"I had a moment of introspective clarity (other than the conviction that I'm a pirate at heart) while reading this story. Do I have convictions so strong that I'd be willing to kill others, and FIGHT to the death?"
Don't Forget -- TOMORROW IS PURPLE DAY! WEAR PURPLE! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATIONRandom Brain Meanderings (Too Much Coffee): I wrote a book that includes genocide, violence against women & children, sexual slavery, neglect and a guy who beats his dog. So far, readers seem to care most about the dog. I think this says a lot. First off, I want you to know that if you are someone who's mentioned your concern for Rusty, or about the small part in the book about dog fighting, then I think YOU ROCK. I care about these things, too. I'm a dog lover, and a non-violent person, so of COURSE I care about dogs. And I know people are capable of caring about both violence against women & children and violence against dogs at the same time, so I'm not saying this to be judgmental. I'm saying it because I find it really interesting, in a scientific way, (spot the Vulcan) that readers get vocal about the dog violence more often. (Read to the end. I do it too.) I have an old friend who explored this topic with me while she was reading D100D. She explained that she felt for Rusty, and brought it up specifically, because dogs can't fight back--they are helpless without humans, whereas Emer could fight back. This helped me understand the heightened concern for a dog while human beings all around him in the book were suffering. And believe me. I understand Fred is hard to read. He's a creepy horrid man with power issues that are hard to face. Have you met one of those guys yet? I've met a few. Usually, they are hurting more than just their dogs. Here's Why I'm Bringing This Up. I'm a big proponent of talking about violence against women, especially sexual violence. I believe we're hiding a culture--an EPIDEMIC of violence against women. (Think of it this way--1 in 4 women in the US has been sexually assaulted. If 1 out of 4 people had the measles or bird flu, we'd call that a measles or bird flu EPIDEMIC, right? And if that happened, we'd NEVER HEAR THE END OF IT--on TV, radio, and at school. People would freak out because the next victim could be someone they know and love.) I'm presently involved in my local production of The Vagina Monologues. I know it's a funny name, but don't laugh. The Vagina Monologues is a play that benefits women and girls globally, who are dealing with nightmares you don't even want to think about, through an awesome organization called VDay. VDay is an organized response to violence against women. It's global, yes, but it also benefits the 200,000+ women and girls PER YEAR here in the US who are sexually assaulted, by raising awareness and locally, by raising money. In my town's case, our show is raising money for medical equipment that helps get evidence into courtrooms and convict child rapists, because you have NO IDEA how hard it is to actually convict these people. So, even with the funny name (and some VERY HILARIOUS parts) it's for a serious cause. This year, the production is highlighting the horrors of what's happening to women & girls in the Congo. If you want to start thinking about these things, here is the site for VDay and a link to information on the situation in the Congo (DRC). I know this stuff is hard to think about, but if we don't start to actively denounce and deconstruct this SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE EPIDEMIC, our daughters will continue to become statistics that nobody thinks or talks about. Ironically, I collect for the Humane Society at every local signing I do, but I don't collect for any womens centers or child abuse organizations. People do NOT want to think about things like this when attending a signing to buy a book, you know? (Some people have avoided my table completely because there was already one donation jar on it.) So, since I put my money where my mouth is in regard to doggies, I feel I need to do something for my biggest concern. On the weekend of April 4th and 5th, I'll be selling and signing copies of The Dust of 100 Dogs in the lobby before our production of The Vagina Monologues. 100% of profits from those book sales will go to VDay. It's not huge, but it's something, and every little bit helps. If you live in the Berks County, PA area, you can find tickets HERE. Shows are Saturday, April 4th 8pm and Sunday, April 5th at 2pm. Stop the Violence & Stop the Silence! Stay tuned--Friday I will announce winners from the Awesome/Penelope Contest!