According to my ten year old daughter. It was her 'best year ever!' At first I laughed; then realized how grateful I am to have been a part of it. Hopefully this year will be better than last year for her. I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
I have been asked the question many times about where I got the idea for my story and why did I write Lazarus Rising. Quite frankly I was commenting on what I am seeing happen to this great country. I have never made it a secret which side of the aisle I come from politically, but it is more than just the election of one individual or riots in the streets. It seems as if all of our so-called leaders are busy telling us what we want to hear rather than leading us to where you need to go. No matter who comes up with an idea they are attacked rather than using it as a starting point. I hear people compare the riots in Ferguson with our American Revolution. There is a complete disconnect to our history when comments like that are made. The Boston Massacre is a perfect example of how different our founders were from the people looting and destroying in Ferguson. Five Americans were killed by British soldiers. What did John Adams do? The man who would later call for a document to be written declaring our independence. A man who would serve as our second president? He defended the British troops in court, he was more interested in letting true justice prevail rather than allow for mob justice.
The Boston Tea Party, condemned by many of our founders, was more a protest against the 'corporate' bailout of the East India Company than against the three pence tax. In fact, tea would have been cheaper for Bostonians than it had been before. George Washington and others felt it was an act of vandalism and wanted those responsible to reimburse the company for their losses. It was what King George III and the British government did after the tea party that united the colonialist. To compare the tyranny of soldiers occupying our cities and homes and being imprisoned for our political beliefs to a bunch of looters, I mean undocumented shoppers, is like claiming that Hitler was just misunderstood. The people that destroyed property and robbed their neighbors didn't care one iota about the kid that was shot and killed. It wasn't even a case of revenge over justice.
But I digress...
I was writing about why I wrote my novel. The growing debt, the inability for compromise in our government, and the lack of understanding how it works by the people, will and are having disastrous effects on our country. I believed that when I wrote Lazarus Rising, and I believe that today. I hope we can come together again like we did as Americans after 9/11. Sure we made some mistakes after those attacks due to fear, or anger, but overall we are a country that stands for doing the right thing. Evidence proves that as a whole we are the most charitable people in the world. We are not lost, but instead simply focusing on the negative rather than the positive. I realize it is hard to change. But possible. Just the other day my wife and I spent the day watching a single mom, with her own TV show, restore old homes to their former glory. That is America. It also reminded me that here you can do and be anything you want to be. Certainly for some it is more difficult to succeed based on situations, economic status, skin color or gender, but it isn't, like everywhere else in the world, impossible. And each day we move closer and closer to completely eliminating those old ideas. Let us embrace the strides we have made; concentrate on the positives rather than the negative. When we joyfully celebrate how far we have come it allows us to continue to become what James Madison said so eloquently in our preamble, "a more perfect Union." Those words were written so we would always remember to work towards it. We are closer to it now than we were back then... but it does become threatened by ignoring the rest of the document. By having no concern for a growing debt. By being more concerned with partisan politics rather than standing up for what is right. I always ask myself when 'my guy' signs an executive order or makes any move if I'd be okay with it had the opposition did it. If not, I speak out against it... we have a duty to police our own parties, but that doesn't mean we can't call out the other guy (or gal) as well.
All that being said, I finished another story. It takes place on September 11th, 2001. I hope, for the sake of those who lost their lives and the heroes that saved many, that I did justice to the memories and heartache of that day. Until just recently I hadn't even watched a movie about the terrorists attacks. I couldn't. Now I have written a 12,000 word story about one of my character's from Lazarus Rising, Jack Payne. He lost his wife that day. Abigail, the other main character in my novel, Jack's daughter, lost her mom. I told that story, of course, with a little twist. But I also wanted to give tribute to President George W. Bush, for his actions on that day and those that followed. Our nation came together; he was a big part of that. The plan is to release it in late February or early March. I have titled it, "Eyes of Payne." I hope I have honored that day...
One final note - we were shocked, and angry, and scared on that Tuesday morning in September. But the next day we woke up with a new resolve. Sure, we rightfully wanted and demanded justice be done to those who planned these horrific acts, but we also were kinder, gentler, more loving with each other. We saw how fragile freedom can be. We clung onto family like never before. We acknowledged strangers on the streets and took that extra moment to care for another human being. Let us never forget to strive to be who we were on Wednesday, September 12th.
Until next time... God Bless!