Monthly Archives: December 2010

A New Discussion Forum

Apex Book Company, publisher of the recent reprint of my first book When Darkness Loves Us, has initiated a new online forum.

There’s a place there to discuss WDLU or any of my other books with me or with other readers, as well as the other Apex authors.

Stop by and say hello. Click here.

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Filed under Writing, editors, Selling, Promotion

I’m a Veteran

I spent eight years as a journalist in the Naval Reserves. During that time, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and I was called to active duty in the Pentagon at the Joint Combat Camera Center.

During that time, I worked with marvelous, dedicated people. Some were in the military for the educational benefits, some were looking at it as a career, some were closing out their long, eventful careers. And as with all jobs, one’s coworkers become like a second family. There are parties, there are luncheons, there are friendships that spring up, and water cooler talk. People become close.

I served with countless homosexuals. Wonderful, talented, dedicated men and women who could never bring their spouse to an event, could never discuss their family situation, or their relationship problems, the way most of us do at the office without a thought. They had to closely guard every word that came out of their mouths, lest they let slip a bit of information that would get them fired, their long, distinguished careers trashed. 

Just try going a week without mentioning your spouse’s name at work.

What a terrible way to live, especially since they were doing the right thing, the good thing, the thing that many people fear to do. These people stepped up, took an oath, left family and friends behind to do everything from front line combat to back room clerical work, to chip paint on Navy vessels and pull maintenance on tank tracks, all to make the enormous machine that is the US military run. And they couldn’t confide in a co-worker if they’d had a heart-rending misunderstanding, or a particularly sweet moment with a lover.

I am beyond delighted that that era of mistreating these wonderful, courageous soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines is coming to an end. They deserve to have every right that is offered to every other citizen of this country without living in the shadows, without worrying that something they do or say–even off duty!–might be fodder for a jealous coworker eager to kick them out of the promotion lineup.

I believe Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will be a thing of the past within days. The next appropriate thing will be to allow same-sex partners the right under Federal law to marry.

Love is a good thing. Family is a good thing. Fairness and equality are high ideals. Let’s strive for those things and let the anger and suspicion fall away.

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Filed under relationships, Social Consciousness

What is a Prayer Shawl?

We can cook!

A prayer shawl is a soft item of comfort. It can be an actual shawl, or it can be a scarf, a chemo cap, a hat, a pair of socks, mittens, gloves, a quilt… Anything that is hand made with the intention of bringing peace, comfort and love to someone who suffers is, in my world, a prayer shawl.

Last Sunday afternoon, seventeen women got together at Textiles A Mano to knit, crochet and sew soft items of comfort. We talked, we laughed, we ate (boy oh boy, can we cook!) and we combined our spirits, and our positive healing energy to infuse the items of love in our laps.

This, to  me, is a sacred act. For seventeen of us (eighteen, if you include Paul Shang, who baked and brought over an amazing cheesecake) to lay down our lives in the service of those who suffer, whether we know them personally or not, is a wonderful act of love, mercy and ministry.

Most churches have prayer shawl ministries. Two of the women who came to Sunday’s event knit prayer shawls every week with a group at their church. These are the world’s unsung heroes. These are the members of The Global Conspiracy.

It didn’t take much time or energy, you know, to organize this event. I found a place to hold it (the last one, last February, was held in my living room), sent out a few emails, bought some cheese and crackers and people came. I like to think that in those four hours, we generated a great amount of calm energy to contribute to uplifting the spiritual tenor of the planet.

It was easy to do, and you could do it too.

I hope you will.

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Filed under Goodness, knitting, peace, Prayer, Social Consciousness, Spirituality, time