Topic: Making Changes
I woke up this morning listening to NPR, as I do most mornings. The news of Maya Angelou's death brought sadness along with rejoicing for the wonderful contribution she has made to so many of our lives in this work.
Moments later, I heard an exclusive NPR interview with President O'Bama about his unique perspectives on foreign affairs. He talked about peace without going to war, spoke of sadness about all the tragic loss of life that has been sustained because of our long history of seeing war as a way of making peace.
These two African-American have probably done more to inspire me anyone in the past two decades. Their constant sense of presence in my life define what I long to accomplish as a writer who loves responding to my readers.
Then, as I turned on morning shows, I heard of how people are uniting at Harvard and across our nation to address the recently-recognized, long-standing crisis of sexual violence on our campuses. I vowed to do all I can to stand alongside these people, especially using www.takecourage.org to provide education on the topic of institutional collusion.
At the same time, I am wrapping up the final details of the most extensive project I've ever undertaken: the writing of Just Following Orders. Thanks to my co-author Nancy Ketter, we'll be offering this novel, to students and teachers in middle school, an easy-reader version for reluctant readers, an e-book--all of which I believe will appeal to adults, as well. PLUS, a fun-filled, educational website as an extension of Just Following Orders AND a second blog, where you'll be more likely to find me on a regular basis.
We hope to have all of this released by July 4. The new website for Just Following Orders will be www.justfollowingorders.takecourage.org
As you might have guessed, the book is about courage and peace in the midst of the horrific guerrilla warfare in 1863 that took place in western Missouri--all of this inspired by my heroines and heroes who have lived for peace.