Archive for December, 2011

24 December, 2011

Why I Believe in Santa Claus

Last year, my middle-child, the thinking feeling one, wrote a question to me in a book that we pass back and forth to each other: Is Santa Claus real? She had already experienced a near-miss with the tooth fairy who hadn’t yet come by 4.30am, a fact which she had taken, tearful, to her older sister, saying, “I am afraid the Tooth Fairy is Amma. motherdaughterShe went out last night and there is nothing under my pillow.” Mercifully, the usually self-absorbed teenager tucked her sister into bed, watched until she fell asleep and then went looking for a box of art-cards to leave under the pillow with a note that read, I am sorry I am late. Your box was heavy and it took me a while to get here. Understanding, in other words, was just around the corner. And yet, how could I be the one to dispel the mystery? Instead I, like hundreds of mothers and fathers before me, took refuge behind a full-color print out of the letter written by Francis P. Church and appearing in The New York Sun in 1897, ‘Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.’ Sometimes, I wrote by way of introduction, a writer looks to another writer to say what they want to say. The book stayed with her a long time and I was afraid I had crushed her faith in my honesty.

This past summer, while cycling around the Schyulkill river in the City of Brotherly Love where I live, she brought up the topic again. “Are you the tooth fairy?” she asked. What could I say but, yes. I launched, then, into an explanation as to why these stories exist. The job of a parent, I told her, is to keep the fairy tale alive until the child is old enough to take it on. I related the story of her older sister standing in for me, of how once she was no longer waiting for the famed fluttered one, she was glad to turn her attention to making sure that the fairies kept arriving for her sisters. It’s your turn, I said, to do the same for your younger sister.

Although she had taken to winking and smiling in a knowing way as the youngest of my daughters talked enthusiastically about Santa, just a few days ago I realized that the knowledge of his ‘non-existence’ sat heavy in her heart. “Why,” she asked me – as we went looking for ‘the furry slippers’ that the youngest was hoping against hope Santa would bring for her – “why is it that if we have to end up knowing Santa is not real, why do parents tell their children that he is real? Wouldn’t it be better if we never thought he was real?” Navigating traffic, I, at first, gave a smart-alecky response: “Would you have liked to be the only curmudgeon walking around at the age of two saying ‘Santa is not real!’?”

Then, I gave her the answer that I felt in my heart. We let children believe in things that don’t exist for adults in the hope that they will continue to believe in the things that adults forget do exist: that the world is essentially good, that people are kinder than we know, that peace is possible. If we only believed in the things we see before us, or know for a fact are real, why would we ever dream of magic, transformation, the immense potential for a different outcome?

Growing up in Sri Lanka within a Buddhist family in a predominantly Buddhist country, Christmas was something I celebrated with my Catholic friends, going to midnight mass, eating Bruedher and sipping cheap wine. On our tropical island, there were no Christmas trees or snow. But the Christmases of pines christmastree2decorated with ornaments and lights, of snow on the ground and carolers and, most of all, the arrival of Santa Claus, all things I had read about in books and imagined, was always on my mind. Each Christmas Eve I would put myself to bed in a fever of excitement. Santa was going to come. This was the year. Santa didn’t come to Sri Lanka, I thought, because not enough people believed he would. Every year my older brothers, particularly the one closest to me in age, would say goodnight from the door to my room, lifting up the curtain to say “You waiting for Santa? You think he’s going to come this year?” with laughter in their voices. Looking back I wonder if they envied me my complete and heartfelt faith in the arrival of Santa, the ability to forgive the fact that he never showed up, nor ever would.

Now, in my American home I embrace Christmas with the fervor of the zealot. The tree! The presents! The cookies and carrots! Even, when my husband indulged me one year, “footprints” made of flour leading from chimney to tree for my oldest daughter’s first Christmas and mine.

During all those years when Santa failed to show, I never imagined that Christmas would become the anchoring holiday of my adult life. I still have a youngest who marvels at how well Santa knows our family. That chore chart, she says, is perfect for the three of us. I have coaxed my husband the atheist to say, just this morning, “there are elves who wait for those last minute requests and then they shoot out little rockets so Santa, who is already on his way, gets them.” This, in the face of a small voice announcing at breakfast that she really hoped for a guitar pick, something she had not let ‘Santa’ know in time. Most of all, I have three daughters who are willing to let what they know to be true unwind just a little; enough to let the magic in. I fully expect that, as adults, they will look at all the problems in their world with clear eyes, as I do, and still be able to soften that gaze long enough to know that it doesn’t have to remain that way. I credit Santa for that. Long may children small and large, believe that he will come.

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17 December, 2011

Guest Blog #3: GeMiNNi and Me

As promised, the third in the line up of guest blogs from the people who attended my workshop on blogging at the Montgomery Community College Writers’ Festival. This is from Kate Fazekas, a student at Montgomery County Community College, and an aspiring writer of Y/A Lit. She was born in San Francisco, but spent most of her childhood and teenage years in Japan and the Philippines. At present, she lives in Lansdale, PA, “with her wonderfully snarky husband Justin, a cat named Nightcrawler, and two gerbils named Albus and Thomas Kincaid Branagan. Her webcomic, Geminni, can be found here. Her post about GeMiNNi, is below:

In most company, I am a very quiet but friendly person. Some might call me timid. The truth is known to a select few, and they would be very happy to tell you that in reality, I am bat-bleep crazy. Life has trained me to mask my emotions to the best of my ability, but everyone needs an outlet. I found mine in creating a web comic I dubbed Geminni (with 2 n’s).

I honestly had no idea what I wanted my web comic to be about, only that the material would be lightly censored, and that it would be a place where I could be free to curse as much as I wanted. In reality, my swearing ability is awkward and embarrassing. I am still physically incapable of saying the “F-word.” I say “fudge-nuts”, and I call people “hass-holes.” My web comic would abound in sexual humor, anti-racist rants, and promote both racial and sexual tolerance.

I can truthfully say the main characters of Geminni, a single mother and her child, Kaley and Yun Szab, are based on the “angel” and “devil” aspects of my own personality. Kaley is gullibly sweet, while Yun is naturally cranky with a dark sense of humor. As I cranked out updates for Geminni, you start getting glimpses of the dark side of Kaley’s personality. If she was meant to embody the lighter side of my personality, what did that say about me?

Geminni ended up being a web comic with an eclectic mix of themes – real life, comedy, tribute, romance, and theological fantasy. Its charm lies in its wild and zany cast that includes a gay man with a temper and stalker tendencies, a women in her sixties with an outspoken fondness for sex toys, a cute yet bloodthirsty ghost from colonial America, a five-year-old pervert ,the meddling goddess of spring, Persephone , and a pair of perverted friends who view the world as their own personal playground. What can I say? As I have stated earlier, I have been accused of being bat-bleep crazy.

I have known for a while that Geminni will be a long-running series that will take a little over nine years to complete. It will be separated into three comics, Geminni (featuring the character Yun as a child), Geminni Level Up (featuring Yun as a teenager), and Geminni End-Game (featuring Yun as an adult). I am proud to say that Geminni has garnered a modest fan base on the web comic host, Drunk Duck, and has been listed as one of their top ten web web comics for almost two years. I’ve even been interviewed! Woo! I remember being very nervous, and I tend to ramble when I’m nervous. I remember after that interview, proceding to knock my head several times against my desk. My readers loved the interview, but it terrifies me that, like all things submitted online, that interview will always be there, to mock me and remind me of how terrible I was at the public-speaking… thing.

When I first started the comic in 2008, for the longest time the largest amount of viewers I would have in a week was 3. Now, on an average day, Geminni’s page-views are in the thousands, and is a favorite web comic for 1, 785 readers. That’s a pat on the back for me. Yay!

Thanks to all my beloved readers and Geminni Level Up will start on January 1, 2012! Stay tuned!

12 December, 2011

Damn Right, I’m Not Polite

A few days ago I posted this status update:

Americans, when they’ve got guns in their hands, are so quick to define how and when they’ll kick some poor sod’s posterior – in the streets of poor neighborhoods, for instance, all dressed in navy blue, or more commonly in some other corner of the world where everything can be neatly edited before being beamed back to TV audiences licking BBQ off their fingers. But ask them to stand up and speak out and suddenly they’re running for cover. Occupy Wall St. you are the only ones able to redeem a country so steeped in cowardice.

Some people did not like that statement. I was, apparently, blind to the fact that most of the occupiers were Americans even though their nationality (and how well that reflects on an otherwise unempathetic nation), was the point of my update. I was also not being successful in getting people to face up to the truth because my words were too critical. Apparently, Americans were no more cowardly than anybody else and, apparently, all human beings resist becoming involved in protesting anything that does not affect them directly. Apparently, Americans are just like everybody else on the planet.

Except, they are not. The American government has waged more wars than all the rest of the nations in the world combined, many of them out of sight of its people. For a somewhat limited bush-faces-of-the-dead(post WWII and not entirely comprehensive even after), list of these efforts at hegemony, check out the one created over at flagrancy. While there you can also browse the shipments (predominantly medical), which the US, this vast and generous nation, would not release to the people of Iraq between 1998 and 2001. The United States ranks #1 in the world for its military strength. Israel, its proxy in the Middle East ranks #10 and Iran, that nation accused of plotting the end of the world, ranks #12. To put that in context, check out the comparison between the US and #2: Russia. Military expenditure in the US stands at $692,000,000,000 in 2011. That is $636,000,000,000 more than Russia’s. Here’s a comparison (as of 2008), between the US and Iran for those of us biting our fingernails wondering if it is really true that it is Iran that is a militarized culture lead by arms-crazy maniacs or if, in fact, it might be a case of “it’s not about you, it’s about me.” Chances are that if America is responsible for 48.4% of the global total on defense spending and Iran is spending 0.5%, we’re the ones with anger-management issues and we’re the ones who are a threat to global peace and we’re the ones whose people need an “Arab Spring” like there’s no tomorrow.

So, who are we? In one of the first pieces of journalism I ever wrote (for The Madison Eagle), I spoke of the tendancy Americans have of ridiculing the singing of their own national anthem. I can’t recall the exact words and, in this study full of clippings and books, I cannot locate the piece; my grouse was with the fact that it seemed like an easy “out” to me. To denigrate the anthem was a perfect illustration of the way liberal Americans like to dissociate from the acts perpetrated by the nation’s leaders as if they imagine that this alone washes them clean of the evils that are being conducted somewhere far out of sight.

One of the people who were annoyed with my original status update sent me a private message advocating for civility and politeness rather than confrontation. Honesty, said the individual, is not measured by decibal level, a reference to a subsequent post I had made after the first one:

The truth cannot be conflated with insult. It is itself. And if one cannot speak the truth, why speak at all? As the French poet, Paul Valery noted, “politeness is organized indifference.”

It’s cute, this advocacy for the “kinder gentler” kind of persuasion. It’s really swell for Americans not to have to be goaded, prodded, stung or screamed at by people, isn’t it? It’s even nicer for such Americans that they feel they have all the time in the world to get there, to that point of empathy, to the point of bestiring themselves on behalf of themselves, forget about the rest of the world. The thing is, 113,708+ human beings may still be alive if only our sensitive us-soldiers-dead-fallujah-iraq-300x171American brethren did not need all this time and all this coaxing and pampering before they could bring themselves to speak. Thousands of soldiers who bore citizenship in this country (and many who did not), could also still be alive if only their fellow Americans remembered that they, too, belonged to that “human family” in which we like to claim membership. In a recent post about some of these wars, two, in fact, I wrote about the way Americans remain sanguine about the devastation being wreaked around the world precisely because of their addiction to apathy. In that post I reference an article that I wrote (for The Morning Sentinel), on the occasion of the death of the 2000th soldier, Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander Jr. Here is the conclusion of that piece:

…For those who want to remember that these were human beings, here are a few, very few, details. Sgt. Sean C. Reynolds, 25 years old of East Lansing, Michigan was killed on May 3rd, in Iraq. Uday Singh was 21 years old and not yet become an American citizen when he died in an ambush near Habbaniyah Air Force base on December 1, 2004. I don’t know what number either of them were.

In Brook Park, Ohio, a town that lost 14 marines in a single car bombing this past summer, there’s a man named Ronald Griffin. He lost his son two and a half years ago. This is what he said on the occasion of the announcement from the Pentagon: “I only look at the individuals. I don’t think it’s a significant number at all unless you think about the individuals who make it up. Who was 98? Who was 99? Who is going to be 2,001?”

This morning I woke up, as usual, to National Public Radio. It was a story from Iraq. The story of a man named Manadel al-Jamadi who died in Abu Ghraib, hours after his capture by the Navy SEALs and the CIA. His bruised, bloodied corpse was seen around the world, stuffed in a box of ice and Sgt. Charles Graner giving a thumbs up sign and grinning over it. I went on line to see what else I could find out about this story. There I found a picture of Manadel al-Jamadi’s widow and his son who looks about 8 years old. They have no names. Nor do the children of George T. Alexander Jr.

As I said to the person who sent me that private message, if Americans were only waiting for a “big enough” reason to come out in droves, to turn “rude,” you’d have thought stealing the presidency would have done it. Apparently not. Apparently they were waiting for something even bigger than that. What was that, exactly? Guantanamo and its clones? Were they just waiting for Abu Ghraib? The murder of approximately 115,000 Iraqis in a war of aggression? The massacre of civilians (from a nice safe distance), in Kashmir and Kabul and Libya? Maybe they were simply waiting for Enron? Or were they waiting for the people of the world to sing the hallelujah chorus in praise of all the Americans bound to their deafening, albeit polite, silence?

So, dear American who writes to me like this and all of you who would like me to find that perfect dulcet note with which to address you: I don’t really give a damn if you find my tone offensive. And don’t kid yourself that it is only that which has kept you from being involved; you weren’t going to do anything anyway. You won’t do anything because your “addiction to politeness” which you mistake for “kindness” kept you indoors when your presidency was stolen. This is what is great about America, you were happy to say, we tansition between our governments in harmony no matter that someone has just rammed a giant uncomfortable sharp-edged multi-pronged stick up our collective democratic arse and we aren’t going to be able to sit without pain for the next eight years. Maybe it was trying to get comfortable with that penetration that kept you from screaming bloody murder when your country marched off to invade Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya, when they incarcerated your neighbors in droves in the wake of 9/11 and shout burn the mosque! when they see someone trying to construct a community center. It starts like this and it continues like this. And how does it all end? Who knows? One thing is for sure: the world is not going to wait, politely, to find out.

I’m not sorry to say that I have no empathy, absolutely none for people whose preoccupation with their preferred method of address has resulted in the obliteration of what is called “family” for thousands upon thousands among this “human family” of ours, and who don’t really seem to give a hoot about that little detail in our collective history. Your so-called “admiration of my work” means absolutely nothing to me if you don’t know that the words in my work are written in the blood and in the name of others. I don’t write so I can collect an admiring fan club for myself. I write to jolt you out of your soporific stupor. And if that interfers with the peaceful conduct of your day and your life, let me take a bow on behalf of the people you killed with your silence. It’s the least I can do.

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The picture above (of photographs of a family of dead Iraqis), is from The Nation blog by Greg Mitchell. The two other images used in this post (Bush in pictures of the American dead and the bodies of soldiers killed in combat) come from, respectively, Duncan and snarlyboodle.

10 December, 2011

Guest Blog: What Kind of Country?

Here is the second guest post (the first was from Rhiannon Richardson), from the Montgomery County Community College Writers’ Festival workshop. Linda Hubbard-Cooke writes: “I grew up in a small town on Lake Erie in northern Ohio and have lived the past 17 years in suburban Philadelphia with my husband and two sons. The road from Ohio to raising a family in Pennsylvania included several years living outside of the United States. Living in other countries changed my life in many ways and has influenced my world view.” Her post, a reflection on the choices before us as a country, is below. The cartoon I added to her post belongs to the Occupy For Accountability site.

I have been very discouraged recently about the direction that America seems to be heading. What kind of society will we be in 10 or 20 years? What kind of country will my children and their children live in? What kind of country will I grow old in?

My thoughts return to the early 80’s and my time as an exchange student in Sweden, a country which had high levels of income equality and low levels of corruption. Sweden has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Then in the early 1990’s, I lived and worked in Venezuela, a country which was in many aspects the polar opposite. The middle class in Venezuela was shrinking while a small percentage of the country controlled over 50% of the wealth. Corruption and poverty were commonplace. Which country are we more like today and more importantly in what direction are we heading?

In the 90’s corruption in Venezuela was ubiquitous. When a Venezuelan policeman stopped me in my car, he did not want to give me a ticket but was looking for a payoff. He threatened to impound my car but a Venezuelan friend simply offered the policeman enough money to buy a nice dinner and we went on our way. It was common to pay off government officials whenever you needed something done, or undone. The company I worked for had an employee whose sole job was to use his political connections to pay off government officials when needed and he was known to have a number of politicians and customs officials in his pocket. I found this system of corruption hard to live with. Although illegal, this corruption was an accepted part of the culture and continues to date. The 2011 Corruption Perception Index, a ranking of countries according to perception of corruption in the public sector today ranks Venezuela near the bottom (164 out of a total 178 countries). In contrast, Sweden is 4th in the ranking and the United States is 22nd.

Corruption is defined as the abuse of power for private gain. One of the biggest issues America faces today is the corruption in our government. income-cartoonThis corruption however is legalized and systemic. The campaign financing system lends itself to corruption. Elected officials who govern taxation and set regulations are being funded through the money of large corporations and the very rich, those very people most impacted by taxation and regulation. As an example, the New York Times last week reported that Democratic Congressman Dan Boren of Oklahoma is co-chairman of the Natural Gas Caucus yet much of his family wealth is from oil and natural gas and one of his top donors is Chesapeake Energy. Technically this does not violate House ethics rules yet it is clearly a form of bribery – money flowing to a person of power to influence their conduct. The challenge in labeling this as corruption is that it is not easy to measure the impact of the money flowing through elections.

Some of the corruption is, however, more blatant and measurable. According to a recent article about the book Throw Them All Out by Peter Schweizer, the laws that prevent ordinary American citizens from practicing insider trading do not apply to members of Congress. Some have benefited financially through insider trading and by the laws they are enacting. As stated in the article:

“…some of Congress’s most prominent members are in a position to routinely engage in what amounts to a legal form of insider trading, profiting from investment activity that, [Schweizer] says, “would send the rest of us to prison.”’

So what kind of country will our children and grandchildren inherit? Any concept of fairness in our system will depend on an informed and involved public, the strength and character of our leaders and most importantly a shared vision of what our country should be. Continued unbridled corruption and widening income inequality will place America on a path towards a third world society like Venezuela where money opens doors, buys power and influence while the middle class and opportunity for our children will largely disappear.

5 December, 2011

A Fight in Good Hands

srilanka08-789_2I say what I think. Perhaps that’s a bit of an understatement. I say what I think about a multitude of things and often when I’m saying what I think I am in direct conflict with what a majority of people may be thinking about the same thing, or I am at odds with a more comfortable point of view. For people who don’t know me personally it may seem as though I am constantly in the thick of one sort of battle or another, usually against forces far greater than any I could muster, often against those who are going to cream me in the long run. srilanka08-1122_2 I learned from the best: my father is now in retirement and lives as he does because he stuck to his guns through decades of service to multiple governments, my late mother was – and, in memory, remains – beloved precisely for her willingess to tell it like it is. My brothers and I carry the torch. (Only one of us, the oldest, is able to let some things go unsaid and I attribute that to his deeper involvement in scripture and his renunciation of much of the noise produced by politics).

What sustains me is what sustained and sustains them: a belief that, if I do not shy away from doing my small part, in the end, good will prevail for us all. To paraphrase the Pink Floyd song, I guess img_3871the “walk on part in the war” has always seemed more preferable to the people in my family than the “lead role in a cage.” And though my mother, in particular, often worried about our fate, and sometimes tried to tell us how hard the fall is from the edge of that limb up high in the sky, or how bare our necks looked exposed as they were, what could we do but do as she did, do as our father did: keep climbing, keep sticking our necks out.

People who do know me know that – whatever it looks like from the outside – I try to live a peaceable, compassionate life, attending just as much to moments of grace as I do to the social/injustices that plague us. And, as a rule (okay, with the exception of the fool who turns on the left turn signal after we are already at the stop-light), I tend to take people at their word, to accept that they are who them say they are, to believe that they are well-intentioned until proven otherwise. When I do find something that gets under my skin, more often than not, what I can bring to a cause is my voice. If I have been given the gift of words, then it stands to reason that I should use it to honor the gift-giver by using it to the best of my abilities. But passion and words are both double-edged swords.

This weekend, I fell into conversation with a neighbor. We had both been concerned about the misuse of authority on the part of an individual employed by this school district and we had talked about bringing our concerns to the relevant people. Although he had decided, in consultation with his wife, that it would be better not to become involved, I have no doubt that, after our conversation, they will decide to do so. But it was what he said that gave me pause. Touching my shoulder in genuine reassurance, he said, we know the fight is in good hands. i.e, mine.

Like I said, I learned from the best. I learned to speak up. But I also learned that nobody gets anything done by themselves. Audre Lorde said the following words: “there are no single issue struggles because we do not live single issue lives.” img_3338The Occupy Wall Street movement is a perfect example of what Lorde was talking about, despite the fact that so many seem not to understand the reason for its seeming “chaos.” But we also do not fight our battles alone. The boy with his finger in the dyke may have prevented the town from being inundated and countless human beings from drowning, but he suffered greatly while doing it. I do not imagine that I am that important, or that anything I do is comparable to that story, but I do know that standing alone is, well, lonely, often futile and usually fatal to ones wellbeing.

Long ago – it seems – in the months after I had returned to the US after a long period back home, when I was still looking for work and spent my time watching the Senate hearings on TV, hour by endless hour, I went to Newark, NJ to stand on a street-corner to protest the attacks against Bill Clinton in the throes of the Lewinsky scandal. It was an event organized by a relatively small group called Censure and Move On, a group which has since become MoveOn.org a behemoth power in politics. As we drove up we saw that, on a grey and rainy afternoon, there were two people standing on the corner with umbrellas. My companion – whose constant charge has been to save me from myself – surveying the embarassing scene from a fair distance said: “Ru, don’t be nuts. Let’s not make fools of ourselves standing in the rain with two people.” The words that sprang to my lips came not from me but from generations of people who had felt the same way I did right then: “That’s when it is important to stand out there,” I said. “What is the use of joining something when there are a thousand people there? This, when it is difficult and uncomfortable, this is when it counts.” With that I stormed off and, as he often does, my husband soon followed even though this type of shenanigan is not his thing, it has never been; it will always be difficult for him but, to his everlasting credit – much more than I deserve because, hard though it may be, I grew up learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable – he has always done it when it counts.

I may have the words to write persuasively about my case, and those words probably give the impression that the “fight” whatever it is, can be successfully won by me. I may speak with passion for my candidate, my cause, my peeve, and that passion probably makes people believe that I’m “passionate enough for the both of us.” srilanka08two-773_2Neither is true. Nothing, absolutely nothing, except for love for another and enlightenment of the soul, can be accomplished alone. No matter how strong the words, no matter how great the passion. Everything takes a village. And then many villages. And entire regions. And a country. And many countries. But mostly, it takes more than one. The fight is not in good hands if it remains in the hands of a single person because that is usually a fight that is going to be lost. So if you ever wonder if it is really necessary to raise your hand and be counted when somebody else seems to have it covered, or if it seems a little out of your comfort zone – even though you are invested in the outcome – or if you are worried about what this one or that one might think of you – even though you really hope the fight will be won – rest assured, it is. It is always necessary. Unless you are equally invested, equally hopeful that the fight is going to be lost. If that is the case, by all means, remain silent.

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3 December, 2011

Rhiannon Richardson: The Last Day of Her Life

About a month ago I spoke about blogging at the Montgomery County Community College Writers Conference. Given that the people who were in attendance were, for the most part, writers who were thinking about blogging but had not set up a blog of their own, I offered them my space so they could see what it looks like, a literary version of “try it before you buy it.” Of the people who signed up, I’ve received – thus far – only one post, and that, from a fourteen year old girl, the youngest in that room. Rhiannon Richardson and is a freshman in high school who describes herself thus: passions include “Writing and conversing about debatable and common topics is my passion. I love to take what I hear and see in everyday life and put it into my novels. My hobbies are softball, writing, reading, listening to a wide range of music, and raising a nursery of Dalmatian molly fish.”

I remember being that young. I remember seizing every opportunity I was given with gratitude and enthusiasm, an immense love for life. It is great to see the tradition alive and thriving among this generation of writers. So long as there are girls with an imagination like hers, how can the world go wrong? Here’s Rhiannon’s post on the last day of her life.

The Last Saturday

Saturday. It isn’t Monday, the workday. It isn’t Sunday, the day you go to church. It isn’t Friday, the day you spend partying all night because “hey tomorrow’s Saturday!” Saturday is the day where you can do anything you choose. The one day out of the week that you can go anywhere and do anything, it’s the life changing day of your life! So how would you spend it? The world is going to end on Saturday and you will lose everything. What are you going to do?

The last Saturday of my life I will wake up and pray. I’ll thank God for the life he’s given me, and the last day he is going to give to me. Then my day will begin. I’ll go to the Hollister store, and buy an entire outfit, because if I’m trying to scrimp with my money I can’t normally afford it. Then I’ll take all the rest of my money and take a trip to Bali because right down there, there’s a little rocky hillside with a beautiful view of the ocean, and I’ve only been to the beach three times in my fourteen years of living. I’ll find Alex Pettyfer and kiss him, because I’ve never kissed anyone in my life, and he is my favorite celebrity. A private plane will take me to Africa because I’m African American and I’ve never seen the place of my heritage, and I think it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Après ce (after that) I’d go to France because I’ve spent two years learning the language and I want to go where I have no choice but to speak it. Plus, France is one of the most fashionable places in the world, and it’s a wise place to spend the last bit of money I have on my party dress… To end my most magical day, I’ll grab all of my friends and go to the world’s last party, because “Tonight is the Night” that we dance for the last time. I’d dance till my heart gives out and I’ll dance again once I’m in heaven.

A wise man once said, “Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like no one is watching,” (Randall G Leighton). So, how would you spend the last “free” day of your life?

The Books:

The Books:

On Sal Mal Lane

In the tradition of In the Time of the Butterflies and The Kite Runner, a tender, evocative novel about the years leading up to the Sri Lankan civil war.

A Disobedient Girl

A Disobedient Girl is a compelling map of womanhood, its desires and loyalties, set against the backdrop of beautiful, politically turbulent, Sri Lanka.


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