Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Message for all my Sisters in the United States of America

A few weeks ago I received an email about women and voting. After some thought, I've taken that email and modified it to reflect my own thoughts. Read the following, please. It is a bit different from the email making the rounds.

These few paragraphs retell a story about our grandmothers and great-grandmothers. It was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote. The women of which I speak were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive.

Forty prison guards wielding clubs and with their warden's blessing went on a rampage against 33 women convicted, for lack of a better charge, of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women. Realistically, it's not hard to imagine the things that were left unsaid in those same affidavits.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on November 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food-- all of it colorless slop-- was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, tell me again, why some women won't vote this year. Because we have car pool duties? We have to get to work? Our lunch hour isn't long enough and we have other errands to run? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

If you get the chance, watch HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that each and every woman in America can pull the curtain at the polling booth and have her say. Listen as Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she
could be permanently institutionalized. And be inspired when the doctor refuses. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy. "Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity," said the doctor. Do we need this film to remind us of the value of voting? Of the cost? Sadly, yes.

Don't ever let the act of voting become something impersonal, something you take for granted. It is not an obligation. It is a privilege. Treat it like one. Treasure the fact that you can vote, revel in your American freedom. 91 years ago, the women in the United States did not have that right, and now we do. When you assume this is the way it should be, or when you think that taking the time to vote is inconvenient, look at the women today, right NOW, in the Middle Eastern countries, in Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq. Then look at us. Be grateful, and use that right well.

Do not make what our foremothers suffered be in vain. Honor them, honor yourselves, and honor your daughters by going out next Tuesday and casting your vote. Because while this is, indeed, the story of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, ultimately, this is the story of US.

Both photographs courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. The first photo is of Alice Paul, circa 1901. The second is of Lucy Burns during her imprisonment in the Occoquan Workhouse, November 1917.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Things Humanity does to Humanity

This found its way into my email this morning, and it is not an Internet Rumor. Those in the comics industry may recognize Michelle's name.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Please Help a Mother Recover Her Child's Body

This is no internet rumor. I know the people involved, and the tragedy is real.

There is a paypal account near the bottom for donations.

Please pass this along to those who might care to help.

Thanks for reading.

-- Steve Sullivan


To our friends --

Please pass this around and help if you can --

Our closest friends have heard of MICHELLE CALANOG PRINCIPE.

But you haven't heard the rest of it:

Michelle works in the comics industry abroad and is quite involved in many of the comics being published. She manages Glass House Graphics Asia and Studio Sakka, a creative agency and manga studio, respectively, coaching and guiding dozens of artists and colorists across the Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong, and even India. What's more, she oversees bunches of free seminars each year, bringing in experienced talent to teach hopeful young artsts about the comics biz.

Among her talent roster: Bong (Star Wars) Dazo; Carlo (Hulk) Pagulayan; Stephen (Wolverine: Manifest Destiny) Segovia; Lui (New Terminator) Antonio; Noah (Red Sonja) Salonga; Patrick (Avengers/Invaders) Berkenkotter; Harvey (Avengers: The Initiative) Tolibao; Jonathan (Battlestar Galactica) Lau; Anthony (Bratz) Tan; Wilson (Wolverine Manga) Tortosa, Tina (Space Ace) Francisco, and plenty of colorists for Marvel, Dark Horse, Dynamite, Dabel Bros., and so on.

She's also been a comic book character. Michelle is the sister of Jinky Coronado (artist of TokyoPop's Avalon High series and writer/artist of her own series Banzai Girls). Michelle has been a character in every issue of Jinky's comic book. And the two of them even appeared together in FHM Philippines. So Michelle's overall ties to the comics industry go pretty deep.

Married at the beginning of the year to her college sweetheart Rhene Principe, Michelle had a baby exactly one month ago. That should be cause for celebration, and it was. But within 12 hours of taking home newborn Reinee, Michelle found him not feeding and unresponsive. Back at the hospital, doctors discovered what they thought were blood clots in his brain. A catscan and surgery further revealed them to be inoperable deposits of calcification in his brain. Soon they also learned the baby had multiple hernias -- intestines pushing through muscle walls -- and areas of bowel that were not processing food. Young Reinee went through four weeks of painful surgeries, spending nearly every day in ICU.

Born September 26, 2008, Reinee Jaden Principe died today, October 26, 2008. But every mother's worst nightmare HASN'T ENDED.

Although Michelle and her husband emptied their savings account on hospital expenses, and Glass House's head honcho David Campiti and Jinky Coronado (they are married) have each donated thousands of dollars toward Reinee's medical expenses, the hospital wlll not release Reinee's body to Michelle for burial until she pays the remaining $9,000.00+ in medical costs.

What's more, they now have funeral expenses to worry about.

Jinky is trying to help her sister to raise the remaining money. Help from anyone -- a dime, a dollar, $10, whatever -- is greatly needed in a hurry, and appreciated. Michelle and Rhene need to bring some closure to their heartbreaking situation and, literally, put him to rest.

She has set up a PayPal donation Email specifically for this --

For any generous individuals donating $1,000.00 or more, Jinky will illustrate and personalize a custom cover-quality illustration of whatever characters they want.

Your help for Michelle and her family is appreciated.

-- David

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Yesterday book signing went well. Two people from where I work dropped by, Dad, the in-laws, and friend Jen. The Husband (Weston Ochse) had a lot of friends and coworkers come by and sold a number of books. Always a good thing as it makes the bookstore want to bring him back. They didn't get any of my books in, so I brought my own and, a bit to their chagrin, sold them myself after getting the mall manager's permission. Sold 10 or 12, so it was worthwhile. The store manager (who wasn't there yesterday) is talking about a multi-author signing on the day after Thanksgiving, which is a huge shopping day. We think that's a great idea. We'll see if it pans out.

Something I got from quietspaces's LJ and thought was fun:

Your result for Howard Gardner's Eight Types of Intelligence Test...


41% Logical, 45% Spatial, 51% Linguistic, 31% Intrapersonal, 14% Interpersonal, 6%
Musical, 25% Bodily-Kinesthetic and 31% Naturalistic!

"Verbal-linguistic intelligence has to do with words, spoken or written. People with verbal-linguistic intelligence display a facility with words and languages. They are
typically good at reading, writing, telling stories and memorizing words and dates. They tend to learn best by reading, taking notes, listening to lectures, and via discussion and debate. They are
also frequently skilled at explaining, teaching and oration or persuasive speaking. Those with verbal-linguistic intelligence learn foreign languages very easily as they have high verbal memory and
recall, and an ability to understand and manipulate syntax and structure.

Careers which suit those with this intelligence include writers, lawyers, philosophers, journalists, politicians and
teachers." (Wikipedia)

Take Howard Gardner's Eight Types of Intelligence Test

Personal Comment:

I just have to point that people with good memories are cursed, because when they remind people of stuff, they get labeled as nags, and that really bites.

Goblin is in kind of a kissy mood today. Who stole my grumpy old Great Dane? :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Book Signing Today!

The Husband (Weston Ochse) and I will be doing a book signing today at The Mall in Sierra Vista on Highway 92. The fun starts at 1:00 p.m. and continues until 4:00 p.m., hosted by the B. Dalton Bookstore. We'll have books, personality (at least some people claim we do), and Smarties to entice people to stop at the table.

Anyone reading this thing???

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Some Progress...

Not as much as I'd hoped to get done, but it's moving along.

By the way, on this day in 1992, my then-agent sold my first novel. Boy, where did the last 16 years go??!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Harry Fassl, RIP

I just got word that my old friend from Chicago, Harry Fassl, died on Sunday morning. Harry was an artist-photographer, and one of the most interesting and intelligent people you could ever hope to meet. Years ago, when playing around with a new recording capability on his computer, Harry sent me a tiny .wav file. Ever since then, literally, it's Harry's voice that says "Hello, Von!" every time I get a new email.

Gosh, I'm just so sad. Sleep well, Harry. We'll miss you terribly.

Harry Fassl -- Both photos from 1993.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Yes, I am again UNSUPERVISED. I have sent The Husband and The Teenager to Mexico with The Nephew and The In-Laws. It's just me, the dawgs, and HIGHBORN. Monday is a work holiday, and I've added two days of leave to it to make a nice, uninterrupted 4-day weekend.

But I shall not rest.

HIGHBORN awaits. And I will make a huge jump ahead in this novel.

The count, as of this morning:

Here goes!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Why I Love Great Danes

Danes Online

An especially good month. Click on the above link only if you want to smile for a little while, no downloading required.

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