October 15, 1969: The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam. A Pause for Reflection in a Polarized America.

October 15, 1969: The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam. A Pause for Reflection in a Polarized America.

The anniversaries of seminal events that rocked our world fifty years ago are coming hot and heavy this fall. Today, we remember a time when we tried a reasoned strategy to attempt to deal with a generation-defining issue in a country as divided then as we are now.

By the time of the Moratorium, America had been involved in Vietnam, in one way or another, for nearly ten years. Any initial objectives for the war were long gone, the domino theory relegated back to the game it was named after, the war’s progress descended into body counts, the goal now so incrementally small that there was no big picture left or possible. Our defense secretary was telling us that if we killed more Vietnamese than they killed Americans, it was a good week. Period. The Killed in Action Numbers came out on Thursdays.

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The First Anniversary of "The Fourteenth of September:" The 50th Anniversary of Everything That’s In It 🎂

The First Anniversary of "The Fourteenth of September:" The 50th Anniversary of Everything That’s In It 🎂

It’s been a year since the publication of my debut novel, The Fourteenth of September, and I can’t believe it either. To answer so many of your questions, yes, it has done well (outperforming the average independent book, I’m told) and continues to be of interest. It’s fulfilled all my hopes and dreams, and I’m humbly grateful for the wonderful year I’ve had due to the support of many of you. I intend to continue the ride as long as it lasts, however wild. This last quarter of 2019 alone is filled with the fiftieth anniversaries of so many of the seminal events of the time that are dramatized in the novel: the Chicago Conspiracy Trial, the first Moratorium Against the War, the March on Washington, the first Draft Lottery. Their commemoration shows us how the decades can seem very long ago, and yet as short as a heartbeat, with in-your-face reverberations today.

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December 1, 1969: A Date Which Will Live in Irony

December 1, 1969: A Date Which Will Live in Irony

Forty-nine years ago tomorrow was the date of the first Vietnam Draft Lottery, the day the phrase “to win the lottery” became, not a prize, but a death sentence. It was also a marker for a generation not unlike December 7, 1941, the date of the Pearl Harbor attack, characterized by then president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, as a “Date Which Will Live in Infamy,” a phrase which itself featured an ironic word referring to the dark side of famous. Perhaps that’s what war does to us? Keeps us mired in subtext, unable to talk straight.

I named my debut novel The Fourteenth of September, the birth date of the Number One lottery “winner” drawn on 12/1/69—straightforward, and crystal clear. All irony upfront and intended.

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Remember Kent State, May 4, 1970: An Iconic Moment for a Generation... A Coming of Conscience for a Country

Remember Kent State, May 4, 1970: An Iconic Moment for a Generation... A Coming of Conscience for a Country

Recently, while promoting the fall publication of my novel, The Fourteenth of September, which takes place during the pivotal 1969-1970 years of the Vietnam War, I was asked if—of the many iconic moments in American history that happened during that time period— one had impacted me more than any other.

I paused to consider the word iconic... icon—a symbol. No question. It was the Kent State Massacre, a symbol at the time of the total chasm between the government and the youth it was supposed to be protecting: the bridge too far that blew away most of the remaining support for the war, though it’s death throes dragged on another five years.

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It’s Official! My Novel is to be Published September 18

It’s Official! My Novel is to be Published September 18

Though it’s been in the works since April, I’m very excited to be able to officially announce that my debut novel, The Fourteenth of September, will be published by She Writes Press on September 18, 2018—the closest date possible to the actual title of the book.  Sometimes the stars align!*********

For those of you who haven’t heard the story by now, it’s about a female recruit, in college on a military scholarship during the Vietnam War, who begins to have doubts. She goes underground into the counterculture, and risks family and future, as she’s forced to make a choice as fateful as that of any Lottery draftee. The story is ever so loosely based on a character-defining personal experience of my own that happened during that critical time frame between the first Draft Lottery and Kent State, one that I’ve always felt defined our generation and cried out to be examined from a woman’s point of view.

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