When writing your first/second/fifth practice novel, be sure to have a physical workout routine, preferably involving boxing gloves, AND several people to talk to about all of the crap your writing will drag out of you.

(Remember NOT to use the gloves on the people…)

Writing 2.) For me, at least, plan the ending first…
Writing 3.) Plan setting, time and weather for each scene, not just the plot!!
Writing 4.) Outline by scene, not by # of words (I outlined by 300wds, which ended up driving me nuts toward the end…)
Writing 5.) Do not write a chapter per file, it is a formatting nightmare to insert 18 files (one for each chapter) into one ‘book’ file on an exhausted day 28!
Writing 6.) Lay out the chapter plan on one large calendar in the same notebook (if at all possible) as the planning notebook (and resist the temptation to plan each chapter on small scraps of paper!! You cannot believe the number of scraps I now have floating around…).
7.) Start on day one, and don’t punish yourself for not planning ahead. A planner is not a pantser, and you will feel annoyed if try to write stream-of-consciousness just because you have 2000 words to finish That Day.

Better to take the day to plan out the next two scenes and write them the next day, at least for me.

I found that when I knew the time of day and year and weather as well as what the MC was supposed to do in the next couple of scenes, I could just imagine the flow and zap, 2000 words came out of no where (I did NOT say 2000 Good Words, but that is for the next 3 or 4 re-writes!!!).

and the real

Writing 7.) Set a new notebook aside for the 30-Day 50k challenge, because it will turn into at least a year, and probably 80k words. Before it goes back down to 60k again.

🙂

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest
29 November 12015 HE

Shira